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Hypnotized

Hypnotized(1932)

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The working title of this film was Little Gypsy. The opening credits introduce the film as "Hypnotized with Moran & Mack (The Two Black Crows)." George Moran and Charles Mack, two black-faced white comedians, became famous nationally in 1927 when they performed their "Two Black Crows" routine on a record. According to the Variety obituary for Mack, who died in an automboile accident in 1934, the recording broke sales records and established a vogue for dialogue records. The team, which had been established in 1917 in vaudeville and burlesque, soon became headliners in the Ziegfeld Follies, The Passing Show, George White's Scandals and Earl Carroll's Vanities and made two films for Paramount, Why Bring That Up? in 1929 and Anybody's War. The Variety obituary for Moran, who died in 1949, stated, "Although their deliveries were in caricature vein, it never brought criticism and they presumably had as many Negro fans as whites." In this film, Moran appears only in the beginning. In early drafts of the script in the Mack Sennett Collection at the AMPAS Library, there is no role for Moran, and Mack plays a character called "Henry Jackson," a name that by the final film was separated into "Egbert Jackson," Mack's role, and "Henry Johnson," Moran's brief role.
       This was Mack Sennett's last feature-length film and his first since 1930. The pressbook in the copyright descriptions states that Sennett had made only eight features. According to information in the Sennett Collection, W. C. Fields was originally considered for the role of "Professor Limberly." Gene Towne is listed along with the three writers who received screen credit for adaptation and dialogue in an early mockup of screen credits in the Sennett Collection, but he is not listed in subsequent information nor included in a list of twelve writers (other than Sennett) in the pressbook. It is not known if Towne contributed anything to the final film. The film includes a sequence in which animated mice dance in the ship's stateroom; according to the Sennett Collection, Gus Meins was involved in the production of this sequence. According to the pressbook, actor Charlie Murray was in Sennett's original Keystone comedy company. Marjorie Beebe performs her role in blackface. According to news items, the film was originally intended as a fifteen-reel road show production. Although advertisements bill the film as being eight reels in length, copyright records list only seven reels. According to the pressbook, the S.S. Emma Alexander was chartered from Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico, for filming the ocean cruise sequences. New York Times remarked concerning the scenes with the lion in the latter part of the film, "This animal submits to more literal tail-twisting than has any other lion in motion pictures. It seems miraculous that several of the players are not clawed and bitten, for this jungle beast is treated in a way that would cause any dog to use its teeth." Variety rated the film as "among the very worst since the entrance of sound."