HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES, THE
THE HOLLYWOOD SHORTIES REVIEWED
“The Hollywood Shorties” is one of those tangential sports documentaries that has an important history to chronicle. Founded by Billy Barty in the 1950s, the Shorties went from baseball to basketball as the American sports culture changed. Originally playing in prisons and high school fundraisers, the team would eventually make the big time playing at LA Lakers’ half-time shows. So, what busted up the group? People got too big, work dynamics changed and the cultural climate shifted.
There are so many aspects to this documentary that I don’t know where to start. The documentary’s director has talked at length about the difficulty of making a narrative out of 50 years of material. While the film tackles what ended classic Shorties, it also approaches the material with such warmth. Nobody interviewed has a bad memory of the team, they just wish they could find their way back on the court to play. All the while, the related interviews showcase a repeated pattern of these young acting talents trying to find respect while playing basketball. Tony Cox is among the Hollywood Shorties that would achieve a degree of fame.
But, still…it’s not for mainstream roles. The interviewees look past this, as they enjoy their shared fun. It’s just that each interview gives you the sense that these guys and gals wanted a little more out of their careers. Strong stuff.
- 1.78:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby Digital 2.0