Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oscar winning Best Live Action Short Film Color 1937

Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film:
Best Short Subject, Color
In 1936 and 1937 there were three separate awards in this category

Meatless Meals 1936
Jean Prescott Adams
Best Short Subject, One-reel 1936 - 1956
Best Short Subject, Two-reel 1936 - 1956
Best Short Subject, Color was used only 1936 - 1937   

This discontinued Academy Award category only existed those two years.
Another similar category at that time: Short Subject, Cartoon

The category was eliminated because short color films were becoming the standard.

Winner of Best Live Action Short Film, Color 1937

David Miller's Penny Wisdom, an MGM Pete Smith Specialty film. A comedic instructional film with household and cooking tips. Pete Smith is the narrator.

A short situational comedy with the Smudge family. The Smudge family cook quits just before the husband calls to say he's bringing the boss and a client home for dinner. As it would happen, the wife's culinary skills are minimal. This is a fun early film for foodies.

Prudence Penny, as Herself, appeared through the courtesy of the Los Angeles Examiner two films. Gertrude Short and Harold Minjir are Mr. and Mrs. Smudge. William Worthington is the boss, their dinner guest. A fast and inexpensive dinner is prepared. Saving time and money is always a good thing.

Tips given in the film include:
  • Add peanut butter will remove burned taste from creamed soup 
  • Salt will help to remove onion odor from your hands
  • Parboil carrots and potatoes before baking cuts baking time by 20 minutes
  • Hold a tomato over a burner (heat source) to help the skin come off easier
  • Lemon juice will revive an old head of lettuce
  • Boiling a citrus fruit such (such as an orange) will get you twice the juice

They create a form of Baked Alaska for dessert. You often see this made with some kind of cake included: ice cream, sponge cake and meringue.  

When the dessert is flambĂ©ed, usually called Bombe Alaska, it is splashed with dark rum then set alight. 

In 1954, at the 26th Academy Awards Pete Smith received an Honorary Oscar for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of Pete Smith Specialties.

At that same ceremony another honorary award went "To Joseph I. Breen for his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code."

Menu was another Pete Smith Specialty film for foodies

Retro, Vintage,
Rockabilly Aprons
  "Marian Manners and Prudence Penny were pseudonyms for the cooking instructors and writers, and later the food editors, of the Los Angeles Times and Hearst newspapers, respectively. ....

"While there was only one Marian Manners at a time, there were many Prudence Pennys. Because wiring a recipe via telegraph was costly, each Hearst newspaper employed a local writer and culinary instructor to play the role. 

"Though the identity of the first Los Angeles Prudence Penny is unclear, the former editor of a California poultry industry newsletter, Mabelle Burbridge, took on the role at the New York Daily Mirror. 

"The Chicago Herald-Examiner's first Prudence was Leona Malek, formerly the domestic science director at a Chicago slaughterhouse (information politely left out of her bio once she became Prudence)."
-- Marian Manners and Prudence Penny, The first celebrity cooks; Los Angeles Times April 2009

Prudence Penny, the actress in the short films, is usually called "Herself." Occasionally she's identified as Leona A. Malek. We can find books on cooking and the art of housekeeping by this author and by Leona Alford Malek. But it turns out that even this is a pseudonym for Jean Prescott Adams.

So look to Prudence Penny, Herself, Leona A. Malek or Jean Prescott Adams, and Miss Marian Manners for help if you need it. I've got a friend who collects vintage cookbooks. Another friend has pages from old cookbooks on the wall of her kitchen. There's a stunning colorful architectural Jell-O mold ready to thrill the whole family.

The 1936 winner in this category was Give Me Liberty by Warner Brothers.

All awards shows go through changes to keep up with the times and with technology. The 51st Annual Grammy Awards held in 2009 were the last that saw the Best Polka Album category. The following year, an album that contained polka was, included in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. The Best Polka Album category had only been in existence since 1986.

The 10th Annual Awards ceremony, March 10, 1938 had been delayed for one week due to major rains and flooding in Los Angeles. They were originally scheduled for March third but that date was a washout.

Check out other books by Leona Malek / Prudence Penny 

Foods featured in favorite films, classic & contemporary. Plan a menu to complement your Movie Night.

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