Friday, August 22, 2008

"Listen to the Band"

One of the purposes of this blog is to give a good overview of El Brendels career and certainly an aspect of that (and one I love to find information on) is unrealized film projects. I have a little calender from the Fox Film season of 1929 with some adverts for upcoming Fox product. Films such as "4 Devils", "City Girl", and "Sunny Side Up" are displayed as well as many films that were made under different titles or just abandoned all together.

Here we have a film titled "Listen to the Band". In all the other research I have done I have never run across any other mention that El Brendel was going to have a place in a film of this title. In fact, when I first saw the ad and saw the heading "Youthful Talk and Song and Dance" I immediately thought it was an early title for the "Fox Movietone Follies of 1930", but digging a little bit (OK, I went to IMDB!) I think that the film was made under the title of "Let's Go Places".

The film featured Lola Lane, Walter Catlett, Sharon Lynn, and Frank Richardson and is also supposed to have a young Betty Grable in an uncredited role. Benjamin Stoloff was out as director and replaced by Frank R. Strayer who had a long up and down career working for Paramount and Columbia in the silents, then down to the Poverty Row studios in the early/mid 30's, then back to the big leauges in the late 30's, directing a few for 20th Century Fox, before settling in at Columbia to helm a bunch of movies in their "Blondie" series.

Here is a brief synopsis of the film (from TCM):

"Paul Adams (Joseph Wagstaff), a singer, assumes the name of operatic tenor Paul Du Bonnet and sets out for a career in Hollywood. En route to the coast, he meets Marjorie Lorraine (Lola Lane), who falls in love with him, and in Hollywood he occupies the mansion of the famous singer. By the time Du Bonnet (Charles Judels) arrives, Paul has successfully launched a film career, though he has lost Marjorie because Du Bonnet's wife is claiming him, sight unseen. All is resolved, however, when Du Bonnet discovers Paul to be his long-lost nephew."

It seems that "Let's Go Places" is another of those tragic silent/early sound Fox films that we can count as never being able to see again as it's listed as lost.

From the New York Times:

LET'S GO PLACES, with Joseph Wagstaff, Lola Lane, Sharon Lynn, Frank Richardson, Walter Catlett, Dixie Lee, Charles Judels, Ilka Chase and Larry Steers, based on a story by William K. Wells, directed by Frank Strayer; overture selections from "Madame Butterfly": "Spirit of Labor"; "Snowflakes," with Patricia Bowman, Roxyettes and ballet corps; "Hudson River Bridge," a Grandeur film; "Cavatina"; Movietone news reel; "Lazy Lou'siana Moon," with Mildred Byram and William Robin. At the Roxy Theatre.

Frank Richardson, Lola Lane, and Joseph Wagstaff in "Let's Go Places"


Anonymous said...

'Let's Go PLaces' wasn't filmed in Grandeur. The New York Times review from which you quote lists the short 'Hudson River Bridge' as being in Grandeur, not the feature. Unlike the El Brendel film, this short does survive and is held at MoMA, who preserved it in the 80s at the same time as 'The Big Trail'.

Louie said...

Thanks, James. I haved edited the blog to reflect this information. I just read the NYT review incorrectly.