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  • The Naughty Twenties (1951)

    *** (out of 4)

    Cheaply made but highly entertaining short from Warner has Art Gilmore talking about the "good ol' days" of the Roaring Twenties. This 9-minute short is made up of clips from newsreels and movies from the era, which is of course a cheap way to produce a short but it's extremely well-made and it's put together so freshly that one can't help but be entertained. The film covers various subjects from who was running for President during the period to the various types of movies that were being shown. We're also told about our boys returning home after WWI and there's also some talk about alcohol being banned. Woodrow Wilson, Al Jolson, Calvin Coolidge, Lillian Russell and Warren G. Harding are just a few of the familiar faces who are shown in this short. Again, if you're looking for a complete documentary on the decade then this here certainly isn't that. If you're just looking for a quick and great way to remember some of what the decade had to offer then this short is just what you're looking for. The scenes are all put together in a classy way and it's obvious that the filmmakers wanted this to really do a good job to educate people on the decade.
  • This one-reel short covering the "new and daring" 1920s barely scratches the surface, but it is good filler. The clips appear to be newsreels from Warner Bros. Narrator Art Gilmore reads writer Charles L. Tedford script with brisk enthusiasm. We begin with the end of The Great War – the USA is guided by President Woodrow Wilson. Political campaigns are covered. "The Naughty Twenties" were presumably "naughty" due to Prohibition, and we see speakeasies. Flappers and suffragettes provide a sharp contrast in women's movements. "Bold and shocking" feminine bathing attire is shown. Considering the future, the brief clips of young Franklin D. Roosevelt and young Hirohito are interesting. Arguably the decade's most popular "all-around" entertainer, Al Jolson is seen briefly; since he was under contract to the studio producing this short, the attention seems slight. A sports highlight shows boxing heavyweight Jack Dempsey. There are rare looks at actor George Arliss and dancer Marilyn Miller performing live, with the latter given a relatively generous portion of screen time.

    ***** The Naughty Twenties (2/51) Gordon Hollingshead ~ Art Gilmore, Marilyn Miller, Jack Dempsey, Elsie Janis
  • boblipton2 June 2014
    5/10
    Clips
    This competently compiled collection of clips from the 1920s gives pretty much the Standard Movie History of the 1920s. It begins with the end of the First World War and Wilson in office; and it ends with a collection of show business clips.

    There are some interesting clips, including one of FDR in 1920. Art Gilmore's narration is brisk and only slightly over-enthusiastic, which was standard for him when he narrated Warner Brothers short subjects. This short subject plays on Turner Classic Movies before showing showing movies starring people who show up in the clips, like George Arliss in the stage production of THE GREEN GODDESS or biopics about those actors, like Marilyn Miller in Ziegfeld's production of SUNNY. Editor De Leon Anthony chose them well. The result is a typical program filler.