Short Funny Films, International And Otherwis

1. SINISTER MENACE (1930’s-USA). A DWAIN ESPER presentation. “Our Pacific Coast has become the danger spot Of the smuggled dope trafficÑunless there is an immediate estoppel this country will be cursed with a deplorable increase in narcotic addiction.” No, this is not an editoÂrial from yesterday’s newspaper. It is the opening Of this exploitation “documentary,” a fascinatÂing relic Of its era. While the intent Of the film cannot be faulted, the result is embarrassingly hokey-and hilarious. Sequences are ever-so obviously staged, from the shots Of handsome, “drug-free” Egyptian men posing awkwardly with flexing muscles to the drug-ravaged addict dropping dead right before your eyes. Plus, a narrator describes in lurid detail how the dope pedÂdler “creates his vile trade by promise Of greater sexual ability” and “(maintains) his trade by adulterating drugs with crushed human skulls.” Yikes!
2. THE NEGRO IN SPORTS (1953-USA). With JESSIE OWENS. While presented as “one in a series Of motion pictures dedicated to Negro America,” this shamelessly obvious, must-see curio actually is a promotional piece for its producer, the Liggett & Myers company, makers Of Chesterfield cigarettes. Track star and Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens is interviewed, and there is interesting footage Of the likes Of Owens, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, the Harlem Globetrotters and various black figure skaters, tennis players, soap box derby racers, jockeys and rodeo performers. However, note how Often Chesterfield cigarettes are oh so casually mentioned; Owens’s interviewers even declare, “When Jesse Owens smokes a cigarette, he smokes Chesterfield. That’s usually true Of sports figures…”
2. HORSE HEIR (1934-USA). With CHICK CHANDLER, TOM KENNEDY, WILLIE BEST, WALTER LONG. Chick Chandler stars in this amusing farce as a phony “mystic seer” who is willed a racehorse named Pitter Patter: an animal who, unfortunately, would much rather eat than run. Still, Chandler hopes that Pitter Patter will win him a bundle, but first he must scheme to get his paws on enough dough to pay for its board. The lap dancing bit is especially clever.
3. SCHOOL’S OUT (1930-USA). With JACKIE COOPER, ALLEN “FARINA” HOSKINS, NORMAN “CHUBBY” CHANEY, MARY ANN JACKSON, “WHEEZER” HUTCH1NS, DOROTHY DE BORBA, MATTHEW “STYMIE” BEARD. The ever-adorable Our Gang kids like their new teacher Miss Crabtree, so much that they circulate a “partition” requesting a decrease in summer vacation time. They fear that the pretty educator will somehow, kick the bucket, get married an abandon them, or maybe even choke on a chicken bone! Trouble comes when a strange mi arrives on the scene, whom the kids are convinced is the teacher’s fiancŽe. 57 minutes total. Comedy