TANNED LEGS (1929)

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drednm
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TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by drednm » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:47 pm

Yikes. Rewatched this one. Pretty much a mess despite June Clyde, Sally Blane, Ann Pennington, Dorothy Revier. So-so music and dancing (at best), silly plot, and abrupt ending prove this to be a comedy film retooled as a musical and then probably gutted as musicals faded. The film pretty much just ends where you'd expect a musical finale.

All the males in the film are dreadful, including Arthur Lake and Allen Kearns (another of those aging Broadways juves), as well as Albert Gran and Edmund Burns (as the dapper cad). Lloyd Hamilton supposedly plays a hotel detective, but he must have been almost totally cut from the film. Helen Kaiser and Lita Chevret play attractive girls commenting on the action at the beginning of the film. And good old Nella Walker plays the thankless role of the silly mother romanced by yucky Kearns.

Music by Oscar Levant but he does not appear. Pearl Eaton was dance director (sister to Mary and Doris....)

I thought I remembered liking this one, but I must have been wrong.
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by earlytalkie » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:26 pm

I rather liked June Clyde in the film, as well as the banter between Nella Walker and Albert Gran. The title number was quaint in the 20s fashion, although I've tried for 20 years to understand the lyrics of that song. Unfortunately, I could understand Arthur Lake, who may have had a voice even worse than Charles Farrell as far as singing is concerned. There may have been some more upbeat ending to the film as the 65 minute running time is about 4 min. shorter than the official listing. The last time I saw the whole film was on the old AMC and the end title card was a generic one slapped onto the film with no music, rather than the usual Radio Pictures ending.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:05 pm

drednm wrote: I thought I remembered liking this one, but I must have been wrong.
Not at all--you WERE right! (This, you see, is what comes of exposure to pictures like 3 Musketeers: warps one's sensibilities.)

But you weren't wrong about that perpetual idiot Arthur Lake: insufferable...punishing...terribly unfortunate he intruded into this cinematic confection, but that's why FF was invented. Nor were the other un-possessors of Feminine Mystique much more edifying.

HOWEVER...weighed against the ass Lake, et al., is such a lavish banquet of feminine pulchritude that, to me, his annoyance is as a fly at a sumptuous outdoor party. There's heavenly June Clyde with a smile that should make you weak at the knees, a good voice, & not a bad dancer. Dancer? Well, if Marilyn Miller & Mary Eaton are unavailable, how could you improve upon Ann Pennington, with a personality as piquant as her rendition of the Black Bottom? The number the two of them perform together left me groping for the smelling salts. Plot? Not more silly than countless other musicals; singing, dancing, high spirits & tanned legs suffice for me.

Dorothy Revier & Sally Blane were icing on this very rich, moist cake; couldn't act but could they look...delicious. Good God, even Nella looked hot...uh, somewhat.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:32 am

Yes with 4 or 5 minutes shaved off the official running, there must have been another reprise, probably with Clyde and Lake singing. No color footage is mentioned anywhere...

Pennington's talkie debut, looks like a pretty good buildup with several numbers, but she disappears from the main plot (so would I have). In her final dance number at "the big show" they constantly cut away from Pennington to show the setup for the plot denouement, and several audience shots of Burns sitting down and the holdup men.

This was Clyde's first starring role, having had bits in Street Girl and Side Street. IMDb also mentions she had a bit in the 1927 Topsy and Eva but they don't list the film in her filmography. I'll have to see if I can find her.

Clyde was a child star in vaudeville as Baby Tetrazini.
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:13 am

drednm wrote:Pennington's talkie debut, looks like a pretty good buildup with several numbers, but she disappears from the main plot (so would I have). In her final dance number at "the big show" they constantly cut away from Pennington to show the setup for the plot denouement...
Infuriating!...as it's self-evident that Ann was put there to be the main attraction, not that nonsense of the feigned "stick-up." Shame on the idiot editor. She was so cool & self-assured that this might have been her 20th picture; her patter was as enjoyable as her dancing.

I love the IMDB description of June Clyde's role in her first picture, Street Girl: "Hot Blonde." Any doubters? Had no idea she'd appeared in so many films until I looked up her filmography. What's depressing, however, is that most of these roles appear to be very minor ones...which, in light of her looks, singing & dancing talent, & (most of all) sheer charm, is as unfair as it is inexplicable.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:37 am

June is in a Sherlock Holmes film A Study in Scarlet (1933) with Clive Brook. which I just found.
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:43 am

drednm wrote:June is in a Sherlock Holmes film A Study in Scarlet (1933) with Clive Brook. which I just found.
I'd love to see her in that...except, who's Clive Brook?

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by earlytalkie » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:15 am

If the reprise had Lake singing at all, then the picture was better off without it. I really don't mind him in the Blondie movies, but that duet he sings with June Clyde, well...it does make one appreciate Clyde's pleasant voice more. In Blondie Goes Latin, the musical entry in the series, Penny Singleton is given ample opportunity to sing and dance (and quite well), Arthur Lake's musical contribution is limited to some not-bad drumming with the orchestra.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:10 am

earlytalkie wrote:... Penny Singleton is given ample opportunity to sing and dance (and quite well)...
I should say, a propos her dancing, "quite well" indeed! In Good News, her feet almost set the floor afire! (Nice special effects for 1930.) Maybe more gymnastic than the fancy footwork of Ann Pennington, Marilyn & Mary, but riveting nonetheless.

Honestly, much as I cringe at mention of his name, it's unfair to blame Lake for accepting good money for inflicting his whining, stupid, shtick on an apparently--and this is the incredible, inexplicable part of the story--willing audience. HE, amazingly, is supposed to be the STAR of this picture--somebody, or rather, many, presumably enjoyed his asinine antics!

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:18 am

Oops.... Clive Brook is not in this Sherlock Holmes film. It's Reginald Owen playing Holmes! But June Clyde gets 3rd billing after Owen and Anna May Wong.
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by bobfells » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:29 pm

I've never seen TANNED LEGS but I was so unimpressed with this glass slide that I have in my collection that I decided not to include it in my recent book on slides, The Fragile Art of Old Hollywood:
Image

Notice that the claim at the top of the slide is couched in the future tense!
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:39 pm

Odd slide for sure.... and odd billing!
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:01 pm

bobfells wrote:I've never seen TANNED LEGS but I was so unimpressed with this glass slide that I have in my collection that I decided not to include it in my recent book on slides, The Fragile Art of Old Hollywood:
Please don't judge the picture by the slide! If this is a pre-production, or pre-release, slide, the intent then, it appears, was to make Ann Pennington the "star"--as she, or June Clyde, should have been. Ann was a star on Broadway, but she got short shrift in this picture.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:30 pm

bobfells wrote:I've never seen TANNED LEGS but I was so unimpressed with this glass slide that I have in my collection that I decided not to include it in my recent book on slides, The Fragile Art of Old Hollywood:
Hope these two impressed you enough to warrant inclusion in the book! (Not mine--just part of the daily "Bebe stuff " sent me by ebay.)

Image
Singed Wings by entredeuxguerres, on Flickr

Is this great, or what?
Last edited by entredeuxguerres on Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:34 pm

And this: (Transposing these from my computer, to Flickr, back to N'ville, is a severe brain strain for me.)

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Feel My Pulse by entredeuxguerres, on Flickr

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by bobfells » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:35 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
bobfells wrote:I've never seen TANNED LEGS but I was so unimpressed with this glass slide that I have in my collection that I decided not to include it in my recent book on slides, The Fragile Art of Old Hollywood:
Please don't judge the picture by the slide! If this is a pre-production, or pre-release, slide, the intent then, it appears, was to make Ann Pennington the "star"--as she, or June Clyde, should have been. Ann was a star on Broadway, but she got short shrift in this picture.
I won't but the lack of artwork on this slide made it look pretty lame compared to other slides from the same time. Hence my decision to leave it "on the cutting room floor" as it were, as I put the book together.
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by bobfells » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:44 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
bobfells wrote:I've never seen TANNED LEGS but I was so unimpressed with this glass slide that I have in my collection that I decided not to include it in my recent book on slides, The Fragile Art of Old Hollywood:
Hope these two impressed you enough to warrant inclusion in the book! (Not mine--just part of the daily "Bebe stuff " sent me by ebay.)

Image
Singed Wings by entredeuxguerres, on Flickr

Is this great, or what?
If these slides were available to me I definitely would have included them in the book, which was published a few months ago. http://nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f ... rt#p106003" target="_blank
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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:00 pm

Watched TANNED LEGS (1929) last night after finding copy in cyberspace and having being tempted by some of the uploaded clips. Was a bit miffed by the abrupt ending as would've thought it could have been wound up a bit less hastily - perhaps with a musical finale after all the complications were ironed out. Think there must've been a bit more originally and don't think it was a reissue print as some of the leggy numbers were a bit risque for a post-Code certificate, particularly with all those panties on display.

Must agree Arthur Lake was a bit of a pill, but presumably it was partially intentional. Certainly interesting to see a lesser-known film from this period as well as an example of such stage-based musical comedy. Presumably the original was a lot longer. At least the above entries confirmed my suspicions, but it would be nice to see the missing material.

And noted Mr Lake is also in DANCE HALL (1929) which is also out there. Let's hope co-star Olive Borden settles his hash!

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:36 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote: Was a bit miffed by the abrupt ending as would've thought it could have been wound up a bit less hastily - perhaps with a musical finale after all the complications were ironed out.
More miff-inducing to me was the way hyper-talented Ann Pennington's "big production number' was eviscerated--had to have been more to it originally. However, it was wonderfully delightful to see her (rare) song & dance duet with this picture's #2 pill, Allen Karnes.

As for the #1 pill, Lake, insufferable obnoxiousness is insufferable obnoxiousness, whether natural & unintentional or feigned.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by sepiatone » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:46 pm

I saw and taped this off AMC in the early 90s. It was somewhat restored and improved from the cruddy copy that used to play on WJZ Baltimore from time to time. It's worth it's while to hear and see Ann Pennington. The story is pretty basic for an early talkie. It's similar to the Marx Brothers THE COCOANUTS. I hope the print is the same one Turner restored in the 1990s. Perhaps WB will stick it on an Omnibus dvd maybe with Rod La Rocque's THE DELIGHTFUL ROGUE(1929), a talkie continuation of his 'pirate' movies from the silents. It was also a recurring staple on WJZ late show (albeit with one of those Howard Hughes tv copies).

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by Michael O'Regan » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:11 pm

Presumably the original was a lot longer.
There's an original?
So, are there only shortened versions in existence?

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:41 pm

Michael O'Regan wrote:
Presumably the original was a lot longer.
There's an original?
So, are there only shortened versions in existence?
Don't know that the original release was "a lot" longer, but it seems to me there should have been more to Ann Pennington's performance. Lake's scenes, alas, would appear to have suffered NO attenuation. Only version known to me is TCM's; wish someone would use it to produce a new edition with Lake edited out altogether!

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by Richard Finegan » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:03 am

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Michael O'Regan wrote:
Presumably the original was a lot longer.
There's an original?
So, are there only shortened versions in existence?
Don't know that the original release was "a lot" longer, but it seems to me there should have been more to Ann Pennington's performance.
Also, Lloyd Hamilton was supposed to have been in it but is not in the currently available prints.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:46 am

Arthur Lake was weird, no two ways about it. But it's unique to base your career on being nerdish and ineffectual. He had the incredible luck to land the Blondie series, which ran for, I think, 13 years. Do not pass up a chance to see him in "Harold Teen" ('28), which I think is a L.o.C. preservation job -- it ran at Capitolfest a few years ago. Here's Lake as a dewy-eyed adolescent (I think he was already in his early 20s) and perfect for the part.
I saw Tanned Legs on AMC, back when the C in AMC meant something. I thought it was a bizarre production, an antique, but I liked one number the chorus girls performed, with mildly suggestive lyrics ("Come in the water, the water is fine!"), so I waited for a rebroadcast and taped just that number. It's the kind of feature that makes you realize how very, very distant we are from the entertainment styles of '29...and how visionary were the artists (Keaton, Ford, Hitchcock) whose early work needs no indulgence to hold an audience today.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:01 pm

Dave Pitts wrote: It's the kind of feature that makes you realize how very, very distant we are from the entertainment styles of '29...and how visionary were the artists (Keaton, Ford, Hitchcock) whose early work needs no indulgence to hold an audience today.
Indulgence? That's what would be required for me to endure a split-second of exposure to any pop-singer & "celebrity" alive today; actually, it would require hand-cuffs & shackles. But Tanned Legs has "held" me effortlessly through half a dozen viewings, despite my aversion to whiner Lake.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:19 pm

Exactly -- but regional film festivals like Capitolfest (my favorite) and the recently deceased Cinesation (another goodie) pull in vintage buffs from multi-state areas and still don't fill a movie house to capacity. I will watch just about any film from the studio era -- the earlier the better -- but most early films are a very tough sell for today's mass audience. It is the weirdest thing to consider that most of my contemporaries have zero interest in early film -- you could sit them down in front of Old Heidelberg ('27) or Love Me Tonight ('32) and they'd groan at the old-timey-ness of it all. I feel the same way about the 50s small-combo jazz I listen to -- blazingly vivid music -- or the country blues of the 20s and 30s -- another complete musical world to explore -- these are all the domain of a small, select group. I don't mind the very small group of admirers I'm in, except insofar as it limits the marketplace and hence the availability of the stuff I love. Another way to express it: I have a friend who teaches courses in film history at the university level; she says the students often roll their eyes when she announces that they'll watch a silent film. They think they know it all, that the film will be a bunch of ludicrous clichés and antique acting styles. The she'll throw a Keaton film or The Crowd or Sunrise at them and they'll be stunned by the power of the film. (Tanned Legs, though...you gotta be a buff. If you are, you'll find something to love in it, from the display of fashions to the vernacular to the sheer weirdness of a leading player like Mr. Lake.)

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:32 pm

Dave Pitts wrote: It is the weirdest thing to consider that most of my contemporaries have zero interest in early film -- you could sit them down in front of Old Heidelberg ('27) or Love Me Tonight ('32) and they'd groan at the old-timey-ness of it all.
A grim truth, of course; the pernicious effect, I think, of our popular culture, which deadens perception to all that isn't "Fast and Loud" (the name of a show on, believe it or not, History Channel).

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by N_Phay » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:56 pm

I love Ann Pennington, and was looking forward to seeing this because she is in it; I could not make it through this film, though, it's just terrible. The fact that this is nearly complete, while "Gold Diggers of Broadway" isn't surely is some kind of cruel cosmic joke on us all. I do really like that "You're Responsible" number though, that's a knockout. I like the bit in that where they're dancing and Pennington nearly falls over, that's adorable. I would still swap it for the party scene in "GDoBW" where Pennington dances the black bottom on the table.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:26 pm

N_Phay wrote:I love Ann Pennington...
Well, so do I, immensely--but that's no reason to ignore beautiful June Clyde, who had a lovely voice, and wasn't a bad dancer either--even if she couldn't do the Black Bottom. I'm not sure whether Dorothy Revier could sing or dance, but at exuding hot, she most certainly excelled.

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Re: TANNED LEGS (1929)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:31 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
N_Phay wrote:I love Ann Pennington...
Well, so do I, immensely--but that's no reason to ignore beautiful June Clyde, who had a lovely voice, and wasn't a bad dancer either--even if she couldn't do the Black Bottom. I'm not sure whether Dorothy Revier could sing or dance, but at exuding hot, she most certainly excelled.
You've seen this?

http://youtu.be/87gjzMzX6ng" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

And this?

http://youtu.be/1DyAmedI_sY" target="_blank" target="_blank

What 1929 picture were these taken from? Gold Diggers of B'way?

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