The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926–1931


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About the Book

This study of early sound shorts begins with an explanation of the development of sound motion pictures in Hollywood by such influential companies as Warner Bros. and Fox, with an emphasis on short subjects, leading up to the first few months when all of the major studios were capable of producing them. The next chapters discuss the impact on other mass entertainments, the development of audible news reels and other non-fiction shorts, as well as the origins of animated sound subjects. A comprehensive list of pre–1932 American–made shorts completes the volume.

About the Author(s)

The late Edwin M. Bradley was the associate curator of film at the Flint (Michigan) Institute of Arts. He published four books on early Hollywood film.

Bibliographic Details

Edwin M. Bradley
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 560
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2009 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4319-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0684-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

I. History of the Early Sound Short      9
Chapter 1. Beginnings      11
Chapter 2. A Fox and a Pair of Jolsons      25
Chapter 3. Voices Carry      37
Chapter 4. Keeping Up      50
Chapter 5. Giving ‘Em What They Want      74
Chapter 6. News of the World      83
Chapter 7. Make Room for Mickey      93
Chapter 8. More Stars Than There Are in Brooklyn      102
Chapter 9. The End of the Beginning      120

II. Sound Shorts Filmography      133
Guide to the Filmography      135
Columbia      137
De Forest      147
Disney      150
Educational      155
Fleischer      181
Fox      188
MGM      207
Paramount      230
Pathé/RKO Pathé      257
RKO Radio      301
Hal Roach/MGM      313
Tiffany      327
Universal      333
Warner Bros./Vitaphone      360
Other Companies      452

Chapter Notes      467
Bibliography      473
Name Index      477
Title Index      506

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “well-researched…well-organized…exhaustive…detailed…highly recommended”—Choice
  • “an impressive volume…. Bradley should be commended for his conscientiousness and attention to this little-known and neglected field of movie history”—Classic Images
  • “richly detailed…exhaustive filmography”—Big Reel
  • “this big one is a winner…detailed…essential for anyone seriously interested in those wonderful treats they showed before the big feature”—In the Groove Magazine
  • “valuable”—Leonard