Monday, July 09, 2007

Last Gasp from RKO

Another bottom-of-the-barrel goody, this time from RKO. While Columbia was the last man standing by 1957, RKO and Warners continued to produce comedy shorts until 1953 and 1956, respectively. Warners, with deeper pockets and, let's face it, better talent behind the cameras, was producing the best comedy shorts in the market when they finally decided to throw in the towel. The financially hemorrhaging RKO, on the other hand, was producing TV sitcom-ish bill fillers like the Newlyweds series with Robert Hutton and Elizabeth Frazer and shorts starring Gil Lamb. Lamb, an eccentric dancer with extensive stage experience, was an affable if unremarkable comic. Lanky, clownish, and rubbery, he seems as though he'd be better suited to character roles than headlining, especially in shorts as tired and by-the-book as this one. Lost in a Turkish Bath was the third to last original 2-reel comedy that RKO would release, although they would continue to reissue older and better titles until they closed shop in 1957. Hal Yates had been directing high-quality comedy shorts, primarily the Edgar Kennedy series, for RKO since 1944, but he's on autopilot here. Watch for George Givot, sans Greek accent, in his final appearance in a 2-reel comedy.

Part One

Part Two

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