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The Band Beautiful (1928) HD online

The Band Beautiful (1928) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Short / Music
Original Title: The Band Beautiful
Released: 1928
Duration: 9min
Video type: Movie
The Ingenues are an 18-piece, all-women band. Dressed in matching frilly white dresses with flowers sewn on, they perform. They start with an up tempo piece featuring three brief solos. Then Frances, an accordion player, fronts the orchestra and leads them through a piece that features eight more accordions. A harp solo is followed by a cello duet. Then, more than a dozen banjos take over: after a few licks, they break into a spirited vocal of "Chasin' the Blues Away." Out come the woodwinds to join the brass and banjo in a version of "Tiger Rag." The orchestration includes bass, bassoon and kazoo. The women stand at the end.
Cast overview:
The Ingenues The Ingenues - Themselves

Vitaphone reel #2573.

Reviews: [8]

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    This was a great find. I got in the habit of recording these musical shorts on Turner Classic Movies whenever I see "One Reel Wonder" because I know it will be something rare and good. This is great because for being 1928 before sound even was in completely, this short sounds good. This short showcases a popular girl band playing popular songs of the time, mind you this was before the all-girl band sweeped the country in the 1940s. If you catch this your lucky.
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    It's amazing that a Hollywood studio in 1928 could discover a bevy of beautiful young women who were also extremely talented on a variety of instruments plus add vocal harmony when needed. Would you believe nine skilled accordion players or nearly two dozen adept banjo pickers in one small female orchestra? How about two dozen equally talented violinists within the same circle? There are even a tuba and other instruments taking the lead from time to time.

    If you're a music lover, you'll enjoy this Vitaphone nine-minute music extravaganza featuring jazz-oriented music put on celluloid during the Jazz Age. Note the 1920's hair styles of the belles, most sporting bobbed hair. Too bad no one has recorded (to my knowledge) the names of The Ingenues, but each one was a gifted musician, and the one named Francis (appellation on her banjo), who somewhat served as the leader of the band, should have become a star.
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    An early Vitaphone film, this Warner Brothers short apparently was one created using a very complicated system through which an accompanying record was synchronized with a movie camera. There were several serious setbacks for such a system (such as if a film skipped--it became out of sync for the rest of the film plus the records quickly wore out--and 20 showings was the normal life-span of the records) and even though it produced excellent sound, it was eventually replaced. The last of the Vitaphone films were made in 1930, then the studio switched to the standard sound-on-film system.

    This particular short has aged well. While almost all the Vitaphone shorts featured musical numbers, this one stands out for many reason. You'll of course notice that this is an all-girl band, but this is not the most important thing about this film. First and foremost, they sound great--and I really liked their songs (except when they sang--this was a bit thin). In addition, these ladies were amazingly talented, as they kept switching instruments. After the wonderful first number, one of them began playing the accordion (which did not impress me) but when eight others whipped out accordions as well, I was impressed. Next, they all began to play banjos in the next number! Finally, many switched to a fourth instrument in the next number! What immensely talented ladies--I was simply bowled over by them. Enjoyable and talented--this is one to see.
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    The Ingenues were an all female band of about 20 players that toured Europe, South America, South Africa and the States from 1925 into the late thirties. Performing at a variety of venues from concert halls, the stage, opening act at movie theaters the girls cut loose in this tight entertaining short that doesn't skip a beat.

    The multi talented young ladies in this brief set go from one instrument to another from tune to tune with little pause as the band switches to accordions with a brief harp and cello interlude then en masse don banjos for a rendition of "Banjo Blues" before tearing it up with a "Tiger Rag" finish in swinging orderly fashion.

    What flapper would not have wanted to be an Ingenue? In an era where young ladies were still expected to be seen and not heard this band of ladies looked like they were having the time of their life letting loose. The music and from what I can detect on screen an upbeat camaraderie among the players must have made for a rollicking lifestyle especially during the depression.

    After recently experiencing the disappointment of the latest great Hollywood musical at the plex, I'll spear you the title, I came upon this ten minute short and in no time at all was lifted from my despair. The Band Beautiful is a joy from end to end that doesn't waste a minute of your or The Ingenues time.
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    I have to credit Turner Classics for the opportunity to see these little known and not often seen Vitaphone film shorts; in fact they pretty much devoted an entire day to nothing but going back a couple of weeks. A good part of their offering included Big Bands from the 1930's era, but this one goes back right to the beginning of sound in films around 1928. The Band Beautiful consisted entirely of females called The Ingenues, and their sound was quite appealing and infectious. In presentation, they almost seemed like a novelty act, in as much as a good number of the women switched instruments for their successive numbers, going from traditional band instruments to accordions, banjos, and back to the more standard ensemble. They deal a nice blend of jazz tunes, capping things off with a lively rendition of 'Tiger Rag'. Take a bow, ladies!
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    The Band Beautiful (1928)

    *** (out of 4)

    Highly entertaining early sound short from Vitaphone features The Ingenues, an all-female band doing a few numbers. This type of short was very popular and all too common during the early sound era. After all, musical performances weren't something that was possible during the silent days so a wide range of musicals were made as features and the short subjects had various groups performing for the camera. Most of these shorts just featured one camera and appeared to record everything in one take. The big difference with this short is that it's clear there are more than one cameras catching all the action and it also appears that more than one take was done so that they could get various camera shots. I really don't recall too many of these Vitaphone shorts where they'd use close ups of various band members and give the viewer a closer look at what they're actually doing. As far as the band goes, they are very good and actually make you take notice of them. The short does a very good job at grabbing your attention and add in the good music and this here is certainly one of the best of its kind.
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    This was another musical short from the Vitaphone division of Warner Bros. I discovered on The Jazz Singer DVD. It starred an all-female band called The Ingenues playing various instruments with many playing the banjos and harmonicas. They also sang the Irving Berlin number "Shaking the Blues Away" though their voices weren't very clear next to the loud instruments playing. They also played "Tiger Rag" which is very well-known here as the theme of the LSU Tigers' football and basketball teams. I really enjoyed this one and since this review needs ten lines for submission, I'll also say there hasn't been a Vitaphone short included in the disc I haven't enjoyed yet. So on that note, I highly recommend The Band Beautiful.
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    . . . I would beg to differ a little, and at least rank the 1927 Yankees, the Scopes Monkey Trial, and even Floyd Collins (the real ACE IN THE HOLE) as bigger attractions from "The Ingenue's" own decade, not to mention opera at La Scala, the Kentucky Derby, or the First Battle of Bull Run (check your history books--the latter was EXTREMELY popular with the horse and carriage crowd) if you go back a little further. That being said, it IS somewhat entertaining to see a subset of The Ingenues troupe of 22 female musicians frenetically switching between banjos, trombones, accordions and whatnot as each of the five pieces they play in their THE BAND BEAUTIFUL 9 minute, 14.49-second set may require. Though I'm partial to the finale, "Tiger Rag," I honestly must admit that star soloisttrick trombonist Paula Jones did NOT make an indelible impression on my memory bank (as in, Which one was she?). So it goes.