Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Artists and Models -- 1937

I noticed the other day that TCM had Artists and Models scheduled, and so I set my DVR to record it.  I assumed it was the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie of that title -- which is about the comic book business -- and has lots of fun comic book content ("The Bat-Lady!") -- but I was mistaken.  What was shown was the 1937 Jack  Benny vehicle with the same title.  I'd known about this film -- having a piece of sheet music from it in my collection, but had never seen it.  I bought the sheet music, because it featured Benny (one of my favorite comedians) and also artwork by the great cartoonist Russell Patterson. If I had any idea what box it was stored in, I'd dig it out and scan it and include it here, but I'm not in the mood to go tearing through my storage closet right now.  

Anyhow -- turns out that the '37 Artists and Models is not a very good movie -- despite being directed by Raoul Walsh and having such talents as Jack Benny and Ida Lupino in it.  But it is of interest to artists and art fiends, because it features appearances by Russell Patterson, John  LaGatta, Rube Goldberg, McClelland Barclay, Arthur William Brown and the great New Yorker panel cartoonist Peter Arno.  There's also a bizarre musical number featuring puppets designed by Patterson, including "Esky,"  the Esquire magazine mascot. 

So that you don't have to suffer through this lousy movie to see the cool parts, I took some screen shots, and am sharing them here.

The titles have Russell Patterson images throughout.

The artists on stage at the Artists and Models ball.
John LaGatta.
Russell Patterson
Rube Goldberg
Goldberg with Jack Benny

McClelland Barclay
Peter Arno's drawing
Benny and Arno
Arthur William Brown
Benny and Patterson
Benny and LaGatta -- Brown in background
Benny and Barclay
Patterson-designed puppets musical number


That's all, folks!


Dave said...

I watched it strictly for Benny, but didn't realize that I'd seen it sometime in my childhood, for my memory of Esky was strong -- and disturbing -- though not as disturbing as Ben Blue lusting over those puppets (lusting over Judy Canova was bad enough ...).

Don't you mean Ida Lupino, rather than Colbert? (Unless I missed a cameo.)

And who knew Peter Arno was so handsome?

LUD! said...

Aw, man! I wanted to catch this, but missed it! I knew it would be Benny's Artists & Models, and knew about the classic cartoonists. Shucks!

BTW, Martin & Lewis' Artists & Models is one of my favorite movies ever! I wish they would release it on DVD (unless I'm mistaken and it is released)...

Terry Beatty said...

Oops! Ida Lupino, yes. That's what I get for writing my blog after having a bit too much wine with my supper. Will fix.

Jp Pollard said...

Thanks for taking the screenshots, Terry. Very cool stuff.

jaleen said...

Actually this movie is very telling of its times, the pivotal 1930s when being a model was finally respectable for debutantes to take up - hence the mixups that are key to its plot between model and society girl. The movie has some excellent performances by the comic characters. The plot does however have practically nothing to do with artists and models really - that being a famous catch phrase in use since the 'teens, for racy shows put on originally by the Society of Illustrators and then Shuberts chorus "leg shows". Oh, and Peter Arno was once voted Most Handsome Illustrator by top models, in 1939.