The Terror of Tinytown

Made in 1938, this is a pretty standard western musical… except that it features an entirely midget cast (except a few characters who I swear were just kids made up to look like small adults). Is this a dwarf-sploitation film of epic proportions? Or is it a landmark in dwarf equality, where Little People before were only relegated to movie roles of munchkins, Santa’s elves, king’s servant (every king seems to have a midget who brings him wine), and leprechauns? Perhaps neither, or maybe a little of both.

If it weren’t for the fact that the entire cast was under 4 foot 7 (is that the legal height requirement? I can’t remember), this would be a pretty standard western. you have Good Guys who wear white, Bad Guys who wear black, Damsels in Distress, lynch mobs, musical numbers, barbershop quartets featuring penguins… wait, did I say penguin? Yes, for some unknown reason, during the big barbershop quartet number, the camera zooms in on a penguin. The penguin is not shown before or after that one scene in the film. WTF?

The penguin is not the only thing in this movie that makes you say a hearty “what the f was that?”, though. There’s some comedy relief in the form of a German chef, who amusingly tries to catch and cook a duck, for example. Also, the entire town of Tinytown is built to little person scale… except for a few things that provide comic relief, such as the saloon doors (the town citizens walk under them), the hitching posts for the shetland ponies that everyone rides, and of course, hilariously, the beer mugs.

However, when you think about it, someone had to build an entire set to a smaller scale. I realized this during a stagecoach chase scene (every western requires one, this movie is no different)– they even built a very small stagecoach, presumably just for this movie! I guess in those days there was no shortage (ha ha, I just made a joke worthy of this movie!) of cheap illegal immigrant labor, but still, kind of impressive.

Perhaps the filmmakers had to do something with this hackneyed plot, poor script, and clichéd score… I know, maybe nobody will notice how bad it is if we throw in a few cheesy puns and make it entirely with underemployed munchkins from The Wizard of Oz! All in all, this is a jaw-droppingly amusing movie. The novelty alone makes it well worth the rental fee. Or, since it’s so old the copyright expired, you can ususally buy it for about $3.00 (comes as a double feature with the Reefer madness rip off movie Marihuana and some Betty Boop cartoons!).beer mug

2 Responses to “The Terror of Tinytown”

  1. spice rack says:

    Your loaves look great incredibly the braided 1 � i have never done one of those!

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