Films of Emil Sitka: SHEEPISH WOLF (1948)
by Saxon Emil Sitka
Three weeks after getting his nose broken on the set of BILLIE GETS HER MAN, Emil was called to work in yet another Columbia Pictures short subject comdy, his 28th. SHEEPISH WOLF was Emil's fifth appearance with Harry Von Zell, and the two of them were getting to know each other well. Although the last of Von Zell's eight shorts was made in 1949, Emil stayed in touch with him until his death in 1981. Von Zell is now remembered mostly for his years as the "radio announcer" on the television series THE GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN SHOW (1951-1958).
Written and directed by Ed Bernds, SHEEPISH WOLF has Emil and Von Zell both playing announcers at a radio station. As "George," Emil is on the receiving end of several of Von Zell's practical jokes, which include a water-squirting microphone that soaks Emil's suit and a break-away chair that puts Emil flat on his rear on the floor. When he angrily chases Von Zell with a chair leg in his hand, the boss suddenly walks in and Emil gets all the blame.
Later, when George/Emil thinks Von Zell's coming in through a door, Emil pours a vaseful of water and flowers onto his head - only to discover that it's really the boss and not Harry! In shock, Emil drops the vase and it shatters across the boss's head.
Although he has these very funny sequences, Emil's role is fairly small and not part of the plot of SHEEPISH WOLF, and he received no poster or film credits. Besides Emil, the cast features several other popular Stooge supporting actors including Chrisitne McIntyre, Vernon Dent, and Symona Boniface.
Emil's diary entry for Monday, February 2, 1948:
It was nice to be back in greasepaint, and to work with Harry Von Zell at Darmour Studio this morning, even though my head pained me. But while enthralled & engrossed in my comedy I almost forgot my aches - until it's over.
Everybody, including Ed Bernds, asked about my nose - and I said it was broken & my head ached, but nobody (not even the 1st man who treated me) seemed to take it as seriously as it may be. Maybe because I am cheerful & light. Ed Bernds did suggest going to an M.D. if pain persists.
My scenes were done way ahead of schedule and they said I could go home, but I always like to watch, & was introduced to Kenny, Harry's 19 year old son & chatted with Symona Boniface.
For some reason they didn't take any "still" pictures with me this time. Why?
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SHEEPISH WOLF (1948)