Yesterday I posted about the amazing George Mann home movie footage of Broadway in the late 1920s. Mann performed in a number of Earl Carroll reviews during that decade and in 1928 he was part of the seventh edition of ‘Earl Carroll’s Vanities’ along with W.C. Fields. Although Fields had appeared in a number of silent movies, his greatest success was still on the Broadway stage. The Fields we now know (and presumably love) was still in the future–the Paramount movies of the 30s were what made him an international star. Fields repertoire consisted of a number of routines that he performed over the years in different mediums. ‘The Dentist’, a 1932 short film directed by Mack Sennett, actually began its life as a Vaudeville sketch and then made its Broadway debut in the aforementioned 1928 Carroll review. George Mann was there to capture some of it on his 16mm camera. Above I’ve posted the still astounding clip from the movie where Fields operates on a long legged female patient (censors routinely cut the scene from prints of the film). I’ve also posted Mann’s home movie of the same moment from the version done on Broadway. By the way, though Fields and Carroll were associated in many Broadway ventures the great comedian never particularly liked his producer/employer. He once said he looked like ‘a preacher with an erection’…


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