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The Blondie Series (1938-1950)
Topic Started: Sep 15 2005, 06:46 PM (3,741 Views)
SuperRog
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Today is Penny Singleton's birthday...or would've been if she were still alive. I think she would've been 97 today. She was actually still with us until 2003. At any rate, in honor of her birthday today, I decided to watch the first Blondie movie. Today was Fay Wray's birthday, too, but I don't currently own a copy of King Kong.

2003 also happened to be the year that Platinum put out a bunch of Blondie movies on DVD...10 movies on two discs. I heard some people found them in 2-disc sets but my versions are two seperate 1-disc titles. The packaging is odd...the cover refers to there being 5 episodes...they seem to think these are TV shows. In the back, in the credits one reads "Released To TV By King Features" so perhaps these are TV prints which might explain a bit. The quality overall isn't bad...the picture and sound seems pretty decent though Platinum's logo does show up a few times during the film. Luckily, it doesn't stay for long. The movie starts oddly, with various scenes of the movie shown before the movie officially starts...perhaps that was something they did when it went to TV. Many shows over the years have done that. The one thing I didn't like was that at the end of the film, as the picture's fading out, instead of showing us any end credits or even a "The End" logo, they go immediately to a Platinum title screen. That's just a bit strange.

The plot has the usual comedy misunderstandings. Dagwood is trying to get a big contract for Mr. Dithers to earn enough money to cover a bad note he signed...if he can't get the money, his furniture will be taken as collateral by a finance company. Meanwhile, Blondie's trading the furniture in as partial payment for new furniture. Due to certain circumstances, Blondie winds up believing Dag is cheating on her, Dagwood is fired and then gets arrested (along with the person he's trying to sign to a deal) but you know it will all turn out well in the end. Of course, you have to have a couple of the comic staples...Dag running into the mailman and sending mail flying through the air and a tall Dagwood sandwich...just not as tall as in the comics, of course. This movie was made before they had a daughter and the younb boy is called Baby Dumpling, not Alexander. They do have one dog, Daisy.

All in all, a good fun film. The fact that you get 5 films on one disc and that the title is so cheap besides that (I see one place selling the single-disc version for a mere $3.77), I can overlook the few quibbles I had with it.
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Sgt Saturn
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This movie was made before they had a daughter and the young boy is called Baby Dumpling, not Alexander.


"Baby Dumpling" was Alexander's orginal name in the comic strip. I think they had a contest where readers sent in names for Baby Dumpling. And "Alexander' was the winner.

Sounds like the movie dates from fairly early in the strip's run...

The Ol' Sarge
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SuperRog
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Well, in the movie they celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary. The person in the movie that Dagwood is trying to get the contract with is played by the actor who was the judge in Miracle on 34th Street.
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Britt Reid
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Does anyone know if there are any plans to release any of the Blondie movies on dvd?
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panzer the great & terrible
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Scroll up, Britt baby.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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Britt Reid
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Thanks Panzer, I did see that. I guess I should have asked if there are plans to release any others on dvd.
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Laughing Gravy
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Not that I've heard of, but I sure hope so.

The ten films on the original 2-disc set (all produced from 1938-1941) are:

Blondie
Blondie Meets the Boss
Blondie Takes a Vacation
Blondie Brings Up Baby
Blondie On a Budget
Blondie Has Servant Trouble
Blondie Plays Cupid
Blondie Goes Latin
Blondie In Society
Blondie Goes to College


The box says something like, "Total time: 172 min." but there's over 10 hours of film on the two discs! A steal (I paid less than six bucks).
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Britt Reid
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Thanks LG!
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Chief Thunder Cloud
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Rogmeister: The actor who played the judge in "Miracle On 34th Street" is none other than that great character actor, Canada's own Gene Lockhart, June Lockhart's Father. Gene was born in London, Ontario, Canada on July 18, 1891, he died on March 31, 1957 in Santa Monica, CA of Coronary Thrombosis. He had a very distinguished career.

Kindest Regards:

Ron McKnight.
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Laughing Gravy
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I must admit, I am a sucker for the Blondie films. In fact, other than the Universal monster pictures of the 1940s, my favorite B-movies tend to come from Columbia, including these and the Boston Blackies.

This film is very much in the vein of the RKO Edgar Kennedy and Leon Errol series, misunderstandings, marital mixups, and the like. And I'll be the first to admit, the films are much less "laugh riots" than they are "cute". Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms) and Daisy the dog (Daisy) are both too cute for words, and of course Penny Singleton is adorable. Arthur Lake? Uh, well, I guess it's enough to say the role fit him like a glove. And how.

Both of June's parents, Gene and Kathleen Lockhart, appear in this film (but they're not a couple).

SuperRog pretty much covered the "plot" of this one, but really, it's just an excuse to see a very appealing Hollywood family go through their paces. I recently got a grey-market boxed set of all 28 films, so I imagine we'll be seein' more of these 'round the Balcony.


"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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panzer the great & terrible
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28 Blondie movies -- a dream come true, right? I remember sitting through a few of them, waiting for the cartoon and the serial to start, but buying them? Whatever for?
Edited by panzer the great & terrible, Jul 22 2013, 06:29 AM.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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mort bakaprevski
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The high point in Penny Singleton's career? Polly in AFTER THE THIN MAN. All downhill after that.
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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Laughing Gravy
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I like them very much.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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mort bakaprevski
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And I really like the 1949 BATMAN & ROBIN very much. We all like junk or we wouldn't be here in the first place.

For about a year, I lived next door to Marjorie Ann Mutchie ("Cookie" as Marjorie Kent). Evidently that was her only fling with show biz & she definitely had no aspirations to return when I knew her.

My favorite Penny Singleton line:

Nick Charles: You see, when it comes to words like that, an illiterate person...

Polly Byrnes: Whaddaya mean "illiterate"? My father and mother were married right here in the city hall!
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
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panzer the great & terrible
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I like Batman and Robin too. I guess my problem with the Blondies is that they bored me when they came out. I wasn't the kind of kid that liked cutsie-pie stuff. Plus, those movies departed so far from the strip and I was so literal-minded I didn't know how to deal with that. And then there's always Arthur Lake -- an unattractive performer with annoying voice and mannerisms, to me at least.
Edited by panzer the great & terrible, Jul 22 2013, 10:24 AM.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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