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Harry Reser and His Eskimos (1936) HD online

Harry Reser and His Eskimos (1936) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Short / Music
Original Title: Harry Reser and His Eskimos
Director: Roy Mack
Released: 1936
Duration: 9min
Video type: Movie
Harry Reser leading his small orchestra, who are dressed in Eskimo attire, are the centerpiece of a musical comedy revue with an Eskimo theme. After a few numbers by Reser and the orchestra, Lynn Gordon, The Modernaires and The Three Yates Sisters, backed by Reser and the orchestra, take center stage for the number "You Hit the Spot". Then Reser ends the program with his banjo solo, once again backed by the orchestra.
Cast overview:
Harry Reser Harry Reser - Himself
The Three Yates Sisters The Three Yates Sisters - Themselves
The Modernaires The Modernaires - Themselves
Lynn Gordon Lynn Gordon - Herself

Vitaphone production reel #1983.

Reviews: [4]

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    Harry Reser & His Eskimos (1936)

    *** (out of 4)

    If you watch Turner Classic Movies enough then you know that various Warner/Vitaphone shorts usually show up at least twice a week. These one-reelers usually lasted under ten-minutes and today are a great reminder of what music use to be liked back in the day. If you've seen enough of these things you know that the studio was usually pretty good coming up with fresh ideas for stories and this one here is certainly original as Harry Reser and his band are inside an igloo where the band members are dressed up as Eskimos. 'You Hit the Spot' is without question the highlight of the short as we get Reser doing a terrific number but there's also The Modernaires doing the vocals and The Three Yates Sisters doing a very good tap dance. Another great number is 'Tiger Rag' which we hear at the very end. All the numbers performed are of a very high quality and even if you're not familiar with this type of music it's certainly good enough to where your feet should be wanting to dance along. The production values are actually quite high here as it seems like the studio spent a few extra dollars trying to make everything look as good as they could.
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    This is an interesting music video from 1936. Good music and lively dancing. The dancing is actually excellent as my feet were hurting when I was watching the short clip because their style looks very painful. This was made 70+ years ago and most, if not all, of the people in it have to be dead by now. Watch it with that in mind too. Just sit back and see how this kind of entertainment was offered to everyone. It probably played along with newsreels during the days before TV. They just don't have the big bands or the swing bands like they used to. This was just a few years before WWII so the innocence of America is on the surface. I doubt many or any, will look this short clip up on this site. I just wanted to leave something of my opinion for anyone who does.
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    "Harry Resor and His Eskimos" is an odd sort of confection that worked well back in the 1930s but today just looks amazingly weird! This is a Vitaphone musical short from Warner Brothers and in this decade, they made a ton of musical shorts. It all begins with Harry Reser and orchestra in Eskimo-type parkas on ice set with rainbow background. You can't help but notice this! Then, an ice man comes by and he delivers a few lame jokes. Oddly, then, a guy with a Hawaiian guitar (steel guitar that looks a lot like a banjo) begins to play! Yep...I always think of Eskimos and ice when anyone mentions Hawaii!! As for music, it was very smooth and mellow...and also featured an early electronic organ. Then, a lady from inside the igloo exits and begins to sing "You Hit The Spot"--followed by a male chorus which joins in and dancing girls do their thing. towards the end, a Banjo player on giant champagne bottle descends from the ceiling and you are left wondering 'what the heck did I just see?!'. The quality of the music was average for the time but the packaging was just plain weird--weird enough that I recommend you see it!
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    The Turner Classic cable channel ran a tribute to the 'Ninetieth Anniversary of Vitaphone Film Shorts' a couple of weeks ago and seeing as how it was running for the better part of an entire day I decided to DVR the whole batch. I'm glad I did, I don't know how or where else I'd get to see some of the fabulous entertainment of decades gone by.

    This is one that would have been greatly enhanced if done in color, when it opens we see the Reser Band performing inside a huge faux igloo wearing fur coats with hoods! The film utilizes a bit of a camera trick at one point when three huge inverted icicles on the band platform proceed to reveal The Yates Sisters who dance and tap up a storm.

    It's all quite entertaining, and the coup de grace has a banjo player descending from the ceiling on what looks like a huge bottle of wine! Actually, you couldn't tell what kind of bottle it was supposed to be because it had a cap like a beer bottle, with a strange set of vertical stripes lining it, running from top to bottom. The best you could assume given the venue was that it would have been well chilled!