|Series:||All-Stars||♦||Distribution:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer||♦||Director:||James Parrott||♦||Cinematography:||Francis Corby|
|Production:||B-4||♦||Type:||Sound short||♦||Producer:||Hal Roach||♦||Editor:||William H. Terhune|
|Released:||17 February 1934||♦||Length:||2-reels||♦||Dialogue:||H.M. Walker||♦||Sound recording:||Warren B. Delaplain|
|BEST DVD VERSION AVAILABLE|
|A training experiment is set up in an all-female finishing school to educate a group of chorus girls, much to the disgust of its owner, Mrs. Twitchett (Nora Cecil). Professor (Billy) Nelson wastes no time in getting the girls into shape. He demonstrates to a large group of girls how to pack a punch and is promptly whacked by one of them (Dorothy Granger), who turns out to be far stronger than he is. A second demonstration sees him picked up and thrown through the air and crashing down to the floor off the wall.
Professor (Don) Barclay hosts the art class and is immediately appalled by two ladies who tease him over a supposed painting of a man drinking a beer they had made. He hears their explanations of the blank portrait and tells them, "you'll pardon me if I ignore you". Across the hall, Professor Wakefield is conducting an experiment and is interrupted by one of the girls (Thelma Hill) when he pulls her into the room using a large net whilst trying to capture a butterfly. After the embarrassing apology he offers her, he accidentally tips a pot of fleas down her dress.
She itches, wriggles and squeals herself out into the hall, where a bemused and suspicious Mrs. Twitchett observes her strange behaviour.
|That night, some of the girls decide to pull a prank on Professor Barclay by putting a life-size female dummy in his room. He gets into bed in the darkened room and quickly sees the 'woman' lying next to him. A few screams and gropes later, he realises what it is before launching it from his upstairs window in a very undignified manner!
Moments later, after Professor Wakefield comforts Barclay, Wakefield returns to his own room to find a woman in his bed. He thinks it is another prank but gets quite a shock to discover she is in fact a sleepwalker who wandered into his room. The girls ring a bell to attract her attention and bring her out of the professor's room in her deep state of sleep. Soon afterwards, Mrs. Twitchett is also seen sleepwalking along the corridors but nobody gives her a second thought!
Lastly, the government officials pay the school a visit and witness for themselves how things are progressing. The girls are on stage, singing and dancing whilst their professor tutors sing in top hats in accompaniment. Mrs. Twitchett comes dancing down the corridor with a silly expression on her face!
A decent little film, in which it has to be said Don Barclay completely steals every scene!
• Production B-4 - All Star series with Douglas Wakefield and Billy Nelson Also listed as part of the Musical series.
• Copyrighted February 6, 1934.
• Mixed Nuts appears on the "Lost Films of Laurel & Hardy" DVD only because it was an error on Michael Agee's part. He believed he was transferring the Stan Laurel solo of the same name, but just left it in as the master disc had already been processed and would have cost a great deal of time and money to rectify. It had to be shipped out to Image by a certain promised date.
• The man who bids farewell to his sobbing daughter when they arrive at the school is Our Gang producer Robert McGowan.
• The building which is used as the all-girl's school is the same one used for the sanitarium in Public Ghost #1 (1935).
• The government had released the sum of $50,000 for unemployed bummers.
• The government's announcement to allocate $2million to the chorus girls is published in the New York Evening Press.
• The first shot of Mrs. Twitchett reveals quite an obvious rear-projection of the cars and girls coming down the driveway.
• The girl playing the piano in the art class is clearly not hitting the correct keys in time with the music.
• The girl in Professor Barclay's class who paints the picture of a cow is an uncredited Carol Tevis - the squeaky-voiced 'Mrs. Hardy' in Laurel and Hardy's "Twice Two".
• When the weights fall on Professor Nelson's head (the funniest scene in the film in my opinion), the last one echoes the famous bell sound from when Oliver Hardy whacks Stan over the head in "Perfect Day".
• As the three girls take the dummy into Barclay's bed, the blonde woman very briefly exposes her right breast through her slipping black neglegee (you need to be quick on the freeze-frame to see it, but it is there!)
• The legs we see walking down the hallway towards the end of the film are clearly not those belonging to Nora Cecil.
• The calendar we see for February shows that it has 28 days, indicating that it was not a leap year. This film was made at the end of 1933, which was not a leap year (1932, and 1936 were). The calendar shows that February 1st fell on a Wednesday. This proves that the calendar belonged to the year 1933, as this would have been correct.
• When the government officials walk in on the dance rehearsals at the end, look at the woman on the far left of the screen. When she flicks up her skirt, she clearly is not wearing any underwear!!
What the experts say
Professor Fabian Nelson
Professor Julius Barclay
Chorine who packs a punch
|Robert A. McGowan
Father of crying girl
Spectator at meeting
Girl in art class
|Mick Roche review:
Government meeting decides $50,000 for the relief of unemployed bummers (?!),cue massive,long applause(?!)
One of the many girls with attitude in this film, stands up, and asks when the chorus girls are gonna get their share. It's front page news, they are granted $2million to aid education for them. Next scene is at 'The Mrs Twitchett School For Girls', run by Mr. and Mrs. Twitchett, played by Jack Barty, who has a strange English accent, and Nora Cecil. The girls are outside, saying their goodbyes to loved ones. A man says to his dozy girl, "I'll write to you next week." "I hope so," she replies, "Because last week's letter is almost finished!" Another girl is 'broken-hearted' and crying heavily, while she says goodbye to her man. She purposely drops her handkerchief,and as the man bends to pick it up, she kisses the chauffeur, then resumes crying! First lesson is with the Physical Training Instructor, who rather campily says to the girls,"Should you be acostered by an unmanagable male...." The girls laugh at him as he stutters through his intimidation,and being smaller than any of them, dosen't help! He puts up his guard in a self-defense demonstration, to the tallest of the girls (who IS she? She is a beautiful amazon of a woman!!!) she punches him in the eye, which brings more laughter! So he gets an inflatable dummy,she punches THAT,and it bursts! Ju-jitsu time! He picks a different girl this time.He bends her over,and puts a hold on her neck. She simply picks him up on her shoulders, spins him around and throws him against the wall! Meanwhile, in Prof. Barclay's (HURRAH! IT'S DON!) Art class, the girls are dancing, and some incredible hip-swaying is going on! One blonde girl really sounds like Olive Oyl,I wonder if she did the voice for the Popeye cartoons? In comes Don, with a too-big mortar board, and his mad middle parting! He views a 'painting', which is blank. She tells him that it is a man drinking a glass of beer. "I don't see any beer!" He exclaims. She informs him that he drank it. Don says that he dosen't even see a man there. She tells him, "After the man drank the beer, there was no use in him hanging around!" With hand on hip,Don campily says, "Ahem. You'll pardon me if I ignore you?" Next, we see a Prof.Wakefield, who is using a BIG brush, to (painfully-sounding) scrub a flea! Back to the gym,and the instructor is thrown again,with a painful landing,underneath a set of weights that fall on his head, one-by-one. Horrible 'boingy'noises of PAIN! Back to Don's Art class, and he's looking at a girl's drawing of a pair of legs. He says,"Please,if I'm not too plebeyan (?!) WHAT are these? You're legs are terrible,they look like frog's legs!" She cries and says "Oh I think you're awful!" and storms out of the room. Needlessly,because she's gone, he says "Well I'm the boss,and your legs are still terrible, never the most!" (?!) Isn't he great? Back to Prof.Wakefield, who is now trying to net an escaped butterfly, but instead nets the girl who Don just upset. She explains what just went on with Don,"You don't think my legs are terrible,do you?" Wakefield, the posh buffoon, gets in a tizz. She pulls him to see her 'legs' and he pulls back in fear, and they fall on a bench, which upsets a tray of fleas which surround her. Then follows the strangest dancing-type moves,to relieve the itching! This bewilders both Wakefield and Nora, who has turned up, but neither speak, they just stare! Wakefield then sits on the fleas, and makes much more of a fuss, with added 'whooping'! Next we see a clock which reads, 9pm. Everyone is going to bed! The girls put a dummy of a girl, in Don's bed. He's grooming before retiring. Uses two brushes to flatten either side of his hair, but dosen't touch the back of his head, where his hair is all sticking up! He yawns unconvincingly, showing a gap in his front set of teeth. Gets into bed,sees the female dummy (whose eyes are moving!) and screams,showing a full set of teeth this time! The pair tumble out of bed, as they wrestle on the floor, he says,"Lady,I'd rather you wouldn't do this, think of our reputations! Please lady, a little respect!" When sand pours out of 'her',and onto his face, he realises the gag. Wakefield,after hearing the commotion, apologises for bursting in. Don explains the situation, warning Wakefield that it might happen to him. Meanwhile, good gracious, hi ho, a girl sleepwalks into Wakefield's bed! Don gives Wakefield a high-handed wave, saying,"I;ll give you a toodle-oo and a good night etcetera!" And throws the dummy out the window! Wakefield sees the girl in HIS bed, and thinking it's another dummy,laughs. Rather hysterically,I think! He's just about to throw HER out of the window,when bells start ringing. It's coming from the girls, who are doing it to lure the sleep walker back to bed. Jack Barty is informed that a sleepwalker ALWAYS unconsciously follows the sound of a bell. The other male teachers hear this,and so later, a sexy pair of legs are in view, and apparently belong to Nora Cecil! But I think it's down to editing! Anyway, the legs are sleepwalking and are following the sound of the bells that are being rung by the men. But when the sleepwalker IS revealed to be Nora, all bells get thrown to the floor! (I said 'bells').
The final part of this ABSOLUTE GEM of a short film, is on our lovely Forum, under the thread entitled, "DON BARCLAY SAMPLING FOR MICK".
If you have had the patience to read through my 'ramble', you simply MUST click on to the aforementioned thread, and finish the 'story'.
Jesse Brisson (identification of Betty Danko)
Mick Roche (separate review)
This page was last updated on: 28 October 2017