Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection

You'll root-toot-toot for this colossal collection of big bands,vaudeville veterans and more all-time greatest performers and ensembles parading your way out of the Warner Bros. vault in an amazing 11+-Hour, 6-Disc Collection of 53 Theatrical Shorts.


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1000179952
Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection
Price:$47.99

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection
 
4.6

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Catchy songs (14)
  • Unique choreography (8)
  • Broad appeal (5)
  • Great cinematography (5)
  • Emotionally engaging (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • At home (13)
  • Adult viewers (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Movie buff (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Wow! Where to begin?

First, a confession: I've always been partial to the theatrical "short subjects" the major studios presented before their main features. Running between 8 and 20 minutes, none outstay their welcome...Read complete review

First, a confession: I've always been partial to the theatrical "short subjects" the major studios presented before their main features. Running between 8 and 20 minutes, none outstay their welcome regardless of their quality. The multi-DVD compilations have too many "choice cuts" that you HAVE to re-watch more than once. With that said, some sets are geared more for the Hollywood fanatic than average DVD purchaser who is only dipping their toes into "old stuff". As much as I dig the Ripley Believe It or Nots, they are obviously not for everybody. However, this set, along with the Joe McDoakes, boast a much broader appeal that will likely hook in a bunch who didn't think entertainment existed before James Cameron.Yes, some titles show their "age" but that only increases the amusement. There is a jaw-dropping blackface routine in the Duncan Sisters' well-titled SURPRISE! (1935) that is done with so much gusto that you can't turn away. The brightly-lit Technicolor films dating from 1934 expose the pancake makeup on the male stars, making them look like clowns: Phil Regen in THE GYPSY SWEETHEART has more mascara on as a womanizer than Ed Brendel does as a "woman" in OKAY, JOSE. Speaking of Brendel... there is little fear of dragging or acting affectionate with other males in these shorts. Bugs Bunny was not the first to put on the skirt and rosy rouge; even Charlie Chaplin does it in a Disc 3 silent film "clip-short". In THE OPRY HOUSE, the roaring twenties are still quite "gay" with plenty of winking and flirting among jocks. Not that we modern viewers should necessarily jump to conclusions, but guys back then did seem more comfortable with their "feminine side". Likewise, Marjorie Beebe tackles a football team in HOT NEWS MARGIE (1931), sparking a hilarious comment in the locker room concerning the star's undergarments. "Oh Coach, t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tsk"The first two discs are a hodgepodge of Vitaphone Varieties, Pepper Pots and Melody Masters that have little in common apart from recognizable talents: bandleaders like Red Nichols, a pint sized Judy Garland in BUBBLES (1930, originally a color short but all surviving prints are monochrome), Patsy Kelly before she joined Hal Roach and Pat Buchanan decades before teaming with Fred Astaire in THE BAND WAGON. Disc #4 continues the variety with jazzy shorts, such as BARBER SHOP BLUES (Claude Hopkins band, 1933) that missed the "cut" in the other Warner Archive DVD set of Big Band shorts. The four VAUDEVILLE REELS resemble episodes of Ed Sullivan with some eye-popping acrobatic stunts like the Honey Family. Two of the best on the set date from 1933: THE MILD WEST begins as a western saloon spoof with tough dames and plenty of shoot-ups, but winds up with both sexes getting face-lifts to look younger and crashing Broadway (?!). A BIG CITY FANTASY, showcases the many cultures that make up the Big Apple, including the Jewish districts, Harlem and Little Italy.Probably the disc that will get the most mileage from hard-core movie fans will be #3, compiling many silent film clips with modern narration. THRILLS OF YESTERDAY (1931) lives up to its title with action-packed scenes culled from First National, Vitagraph (pre-Vitaphone) and other pioneering studios: the Harry Houdini stunt with keys is particularly impressive... and no trick photography involved! A few like A PENNY A PEEP and THE CAMERA SPEAKS have a side-story going on in addition to the memory lane stuff; special attention is focused on the WAY people saw movies in the silent era with peep-shows, singalongs and vaudeville acts included. MOVIE MEMORIES #2 is a touching "memorandum" to those who were gone by 1934, including a rare clip of Marie Dressler celebrating her last birthday. All of the footage is priceless on account that so much has been lost in its original form over the last eight decades. For variety, there's a drawing-come-to-life experiment INKLINGS and two up-to-date (1934) behind-the-scenes exposes HOLLYWOOD NEWSREEL and A TRIP THROUGH A HOLLYWOOD STUDIO.While many of these Warner shorts were shot at the Vitaphone studios in New York, some (including all of the color two-reelers) were done in Hollywood and Burbank. The Technicolor California sunshine provides a dramatic contrast to the claustrophobic sets and busy street scenes showcased in many black & white shorts. Some like Leon Errol's SERVICE WITH A SMILE (1934) go all "art deco" in set decoration (his "dream" garage come to life with chorus girls). ROMANCE ROAD (1937) is a mini forerunner to such feature A-westerns like DODGE CITY and MGM's NORTHWEST PASSAGE; at least three titles here have a western theme and see if you can spot Jane Wyman in THE SUNDAY ROUND-UP. Fittingly, the set ends with OUT WHERE THE STARS BEGIN (1938), which is one of those previously issued on DVD (but only as an extra bonus). This goofy rendition of "a star is born" setup sums up Hollywood's golden age in a nutshell.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

not too good

bad editor i think. way too many corny, boring musical clips. not enough jazzy performers that are more interesting today. not enough vaudeville acts advertised

Also i was charged...Read complete review

bad editor i think. way too many corny, boring musical clips. not enough jazzy performers that are more interesting today. not enough vaudeville acts advertised

Also i was charged sales tax, out of state from illinois to ny––which is bogus. sales tax is within the state.

Reviewed by 16 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Great to see this stuff

By none

from san leandro calif

About Me Casual Viewer

Pros

  • Catchy Songs
  • Great Cinematography

Cons

    Best Uses

    • At Home
    • Special Needs

    Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

    enjoy old movies especially pre-code

    (2 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    not too good

    By kramo

    from nyc

    About Me Movie Buff

    Pros

      Cons

      • Boring Songs
      • Limited Appeal
      • Poor Acting

      Best Uses

      • At Home

      Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

      bad editor i think. way too many corny, boring musical clips. not enough jazzy performers that are more interesting today. not enough vaudeville acts advertised

      Also i was charged sales tax, out of state from illinois to ny––which is bogus. sales tax is within the state.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Highly Recommended!

      By Tall John

      from Howell, NJ

      About Me Movie Buff

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Catchy Songs

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

          A great collection of vintage shorts. The picture quality is VERY good.

          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          One of the VERY BEST

          By Juno Jim

          from Oakland, OR

          About Me Avid Moviegoer

          Pros

          • Broad Appeal
          • Catchy Songs
          • Great Cinematography
          • Unique Choreography

          Cons

          • Lifeless
          • Only a couple were lifele

          Best Uses

          • At Home

          Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

          I am 77 years young and enjoyed most of the music and seeing some of the old stars again. Only a couple segments were sort of boring (like the opening segment on the opera).

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Wonderful restoration

          By drghg

          from Kernville, CA

          About Me Movie Buff

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Catchy Songs
          • Unique Choreography

          Cons

          • Limited Appeal

          Best Uses

          • At Home

          Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

          An invaluable document. Allows one to see many of the vaudeville acts that were present during the early part of this century.
          Well restored.
          In some cases, though, you can see why vaudeville came to an end!!

          (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Musical Comedy Shorts, Long On History!

          By Brad

          from Trabuco Canyon, CA.

          About Me Movie Buff

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Broad Appeal
          • Catchy Songs
          • Emotionally Engaging
          • Good Story
          • Great Acting
          • Great Cinematography
          • Unique Choreography

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Adult Viewers
            • At Home
            • Historically significant
            • Perfect Gift
            • Younger Viewers

            Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

            The Vitaphone compilation is something I never thought I'd see. For years, these shorts have been shown on TCM "between" films and are a fascinating look at the period of time (late 20's through the 30's) when the studio system was at it's apex. And Warner Brothers was one of the major studios in Hollywood. This treasure-trove of depression-era shorts should be in EVERY film-lovers library! NOT to be missed!

            (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Rare Vitaphone shorts

            By Tenor2

            from Anaheim, CA

            About Me Movie Buff

            Pros

            • Broad Appeal
            • Catchy Songs
            • Unique Choreography

            Cons

            • Poor Acting
            • Tired Story

            Best Uses

            • Adult Viewers
            • At Home

            Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

            Great collection of rare Vitaphone shorts. The non-musical selections are strictly for buffs since what was funny in the 30s doesn't always translate to now.

            (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing Indeed!

            By Capehart Man

            from Baltimore, Md.

            Verified Reviewer

            Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

            WB deserves a hearty applause for releasing another set of these fascinating movie shorts. The 'Vitaphone Calvalcade of Musical Comedy' is really a companion set to the previous set 'Big Band, Jazz & Swing'. In fact the different names are a little confusing – a better title would simply be 'The Vitaphone Shorts I & II' as both sets have more or less the same content. Yes, the first set is all bands, but many are featured in comedy settings, and the contents of the latter set is mostly comedy shorts, but almost all including a band often with elaborate dance sequences. No matter, anyone interested in pre WW II popular culture will find these shorts highly entertaining. As for me, a serious vintage record collector, seeing the various bands perform visually for the first time is utterly priceless. The sound quality is excellent, and the Technicolor shorts are downright eye-popping – more blazing colors than a whole big box of Crayola Crayons! The only downside is there's absolutely no information about the performers in these Vitaphone shorts. Wouldn't it be an asset to these DVD collections to have a companion coffee table sized book with all the background history? I'd pay good money for one...

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            This collection is great!

            By Princecastle

            from Chicago, Illinois

            About Me Movie Buff

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Catchy Songs

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Adult Viewers
              • At Home
              • In The Car
              • Younger Viewers

              Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

              Thanks for releasing these long lost shorts. I hope more Vitaphone musical shorts will be released. I would especially would like to see the many Hal Leroy shorts. Perhaps a complete set?

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              It's BOFFO !!

              By Pallophotophone

              from Syracuse, N.Y.

              About Me Avid Moviegoer

              Pros

              • Catchy Songs
              • Emotionally Engaging
              • Good Story
              • Great Cinematography

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Adult Viewers
                • At Home

                Comments about Vitaphone Cavalcade of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection:

                Beautiful restorations and worth every penny.
                If you enjoy vintage film, these are for YOU!

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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