YOO-HOO (1932)

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Ian Elliot
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YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Ian Elliot » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:18 am

Things I Never Expected to See Department: a Universal two reel comedy from several talents recently departed from Hal Roach--Warren Doane, James W. Horne, George Stevens, J.A. Howe, Len Powers--with quite a cast: James Gleason, Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, Anita Garvin, Billy Gilbert, Fred Kelsey, Frank Austin and three other familiar looking players I can't identify. No unearthed masterpiece, but interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF8Tbw_mk5s

Gary Johnson
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Re: YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:36 pm

They had to find work somewhere after Roach foolishly allowed Ginsberg too much autonomy at cutting the fat from his studio.

Whoever was running Universal's shorts dept at the time was wise to snatch this talent up.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:11 pm

Gary Johnson wrote:They had to find work somewhere after Roach foolishly allowed Ginsberg too much autonomy at cutting the fat from his studio.

Whoever was running Universal's shorts dept at the time was wise to snatch this talent up.



Yeah, but sadly, despite all of the Roach talent, I've never seen any of these Warren Doane shorts that work particularly well, Having James Gleason starring in many of them doesn't help much either.

One can hate Henry Ginsburg all one wants, but the uptake is that he kept the Roach Studios doors open through the 30's, which wouldn't have happened otherwise. Roach was truly in serious debt after the arrival of talkies. Ginsburg had to do the dirty work, but somebody had to do it. What killed Roach's ability to make short comedies was the rising costs of film production in the first place. The Unionization of Hollywood was a good thing, the studios couldn't work people sixteen hours a day six days a week anymore, and pay them pittance and no overtime, but it ran up the costs and lowered the profit margins as well. In the end, a producer who only made short comedies distributed by someone else was not going to have a huge enough profit margin to cut into. This was why Roach went into feature production, which would have succeeded if his distributor had actually been interested in his non-Laurel and Hardy feature product, which MGM wasn't.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:04 pm

I admit it. I enjoy making Ginsburg out to be a cold-hearted banker with no sense of humor. But why do those fellas always seem to end up at comedy shops? Schlesinger Productions had the same fate befall it when Leon retired and handed the reins over to Warners.

What I find even more interesting is the version Roach tells (later in life), that in 1932 MGM had no advance money to lend to Roach for the upcoming season and instead they foisted Ginsburg upon him. This from the one studio that was reportedly touted as being 'Depression-proof'.
Isn't the accepted story that it was Bank of America who made Ginsburg a stipulation toward them floating a loan?

Richard M Roberts
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Re: YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:37 am

Gary Johnson wrote:I admit it. I enjoy making Ginsburg out to be a cold-hearted banker with no sense of humor. But why do those fellas always seem to end up at comedy shops? Schlesinger Productions had the same fate befall it when Leon retired and handed the reins over to Warners.

What I find even more interesting is the version Roach tells (later in life), that in 1932 MGM had no advance money to lend to Roach for the upcoming season and instead they foisted Ginsburg upon him. This from the one studio that was reportedly touted as being 'Depression-proof'.
Isn't the accepted story that it was Bank of America who made Ginsburg a stipulation toward them floating a loan?



Yep, it was Bank of Italy (later America) that demanded Ginsberg as protection of the loan they floated to Roach, without that loan, Roach would have had the same history as Mack Sennett and Al Christie and would have probably folded in 1933.


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Re: YOO-HOO (1932)

Postby Jim Kerkhoff » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:01 pm

Thanks for the interesting link. I have a scene card from another 1932 Warren Doane Universal short titled "Who! Me?". The card shows a group of people including Billy Gilbert and Fred Kelsey. Imdb indicates that George Stevens directed with writing credits going to other Roach personnel like Fred Guiol and James Horne. Haven't seen the short but hope it also pops up on YouTube one day. In terms of Henry Ginsberg (aka "the expediter"), Craig Calman's new book on Roach sheds a bit of light on the guy. I'd known Dick Currier and he once told me the story of how he got canned by Ginsberg towards the end of 1932 for refusing to "spy" on the L&H crew. Ginsberg felt they were wasting valuable production time which costs money. Dick refused and got fired. He had nothing nice to say about him. But in USC's Roach archives Craig uncovered a post-termination letter from Dick to Ginsberg apologizing for losing his temper and showing disrespect. I found it extremely interesting. During the depth of the depression when studios weren't doing well, losing your job probably wasn't a good move. The letter may have been an attempt to get Ginsberg to change his mind. Anyway, according to Dick, Roach Studios still had to pay him against his contract. So he showed up each and every payday to collect his check. As many of us know, Dick went on to edit Paramount comedies featuring the likes of WC Fields, Burns and Allen, as well as Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland. To sum up, other correspondence Craig outlines in his book shows Ginsberg to be a concientious business person with a solid track record in the film industry - although he probably lacked a sense of humor which is a big drawback if you're in a top management position at the largest comedy studio around. Obviously his cut-and-dry approach to business didn't make him a favorite on the lot of fun.


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