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Claws for Alarm

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Claws for Alarm
Clawsforalarm
Directed By: Chuck Jones
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: May 22, 1954
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Michael Maltese
Animation: Abe Levitow
Richard Thompson
Ben Washam
Ken Harris
Lloyd Vaughan
Layouts: Maurice Noble
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Porky Pig
Sylvester
Preceded By: Dr. Jerkyl's Hide
Succeeded By: Little Boy Boo
Sylvester The Cat - (Ep06:48

Sylvester The Cat - (Ep. 44) - Claws For Alarm-1420039939

Claws for Alarm is a 1954 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Chuck Jones and produced and released by Warner Brothers. It was the second of three cartoons teaming Porky Pig and Sylvester (continuing his non-speaking role as Porky's cat) in a spooky setting where only Sylvester is aware of the danger the pair are in. The other two films in the series are Scaredy Cat (1948) and Jumpin' Jupiter (1955).

Synopsis

Porky and Sylvester are driving to Albuquerque, New Mexico (home of Bugs Bunny's famous "left turn" and also their destination in Jumpin' Jupiter (1955)) when Porky decides to stop for the night at the hotel in Dry Gulch; actually a ghost town, a fact which sends Sylvester to trembling, but which Porky seems oblivious to. As in "Scaredy Cat," Sylvester alone is alert to the danger from murderous mice that have taken up residence in the hotel. Unlike the previous cartoon, however, the mice are (mostly) unseen, except for tiny, malevolent pairs of eyes in dark corners (and the moose heads over the main desk and Porky's bed). No matter; Porky declares it to be "a perfectly splendid place to spend the night" and checks in.

The mice, meanwhile, do everything they can to kill and/or scare Porky and Sylvester. (In one scene, the mice are seen in silhouette beneath a sheet, standing on each other's shoulders as they appear to the frightened cat to be a ghost.) As always, Porky does not see the danger until Sylvester has chased the mice away, leaving him holding the bag—or, in one case, the noose the mice have dropped around Porky's neck, out of the way of which the cat has just pushed Porky out of the way of. Porky demands to know why Sylvester shoved him, leading to one of the film's funnier sequences as Sylvester pantomimes the moose head and the noose dropping from it. Porky then declares the cat to be a "c-cow-eh-c-cow-eh- you great yellow cat, you!" (later asking, "is th-there any, uh, in-eh-insanity in your family?") and Sylvester soldiers on all night, guarding his master with a shotgun he earlier wrestled away from the mice.

Dawn finally breaks, ridding the ghosts out of the hotel, ending the bleary-eyed cat's vigil as Porky awakes: "Eh, this r-really is a r-restful place. I think we should stay here a w-week to t-ten days and get really rested up!" This is the last straw for Sylvester, who (off-screen) clubs Porky over the head with the shotgun butt while he is freshening up and singing "Home on the Range," leaving him stuck on the first verse like a needle skipping on a record ("Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope (WHAM!!), and the deer and the antelope, and the deer and the antelope pl-pl, and the deer and the antelope pl-pl, and the deer..."). Sylvester, meanwhile loads the car with the luggage and Porky and speeds away from the hotel. After a last look back, Sylvester breathes a sigh of relief—not seeing the pairs of eyes blinking from the speedometer as the film closes.

Commentary

Some cartoon buffs view Claws for Alarm as the creepiest and darkest of the trio of cartoons centered on Porky and Sylvester's weird vacations, noting the simpler drawings and the almost never-seen mice. Emru Townsend, writing for the online animation magazine Frames Per Second, lists Claws as one of his favorites for Halloween, and comments: "Claws for Alarm makes the cut for Halloween because, unlike in the other two cartoons, the sense of fear and dread comes in from the very first frame." Townsend also cites the "true horror-movie fashion" of the ending, where the "monsters" are not completely vanquished.[1]

Cameos

At about 4 minutes into the cartoon, a mouse resembling a miniature Wile E. Coyote (a Chuck Jones creation) can be seen with a knife, about to swing down at Porky.

Censorship

Much like Scaredy Cat and (to a lesser extent) Jumpin' Jupiter, Claws for Alarm has been shown edited on television (http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/ltcutsc.html):

  • On CBS and ABC, the scene where Sylvester plugs a gun with his finger and the gun fires, causing the bullet to go through his finger and out via his tail (to Porky commenting "Mice") was cut.
  • On Cartoon Network's pre-2002 airings (CN now airs this cartoon uncut), ABC, Nickelodeon and the syndicated "Merrie Melodies Show", the following parts were cut:
    • The scene where Sylvester uses a noose to demonstrate to Porky what could have happened to him had Sylvester not saved him was cut on ABC, "The Merrie Melodies Show" and Cartoon Network before 2002, but was left uncut on Nickelodeon (and later on pre-2002 CN).
    • The scene where a noose lowers on Porky while Porky is sleeping, Sylvester cuts the noose with a razor and Porky accuses Sylvester of attempted murder was cut on ABC, "The Merrie Melodies Show", pre-2002 Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon.
    • The scene where a moosehead has a rifle emerging from its mouth to try and kill Porky and Sylvester beating it up was cut on pre-2002 Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Availability

This short was edited into Daffy Duck's Quackbusters (1988), with two of the noose gags edited when aired on Cartoon Network. It is featured in its entirety in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3.

References

  1. Frames Per Second, Oct. 27 2007
Porky Pig Cartoons
1935 I Haven't Got A HatGold Diggers of '49
1936 Plane DippyAlpine AnticsThe Phantom ShipBoom BoomThe Blow OutWestward WhoaFish TalesShanghaied ShipmatesPorky's PetPorky the RainmakerPorky's Poultry PlantPorky's Moving DayMilk and MoneyLittle Beau PorkyThe Village SmithyPorky in the North WoodsBoulevardier from the Bronx
1937 Porky the WrestlerPorky's Road RacePicador PorkyPorky's RomancePorky's Duck HuntPorky and GabbyPorky's BuildingPorky's Super ServicePorky's Badtime StoryPorky's RailroadGet Rich Quick PorkyPorky's GardenRover's RivalThe Case of the Stuttering PigPorky's Double TroublePorky's Hero Agency
1938 Porky's PoppaPorky at the CrocaderoWhat Price PorkyPorky's Phoney ExpressPorky's Five and TenPorky's Hare HuntInjun TroublePorky the FiremanPorky's PartyWholly SmokePorky in WackylandPorky's Naughty NephewPorky in EgyptThe Daffy DocPorky the Gob
1939 The Lone Stranger and PorkyIt's an Ill WindPorky's Tire TroublePorky's Movie MysteryChicken JittersPorky and TeabiscuitKristopher Kolumbus Jr.Polar PalsScalp TroubleOld GloryPorky's PicnicWise QuacksPorky's HotelJeepers CreepersNaughty NeighborsPied Piper PorkyPorky the Giant KillerThe Film Fan
1940 Porky's Last StandAfrica SqueaksAli-Baba BoundPilgrim PorkySlap Happy PappyPorky's Poor FishYou Ought to Be in PicturesThe Chewin' BruinPorky's Baseball BroadcastPatient PorkyCalling Dr. PorkyPrehistoric PorkyThe Sour PussPorky's Hired HandThe Timid Toreador
1941 Porky's Snooze ReelPorky's Bear FactsPorky's PreviewPorky's AntA Coy DecoyPorky's Prize PonyWe, The Animals - Squeak!The Henpecked DuckNotes to YouRobinson Crusoe Jr.Porky's Midnight MatineePorky's Pooch
1942 Porky's Pastry PiratesWho's Who in the ZooPorky's CafeMy Favorite Duck
1943 Confusions of a Nutzy SpyYankee Doodle DaffyPorky Pig's FeatA Corny Concerto
1944 Tom Turk and DaffyTick Tock TuckeredSwooner CroonerDuck Soup to NutsSlightly DaffyBrother Brat
1945 Trap Happy PorkyWagon Heels
1946 Baby BottleneckDaffy DoodlesKitty KorneredThe Great Piggy Bank RobberyMouse Menace
1947 One Meat BrawlLittle Orphan Airedale
1948 Daffy Duck Slept HereNothing But The ToothThe Pest That Came to DinnerRiff Raffy DaffyScaredy Cat
1949 Awful OrphanPorky ChopsPaying the PiperDaffy Duck HuntCurtain RazorOften an OrphanDough For The Do-DoBye, Bye Bluebeard
1950 Boobs in the WoodsThe Scarlet PumpernickelAn Egg ScrambleGolden YeggsThe DuckstersDog Collared
1951 The Wearing of the GrinDrip-Along DaffyThe Prize Pest
1952 Thumb FunCracked QuackFool Coverage
1953 Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century
1954 Claws for AlarmMy Little Duckaroo
1955 Jumpin' JupiterDime to Retire
1956 Rocket SquadDeduce, You Say
1957 Boston Quackie
1958 Robin Hood Daffy
1959 China Jones
1961 Daffy's Inn Trouble
1965 Corn on the Cop
1966 Mucho Locos
1980 Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century
1996 Superior Duck
2004 My Generation G-G-Gap
Sylvester Cartoons
1945 Life with FeathersPeck Up Your Troubles
1946 Kitty Kornered
1947 Tweetie PieDoggone CatsCatch as Cats Can
1948 Back Alley OproarI Taw a Putty TatHop, Look and ListenKit For CatScaredy Cat
1949 Mouse MazurkaBad Ol' Putty TatHippety Hopper
1950 Home Tweet HomeThe Scarlet PumpernickelAll a Bir-r-r-rdCanary RowStooge for a MousePop 'Im Pop!
1951 Canned FeudPutty Tat TroubleRoom and BirdTweety's S.O.S.Tweet Tweet Tweety
1952 Who's Kitten Who?Gift WrappedLittle Red Rodent HoodAin't She TweetHoppy Go LuckyA Bird in a Guilty CageTree for Two
1953 Snow BusinessA Mouse DividedFowl WeatherTom Tom TomcatA Street Cat Named SylvesterCatty CorneredCats A-Weigh
1954 Dog PoundedBell HoppyDr. Jerkyl's HideClaws for AlarmMuzzle ToughSatan's Waitin'By Word of Mouse
1955 Lighthouse MouseSandy ClawsTweety's CircusJumpin' JupiterClaws for AlarmA Kiddies KittySpeedy GonzalesRed Riding HoodwinkedHeir-ConditionedPappy's Puppy
1956 Too Hop to HandleTweet and SourTree Cornered TweetyThe Unexpected PestTugboat GrannyThe Slap-Hoppy MouseYankee Dood It
1957 Tweet ZooTweety and the BeanstalkBirds AnonymousGreedy For TweetyMouse-Taken IdentityGonzales' Tamales
1958 A Pizza Tweety PieA Bird in a Bonnet
1959 Trick or TweetTweet and LovelyCat's PawHere Today, Gone TamaleTweet Dreams
1960 West of the PesosGoldimouse and the Three CatsHyde and Go TweetMouse and GardenTrip For Tat
1961 Cannery WoeHoppy DazeBirds of a FatherD' Fightin' OnesThe Rebel Without ClawsThe Pied Piper of GuadalupeThe Last Hungry Cat
1962 Fish and SlipsMexican BoardersThe Jet Cage
1963 Mexican Cat DanceChili WeatherClaws In The Lease
1964 A Message to GraciasFreudy CatNuts and VoltsHawaiian Aye AyeRoad to Andalay
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around The HouseCats and BruisesThe Wild Chase
1966 A Taste of Catnip
1995 Carrotblanca
1997 Father of the Bird
2011 I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat

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