A NIGHT AT EARL CARROLL’S
1940, Universal, 62 min, USA, Dir: Kurt Neumann

Perhaps Hollywood's most glamorous club ever, the Earl Carroll Theatre stood on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine - an Art Deco palace emblazoned with cement slab movie star autographs (much like Grauman's Chinese) and a huge neon sign of dancer Beryl Wallace surrounded by the incantation “Through These Portals Pass the Most Beautiful Girls in the World.” Released one week after FANTASIA, this musical stars Ken Murray with Rose Hobart, plus radio stars Brenda & Cobina (Blake Steward and Elvia Allman) and songs by Hobart, William Brady, Mary Lou Cook, Lillian Cornell and an old vaudeville dance by Lela Moore. The thin plot revolves around Earl Carroll (playing himself) being kidnapped by mobsters at a mayor's convention. A glorious artifact for those with an interest in the revival of burlesque!


HOLLYWOOD OR BUST
1956, Paramount, 95 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

The final big-screen pairing of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis is this hilarious road movie. When a new car is raffled off, both film buff Malcolm Smith (Jerry Lewis) and gambler Steve Wiley (Dean Martin) claim the prize and agree to share it on a cross-country trip to Tinseltown, where Malcolm hopes to meet his favorite actress (Anita Ekberg). With an aspiring dancer (Pat Crowley) and a Great Dane (“Mr. Bascomb”) as fellow travelers, it’s a thoroughly entertaining ride given plenty of cartoon-like zing by animator Tashlin.


ARTISTS AND MODELS
1955, Paramount, 109 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

Former Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was the perfect choice to helm this wacky tale about comic books and their creators. In one of the last and best films of their highly successful partnership, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis play an aspiring artist and his comics-obsessed roommate; Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine (in her second feature) provide romantic interest. Along with prime Lewis slapstick, Dino gets to croon some wonderful songs by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks.


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