Sword Fishing (1939)
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*** (out of 4)
Oscar-nominated short has Ronald Reagan narrating the story of "the world's greatest archer" Howard Hill who jumps on a boat and shows off his skill by shooting various fish including a marlin. This is a mildly entertaining short but needless to say members of PETA might want to stay away as there are quite a few fish that are killed and the large marlin seems to suffer quite a bit before finally dying. With that out of the way, there's nothing overly special about the short but it doesn't make for a bad ten-minute filler. The film pops up quite often on Turner Classic Movies so someone there must think it's very entertaining. Reagan's narration is actually very good as he comes off rather energetic and the archery shots are also nicely done.
Hill was a Hollywood specialist when it came to stunts: if you needed something shot with an arrow, he was your man. It was he who shot the arrows for Errol Flynn in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. He also directed and produced about ten shorts on archery.
This one looks goofy, but then someone who tries to catch swordfish in the usual way wind up looking pretty dumb too.