Johnny Dooley Comedies

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Joan Myers
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Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Joan Myers » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:15 pm

We have a news clipping that tangentially discusses Johnny Dooley Comedies.

"Several enthusiastic capitalists and clothing merchants had organized the Johnny Dooley Comedies, to run a series of pictures featuring the comedian. One of them was called 'Hearts and Arts." Supposedly this venture fell through, but does anyone have any info on Johnny Dooley Comedies?

Joan

Tommie Hicks
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Tommie Hicks » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:47 pm

Sorry to post a vague reply, but I am away from my computer.

I know there were two Dooley brothers who were film producers and IIRC one of them was named William (not THE Billy Dooley of Christie fame).

Thomas Reeder
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Thomas Reeder » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:52 pm

It was filmed. From the Oswego Daily Palladium, 11/16/1920:
Image

Tom R

Joan Myers
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Joan Myers » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:37 pm

Thomas Reeder wrote:It was filmed. From the Oswego Daily Palladium, 11/16/1920:
Image

Tom R


So the deal didn't fall through after all. Do we know if Johnny Dooley made any other comedies in this series?
Thanks!

Joan

Steve Massa
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Steve Massa » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:54 pm

The Dooley's were a family of stage comics who worked a lot for Flo Ziegfeld in the late 'teens and 20s. Johnny was kind of the star, but there was also his brothers Gordon and William, who did a knockabout act together, and sister Ray who often played bratty kids in sketches with W.C. Fields.

I've seen one of the Johnny Dooley shorts that MoMA has in their collection (can't remember the title and I'm at work, so I'll check and get back on this). I've also seen a Reelcraft short that starred Gordon and William titled THE PALM MISSED ('21), which was a lot of knockabout. Sister Ray married comic Eddie Dowling, who later became a producer, and played Tom in and produced the original production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE.

I think the Dooley's had some drinking issues, and although Ray and Eddie Dowling lived to ripe old ages - I think her brothers were all dead by the early 1930s.

Steve

Frank Flood
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Frank Flood » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:55 am

There were ads and announcements in mid-1919 into early 1920 for the Johnny Dooley Comedies, to be released on the states rights makret by Tyrad Pictures; Radin Pictures is another name that is seen. Two additional titles are A SOCIAL SLEUTH and SOME MIND READER. I have seen a newspaper ad for the latter in May 1920. HEARTS AND ARTS and SOME MIND READER reappear in 1922, but I am not sure if the whole series, such as it was, was re-released, or if these were films that got a very limited release and then later picked up and released as part of a new series of re-treads.

Frank

Steve Massa
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Steve Massa » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:50 am

Hi Joan
Unfortunately I haven't found any evidence of HEARTS AND ARTS existing - either on the FIAF Treasures database or with collectors. Frank mentioned the titles A SOCIAL SLEUTH and SOME MIND READER, and I think the Dooley comedy I've seen at MoMA is that, as different items in the trades confusingly give the same description for both titles. Here's an item from the 1/31/1920 Exhibitors Herald (pg. 52):

"Johnny Dooley, Ziegfeld star, makes his initial screen appearance in "Some Mind Reader," called, for rapid fire action, crowded with laughing incidents, a veritable riot of fun. Gilda Grey, the shimmy artiste, Sophie Tucker, queen of jazz, and Martha Mansfield, Ziegfeld beauty, who appear with Mr. Dooley, enter into the spirit of the story and assist prominently in the registering of the situations. Each add their bit to the story that completes a whole, calculated to drive away the most chronic case of the blues. "Some Mind Reader" is the first of a series of two-part Dooley comedies to be issued monthly."

There are also a number of chorus girls in the short, which one of the exhibitor ads refers to as "Ziegfeld Follies Beauty Brigade." It's possible that Nita Naldi is one of them, but the short would need to be screened again to check. It also looks like the series was shot in the New York area, as a mansion used as an exterior is the same one used as the girl's school in Arbuckle's THE BUTCHER BOY.

So far I've haven't found any other titles for Dooley shorts. By May of 1920 it was announced that he was starring in a five-reel farce comedy titled SKINNING SKINNERS for Radin Pictures. That's the last trade item I've found on Dooley.

Steve

Frank Flood
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Frank Flood » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:20 am

Steve, the Moving Picture World for 1/31/20 has a very similar item for A SOCIAL SLEUTH. The big names for a states rights release of this sort were probably meant to attract investors who would help fund the production of the series beyond the one or two that were made. Looks like it might not have worked out.

Then again, The Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual for 1921 lists three additional titles for Johnny Dooley Comedies: BOBBY THE OFFICE BOY, PRIVATE PRESERVES and PEP. This might have been the Tyrad / Radin series, or another series altogether.

Frank

Joan Myers
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Joan Myers » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:18 pm

Thanks to all youse mafiosi!

Joan

Steve Massa
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Re: Johnny Dooley Comedies

Postby Steve Massa » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:41 pm

Hi guys
While digging through some issues of Moving Picture World today I found a couple more items on Johnny Dooley Comedies. The first is from 5/10/1919 (pg. 802):

"JOHNNY DOOLEY IN TWO REELERS
Clarence L. Bach, president of Johnny Dooley Comedy Films, Inc., announces that Johnny Dooley, the comedian, will be seen in a series of two-reel comedies based on Bide Dudley's humorous newspaper stories, "The Office Force," now a popular feature of the New York Evening World, and three score of other publications throughout the United States and Canada. In each picture the comedian will appear as the office boy whom Mr. Dudley has made so entertainingly unctious."

This other bit is from an exhibitor ad from the 5/24/1919 issue (pg. 1115):

"Johnny Dooley's unusual acrobatic ability, his four years of European pantomime experience and his unique way of putting over fun will make him universally popular. Right along with Johnny goes a story which holds your interest, and jam full of laughter. Speed and "Eye Gladness" are expressed in the "Dooley Beauty Brigade" which is shown in every Johnny Dooley picture."

The titles that Frank found, BOBBY, THE OFFICE BOY, PRIVATE PRESERVES, and PEP, sound like they would fit this office boy series. The one I saw at MoMA had Dooley as an inept undercover detective covering a society party.

Steve


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