JOHN CARRADINE GOES FISHING (1947) (Alpha Video/Oldies.com) $7.98 color /B&W http://www.oldies.com/product-view/7775D.html
Definitely one of the most unique titles that I have ever reviewed, the title basically tells all.
FISH STORY (1947 F.B. Mannon) color-
Carradine and reporter “Tubby” Toms and “wizard of the casting rod” “Stu” Pritchard go off into the Wisconsin woods and we see every detail of their trip set to jaunty cartoony stock music.
1947 was the year John’s son Christopher was born to Carradine and his second wife Sonia. He appeared in only one film that year, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI (U.A.). In late December he would appear on Broadway for six performances as the Inquisitor in the Charles Laughton starring vehicle, GALILEO. He also appeared in his first television role as Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Dumont Network, December 25th). Along the way he supplemented his income by doing road company theatre tours.
This oddity has to be one of the most unique in the Carradine oeuvre. See John Fly Fishing. Hear him sing. See him in Kodachrome color in a red and black checkered shirt. Have him respond to his fellow fishermen who mouth such inanities as “I never thought of actors as people. Tell me how it feels to be a movie star.” Have him thrill in Mock Shakespearean tones and then switch to a cockney accent? See John in huge rubber waders. See him give his SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card over to one of the fishermen. Carradine seems to be having fun, but the other two are very stiff on camera.
If you are a fisher person, this film will probably thrill you, but as a fan of Carradine, it is an interesting (if staged) part of his private life that you would rarely get a chance to see. FISH STORY is so rare that IMDB does not even list it so kudos to ALPHA on rescuing this film. I could find nothing on the distributor F.B. Mannon and so do not know how widely this piece was ever shown.
CRUNCH & DES: “Spare The Rod” – B&W
Next up is CRUNCH & DES starring Forrest Tucker as Crunch Adams and Sandy Kenyon as Des Smith. This was a 39 episode half hour NBC -TV series that was shot on location in Bermuda and at the RKO-PATHE studios in California. Crunch and Des have adventures aboard their sail fishing craft the Poseidon. In this episode, a young boy (Pud Flanagan) who feels neglected by his businessman dad (Alan Heath) becomes friends with the two stars and they take him aboard and teach him to fish. However, the young man steals then loses Crunch’s prized fishing rod. Lots of great location shots mixed with rear screen and very cramp studio sets. This was Tucker’s first television series, and he takes the show seriously. Des is his sad sack Gilligan, who seems to have little to with the story or its outcome. Another interesting rarity that I had not heard of until now.
Three further documentaries then fill up the rest of the disc:
BATTLING SILVER KINGS (Van Buren Corporation,1931) B&W -is an early sound film that continues the fishing theme of the disc. Sound is a bit muffled and the print scratchy but considering its rarity (Van Buren was best known for his animation studio, but also released travelogues like Frank Buck’s BRING EM BACK ALIVE ,1932). His films
were released through RKO until the studio dropped him to distribute animation rival Walt Disney.
DEMONS OF THE DEEP(Pictoreel,1944) B&W- Such “exotic” species as turtles, reptiles (pronounced “reptill” by the narrator), sting rays, moray eels, and the like are shown. Pictoreel seems to have been a home movie film distribution company, but I could find no info on their history.
DEEP SEA ADVENTURE (Castle Films /United World Films,1953) killer clams, skin diving, and fishing. See humans stalk and destroy aquatic life. Print is quite scratchy but again rare. This was created for the 16mm home movie collector.
This is an indeed an offbeat though rare collection of short subjects. I feel that many of these scream out for the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000/RIFFTRAX treatment but it is indeed nice that ALPHA/OLDIES.COM have saved these films for a new generation.
-Kevin G Shinnick
check out the other reviews here including
THE GIRL FROM RIO/ THE MILLION EYES OF SU MURU
FANTASTIC FILMS OF THE DECADE VOL 1 THE SILENT ERA
CITY OF THE DEAD
10 RILLINGTON PLACE
COUNT YORGA VAMPIRE
COMIN’ AT YA!
AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT
and many more
plus articles like
Boris “Frankenstein” Karloff lives on in KARLOFF The Play!
JOAN FONTAINE :THE LIONESS IN WINTER
and interviews like
STILL ROCKIN’ ON MUSCLE BEACH! A Conversation with the First Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott By Rod Labbe
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SON OF FURY (1942) Tyrone Power-John Carradine