Monday, 10 July 2017

Clobbering Slobbering Sylvester

Friz Freleng remarked how he really disliked Elmer Fudd as a character, but he put Elmer in one of my favourite Warners cartoons—Back Alley Oproar.

There’s so much artwork I enjoy, I could do a whole series of posts on this cartoon. But, for now, here are some frames from a scene when Elmer punches out singing Sylvester (eventually tying him up in a whirl of lines before stalking away).



Friz had some real winners for Warners about this time.

7 comments:

  1. The cartoon features some of my favourite sound effects by Treg Brown, especially the sequence of Elmer sliding up and down the greasy steps. Friz appeared to use Elmer Fudd in more diverse roles, asides from his hunter image, than any other director. This short, plus "Kit for Cat" and "Each Dawn I Crow" come to mind.

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  2. The cartoon was a remake of Notes To You. Out of all the directors, Freleng seemed to do the most remakes. He hated Elmer but he used Elmer instead of Porky (which was in Notes ToYou). He directed Dough For the Do-Do which was also a remake of Porky in Wackyland. All of the directors did these remakes and would use the same concept but would change characters.

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  3. What's interesting to me is to compare Notes to You to Back Alley Oproar; the latter is a great deal more sophisticated, and has a few classic gags (like the "Carissima" sung by the oafish cat). Good as Notes to You was, Back Alley Oproar shows why WB had assumed leadership in shorts.

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  4. Arthur Q. Bryan ask Elmer Fudd really gets a chance to shine in this cartoon, one of my favorites. I especially love how Sylvester, after lullabying Fudd to sleep and putting him to bed, gives him a little kiss on the head, then immediately launches into a one man marching band just to wake him up again! The sound effect as Fudd chases him is exactly what I imagine a runaway one man marching band would sound like!

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    Replies
    1. You never know where you're going till you get there,
      You never know where you're going till you get there...
      The sargeant told us "This is it!" we shoved off in the dark,
      We turned right into shore again and learned to disembark!
      You never know where you're going till you get there...
      You may be off to Egypt or to Nome.....

      This cartoon is the only place I've ever heard this scrap of a song - anyone know the source or the whole song?

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    2. It's by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne. It must have been used in a Warners war picture.

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  5. Also Sylvester marching up and down to "Hungarian Rhapsody" by Franz Liszt (sp?) and doing a Spike Jones thing later on, on "You're Just an Angel in Disguise" are also notable (pun) gags. And Friz actually remade his own cartoon by redoing "Notes to You", written, as "Back-Alley" was co-written by Mike Maltese, with Tedd Pierce co-writing "Back Alley..". SteveC.

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