Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stock Footage Hell: Jail Bait (1954)

It's been a while since I picked on Ed Wood, so let's get right down to it!

Jail Bait is one of his more forgotten films, although it is in one of the box sets, and rightfully-so.  It's very stock and not all that funny.  Even so, it has one of Ed's craziest uses of stock footage...

A pair of thieves (a pro and a novice) rob a theater after a show.  Apparently to 'establish the setting,' we have to see the film's entire act.  As Crow T. Robot once said 'They're establishing the hell out of that place!'  To put it simply, they're running a 'minstrel (read: old timey racism) show.'  Finally, a segment that also works with Great Moments in Race Relations! 

Of course, Ed didn't film this part.  No, he just lifted from a full-on 'minstrel' film called Yes Sir, Mr. Bones

Why?  Does it help the plot in any way?  No.  The answer is simple: racism was popular and this five-minutes or so helped the film reach it's time quota.  That's Ed Wood for you!

Up next, it's one thing to see a cheap use of stock footage.  It's another thing to see it twice- by the same director no less!  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I love stock footage....
    I want to get a 150-million dollar loan and use it to start The Stock Footage Channel.

    ReplyDelete