Showing posts from October, 2017

Jim Russell's Charlie Chaplin (And A Couple Of Nazis)

Smith's Weekly , 25 April, 1932 If I have to tell you who Jim Russell was then it's like you don't know me at all.  Again, from the late, lamented Smith's Weekly , via Trove , comes this brilliant study of Charlie Chaplin, drawn to commemorate the release of the film Modern Times . It's very odd now, looking back to the late-1930s, to think that Chaplin was considered a communist and an enemy of America. This was due, in part, to the themes that Chaplin was exploring in his films  Modern Times , and The Great Dictator , and also because he was very publicly advocating assistance to the Russians in their fight against Germany in WWII. But then, in the 1930s, and through to the 1940s, many prominent, famous and (later) legendary Americans, true, red white and blue blooded flag waving Americans, such as Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford , were out and out Nazis who were advocating the entry of America into WWII - but on Hitler's side. Henry Ford receivin

The Myth of the Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle Ban

The Myth of the Fatty Ban The 1920s had barely begun when a real life situation developed that would lead to the first officially announced ban in Australia on an actor and his entire output, past, present and future, as opposed to a single film. Incredibly the ban had nothing to do with on-screen horror, instead the ban was enforced upon one of the most popular cinematic comedians of the silent era and, even more incredibly, despite the ban was official, it was also widely ignored. Roscoe Arbuckle, better known to the movie going public by his nickname, ‘Fatty [i] ’, was one of the most popular of the early silent comedians. He worked with the greats of the era, Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and acted as mentor to the young Bob Hope. His popularity was reflected in his three year contract with Paramount Pictures which would see him earn a whopping $1,000,000 a year. Arbuckle was box office gold, only behind Chaplin for sheer money making capacity

Syd Miller's Dracula

Smith's Weekly, 22 August, 1931 Over at the Trove site the legendary newspaper Smith's Weekly has just been uploaded after being digitalised. This should be a massive deal for anyone doing any form of research in Australia for the years the tabloid existed - 1919 to 1950. I know that, for me at least, this is huge. At it's best, Smith's Weekly was untouchable, at it's worst it was still essential reading. Even better than the words was the artwork they used. Artist such as Syd Miller, Stan Cross, Jim and Dan Russell, Mollie Horseman, Joe Jonsson, Emile Mercer, Eric Jolliffe and many more all worked for Smiths . If you're keen on seeing some of the best art of the era, go and browse the title and check out the amazing art. Such as the utterly amazing image of Bela Lugosi as Dracula by the incredible Syd Miller . As you can see, it didn't get much better than this.

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