The Scarlet Pumpernickel

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

We start with Daffy talking to Jack Warner, and pitching a new project to star in. More of that self-regarding, toadying self-promotional self-reflexivity. Evidently I don’t prefer the films that do that.

That is a fat horse! There’s Mama Bear, playing a harp in the background. Actually, this turns into a WB all-stars short, with Sylvester as the grand duke, in the same frame with Daffy, Elmer, etc. Like a lot of WB’s cameo fests, the results aren’t especially interesting. There are a couple of obsequious Errol Flynn references, which don’t really relate to Baroness Orczy’s 1905 novel, or the ’34 film version produced by the Kordas and starring Leslie Howard. But aren’t I being a stickler? Accuracy and provenance are very important, until we start getting pedantic about them.

At one point Daffy does does a really fantastic “yoicks, and away” swing. (Compare with 1958’s sublime Robin Hood Daffy, q.v.) After an enjoyably preposterous escalation of disasters—he’s still pitching a script, after all—the ending turns out to be something of a squib.