Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warner Brothers Breakdowns of the 1930’s



Just about everyone loves to watch ostensibly `perfect’ movie stars screwing up their lines, bumping into furniture, or otherwise ruining a shot.


Appending a short blooper reel at the end of movies has become fairly common in the past dozen or so years,  and of course, there have been a number of `blooper’ TV shows hosted by Dick Clark.


But back in the early days of Hollywood, bloopers were generally kept hidden from the public.   After all, it wouldn’t do to have the public see All American nice guy Jimmy Stewart cussing after blowing a line!


Bloopers were collected and compiled, however, by the Warner Brothers social club, which was open to all studio employees, and these blooper reels – or `Breakdowns’, as they were called – were a highlight of their annual Christmas party from 1935 until 1949.


Here you’ll find stars like Bogart, Pat O'Brien, Ronald Reagan, Bette Davis, Jimmy Stewart, Glenda Farrell, Errol Flynn, Dick Foran, Joan Blondell, Kay Francis, Hugh Herbert, Allen Jenkins, Boris Karloff, Barton MacLane, Dick Powell, Claude Rains and scores of other familiar faces having a bad moment captured on film. 


Not only are they funny clips, they also serve to humanize many celebrities that we rarely saw under such candid circumstances. 


With the warning that what follows would never have been shown publicly under the Hays Movie Code, and that the language gets a bit salty at times, we have the Warner Brothers Breakdowns of 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1939.
























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