13 April 2013 | boblipton
This is one of the last Pete Smith specials. After a quarter of a century of the ex-publicity man producing and narrating silly shorts for MGM, the company was starting to shut down its shorts department This one shows a series of newsreel clips, ranging from exciting (a parachuting dog; the running of bulls at Pamplona) to cute (a goat kid playing with ducks) to silly (a chimpanzee washing a kitten in a sink).
There would be a couple more Pete Smith specials issued, but the contraction of movie profits due to the rise of television was squeezing the majors. Short subjects, which had once comprised the entirety of a movie program, had become an expense that no longer justified their inclusion. A feature received a percentage of the the total receipts of ticket sales. Shorts were rented for a flat fee. Exhibitors, anxious to get in more showings, were renting fewer of them and they were no longer economically justified. Cartoons would survive a bit longer, and so would newsreels, to be finally wiped out by their TV counterparts, but the shorts production were in their end game phrase. So when Pete Smith speaks his signature close, "Goodbye now" he meant forever.