Thursday, January 06, 2011

Netflix Find: It's Showtime (1976)

When I was younger, I used to spend hours in my local video store (Video Systems, Holler!) discovering tons of movies that I was curious to see. The Watch Instantly feature of Netflix has become my new Great American Video Store. There are quite literally thousands of titles just sitting there waiting to be discovered. A good number of recent additions are movies not available on DVD or even VHS.

This morning while searching for artwork for another post, I stumbled across the poster for a movie called "It's Showtime." Let's look at the number of reasons this movie was quickly elevated to Must-See Status. First, look at this awesome poster! I love movie posters that are cartoony illustrations of the cast. Second, I love clip movies - compilations of scenes from other movies. They don't really make these anymore, but I discovered them a few years ago and they are great fun. In the 60's and 70's, there were several documentaries on classic cinema released. They are fun, bouncy, and very silly. Last, I love animal movies - especially when an animal is talking and/or wearing clothes. I like the sentimental more realistic animal movies too, but if you put an animal in clothes and then get him to talk...that's movie magic in my book! All these things aside, I would also plop down money sight unseen to view a movie with the title It's Showtime.

So, anywho...after seeing this mind-blowing poster I headed over to Netflix on the off chance they had a copy of this fine film to borrow. Turns out they don't have a DVD of it, but you can watch it streaming to your computer or TV...which is exactly what I did later that evening!

It's Showtime is kind of a jumbled mess. It's mostly JUST clips of various animal scenes from movies from the silent era up through the 1960's. There are a few segments devoted to types of animals: horses, dogs, cats and monkeys. Then there are also segments of the film spotlighting specific animal movie stars. Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, and Flipper are all featured as well as some lesser known animal stars. My kids were laughing hysterically throughout the clips featuring Daisy from the old Columbia Pictures Blondie films. Which got me to thinking, there really aren't a whole lot of Blondie movies out on DVD. And that's a shame.

Usually, when I watch this type of movie-movie, I keep a pen and paper handy to jot down the names of movies mentioned that I'd like to hunt down. Alas, the narration in It's Showtime is kept to a minimum, so you really have no idea what movies you are seeing clips from. Still, if you like animals, old movies or bizarre packages of old movie clips you should check out this wacky little relic of Hollywood history. You'll go APE for it...or...it's DOG gone good. Oh wait, It's purrrrfectly awesome. Nevermind.

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