The Sound of the Twenties: Vitaphone Shorts (1927-29)

Created by Warner Brothers to develop sound motion pictures, Vitaphone filmed musicians, vaudeville acts, and radio stars in its studios in New York and Los Angeles. Vitaphone sound technology consisted of a large turntable that played in sync with a theater's projectors; the soundtracks were contained on huge disks. Once the Vitaphone technology became obsolete, so did these shorts. But renewed interest in the vital popular entertainment of the 1920s has given them a new life: they are being preserved and prints are being made, to be projected on modern equipment. Besides a number of popular dance bands of the day, tonight's program offers the virtuosic showmanship of Bernardo de Pace, “the Wizard of the Mandolin,” and violinist Sol Violinsky, dubbed “the Eccentric Entertainer.” Comedy duos Sinclair and La Marr, Mayer and Evans, and Shaw and Lee provide a taste of vaudeville, as does the short “The Night Court,” starring a young William Demarest. And you won't want to miss the Police Quartette, “four singing cops from Hollywood.”

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.