“The Golden Calf” is another one of those early 30’s Fox features that infuriatingly does not exist anymore, having turned to dust long ago. But the materials we do have available to us (reviews mostly), show our kid excel in this musical comedy.
“The Golden Calf” starred Jack Mulhall (Philip Homer) and El (Knute Olsen) as 2 artists living in
From the AFI film catalog, here is the synopsis:
“Marybelle Cobb, a plain and old fashioned girl, is secretary to a commercial illustrator Phillip Homer, with whom she is secretly in love. When Homer advertises for a girl with perfect leg measurements to be a model for a hosiery manufacturer’s advertising, Marybelle, with the aid of her friend Alice, decides to transform herself completely and apply for the job. She wins the much sought after appointment against considerable opposition. When Homer’s indifference turns to love, Marybelle confesses the deception and all ends well.”
“She is an old fashioned girl, and wears old fashioned clothes, until she hears her employer speaking deridingly of her looks” and after she has her beauty transformation “making her look like a million dollars, so beautiful, in fact, that even her own employer failed to recognize her.” Good clean fun, for sure.
An interview that appeared in the Appleton Post-Crescent on
After a dozen rehearsals and as many retakes, Brendel’s right shin became very sore.
“Wait a minute,” he told Millard Webb, director, “I’ve got an idea.” The comedian got a thick strip of board, rolled up his trouser leg and tied it securely over his shin. “Now, kick as hard as you want to.”
He told Mulhall. “Make it pop, Jack,” Webb directed. “It will be funnier.”
The scene started and at the psychological moment Mulhall cut loose and with a good kick at El’s shin.
A wild yell from the comedian stopped the scene.
“What’s the matter, El?” Webb asked. “I thought you were prepared.”
“He kicked the other shin,” Brendel moaned.
The New York Times review on
Songs that appeared in the film include “You Gotta Be Modernistic”, “Maybe Someday”, and “Can I Help It If I’m In Love With You?”. Available stills from the production show the sets to be pretty elaborate and the costumes revealing, but I have yet to find one of actor Walter Catlett, who appeared billed as the master of ceremonies.
The film originally starting out called “The American Beauty Review”, and was based on a story called “The Golden Calf” that was published in Liberty Magazine on
In an article written for the release of “The Golden Calf”, (The Anniston Star
“Not me,” says El, “I’m a happy guy all the time. I have a nice home, a charming wife, a couple of automobiles and money in the bank.”
And, in the early 30’s, a busy film career.