Mickey's Medicine Men (May 18, 1934)

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Mickey's Medicine Men
 

Released on May 18, 1934: The Mickey McGuire gang puts on a medicine show selling snake oil to help pay for Uncle Nemo's hospital bill.

Produced by Larry Darmour

Directed by Jesse Duffy

The Actors: Mickey Rooney (Mickey McGuire), Billy Barty (Billy McGuire), Marvin Stephens (Katrink), Jimmy Robinson (Hambone Johnson), Shirley Jean Rickert (Tomboy Taylor), Bobby Lentz (loud 3 year old), Spencer Bell (man with gout), Robert McKenzie (angry motorist)

 

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Let's Put on a Show

If you are a fan of the movies of the 1930's and 1940's you know the theme of 'Let's Put on a Show' . . . The premise is that several folk, usually teens or young adults, are in need of some money fast, so they decide to put on a show to raise the money. This plot line gives the opportunity for singers, musicians and dancers to perform in the movies without the story being an outright musical. Possibly the most famous movie with this plot is the 1939 movie "Babes in Arms" with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, directed by the famous Busby Berkeley. I'm not sure where that plot line originated, but I can find no earlier example than this 1934 comedy short, also starring Mickey Rooney. Coincidence? . . . Who knows? In this example, taxi driver Nemo Johnson, 'Uncle Nemo,' wrecks his jalopy taxi and is in the hospital, and the McGuire gang promise him that they will drive his taxi and earn the money for his hospital bills. It looks like having pre-teen kids driving a car in the city in 1934 was all right . . . and not just a car, but a taxi for hire . . . I guess drivers licenses and taxi chauffeur licenses weren't an issue then, and anyone of any age could drive a car . . . very different from today . . . anyway . . . The kids wreck the taxi with their first fare, and now must earn money to pay for the accident as well as Uncle Nemo's hospital bill. Fortunately a medicine show has just come to town, and after watching the show and seeing the 'easy money' that the medicine show is raking in, Mickey decides that the gang will put on a medicine show to earn the money that they need. Now this show isn't like the later 'let's put on a show' plots, because it was not a device to show off the singing and dancing talents of the actors, but rather to provide a plot angle for more hilarious comedy. Pop a little bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the short comedy show.

James Robinson
James Robinson
James Robinson and Mickey Rooney
James Robinson and Mickey Rooney
Jimmy 'Hambone' Robinson in 1934
Jimmy 'Hambone' Robinson in 1934
Jimmy Robinson, Mavin Stephens and Mickey Rooney
Jimmy Robinson, Mavin Stephens and Mickey Rooney
Jimmy Robinson and Mickey Rooney and Billy Barty
Jimmy Robinson and Mickey Rooney and Billy Barty
Marvin Stephens
Marvin Stephens
Marvin Stephens and Mickey Rooney
Marvin Stephens and Mickey Rooney
Marvin Stephens, Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Marvin Stephens, Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Mickey Rooney, Jimmy Robinson and Billy Barty
Mickey Rooney, Jimmy Robinson and Billy Barty
Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Robinson
Mickey Rooney sells snake oil
Mickey Rooney sells snake oil
Shirley Jean Rickert
Shirley Jean Rickert