One More Look back At 1932
As I hope all of our members know by now, 2017 is the 50th anniversary year of our tent’s founding. At our last meeting, we featured Duck Soup (now 90 years old) and Helpmates (85 years old). Since the Boys made so many outstanding films in 1932, to tie in with our 50th year’s anniversary celebration, we’ve decided to screen a few more 1932 films at our Tuesday night, March 21st meeting. Our films for the evening will be The Music Box, Scram!, The Chimp, and Pack Up Your Troubles.
Our first film for the evening will be Laurel & Hardy’s Oscar winning three reeler, The Music Box. If you don’t already know the plot of The Music Box, you should turn in your fez at your nearest Sons tent. But if you’re new to the Sons of the Desert, The Music Box is simply Laurel & Hardy’s most famous film and is made even more enjoyable with a Sons audience. Though Billy Gilbert comes later in the film as Professor Theodore Von Schwarzenhoffen, his performance is a big part of the film.
The film program continues with a two reeler, Scram! When Judge Beaumont (Rychard Cramer) tells vagrants Stan and Ollie to leave town immediately, the Boys do take him seriously. However, after they leave the courtroom they find a very drunk man (Arthur Housman) out in a driving rain. The man has dropped his car keys down a grating in the sidewalk and very much needs the Boys to help him get his keys and get him home. Vivien Oakland later appears in the film, as the judge’s wife.
In The Chimp, a three reeler, Stan & Ollie work as assistants in a circus, in their own unique way. When the circus goes bankrupt the owner decides to give each of his employees a part of the circus in lieu of their final pay. Stan gets a flea circus and Ollie gets “Ethel,” a full grown chimpanzee (greatly played by Charles Gemora) . The flea circus is easy to sneak into Billy Gilbert’s boarding house, but Ethel is another matter.
Our film program for the evening will conclude with Pack Up Your Troubles. In this feature film, Stan and Ollie are drafted into the Army, go overseas, and accidentally both become war heroes. When they return home after the war, they find out that their Army buddy Eddie (who was a single parent) was killed in action. The Boys try to find Eddie’s parents, but the problem is that Eddie’s last name is Smith and they have to search through the phone book to find the right Smith family. Jacquie Lynn plays Eddie’s young daughter and “steals” every scene that she’s in. The print of Pack Up Your Troubles that we are screening has restored scenes that were censored in the 1940s for their violence and were not restored until a few years ago. Though the violent scenes are mild by today’s standards, they do affect the feel of the film, but keep in mind that Pack Up Your Troubles is a Laurel & Hardy comedy.
The Mayflower Club is located in North Hollywood at 11110 Victory Boulevard. Our doors open at 6:30 p.m., and our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. “Fisher Franks” (100% beef hot dogs) and your choice of chips will be sold from The Mayflower Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold from The Mayflower Bar. Free cake will be served during our second break. Don’t miss a lot of laughs. See you Tuesday, March 21st!
Our annual dues for Way Out West Tent Memberships were due in January. We need dues to continue to cover our expenses for renting The Mayflower Club, purchasing hot dogs and condiments, cakes, paper, envelopes, and postage to mail our newsletters. Our dues for a single membership are $30, for couple memberships $45, and for family memberships $50. In 2017, we will have five regular meetings and one Special Event meeting. Your dues will cover admission to all five regular meetings and you will receive a membership discount for our Special Event meeting, a meeting that will include food and entertainment.
Please make your checks out to “Way Out West Tent” and mail those checks to Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505 or bring your checks to our March meeting. Thanks for your continued support of our tent.
Notes From Our January Meeting
Duck Soup, Hog Wild, Helpmates, and The Flying Deuces were the films that we screened at our January meeting. My son, Jimmy, really helped with our screening of Duck Soup. Going in we knew that the original English title cards for Duck Soup were lost and only French title cards have ever been found. We had two copies of Duck Soup. One copy had a reasonable picture, but had title cards that were obviously just made-up. The other copy had a weak picture but had title cards that seemed reasonable translations from French. Jimmy was able to combine the best of both copies. We had a good turnout for Babe’s birthday meeting. We got a good response from the first three films, but after our cake break, our members seemed to slowly disappear. Maybe it was the film or just the rainy weather that we’ve had recently.
Thanks to Dave Griem, Steve Ames, Bob Duncan, Bob Brauer, J.T. Tropper, and Laura Reuther for helping me with our toasts and song. I don’t actually know which of you two Sons came the furthest distance to join us, but to Steve Ames (from New York) and Steve Wichrowski, Jr. (from Massachusetts), thanks for joining us again.
Old Town Music Hall
News Flash - Bob Duncan, our scoop reporter, has told me that he has information that the Old Town Music Hall will present another all Laurel & Hardy program on the weekend of May 5th, 6th, and 7th and the films will be introduced by Randy Skretvedt. Their evening programs on Friday and Saturday begin at 8:15 p.m. Their matinee programs on Saturday and Sunday begin at 2:30 p.m. Presently, the information on the Laurel & Hardy program is not on the Music Hall’s website, but because the program won’t happen until May, it probably won’t show up on the site for at least another couple of weeks. Also at this time it’s not clear if Randy will attend all four of the programs. The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo (310-322-2592). Admission to the theater is $10 per person or $8 for people 62 or older. Each program begins with a Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ audience sing-along. For information about film programs at the Old Town Music Hall, go to: oldtownmusichall.org/films.html