GONE TO THE DOGS
Australia, 1939, 83 minutes, Black and white.
George Wallace, Lois Green, John Dobble, John Fleeting, Ronald Whelan, Alec Kellaway, Letty Craydon, Kathleen
Esler, Howard Craven, Harold Meade, Lou Vernon, George Lloyd, Harry Abdy, Reginald Collins, Jack Settle.
Directed by Ken G. Hall.
Gone to the Dogs was the second George Wallace vehicle made by Ken G. Hall. The first was Let George Do It. Wallace, a popular vaudeville comedian, had made several film for Frank Thring, Sr.: His Royal Highness, Harmony Row. Wallace collaborated with Hall's regular writer Frank Harvey for this popular concoction which included a number of jokes, farcical situations and song and dance routines - in the popular Australian context of racing, greyhound racing.
George Wallace was an amiable personality - the little awkward man, somewhat foolish, a comparison with the comics of vaudeville and silent films. Huge John Dobbie is a good companion to Wallace, along the lines of Of Mice and Men. Stage musical star Lois Green joins with song and dance routines. Others in Hall's regular supporting cast join Gone to the Dogs. There are some humorous routines in the zoo where Dobbie and Wallace do gorilla routines, a chase through a haunted house and a mad plane flight. The musical number, Gone to the Dogs, is choreographed and rather elaborately filmed along the lines of American musicals e.g. of the Judy Garland- Mickey Rooney Babes on Broadway, Girl Crazy style.
1. Characteristics of Australian comedy? The '30s and Roy Rene and George Wallace? Background of theatre and vaudeville? Funny one-liners, situations, farce, song and dance? Comparisons with American and British comedians of the time?
2. The film as a George Wallace vehicle: personality, size, pratfalls, awkwardness, the little man, the simple man, the honest man, song and dance, all's well that ends well?
3. Black and white photography, the choreography for the musical number, the speeding up of the greyhound racing. the races. the zoo, the haunted house, the plane? Special effects?
4. George and Henry - their friendship, the boarding house, the people at the boarding house, the greyhound kennels, the zoo and the keepers, the head of the zoo and his disapproval of them, Mr. Inchape and his son and daughter? The comedy of the gorilla routine? The chase through the zoo? George as bashful with Irene Inchape and the mock romanticism? The laboratory assistant and his taking over and the experiment? Henry and his ventriloquism and the scene with Aloysius, the dog, in the hotel? The kidnapping of the champion dog? George and Henry's pursuit? The trip through the haunted house and their escape? The humour of the plane trip? The happy ending and the winning of the race? The comedy duo?
5. Henry and George and the variation on the Of Mice and Men couple?
6. Henry and Jean as hero and heroine? The vet, their quarrels, wanting to find the formula? The romantic song and the Gone to the Dogs routine? Mrs. McAllister? The pleasant people at the boarding house? The races and the final success?
7. The range of villains, spies and their plans? Dr. Sundermann as the mad scientist? His henchmen. especially mad Jack and the stealing and changing of the dogs?
8. The Australian image, ordinary people, attitudes, the races. good and bad, values?