THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
September 11, 2014 posted by

“Goofy Gus and his Omnibus” (1934)

It’s been a fascinating week here at Thunderbean. I’m back from a trip to New York (more about that soon) and working on some new revisions and cleanup.

Here’s a small, less-than-formal announcement about new Thunderbean Blu-rays, some already announced, others new:

• A blu-ray set of Flip the Frog cartoons, licensed from Film Preservation Associates.

• A Blu-ray of Lou Bunin Films, including a restoration of Alice in Wonderland.

• A new collection of Mid Century Modern cartoons, concentrating on one studio’s output

• A Blu-ray set of Van Beuren cartoons, mostly if not all from 35mm

• Private Snafu Blu-ray.

plus two sets of live action material that will be announced soon. We’re spending a good amount of time of Flips right now, and working with the original materials preserved at UCLA and other archives.


Goofy-Gus-title

MEET GOOFY GUS!

I especially like hearing a title for a cartoon starring a character that you know didn’t make it. The fact that so many of these things exist is at times astonishing, but I’m happy that prints are around on the odd things, sometimes in 35mm, but more likely in 16mm. Because there was a market for non theatrical rental, many of these one shot films have survived in 16mm rental prints.

Goofy Gus and his Omnibus (in “No Fare”) fits into that category. With it’s scratchy surviving print and Mickey Mouse-esque design, you could almost think that this cartoon is a spoof of old animated films, ala “Elmo Aardvark”. Goofy was very much real though, and here is the proof.

Arch Fritz provides the music, who is really Carl Stalling. Stalling used this same name at least once before, perhaps because he was recording soundtracks for Iwerks at the same time. What is especially interesting about this film is that has a pretty good team behind it. Besides Stalling, the animators on the film include Judge Whitaker and Gil Turner. Monte Collins directed this 1934 film according to the credits, and it’s hard to say if this is Collins the comedian, writer and actor, or an unknown person.

Have a good week all!

14 Comments

  • Steve:
    An amusing short.I wonder if the boys at Warner Bros.had seen this one,”cause the scene of Gus inside the cab reminded me of the interesitng angle shot inside the train’s cab in Porky’s Railroad and the large female fare trying to enter the taxi was reminesent of the gag in Smile Darn Ya Smile! ,where Foxy’ was trying to shoehorn his passenger into the train! Thanks again for sharing!

    • Although it irises out pretty quickly, I sorta dig the big of the fat lady getting soak and suddenly appears slim and hot when she starts walking away. That was a clever bit.

  • Great cartoon!

  • Film Daily mentioned the Gus series a couple of times. Weekly Variety wrote on May 2, 1933:

    Organizing Sunrise Pictures Corp. to produce a cartoonics, Jacob Conn, former Providence, R. I., theatre operator, will produce a series of ‘Goofy Gus and His Omnibus’ cartoons. His partners are Lew Robertson, part owner of the Strand, Providence, and Frank Webb. First cartoon will be completed this week, when Conn win take a print to New York to seek a release.

    Film Daily said the character was Webb’s, so it’s odd he’s not in the credits.

    • That is kinda odd for him not to be credited at all (also interesting it had to be theater owners behind this but it makes sense), yet I think I learned a new word from that article, “Cartoonics”!

  • Cool article Steve, one of my favorite ‘cultoons’ 😉
    I found a reference in Film Daily that the distributor of the film was the ‘J. H. Hoffberg Company’.

  • Going all Blu-Ray, huh? All the more reason to jump on the bandwagon (and maybe invest in one of those USB BluRay drives or somethin’…)

    I’m definitely looking forward to the Flip set (with the bonus Willie Whoppers if that’s still possible) and the Van Beuren set. You’re doing the right thing, Steve!

  • Let us know when we can pre order.

  • Monte Collins directed this 1934 film according to the credits, and it’s hard to say if this is Collins the comedian, writer and actor, or an unknown person.

    Whoever he was, he definitely comes off like someone who simply thought “Yeah, I’ll try my hand at this animated cartoon stuff.” While I love some of the animated moments in this, the pacing came off rather peculiar to say the least, namely in the way it stretches out certain things beyond what I felt should be appropriate time-wise (the part with the hen or the lazy cow pulling a cart), but I suppose you could say this was all part of the learning process. Obviously some of these people mentioned went on to other better things in their careers, but I suppose this “Monte Collins” figured this cartoon business wasn’t his thing.

  • Thanks, Steve – we must collaborate on a film show somewhere, sometime! I have my doubts that “Monte Collins” is actually the comedian from a zillion short subjects, but do not know this for a fact, Depends on when No Fare was produced. He was usually billed as Monty Collins and at one point teamed with Harry Langdon cohort (and future 3 Stooges nemesis) Vernon Dent for a series of silent and early talkie comedy shorts produced for Educational release by Jack “Preston Black” White. My guess is that, since he was a supporting player in RKO’s Clark & McCulliough comedies in 1933 and working in Columbia 2-reelers in 1934, it was someone else with that name or a pseudonym who made this cartoon. One claim to fame for Collins: he delivers the second bit of dialogue, after the ever-ubiquitous Bud Jamison, in the first Columbia 3 Stooges opus, Woman Haters.

    • Would love to sometime sooner than later Paul!

  • Since you have access to the original elements for Flip, does this mean there won’t be any edited prints, like the Bosko Video VHS tapes had?

    • I would assume there wouldn’t be any unless the original film elements weren’t tempered in any way over the years.

    • That’s the goal…finding the best material to pull and transfer. Most of the films have multiple elements, so there are negs, master positives, dupe negs, etc… almost all with a different title card! The protection material on many of them is in beautiful shape (the lavender master positives) and there’s often one of those with the MGM title and one with the Celebrity Pictures title.

Leave a Reply to Chris Sobieniak Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *