Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY 2013!

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy and healthy 2013!  I will try to post more in the coming year and share with you all the great El Brendel photos and information I have accumulated so stay tuned and thanks for hanging around!

here we have Father Time (El Brendel) being given the boot by Baby New Year (Marjorie White), circa early 30's.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sexy time Saturday #3240874019284

Back from a hiatus, as I have been with my previous 2 posts, so lets have another round of Sexy Time, shall we?

John Halliday from the 1931 feature "Captain Applejack" (THANK YOU to Richard M. Roberts if the ID's!)

Joe E. Lewis surrounded by a bevy of babes

I originally thought this was from the 1933 feature "Flying Down 
 To Rio" but the code on the still tells me maybe not??

and Yvonne Duval in some still from "Coconut Grove" (1938)

and finally, Fifi D'Orsay nearly showing us the goods in this early 30's picture

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

For Beckie, another still from "Okay, Jose"

Fan of the site. Beckie, asked for another photo of El in drag from the 1935 Vitaphone short "Okay, Jose".  She requested a photo of El's full costume, so here is a still:

Monday, December 24, 2012

El & Flo wishing you a Merry Christmas - 1942

HEY! Yes, the El Brendel website is alive and well, I just haven't had a whole lot of time to post in a while as I have been going back to school! I am on break now so perhaps I can squeeze a few posts in before we start up again in mid-January.

This post is perfect for the holiday season. A couple of years ago I was able to acquire a number of recordings El Brendel and his wife Flo Bert made either at home on a recording machine or in studios where you could make your own discs. These records are fascinating as they feature El working on comedy routines which I've never heard before, Flo practicing songs (she made a number of recordings in the 20's, if you didn't know), and records of them just goofing around.

Some of these recordings are in very rough shape due to the nature of the sources. The records were recorded, or pressed, on paperboard stock and the available acetates were WELL played, so pops, clicks and some skips are evident.  It's a wonder these things survive at all.  In future posts, I'll share these with everybody. There are even a couple where El speaks in his normal voice, something he NEVER did on film!

This recording starts off with Flo singing, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and El comes in as Santa. They then go into a routine where Flo plays a little girl and Santa starts questioning her about how good she's been and the dialog gets a bit racy! The recording dates from 1942 and it appears they were making a record to send back to family back East but for some reason remained in their collection in California.

Enjoy and have a very happy holiday season!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy birthday Joan Blondell!

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows of my love for Joan Blondell.  The snappy, wise-cracking dame of those early Warner Brothers talkies has her 106th birthday today, so let's have a photo retrospective of prints from my collection.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOAN!!!!

 a publicity still from 1931's "Night Nurse"

 with future husband Dick Powell in "Broadway Gondolier" (1935)

 Joan pulled out all the stops for her portrayal of Zeena in the film noir "Nightmare Alley" (1947)

a publicity shot with real life best friend Glenda Farrell, riding them Harleys!!

 as 'Flips' Montague in the 1932 Paramount feature "Make Me A Star"

 we move on to 1936 and Joan is now married to her co-star Dick Powell in "Gold Diggers of 1937"

 riding the rails with the ALWAYS hilarious Guy Kibbee.  I believe this is from 1934's "Dames"

 court room drama as Joan appears before the press camera during her divorce proceedings against cinematographer George Barnes.  Her first marriage was finally dissolved in September of 1936.

 although Joan appeared in Busby Berkley's 1933 film "Footlight Parade", she never appeared in the "Sittin' On A Backyard Fence" number, where this costume originates.

 Dorothy Mackaill lounges in bed while Joan soaks in the tub, "The Office Wife" (1930)

 Joan not wanting to see what the scale says!  Early 1930's promotional shot

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I have compiled another list from my DVD collection to sell. Stuff from Warner Brothers, MGM, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Criterion, Image, Milestone, Masters of Cinema, Sunrise Silents, Vintage Film Buff, Looser than Loose, etc. LOTS of hard to find and out of print titles, also. All discs are in excellent condition, stored and handled with extreme care and with 99% of them, I was the first and only owner. Will ship internationally. Please email me and I will send you a list. Also, PLEASE be patient if I don't answer right away, I WILL respond. Prices are without shipping. I accept payments through PayPal, money orders, and checks (seven days to clear the bank). Will be adding more titles each month. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED as these are single copies!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

MORE Sexy time Saturday!

Just what everyone waits for, another installment of sexy time Saturday, enjoy!

 a couple of stills from "Girl on the Run" (1953)

 Billie Dove reading in bed

 This appears to be a wild party!  From 1934's "She Had to Choose", but who's in the slip??

 Margaret Livingston does her hair

 production still from "Gold Diggers of 1933" with Ruby Keeler right in the middle

 the ALWAYS delicious Raquel Welch

Monday, April 9, 2012


Time has come for me to pare down my DVD collection.  Stuff from Warner Brothers, MGM, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Criterion, Image, Milestone, Sunrise Silents, Vintage Film Buff, Looser than Loose, etc.  LOTS of hard to find and out of print titles, also.  All discs are in excellent condition, stored and handled with extreme care and with 99% of them, I was the first and only owner.  Will ship internationally.  All are sold on a first come first serve basis and new titles will be added about every month.  If you want to receive a price list, please send  me your email address and I will send it over.  Please be patient if I don't answer right away, I WILL respond.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Scott Ricciuti 1963-2012

Thank you for all the love and optimism you exuded.  You are missed and I love you.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy 121st b-day, El!!!

Today marks the 120th birthday of Elmer Goodfellow Brendel, born March 25th, 1891.  For the celebration, here's some photos from throughout his career.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY EL!!:

In vaudeville, 17 years old

during the filming of "Wings" in 1927

with Victor McLaglen from the sadly lost film, "Hot For Paris" (1929)

looking like a deer caught in the headlights, from the 1949 film, "The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend"

with Gloria Jean from the 1959 movie, "The Madcaps"

and finally, here's El with Raymond Burr on the set of the "Perry Mason" TV show.  El was on the 1962 episode "The Case of the Borrowed Baby"

Friday, March 23, 2012

El's home movies - filming on the set

I recently wrote about some "lost" El Brendel home movies coming to light and in the post I showed some scans of what appears to be footage from the set of the 1940 Universal feature "If I Had My Way".  Well, here is a recently unearthed picture of El actually doing the filming on the set of the movie!!

The printed on the snipe on the rear of the photo has all the info:

Eddie Leonard.,most famous of all minstrel men, is one of several stage stars who return to the bright lights for an appearance in the new Big Crosby - Gloria Jean picture, "IF I HAD MY WAY" at Universal. Here Eddie talks to Charles Winninger while El Brendel photographs them with his home movie camera.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cinefest 2012 review

I just returned from ANOTHER great weekend of movies at the annual Syracuse Cinefest film festival and I’m prepared to give a review based on a star rating system from * = poor to **** = excellent.  Just a word of caution, I didn’t see every movie the Syracuse Cinephile Society showed this past weekend, if I didn’t see it, I noted in the list.  Also, I left out descriptions as I could have been writing for a week and wanted to get my review out while it was still fresh in my mind.  Here we go:


FOOTBALL 40 YEARS AGO (1931) * ½

Fairly interesting short with “Pop” Warner showing us how football was played in the old days.  It was pretty painful to hear him talk in front of the camera but not terrible by any means and I loved the "button" method of alerting the center to snap the football.

HELLO OUT THERE (1949) ½ *
James Whale's direction couldn’t save this TV show spot from being anything other than a curio.  It gets half a star because of his involvement and atmospheric sets.

WIFE TROUBLE (1928) ***
I liked this short.  Man’s wife mistakes him for cheating with a lingerie salesperson.  Lots of laughs and a scantily clad woman.  LOVED IT!

BELL BOY 13 (1923) ** ½  
A light comedy with Douglas MacLean.  Enjoyable all around and didn’t tax my brain at all

BAD COMPANY (1931) *** ½
This is the kind of movie I go to Cinefest for!!  Pre-code with gangsters and Ricardo Cortez as the head of his mob. It’s out on laserdisc somewhere, but I’ve never seen it before, but I’m glad I did!

TRAILER MANIA IV: The A's, B's, and C's of Universal (1930s-60s)
– didn’t see it and frankly don’t really care about trailers from this year or any of the other 3 years previous.

Fairly funny Mack Sennett comedy with Carole Lombard and one of my all-time faves, Sally Eilers (with dark hair, no less).  Interesting because it contained sequences of two-strip Technicolor that looked wonderful.

Another silent with the story of a parentless baby who falls in love with the lead.  Jack Hoxie was fine in the role  and lots of great action scenes in between. 

HELEN OF FOUR GATES (1920)  - didn’t see

RED SALUTE (1935) – didn’t see

N.Y., N.Y. (1957) ½ *
Saw this and boy am I sorry I did.  Art films either belong in museums or in the bottom of the trash can.  This one belongs in the latter.  Gets a half star because of the mildly interesting jazz score in the background.

Very funny two-reeler directed by Roscoe Arbuckle about two city girls impressed by their “farm bred” friend. 

Mildly interesting demo reel.  Could have done without the monotonous guy flying in his plane but beggars can’t be choosers.  The shots of the stars were the highlights for me!

I like this one, a lot!  Basically this was a retelling of the “Stella Dallas” story but real seedy bar room scenes and fast pace kept me interested.  Louise Brooks made a brief appearance and looked adorable, even though she played a prostitute.

MOONLIGHT AND PRETZELS (1933) – didn’t see

HI DIDDLE DIDDLE (1943) – didn't see


Good little short from the “Blondes & Redheads” series at RKO.  How June Brewster had any career with that voice is amazing but I love her!  GOOD STUFF!

Mildly interesting and over the top take on what your house could look like after World War 2 is over.  The film has a bunch of Hollywood stars and maybe helped the war effort.

HIS NEW LID (1910) – didn’t see

– didn’t see

LAUGHTER (1930) – didn’t see

LADDIE (1940) – didn’t see

This early comedy, with Marie Dressler, is a tough one.  First only one reel survives and second, I really have a hard time with these primitive comedies.  It was worth seeing but not one I need to see again.
Just a so-so feature with Enid Bennett.

JUST NUTS (1915) ** ½
An early Harold Lloyd film in his Willie Work incarnation, pretty good comedy.

A DEEP SEA PANIC (1924) ***
This one had me in stitches.  A Paul Parrot starring role of a reworked  Harry Langdon title “Shanghaied Lovers” (1924), this short has enough gags to keep you laughing throughout

I really wanted to like this comedy with Billy Bevan and Louise Fazenda but I didn’t find myself laughing that much.


A great pre-code with Sylvia Sidney about a college girl having a baby out of wedlock.  LOTS of girls walking around in lingerie!!  Good story, too!

THE TOY SHOP (1928) ½ *
I hate cartoons with kid characters.  The only thing saving this turd is the Technicolor.

A SONG IN THE DARK (1920s-30s) *** ½
Richard Barrios presents another installment of clips from early musicals.  NEVER to be missed, this one was a lot of fun.

FOOD AND GROWTH (1930) ½ *
Utter crap.  I do not care about the growth habits of rats.  Who really gives a shit??

THE DARK MIRROR (1920) * ½  
A film about someone trying to psycho-analyze the leads dreams.  Meh.
- didn't see

Saturday – 35mm show at the Palace Theater

NO CHILDREN (1929) ***
Pretty funny two-reel comedy about parents not being able to get a hotel room because they have children.  Lots of child hijinx with them tormenting the hotel dick. 

THE JANITOR (1919) **
Sometimes these early comedies work, sometimes they don’t.  This Hank Mann comedy was just all right, not great, not bad and the fighting scenes were just hilarious.

THE PEST (1922) *** ½
What more needs to be said, it’s a Stan Laurel comedy.  Everyone should have a view of this one.
An early Mack Sennett comedy with nearly everyone making wild gestures and crazy faces.  This one was not as amusing as other Sennett’s I have seen but Ford Sterling was great, as usual.

GET YOUR MAN (1927) ****
Even though two reels of this feature were missing (title cards with explanations made up for it) this Clara Bow vehicle was terrific!  It’s really too bad that some of her silents from this period are missing as I think she was at the top of her game. Maybe the best film of the weekend.

MR. FIX-IT (1918) ***
Super fast paced comedy with sans-moustache Douglas Fairbanks which was a pleasure to watch.  No wonder the public loved this guy!

HAIL THE WOMAN (1921) *** ½
Florence Vidor vehicle that I was enthralled by.  The father, played by Theodore Roberts, is a misogynistic pig and although purporting to be Christian, judges everyone from the start, including his own daughter.  Great cameo by Vernon Dent as Flo’s jilted pursuer.

ONE A MINUTE (1921) ** ½
Neat little programmer with Douglas MacLean trying to save the family drug store.

Unseen Three Stooges short??  Yup, just what I needed but the projectionist didn’t turn on the sould for the first 30 seconds, so that kinda sucked.  Just enjoyable.

This film when on too damn long.  JackOakie was funny, but once the story switched from Vaudeville to Hollywood, it just got crazy (like "Hellzapoppin" but no where near as funny)and D-R-A-W-N out.  BLAH!

Back at the hotel and now we switch from film to digital presentation:

A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902) * ½
I understand the historical importance of this film and yes, this IS from the restored hand-colored print but I really don’t care all that much.  When David Shepard announced the producers had spent something ridiculous like $500,000 on this restoration, I was thinking to myself, “Hmmmmmm, they should have let this turn to dust and restored them two Colleen Moore films in Italy and about 4 others”.

Too bad the first reel of this Willie & Eugene Howard Vitaphone short doesn’t survive, as the second half was terrific!

Interesting brief clips from a bunch of Clara Bow films saved by a collector and presented by the Museum of Modern Art.  Common clips from “It!” but brief snippets from the missing reels of “Get Your Man”.  The only downside is the clips were “projected” too slow.  Oh well.

HIS CAPTIVE WOMAN (1929) ** 1/2

Interesting little film with Dorothy Mackaill & Milton Sills.  This courtroom drama was another film which went on way too long, but it’s rarity (the sound version has not been seen in 80 years) made up for the film length.  GREAT performances by Marion Byron & Gertrude Howard.  Hopefully this film can be restored as the quality of the print looked superb but the digital projection was jerky.  Lots of beautiful scenery, with and without Ms. Mackaill!!

MAMBA (1930) *** ½
Another winner for me, although I heard some people didn’t like it.  I though Jean Hersholt’s performance as the loathsome lead was tremendous, there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about this guy that would give any reason to sympathize with him.  Eleanor Boardman was pretty stiff as the heroine.

– was not shown

back to FILM from this point on:
– didn’t see


LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (1940) -didn't see

What more can I say other than I look forward to this every year.  Lots of fun and Leonard makes it interesting!

– didn’t see any of these

– didn’t see any of these either, on the way back home.

All in all, a wonderful weekend of great films, friends, food, and fun times.  Cant wait for it again next year!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

CINEFEST 2012!!!

Yes kiddies, it's that time of year again when all lovers of rare and unusual film make the trek to upstate New York to view a bunch of hard to see films.  Of course, I am talking about Cinefest which starts on March 15th in Syracuse (it's actually in the hamlet of Liverpool, but it's all about the films anyway, right??).  This is the 32nd year the boys and girls of the Syracuse Cinephile Society has put this show on and this year looks to be like another killer line-up!  Here's the schedule of films being shown, hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 15th

9:00 am    FOOTBALL 40 YEARS AGO (1931) with Glenn “Pop” Warner
9:10 am    HELLO OUT THERE (1949) Dir.: James Whale, with Harry Morgan
9:45 am    WIFE TROUBLE (1928) with Robert Graves, Adrienne Dore, Muriel Evans
9:55 am    BELL BOY 13 (1923) with Douglas Maclean
10:45 am    BAD COMPANY (1931) with Helen Twelvetrees, Ricardo Cortez


1:00 pm    RAY FAIOLA’S TRAILER MANIA SHOW  IV  Hosted by Ray Faiola
2:05 pm    MATCHMAKING MAMMA (1928) with Carole Lombard
2:25 pm    THE FORBIDDEN TRAIL (1923) with Jack Hoxie, Evelyn Nelson
3:20 pm    HELEN OF FOUR GATES (1921) with Alma Taylor
4:25 pm    RED SALUTE (1936) with Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Young


8:00 pm    N.Y., N.Y. (1957) Directed by Francis Thompson
8:10 pm    CRASHING HOLLYWOOD (1931) Dir.: Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle
8:55 pm    STREET OF FORGOTTEN MEN (1926) with Percy Marmont  
10:10 pm    MOONLIGHT AND PRETZELS (1933) with Roger Pryor, Mary Brian
11:35 pm    HI DIDDLE DIDDLE (1942) with Adolphe Menjou, Pola Negri

Friday, March 16th

9:00 am    SKIRMISH ON THE HOME FRONT (1943) w/ Alan Ladd, Betty Hutton
9:10 am    CONTENTED CALVES (1934) with Grady Sutton, June Brewster
9:35 am    HIS NEW LID (1911) with Thomas Ince
9:50 am    CLASSMATES (1914)  with Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall
10:55 am    LAUGHTER (1930) with Nancy Carroll, Fredric March, Frank Morgan


1:10 pm    LADDIE (1940) with Tim Holt, Virginia Gilmore, Joan Carroll
2:25 pm    TILLIE’S TOMATO SURPRISE (1915) with Marie Dressler
2:35 pm    PARTNERS THREE (1918) with Enid Bennett, Casson Ferguson
3:50 pm    JUST NUTS (1929) with Harold Lloyd, Jane Novak, Roy Stewart
4:05 pm    A DEEP BLUE PANIC (1924) with James Parrott, Mildred June
4:30 pm    ASTRAY FROM THE STEERAGE (1921) with Billy Bevan,
4:50 pm    CONFESSIONS OF A CO-ED (1931) with Sylvia Sydney


8:00 pm    REMEMBERING RICHARD GORDON Hosted by John Cocchi
8:15 pm    THE TOY SHOP (1929) with Joseph Swickard, Virginia Marshall
8:25 pm    A SONG IN THE DARK III Hosted by Richard Barrios
9:55 pm    FOOD AND GROWTH (1920s) Informational Short
10:05 pm    THE DARK MIRROR (1920) with Dorothy Dalton, Huntley Gordon
11:00 pm    GRACIE ALLEN MURDER CASE (1939) with Warren William

Saturday, March 17th

7:45 am    Buses will begin to load from the front entrance of the Holiday Inn for the 35mm presentations at the Palace Theatre.  Last bus leaves the Holiday Inn at 8 am.
8:30 am    NO CHILDREN (1928) with Smitty and his Pals
THE JANITOR (1919) with Hank Mann, Madge Kirby
THE PEST (1922) with Stan Laurel, Vera Reynolds, Mae Laurel
THEIR FIRST EXECUTION (1913) with Ford Sterling
GET YOUR MAN (1927) with Clara Bow, Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers
MR FIX-IT (1918) with Douglas Fairbanks, Wanda Hawley


HAIL THE WOMAN (1921) with Florence Vedor, Lloyd Hughes
ONE A MINUTE (1921) with Douglas MacLean, Marian DeBeck
SURPRISE, SURPRISE (1937) with The Three Stooges
ONCE IN A LIFETIME (1933) with Jack Oakie, Sidney Fox
    The buses will leave the Palace Theatre immediately after the presentations.


8:10 pm    A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902) Dir.:Georges Mèliés
8:20 pm    THE MUSIC MAKERS (1929) with Willie and Eugene Howard
8:30 pm    TO BE ANNOUNCED
10:05 pm    MAMBA (1929) with Jean Hersholt, Eleanor Boardman, Ralph Forbes
11:20 pm    KING OF THE KONGO, Ep. 5 (1929) with Walter Miller
11:40 pm    EXILE EXPRESS (1939) with Anna Sten, Alan Marshal

Sunday, March 18th

9:00 am    LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (1940) with Jack Benny, Fred Allen
10:30 am    THE AUCTION (2012) Hosted by Leonard Maltin
12 noon    JUSTIN HERMAN SHOW IV (1950’s Paramount Toppers)
12:35 pm    WITHOUT REGRET (1936) with Elissa Landi, Paul Cavanaugh
1:55 pm    THE UNTAMED (1920) with Tom Mix, Pauline Starke
2:50 pm    CHAMPAGNE WALTZ (1937) with Gladys Swarthout, Fred MacMurray

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Lost" El Brendel films surface

I don't really know what to say about this post as I am just flabbergasted. I could go into a long diatribe about lost films and such but I feel it would be much better if I was just blunt about it.  In all my years of studying the films, career, and life of El Brendel I never thought I would be the one making an announcement like this.  Over the past weekend I had the opportunity to borrow over 35 film reels of El & his wife, Flo Bert.  Comprising mainly of home movies, there are also a few other tidbits included line a two minute 35mm snipe announcing El's "visit to your town", and the best film of all,  a Kinescope of a previously unknown and undocumented television show starring El!

I have just started going through some of the cans but am holding off projecting and documenting what's included on these reels until I have the opportunity to clean them, after all, they've been sitting in a closet for a long time and probably haven't been viewed in over 30 years!  I will say the majority of films are in Kodachrome and appear to be in very good shape, especially the 35mm snipe, which is on nitrate and shows absolutely no sign of deterioration.     

As I go through these I will be reporting on what I find, but from what El wrote on the side of the cans, I pulled out a couple of the most interesting ones and unspooled a small section and made scans of some of the frames to give you an idea of what is on them.  Just remember, I have not screened these films from beginning to end, so they could contain just about anything. 

First up, we have a film which El entitled "GAGS".  The film was marked with a code suggesting it dates from September 1960.  In the scans we see El appearing in front of the camera doing a similar routine he did with a trick cigar in 1959's "Laffing Time":

Next, we have a film marked "Universal Studios" where El worked in 1939 and 1940.  It's interesting as he filmed behind the scenes and in one section it appears to show Bing Crosby who worked with El on the 1940 film "If I Had My Way".  Can anyone identify the other people or scenes??:

Here is the 35mm snipe touting El's visit to your town.  Seeing as the film mentions he has been in 47 films, I would date this as probably being from the late 30's:

And lastly we have the "lost" TV show.  The leader on the film states it is a Kinescope and is dated August 24th, 1949.  The studio who produced this is NBC and I'm assuming the name of the show was "Hollywood Premier Theater".  The episode with El Brendel was entitled "Accidentally Axel" and featured singer, musician, and actress Anne Triola, who according to Wikipedia, is still alive.:

That's all I have right now, when the films are cleaned and ready to go, I'll report more details.  I'm amazed these films survive and I can't wait to view them!!