Hollywood Scout (1945)

Pete Smith, William H. O'Brien, Celia Travers,
One of Pete Smith's assistants auditions animal acts for his short subjects.
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-07-31 Added:
  • Joe Ansen, Writer:
  • Director:
  • Producer:
5 / 10

Stupid Dog Tricks

This below average Pete Smith short features a woman, as the titled Hollywood talent scout, sitting at her desk reviewing various film clip submissions from pet owners who feel that their dogs have noteworthy talents (as Smith narrates). Most of this producer's features are above average and very entertaining; some have even won awards. Pete Smith received sixteen Academy Award nominations, earning two Oscars and an Honorary Award from AMPAS for this career. Unfortunately, this one is not up to his usual standards. A German Shephard is shown walking a tightrope, another is shown jumping onto a swing. But these talented dogs are actually the highlight of this short whose final segment is particularly lame.

7 / 10

Animal Acts

A Smith named Pete narrates this short subject about animal acts. While there's a trained bear and a chimpanzee, it's mostly about dog acts: cute puppies, and a dog who leaps into a trapeze, and former acrobat Paul Sydell and his troupe of dogs, including him training them... except for the tail, untrainable as a cowlick.

Although there's a cute girl to distract the audience, and the slide whistle comes into play, this isn't one of Pete's better short subjects. His trademark snark is muted by the cuteness of it all. In addition, this one seems padded. All of Pete's shorts may be subject to that knock. They were intended to pad out a film program.show or what?

5 / 10

A quick look at animal talent in this Pete Smith Specialty...

It's a dog's day afternoon at the talent scout's office. By the end of the day she slams the door on a man who shows up with a monkey. "Can I show you a trained monkey?" Slam! That's the tone of this MGM short with some dogs doing some amazing balancing acts--or jumping through a swinging trapeze, balancing on a wheel, balancing on a man's hand in acrobatic fashion. The dog handler himself had acrobatic training before becoming a dog trainer.

And finally, there's a stunt with a big black bear that has the talent scout fed up with all the nonsense.

Not one of the best Pete Smith specialties, but amusing enough.