Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Monday, July 28, 2014

Hail Their Conquering Despots?

 

When Dictators Were a Moviegoer Rage

Axis partners of the future were all over US news and popular culture through the 30's. Hitler jokes turned up in cartoons even, and Mussolini took a ribbing by way of Sunday funnies caricature. Screwy part was, lots of folk really admired the puffed-up dictator, guest books to il Duce signed by Doug and Mary, Paulette Goddard, others among biz elite. There was juice enough to float a frankly admiring profile (feature-length) called Mussolini Speaks! (1933) from Columbia Pictures, whose chief, Harry Cohn, may have seen himself in mirrors as Benito (if not, then others surely did). Mussolini was viewed at the least as a get-it-done leader to uplift down-out nation that was Italy. More than a few thought as much of Adolph Hitler, who seemed to be licking single-handed a German depression. Where Mussolini Speaks! was a puff-job, however, Fox's March Of Time short, Inside Nazi Germany (1937), read Hitler in darker terms, casting the "Shadow" of his "Nazi Arm" over America. Movies were charged by the Code to tread light re politics/propaganda, but local ads could be, and were,  frisky at peppering up sensation in newsreels. Sometimes that alone could sell a program, as maybe here where Inside Nazi Germany promises cold splash for an evening otherwise spent in formulaic company of Alice Faye and You're A Sweetheart. Would sock/shock value of the docu-reel plus Disney's visionary The Old Mill add up to value for tickets bought? I've got a feeling Alice was least recalled aspect of this visit to the Aztec.

GREENBRIAR ON THE AIR: Showmen, Sell It Hot was featured recently on Ed Robertson's radio talk show, TV Confidential, wherein I'm interviewed at thirty minute length about the book and showmanship in general. The program can be heard at TV Confidential's Archive, being episode #240, with broadcast dates of July 16-21. Actress Diane Baker and screenwriter Paul Robert Coyle (as co-host) are also featured. Give it a listen and determine how well I'm able to disguise my rampant Southern accent. Also note below a recently received quote re: Showmen, Sell It Hot from eminent author/historian Rudy Behlmer.

http://www.amazon.com/Showmen-Sell-Hot-Merchandise-Hollywood/dp/0971168598/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406554443&sr=1-1&keywords=showmen+sell+it+hot
 

3 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

Someone posted a 10-minute clip of "Mussolini Speaks" on Youtube. It couldn't be more admiring; as Lowell Thomas says regarding one of Il Duce's superhuman feats, "This is a time when a dictator comes in handy!" Lowell presumably had to eat his words some years later.

If Harry Cohn were still running Columbia, he'd have made "Putin Speaks."

2:28 PM  
Blogger iarla said...

I bought your book, Jim. Loved it. So rare to come across something new and fresh in theme and approach and voice in film writing. An effortless, instant classic.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Dave K said...

Great interview, John! Hope the book continues to get plenty of exposure because, as I've said before, it's a must-have!

10:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014