Tuesday, September 30, 2008
He appears to be lighting a cigarette or cigar, which would be odd as he was not a smoker.
Can anyone help me identify this??
****UPDATED**** A request at slinetcomedians.com FINALLY gave me an answer from historian Steve Massa:
I'm pretty sure your still is of the young Danny Kaye, and not El Brendel. It's from one of the Educational shorts that he shot in Astoria, NY, such as YOUR MONEY ON YOUR LIFE 1938 or CUPID TAKES A HOLIDAY 1938 where he plays the crazy Russian Nikolai Nikolaevich. The building behind him looks like the area around the studio.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
These photos come from the 1932 Fox Production "Tess of the Storm Country" starring one of my faves Janet Gaynor and her frequent screen companion Charles Farrell. An absolutely STUNNING print of this film was shown at this years Capitolfest in Rome New York (which if you haven't been to yet, what have you been waiting for??).
Monday, September 15, 2008
“The Golden Calf” is another one of those early 30’s Fox features that infuriatingly does not exist anymore, having turned to dust long ago. But the materials we do have available to us (reviews mostly), show our kid excel in this musical comedy.
“The Golden Calf” starred Jack Mulhall (Philip Homer) and El (Knute Olsen) as 2 artists living in
From the AFI film catalog, here is the synopsis:
“Marybelle Cobb, a plain and old fashioned girl, is secretary to a commercial illustrator Phillip Homer, with whom she is secretly in love. When Homer advertises for a girl with perfect leg measurements to be a model for a hosiery manufacturer’s advertising, Marybelle, with the aid of her friend Alice, decides to transform herself completely and apply for the job. She wins the much sought after appointment against considerable opposition. When Homer’s indifference turns to love, Marybelle confesses the deception and all ends well.”
“She is an old fashioned girl, and wears old fashioned clothes, until she hears her employer speaking deridingly of her looks” and after she has her beauty transformation “making her look like a million dollars, so beautiful, in fact, that even her own employer failed to recognize her.” Good clean fun, for sure.
An interview that appeared in the Appleton Post-Crescent on
After a dozen rehearsals and as many retakes, Brendel’s right shin became very sore.
“Wait a minute,” he told Millard Webb, director, “I’ve got an idea.” The comedian got a thick strip of board, rolled up his trouser leg and tied it securely over his shin. “Now, kick as hard as you want to.”
He told Mulhall. “Make it pop, Jack,” Webb directed. “It will be funnier.”
The scene started and at the psychological moment Mulhall cut loose and with a good kick at El’s shin.
A wild yell from the comedian stopped the scene.
“What’s the matter, El?” Webb asked. “I thought you were prepared.”
“He kicked the other shin,” Brendel moaned.
The New York Times review on
Songs that appeared in the film include “You Gotta Be Modernistic”, “Maybe Someday”, and “Can I Help It If I’m In Love With You?”. Available stills from the production show the sets to be pretty elaborate and the costumes revealing, but I have yet to find one of actor Walter Catlett, who appeared billed as the master of ceremonies.
The film originally starting out called “The American Beauty Review”, and was based on a story called “The Golden Calf” that was published in Liberty Magazine on
In an article written for the release of “The Golden Calf”, (The Anniston Star
“Not me,” says El, “I’m a happy guy all the time. I have a nice home, a charming wife, a couple of automobiles and money in the bank.”
And, in the early 30’s, a busy film career.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
These photos come from the early 30's and offer no information on the reverse except for "El Brendel-Fox". I have no idea why the photo department at Fox would have him pose with a bicycle as I find no mention of him enjoying riding a bike or any films from that period that had him on a bike.
Anyway, just have fun with these as we go into the last days of summer.