20 May 2006 | MartinHafer
an odd curio that could have been better
I am not a huge fan of short films from the 20s and 30s unless they are comedies. However, when I saw this on TCM, I still watched it because I was excited about seeing a film that was essentially a commercial extolling the wonders of Warner Brothers. That's because I wanted to see their stars and see how they looked when they were young. Well, unfortunately, I noticed that in 1930, they had very few stars anyone would recognize today. I am really good at film trivia and there were several I simply didn't recognize and many who I did recognize but knew them only as small-time actors. Plus, three of their biggest stars weren't in this short and they simply showed photos of them and inserted fake letters from them to the audience. Not having John Barrymore, George Arliss and Richard Barthelmess was a real disappointment and the audience had to be content to watch a few small-time actors (with the exceptions of Loretta Young, Walter Huston and a couple lesser stars, who were in the film). The film's structure was also something I myself didn't like--having the film star a small child called "Miss Vitaphone". Yes, I understood the significance--Vitaphone was the new unit from Warners responsible for sound pictures. But, I'm not much of a fan of precocious children.
All-in-all, this is a curio and that is all--and not a very interesting one at that.