Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What Cartoon Is This?

So, like I said, TCM showed Frank Tashlin's first live-action film as a director, The First Time. (It was part of a day of obscure movies from the Columbia library, including one I wanted to see but missed: The Petty Girl, with Bob Cummings and Joan Caulfield.) It was intriguing to see all the Tashlin live-action trademarks in embryonic form: there's a sentimental monologue by a sympathetic middle-aged woman; there's satire of the '50s rat race and a "modern-technology goes haywire" slapstick scene with a washing machine; there are refrences to then-recent movies. There's even a Hitler joke, Tashlin being the only writer in Hollywood who thought Hitler jokes were funny even after WWII ended. (Remember in Artists and Models when Dean Martin tells the comic book publisher that his tie-in merchandise will "make them forget Hitler?") It's a romantic comedy, and a charming one at times, but it's clearly introducing a sensibility that Hollywood comedies had not seen before. There are also some show-offy directorial gimmicks like a really extreme close-up of Bob Cummings, or an abrupt transition from the headlights on a car to the light in an emergency room; this is typical of first-time feature directors, who often do stuff like that to show they've arrived.

At one point in the film, Bob Cummings and Barbara Hale go to a drive-in with their baby, having been unable to find an acceptable babysitter; they laugh at the cartoon but try to muzzle their laughter for fear of waking the baby. And that brings me to my question: what cartoon is it? I assume it's a Columbia cartoon (and I know way too little about Columbia cartoons), but is it one of Tashlin's Columbia cartoons, or just a randomly-selected Fox/Crow production? (It's certainly not by UPA, whose cartoons Columbia was distributing at this time.)

1 comment:

Thad said...

That's "Foxy Pups", 1936 Color Rhapsody.