More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

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Robert Arkus
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More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Robert Arkus » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:02 am

Can anyone help with this? I received an inquiry from Jim Magorian of Lincoln, Nebraska. He asks:

Can anyone identify the singer/dancer with Buster Keaton in the "Free and Easy" dance number from the film of the same name? Both Wikipedia and IMDB says it's Marion Shilling, but I believe it's really Doris McMahon; the singer/dancer who appeared in Madam Satan (1930), Playing Around (1930) and other films. Also LA area stage musicals in the early 1930's. I'm wondering what proof exists that it's Marion Shilling and not Doris McMahon? (Where does IMDB Wikipedia get their information?).
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Richard M Roberts
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:42 am

After looking at three films Marion Schilling does appear in, SHADOW OF THE LAW (1930), CURTAIN AT EIGHT (1933), and A SHOT IN THE DARK (1935), and comparing it to the FREE AND EASY dance number and the Girl Auction number in which Doris McMahon appears in MADAME SATAN (1930), I will concur that it is indeed Doris McMahon that dances with Buster Keaton in FREE AND EASY, not Marion Schilling. Though both look somewhat similar, Schilling is finer boned, with smaller eyes and mouth, and McMahon has that killer overbite.

I'm sure Wikipedia got their information from the IMDB, and we all know accurate the IMDB can be.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Robert Arkus
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Robert Arkus » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:54 pm

Thank you for taking the time to look into this, Richard ...

This also raises the question of how a performer in a major motion picture can do a musical number with the star and not have a credit anywhere?? I imagine there would be documentation in the MGM records ... ?

Jim gave me another lead that I neglected to mention (sorry!) and just followed; Doris McMahon has a part in the Our Gang short, SHRIMPS FOR A DAY (1934). Looks like a match! Here are a couple of frame grabs;

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Richard M Roberts
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:28 pm

Yep, that's Doris too, though sadly, it looks like she's aged a bit in those four years since FREE AND EASY.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Richard Finegan
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Richard Finegan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:29 pm

Having no reason to look into it further all these years I had always accepted she was Marion Shilling. After all, she was there at MGM at the time in movies such as LORD BYRON OF BROADWAY. And without looking too closely there was a resemblance. But now I'm also thinking she's Doris McMahon.

There is currently a nice picture of Doris on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DORIS-MCMAHON-2 ... 2eb508518e

More Doris pictures here, including one of her as a blonde, from HIPS HIPS HOORAY (1934):

http://www.fanpix.net/picture-gallery/d ... 716556.htm

Observations after doing further digging:

She has two different IMDb listings, as Doris McMahon and Doris McMahan, apparently the same person.
One gives an obviously incorrect birth date of 1928.
Neither listing includes movies we know she's in - PLAYING AROUND (1930) and FREE AND EASY (1930). Someone needs to notify IMDb of these additions and corrections.
Coincidentally both Doris McMahon and Marion Shilling appear together in one film, the 1932 Masquers Club short RULE 'EM AND WEEP.
And that's Joseph Young (Robert's brother) with her in those shots from SHRIMPS FOR A DAY.

Robert Arkus
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Robert Arkus » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:47 pm

Thank you Rich and Richard,
I did a Google image search on Marion Shilling and there are similarities in appearance, but it looks as if we're now all in agreement; that Doris McMahon is the singer/dancer with Buster in Free and Easy. Thanks for your help.

Louie Despres
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Louie Despres » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:51 am

Robert Arkus wrote:
This also raises the question of how a performer in a major motion picture can do a musical number with the star and not have a credit anywhere?? I imagine there would be documentation in the MGM records ... ?


Well, El Brendel was in the 1938 film "Happy Landing" with Sonja Henie and never got a film credit:

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Richard Finegan
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Free and Easy poster with Doris McMahon

Postby Richard Finegan » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:33 am

Robert Arkus wrote:Thank you Rich and Richard,
....It looks as if we're now all in agreement; that Doris McMahon is the singer/dancer with Buster in Free and Easy. Thanks for your help.



See the Sept. 16 post here for another image of Doris McMahon, this time on a poster for FREE AND EASY:

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threa ... 4&tstart=0

Gary Johnson
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:57 pm

Louie Despres wrote: Well, El Brendel was in the 1938 film "Happy Landing" with Sonja Henie and never got a film credit:


.....for good reason....

Louie Despres
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Re: More ID Help, PLEASE! Free and Easy

Postby Louie Despres » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:42 pm

Gary Johnson wrote:
Louie Despres wrote: Well, El Brendel was in the 1938 film "Happy Landing" with Sonja Henie and never got a film credit:


.....for good reason....


Why's that? Have you seen the film?


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