The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
MOONLIGHT AND PRETZELS
Directed by Karl Freund • 1933
All the studios were trying to duplicate Busby Berkeley’s musical extravaganzas in 1933, but Universal’s effort stands out for its low-budget sincerity and its related shamelessness: the climactic “Dusty Shoes” number is an undisguised rip-off of “Remember My Forgotten Man,” likely conceived and choreographed in an afternoon shortly after Gold Diggers of 1933 opened. The show starts with washed-up singer Roger Pryor flirting with small-town record store operator Mary Brian. His love song to her spurs great Broadway success and the follow-up, Moonlight and Pretzels, promises a characteristic mix of romantic ambition and a disarmingly common touch. (What other musical, even in the ultratopical ‘30s, boasts a song as straightforwardly proletarian as “I’ve Gotta Get Up and Go to Work”?) Directed with considerable panache by once-and-future cameraman Karl Freund in between his twin masterpieces of the ’30s horror cycle (The Mummy and Mad Love), Moonlight and Pretzels emerges as the fullest expression of a particular kind of musical ethos prior to Corn’s-A-Poppin
80 min • Universal • 35mm from Universal
Cartoon: Betty Boop in “Boop-Oop-A-Doop” (1932, Dave Fleischer) – 35mm
Soundies: Spike Jones and His City Slickers, 16mm courtesy Chicago Film Archives