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VARIETY JUBILEE


"VARIETY JUBILEE" GB 1943 93mins

Reginald Purdell, Lesley Brook, Ellis Irving, George Merritt, Arthur Hambling, Pat McGarth, Louis Bradfield.
GB (1943) - 92 mins Re-issued by Butchers (cut) in 1945 and 1949
Directed by Maclean Rogers : Produced by F. W. Baker
Screenplay by Kathleen Butler - Based on a story by Mabel Constanduros
Photography - Geoffrey Faithfull
Production and Release by Butcher's Film Service

Reginald Purdell ............... Joe Swan
Ellis Irving ........................ Kit Burns
Lesley Brook ................... Evelyn Vincent
Marie Lloyd Jnr .............. Marie Lloyd
Tom E. Finglass ............... Eugene Stratton
John Rorke ...................... Gus Elen
Betty Warren .................. Florrie Forde
Pat McGrath ................... Pat
George Merritt ............... Chairman
Arthur Hambling, Louis Bradfield
George Robey, Charles Coburn, Ella Retford, Charles Shadwell
Joan Winters (Charles Shadwell's daughter), Nat D. Ayer,
Slim Rhyder, Tessa Deane, Ganjou Brothers & Juanita, Wilson,Kepple & Betty,
Band of HM Coldstream Guards

Kit Burns and Joe Swann, variety artists, are staunch friends even when Kit marries Joe's dancing partner Evelyn. Swann fights in the Boer War where a bullet puts an end to his dancing days. He goes to work on the staff at Burns' Music Hall where Kit junior soon finds a place in his affections. However he is killed in World War One but leaves a son (also called Kit). The Music Hall falls on hard times and the old Kit and Evelyn die in poverty. Swann ends as doorman on the theatre while the youngest Kit goes off to fight in the Second World War.

(Issued on 9.5mm sound in the UK by Pathescope Ltd :- T.9731 June 1953 as a 9 reel feature -
Judging by the length of the 9.5mm copy, this is probably the Butcher's re-issue version which had 2042ft (in 35mm) - about 18 minutes cut from it.
The Pathescope boxes were marked "in accordance with the terms of the copyright, this film is supplied on the understanding that it must not be screened after 30th September 1959".)

The following acts, artistes and songs are featured:-

(Footage of some acts was used in other 35mm films such as 
"Those Were The Days" and the "Highlights Of Variety" series.)
"I Stopped & Looked & Listened"               George Robey 
"The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo"   Charles Coburn 
"Take Me Back To Blighty"                     Ella Retford
"Pack Up Your Troubles"                       Ella Retford
"Tipperary"                                   Ella Retford
"Richmond Hill"                               Joan Winters, Charles Shadwell 
"Down With The Curtain"                       Charles Shadwell
Comic Bicycle Act                             Slim Rhyder
"Keep The Home Fires Burning"                 Tessa Deane
"A Little Of What You Fancy"                  Marie Lloyd Jnr (as Marie Lloyd)
"Lily Of Laguna"                              Tom E. Finglass (as Eugene Stratton)
"Arf A Pint Of Ale"                           John Rorke (as Gus Ellen) 
"In The Twilight"                             Betty Warren (as Florrie Forde)
"Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?"                Betty Warren (as Florrie Forde)
Adagio Act: "Romance in Porcelain"            Ganjou Brothers & Juanita 
(Music - "The Blue Danube")
"Sand Dance"                                  Wilson, Keppel & Betty 
(actually only Wilson & Keppel - there is no sign ot Betty here!!)
The "Can Can Dance"                           The Six Can Can Dancers
(Music from "Orpheus In The Underworld")
Dances                                        The Jubilee Girls
Dances                                        The Plantation Girls
"Song Of The Marching Men"                    Nat D. Ayer & the Band Of H.M. Coldstream Guards
                                              Conducted by Captain J C Windram
Notes:

1. Charles Shadwell was Conductor of the BBC Variety Orchestra. He became Radio's Number One Stooge, being used as a "foil" by many comedians including Vic Oliver and Tommy Handley. Publicity material for the film claimed Charles played "The Spice Of Life " which was the opening theme of radio's "Music Hall" series. However he actually performs "Down With The Curtain" which was the same show's closing theme.

2. "Ganjou Brothers & Juanita" was a top Adagio Act : The Brothers were Polish (Serge. Bogdan & George Ganjoulevitch) and Juanita was played by several different girls. In this film she is Joy Marlowe, who became Serge's wife. Their musical director was George's wife, Adele. The act disbanded in 1956.

3. At the time of filming Charles Coburn was 91

4. "Wilson, Keppel And Betty", were for thirty years one of the top speciality acts in British Variety. Billed as "Eccentric Dancers", the team were originally Jack Wilson, Joe Keppel and Betty Knox. Jack from Liverpool and Joe from Cork were an acrobatic tap dance duo in America and teamed up with Betty in 1928, but when they came to Britain in 1932, she was succeeded by her daughter (also called Betty). This replacement retired in 1941 (to go into journalism) when the role went to her daughter (Patsy Knox). Subsequently there were other people who were "Betty", but in this film she is nowhere to be seen! The trio can also be seen in "Soft Lights And Sweet Music", which was made in 1936 when Betty Knox will be the girl. The Act achieved a degree of infamy when they played the Wintergarten Berlin in 1936. No less a person than Dr Goebbels complained that the bare legs of the two men were "bad for the morals of the Nazi Youth" and suggested that they should wear long trousers!
Their music ("Ballet Egyptienne") was arranged by a then unknown piano player, Hoagy Charmichael. The trio used his work for at least three decades. It would appear they may have filmed more than one routine for "Variety Jubilee" - but only "Sand Dance" is in the Nine Five print.

(Most of the above information comes from the "Complete Guide to Pathescope 9.5mm Optical Sound Films" researched and published by Maurice Trace at 15 post free.)


See the first 10 minutes of "Variety Jubilee" on You Tube: http://youtu.be/CGU6fCfhgbc 09Nov2013

The complete film is now available (Nov2013) in the UK on DVD from Renown (Amazon, Moviemail etc)


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CreatedOct2005 ...... Last updated 11 November 2013 ...... 95flmdancevar.htm ...... Grahame .L. Newnham MMV