Friday, November 09, 2007

Stuff and Nonsense, Part III

Many thanks to reader Billie T. for sending along these beautiful high-res scans!

"The Four Horsemen of Mirth". This advance ad for Duck Soup from Paramount's 1932 exhibitors' yearbook hints at what the early drafts of the screenplay might have looked like. Poor Zeppo's role as Bob Firefly, President of the International Beauty Conference, was whittled away to practically nothing by the time the film was actually shot. Harpo's "Snoopy" was apparently the story's only spy. Note that Paramount considered the film's breathless barrage of gags a selling point in that it required multiple viewings for a patron to catch all of the lines. Irving Thalberg certainly didn't feel the same way and therefore vast chasms of silence follow the Boys' gags in the MGM pictures, presumably meticulously timed with stopwatches. BAH! The Paramounts are better.. period.

French poster for A Day at the Races (1936). Um, excuse me, but what the HELL is going on here?? Something unspeakably horrible, I suspect.

Beautiful one-sheet for Hips Hips Hooray! (1934). Only problem is that all of the women's faces are completely indistinguishable from one another. Is that supposed to be Thelma Todd or Dorothy Lee between Bert and Bob?

".. wanna shake your tree." Poster for Harry Langdon's first Sennett comedy, Picking Peaches (1924). Sennett's confidence in Langdon was apparently absolute.

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