Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Gary Johnson » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:02 pm

Is Lane's experience with sound shorts similar to Langdon's at Roach
where not enough time was given him to become acclimated to the
new medium or was the writing on the wall that this was not his cup
of tea? (Look! A British reference...)

There may be a reason why only a few silent clowns made the successful
transition to sound ala Laurel & Hardy.

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Steve Massa » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:41 pm

For Lane I think the beginning of sound was just a period of adjustment - seeing exactly what in his large bag of tricks still worked and what needed to be discarded. Also what type of comedy would work for him in the new medium. He's wonderful in Ernst Lubitch's THE LOVE PARADE ('29), and uses a lot of his old stock in trade, particularly with Lillian Roth in their LET'S BE COMMON musical number. He continued doing films (and directing them) in England until ME AND MY GIRL took over his career (he's good in the film version of that too).

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Paul F Etcheverry » Sun May 01, 2011 2:29 am

RE: Monty Banks. . . I recall seeing a Monty Banks-directed one reeler titled The Musical Beauty Shop, one of those entertainingly odd novelty shorts that were plentiful in the early talkie era, quite some time ago. Kit Parker used to rent it out way back when.

RE: Lupino Lane
http://youtu.be/FtoyL6l4p6I

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue May 03, 2011 2:50 pm

Gary Johnson wrote:Is Lane's experience with sound shorts similar to Langdon's at Roach
where not enough time was given him to become acclimated to the
new medium or was the writing on the wall that this was not his cup
of tea? (Look! A British reference...)

There may be a reason why only a few silent clowns made the successful
transition to sound ala Laurel & Hardy.



Excuse me? Langdon was given all the time he needed at Raoch to make his first talkies, and they're fine. Both Langdon and Lupino Lane had plenty onstage training and had been perfectly used to blending their comedy with dialogue for years. I think the problem those Lane talkie Educationals have was that he already knew he was leaving Educational and didn't really care whether he developed his sound short comedy chops or not. The ones I've seen all look like old sketches he pulled out of the trunk and dusted off because it was easier than writing anything new, and they all feel like hurried productions designed to fill out the schedule. Some of his late silents have that feel as well, they just work a bit better because this was the medium he had been used to working in as of late. The talkies also look very cheap.


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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue May 03, 2011 2:54 pm

Steve Massa wrote:For Lane I think the beginning of sound was just a period of adjustment - seeing exactly what in his large bag of tricks still worked and what needed to be discarded. Also what type of comedy would work for him in the new medium. He's wonderful in Ernst Lubitch's THE LOVE PARADE ('29), and uses a lot of his old stock in trade, particularly with Lillian Roth in their LET'S BE COMMON musical number. He continued doing films (and directing them) in England until ME AND MY GIRL took over his career (he's good in the film version of that too).



Lane also has a delightful number in GOLDEN DAWN (in fact, he's the best thing in the picture, and manages to keep out of most of the embarrassing stuff), and though the film does not survive, you can hear on the surviving soundtrack discs that he also has a good comic dance number and song in BRIDE OF THE REGIMENT as well. I think Lane woild have done just fine doing musical comedy support in America, but he really was homesick and I think took off just in time as musicals suddenly became box office poison in the States by the end of 1930.

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue May 03, 2011 3:08 pm

Paul F Etcheverry wrote:RE: Monty Banks. . . I recall seeing a Monty Banks-directed one reeler titled The Musical Beauty Shop, one of those entertainingly odd novelty shorts that were plentiful in the early talkie era, quite some time ago. Kit Parker used to rent it out way back when.

RE: Lupino Lane
http://youtu.be/FtoyL6l4p6I



MUSICAL BEAUTY SHOP is one of four two-reel comedy shorts Monty Banks directed for Producer Gordon Bostock at British International Pictures in late 1929-30, when Banks was transitioning into becoming a comedy director. Pathe released all of them in the US. I have three of the four, MUSICAL BEAUTY SHOP, NICE AND TIDY (british title: THE JERRY-BUILDERS), and I'LL TAKE THAT ONE, and happily surprised British film historian Alexander Gleason years ago by sending him copies of all three (he didn't think they still existed, they apparently do not in Britain). They're all interesting, SHOP and TIDY have two of the very few film appearances of Barrie Oliver, an American performer who had more success in briitish musical comedy than he had in the States. I'LL TAKE THAT ONE is one of the few films of British Music hall comic George Clarke, but the best is NICE AND TIDY which is a conglomeration of every Music Hall house-bulding gag ever written, and also has the only sound footage of comic Billie Reeves. Sadly, Banks does not appear in any of them, he hadn't started doing little cameo appearances in the films he directed yet.


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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard Finegan » Tue May 03, 2011 10:42 pm

Louie Despres wrote:
Richard M Roberts wrote:The most spectacular stunt I've ever seen him do is in the 1935 film THE DEPUTY DRUMMER where he headlong somersaults at the top of a flight of stairs, hits a middle step with his foot on the turn, and lands at the bottom of the stairs...


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WOW! I'd LOVE to see that!

Louie,
I've got a very good video tape of THE DEPUTY DRUMMER purchased back in the mid-1980's of which you're welcome to a copy. Now, I just have to find it...

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard Finegan » Tue May 03, 2011 10:51 pm

Steve Massa wrote:Like Richard I've also seen three - SHIP MATES, BUYING A GUN, and PURELY CIRCUMSTANTIAL... BUYING A GUN is an extended sketch with his brother Wallace, and is mostly dialogue and word play. I've heard good things about FIRE PROOF from a few friends who have seen it.

I've also seen three: FIRE PROOF, BUYING A GUN and PURELY CIRCUMSTANTIAL.
I enjoyed FIRE PROOF very much when I saw it several years ago and was sorry the print couldn't be shown at Slapsticon. Was looking forward to it again and had been telling others how good I thought it was.
Steve is right about BUYING A GUN. Not something I need to see again very soon! But I'm certainly glad to have seen it.

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Gary Johnson » Wed May 04, 2011 11:16 am

Richard M Roberts wrote: Excuse me? Langdon was given all the time he needed at Roach to make his first talkies, and they're fine.


I wasn't referring to production time as much as time to allow the series to gel. He only got to make 8 shorts before the plug got pulled.
His last four shorts showed that he was starting to find interesting comic variations with sound.

I understand there were behind the scenes problems between Roach & Langdon but Roach was suppose to be - first and foremost - a businessman. Was it so bad that he could even let him finish out the series?

Now then, how serious is the tale that Roach was contemplating hiring Keaton in the mid 30's?

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Re: Monty Banks in A BELL FOR ADANO (1945)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed May 04, 2011 5:06 pm

Gary Johnson wrote:
Richard M Roberts wrote: Excuse me? Langdon was given all the time he needed at Roach to make his first talkies, and they're fine.


I wasn't referring to production time as much as time to allow the series to gel. He only got to make 8 shorts before the plug got pulled.
His last four shorts showed that he was starting to find interesting comic variations with sound.

I understand there were behind the scenes problems between Roach & Langdon but Roach was suppose to be - first and foremost - a businessman. Was it so bad that he could even let him finish out the series?

Now then, how serious is the tale that Roach was contemplating hiring Keaton in the mid 30's?


First lets deal with the seriousness of your tale about Langdon.Nobody "pulled the plug" on the Roach Langdon series, Langdon left, after completing the 8 shorts his contract called for, and in March, 1930, Roach announced that he was going to be starring Langdon in feature films for the coming 1930-31 season. The problem was, Langdon didn't sign a new contract with Roach, he jumped ship and went to Warner Brothers to make A SOLDIERS PLAYTHING, which was planned as a big-budget musical shot in 65mm by a major studio which I'm sure looked like a better offer to Langdon at the time than staying with Roach. Of course it ended up being a disaster, as did SEE AMERICA THIRST, and stopped Langdon's first comeback cold.

Roach in late life talked about "difficulties" with Langdon, but, as with a lot of Roach's late-life stories, they need to be taken as grain-salted sour grapes. Nothing in the production records indicate problems on the Langdon shorts, all were completed in actual record time, actual production running a week or less. The shorts were actually well received by the press and exhibitors alike, and it is most likely that, if Langdon had stayed on at Roach, his comeback might have been permanent. But Langdon;s judgement hadn;t been too terrific in those late twenties-early thirties years, and it would take a few more hard ones and a new, good marriage to really start to turn his life around.

Roach was never serious about hiring Keaton, remember who his distributor was.


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