"The Scarlet Pumpernickel" (1950) Breakdown Thread

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Thad
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"The Scarlet Pumpernickel" (1950) Breakdown Thread

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:08 pm

Image
Directed by: Charles M. Jones
Story: Michael Maltese
Animation: Philip Monroe, Ben Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris
Layout: Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds: Peter Alvarado
Voice Characterizations: Mel Blanc
Music: Carl Stalling

Series: Looney Tunes
Release Date: March 4, 1950
Blue Ribbon re-release 1958
Production Number: 1105
MPAA Number: 13373

Synopsis: Daffy (Dumas) Duck is telling "J.L." how he's sick of Warner Brothers typecasting him in comedy. He wants a dramatic part - and fortunately he's written "the very [10,000+ page] script we've been looking for!" In The Scarlet Pumpernickel, Daffy plays the titular character, a highway man in "Merry Olde England" always on the run from the lord Lord High Chamberlain's (Porky Pig) men. The Lady Melissa is in love with S.P., but H.C. is adamant she stay away from "that masked stinker!" He gets the idea of marrying her to the Grand Duke (Sylvester the Cat) as a means of luring the Scarlet Pumpernickel to town. The plan succeeds, with the duck arriving in town, "masquerading as a [snuff sniffing] gentleman". But Scarlet also succeeds, rescuing Melissa in spite of his heroic stunts lacking an Errol Flynn flair. Scarlet stows Melissa away at the inn, but the Duke discovers her and attempts to force his presence upon the helpless damsel. Scarlet arrives just in time (through the wall) and a sword fight ensues. At this point, all hell breaks lose in Daffy's convoluted script, with the dam breaking, the volcano erupting, and the price of kosher sky-rocketing. J.L. is not impressed, so Daffy tops it all off by shooting himself in-person. "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"

Notes/Trivia:

- Parody of the 1934 film adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Daffy and Sylvester taking on Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone type roles respectively.

- An all-star cast. The only time Daffy, Porky, Sylvester, Mama Bear, Henery Hawk, and Elmer Fudd all appeared in the same short.

- Elmer Fudd is voiced by Mel Blanc, not Arthur Q. Bryan, in this short.

- Used in Episode 20 (Production #1598) of The Bugs Bunny Show, airing February 21, 1961.

- Ranks at #31 in Jerry Beck's The 50 Greatest Cartoons (1994).

- Two positive animator IDs: Ken Harris animates the scene of Daffy visiting Porky and Sylvester, and the latter two's laughing fit. Ben Washam animates the attempted rape.

Video Availability:
Daffy Duck: The Nuttiness Continues (WHV, VHS, 1985)
Looney Tunes Curtain Calls (WHV, Laserdisc, 1992)
Carrotblanca (WHV, VHS, 1996)
Looney Tunes: The Collector's Edition - Vol. 2 - Running Amuck (Columbia House, VHS, 2000)
Looney Tunes Golden Collection (WHV, DVD, 2003)

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Screenshots #1

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Screenshots Part #1 (sorry, they disappeared from the initial post, for some reason...)
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Postby Thad » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:11 pm

Screenshots #2
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Postby Thad » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:12 pm

Screenshots #3
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Matt the Y
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Postby Matt the Y » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:55 pm

All I can say is that THIS is the way a cartoon to fit in as many WB cartoon "star" characters (we get Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Elmer Fudd, Henery Hawk, and Mama Bear all in the same cartoon) SHOULD be done. Nowadays (ever since the 1980's actually), there have been like a dozen modern-day revival cartoons in which a thousand WB characters share the same screen-time all at once but, aside from this and maybe one or two others, there really weren't a lot of them in the classic days. Here, however, it works very, very well!

Also, it's kind of ironic that the WB cartoon director who most likely had the most amount of contempt for J(ack) L. Warner, Chuck Jones (who would brazenly make up lies about the man to slander his name years later in interviews and biographies) would actually direct a cartoon where the main character has a face-to-face interaction with him (J.L.'s face is hidden, of course, but still....).

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Postby looneytooney » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:44 pm

Thad wrote:Image
- Two positive animator IDs: Ken Harris animates the scene of Daffy visiting Porky and Sylvester, and the latter two's laughing fit. Ben Washam animates the attempted rape.


Phil Monroe, I believe, animated the opening scene of Daffy pitching the large screenplay to J.L.

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Postby speedy fast » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:13 am

Thad wrote:J.L. is not impressed, so Daffy tops it all off by shooting himself in-person. "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"


I always got the sense that J.L. did get impressed by the end. I thought his "Is that all?" line was basically him hoping for more.

The ending with Daffy shooting himself would be edited in various ways on television. In the Nickelodeon airings, the shot of Daffy shooting himself was replaced with an outside shot of the hallway. On Cartoon Network, the scene merely faded to black after Daffy responds "Is that all?"

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Postby The "Chase" » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:41 pm

speedy fast wrote:On Cartoon Network, the scene merely faded to black after Daffy responds "Is that all?"


Not the way I remember it. After the kosher scene, the shot would stay there (J.L. and Daffy will still say "Is that all", but it doesn't fade, just, I presume, freezes on that scene), then it would cut to the scene where Daffy says "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"

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Postby Glowworm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:06 pm

The "Chase" wrote:Not the way I remember it. After the kosher scene, the shot would stay there (J.L. and Daffy will still say "Is that all", but it doesn't fade, just, I presume, freezes on that scene), then it would cut to the scene where Daffy says "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"

That's the way I remember it too, in fact I think they actually skipped from the volcano to the Kosher food scene--without even mentioning the food part. It was insane.
"Do you smell brimstone?"-Bugs Bunny

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Postby speedy fast » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:28 pm

I checked the Censored Looney Tunes page, and according to that Cartoon Network actually edited the ending both ways in different broadcasts.


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