blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Booze Hangs High (1930, Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising)

It takes The Booze Hangs High nearly half its running time to have its first gag… but it’s worth the wait. An adorable little duckling tells its mother it needs to go number two. Without dialogue or visual followthrough, but the message is clear. And, all of a sudden, Booze starts getting better.

It starts off really rocky. Bosko, the lead, isn’t funny. Until the ducklings, the only interesting thing of note is the filmmakers seemingly not understanding bulls do not have udders.

But after the ducklings? Then Bosko feeds some pigs their slop (from a trash can) and the piglets find a liquor bottle. They proceed to get wasted. At that point, Booze gets a lot better.

Some of the problem is clearly the sound–directors Harman and Ising are still wowed with synchronized sound.

Whilethe animation detail is weak, the backgrounds are great.

Booze‘s tiring, but amusing.

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