Ain’t She Sweet?

One of my favourite things on YouTube. Not so much for the Fleischer cartoon part, although that’s always fun. (If you could travel back in time to the 1930s, ram a telescope into the ear of a sleeping madman, and look into his dreams, THAT IS WHAT YOU WOULD SEE.)

I love Lillian Roth! When she comes on in all her live-action glory, my heart goes aflutter like a sparrow with strychnine poisoning. She has a performance style that’s all her own, and all of its era. Her “acting” in ANIMAL CRACKERS is really like a little kid playing dress-up. There’s no reality to it whatsoever, and yet it’s as sincere as can be. I also enjoy her eccentric dancing in Lubitsch’s THE LOVE PARADE, maybe the only IMPORTANT film she’s in. But the ephemeral is also part of life, and the glorious trivia of this toon should put a smile on even the deadest pan.

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4 Responses to “Ain’t She Sweet?”

  1. Oh, lord that head shot is stunning, and so contemporary-looking–with that forthright gaze, she could be from our own day!

    I love the way the Fleischer cartoons made jokes out of the fact that they featured repetitive motion: so often (as with the little cat getting extra food dumped on his plate), characters figure out that everything is repetitive, and they try to sneakily take advantage of it.

    But, um, the little hot dogs with legs in the steam room freaked me out. If that’s what hot dogs are like before they hit the bun, I’m glad I don’t eat meat.

  2. It’s not really an accurate portrait of the hot dog in its raw natural state, but it somewhat resembles the wild haggis of my homeland.

    For lots of neat thoughts on the Fleischer era, Jon Kricfalusi’s blog is a must. Scandalously, he prefers Fleischer to Disney.

    I have a VHS dub of Madame Satan, but seeing some cleaner footage in a TCM doc last night made me realise how much I need to get a pristine version. Leisen, as costume designer, is the virtual auteur of the last reel.

  3. Lillian Roth’s last hurrah was in the Broadway musical version of I Can Get It For You Wholesale by Harold Rome. The star was Elliot Gould. The director was Arthur Laurents. The great Harold Lang and the fabulous Sherry North were featured in the cast. Roth got great notices but a young featured player stopped the show nightly with a number about a much put-upon garment district secretary, “Miss Marmelstein.”

    Her name was Barbra Streisand.

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