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