<em>King Kelly of the U.S.A.</em> (1934) <em>King Kelly of the U.S.A.</em> (1934)

King Kelly of the U.S.A. (1934)

I will be off the internet for most of the next four days, enjoying my holiday weekend at Cinecon (the classic movie festival at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard). Cinecon specializes in screening rare films and recent studio restorations not available on DVD, TCM or anywhere else.

King Kelly of the USA (Monogram, 1934) is the kind of offbeat B-movie Cinecon would show – except that this film can be found easily on DVD, as it is one of hundreds of Hollywood orphan films that have fallen into the public domain. It’s not a particularly good picture (though co-stars Edgar Kennedy and Franklin Pangborn have some funny scenes, and they’re always worth watching), however it has this curious animation sequence about 18 minutes in.

Here, Broadway singer Guy Robertson (starring in his only film) tries wooing co-star Irene Ware in song, with a little help from his table cloth drawings. The animation looks familiar, but I can’t quite place who did it. Bizarre in a fun way – check out the mouth action – very much like something a New York studio would do. It certainly isn’t from Terrytoons or Van Bueren. Anyone want to take a guess who’s behind this… Ted Eshbaugh? Les Elton?

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