Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Benchley Movie "Syncopation" Recently Released on Blu-ray

Now available on Blu-ray director William Dieterle's Syncopation, starring Adolphe Menjou, Jackie Cooper, Bonita Granville, Tedd North and Robert Benchley. Recently restored and digitally remastered.

This musical chronicles the history of jazz music and features many of the most popular musical acts from the early 1940s, including Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman. The story centers on a trumpet player who falls for a young woman with an equal passion for music. Unfortunately, the girl is still grieving for her true-love whom she lost during the war. The trumpeter begins working to get the girl to trust her. He simultaneously tries to start a band. Songs include: "Goin' Up the River" (Dave Torbett, Leith Stevens), "You Made Me Love You" (Joseph McCarthy, James V. Monaco), "Only Worry for a Pillow," "Chicago Ragtime" (Stevens), "Under a Falling Star" (Rich Hall, Stevens, sung by Connie Boswell), and "Slave Market" (Hall Johnson).

1 comment:

Mr. Holznagel said...

Scandal! Robert Benchley isn't in this movie after all. I just watched it on Amazon. Benchley IS listed in the credits (as "Doakes") but never shows up.

Further investigation reveals this from the AFI:

"[The original version] ran 13,118 feet or 146 minutes. As evidenced by the inclusion in the CBCS list of several characters who do not appear in the film including those portrayed by Robert Benchley and Walter Catlett, the film was severely cut before its release at a running time of 88 minutes. Among the sequences filmed, but cut, was one in which "Johnny" finds his musical inspiration while living with hoboes."

The film is loaded with spots you'd *expect* to see Benchley doing a big -- speakeasies, jazz clubs, etc. As I say, scandalous that they cut him out.

Robert Benchley Society

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