Friday, January 31, 2014
This is the last of my color-shifted September 1960 images, all of which hail from Frontierland. Presented in chronological order, it would appear that our guest was waiting for the mighty Mark Twain at the dock while snapping these photos that included the thunderous falls of Cascade Peak.
From the boat itself, this shot was taken of the undulating pontoon bridge on Tom Sawyer Island:
followed by this stunning closeup of Cascade Peak; you can almost hear the falls!
As the Twain was floating back to the dock, Rainbow Ridge was captured from above:
Zooming in for a closer look:
And finally, home again at the dock, with the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in the background:
Nothing like a journey on the Twain to start the weekend!
UPDATE: Here are some contemporary photos of the pontoon bridge on Tom Sawyer Island:
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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Reversing the way I typically do things, today's post starts off with the closeup. Captain Hook looks as if he's having one of those days in this November 1971 photo.
Pulling back, you can see that the Chicken of the Sea sponsorship is no more and that this faux-floating vessel is now known as Captain Hook's Pirate Ship Restaurant.
Select from Seafood Sandwiches, Salad, Desserts, and Hot & Cold Beverages.
Maybe Captain Hook was upset because sales were down. It's hard to compete with a mermaid carrying a wand!
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I'll let the breathless caption of this vintage July 1955 publicity still do the talking:
RITA IN WONDERLAND
Like a child at the circus, actress Rita Hayworth dashes around the exhibits at the fabulous new Disneyland, in California. She gives an urging glance over her shoulder at husband Dick Haymes and daughter Yasmin, who seem to have trouble keeping up. Yasmin is Rita's daughter by ex-husband Prince Aly Khan. Singer Haymes recently won his lengthy battle against deportation with the U.S. Government.
Actress and legendary screen goddess Rita Hayworth was married to Haymes for only two years (1953-1955). The two met while he was still married to Nora Eddington, ex-wife of Errol Flynn. Not only was his career on the skids, but he was deeply in debt, thanks to having to pay alimony and child support to two previous ex-wives. Things seemed to be improving when he met Hayworth, as the publicity of the couple appeared to help his career (not to mention the fact that she paid off most of his debts). As if that wasn't bad enough, Haymes was in trouble with the U.S. Government. He was born in Argentina and lacked solid proof of American citizenship. With deportation imminent, he attempted to get Hayworth to use her influence (I wonder if she did "Put the Blame on Mame" for J. Edgar Hoover?). When she assumed responsibility for his citizenship, a bond was formed that led to marriage. The two were married on September 24, 1953 at the Sands Hotel, Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, the bloom of new love wore off quickly.
Doing a little research on the web, I found this interesting (and colorful) tidbit on the website BoxRec
In the early 50's my dad was flush doing his odds and ends (I'll call it that) for the Outfit in Chicago. Disneyland on the coast was going to open up and us kids wanted to be there for that one. So my dad sent my mother and sisters and my "nana" on the Super Chief out to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
It was the first time I'd seen palm trees, but was dissapointed when they told me no coconuts grew on them. But us kids weren't into seeing the local vegetation as much as going to Disneyland and seeing some movie stars.
Well Disneyland for me was a two edged sword. I was in wonderment the whole time seeing the different "lands" and going on the rides like the Safari Trip. But after I got off the Mad Hatter Teacup Ride all I wanted to do is kick Walt Disney in the balls. I never was so sick in my life.
We were out in California for two weeks. We went to one of the missions, the Farmers Market, and I remember eating at the Brown Derby. Leave it to my grandmother, Diamond Joe's wife, she orders spaghetti. The waiter says they don't have spaghetti, so my grandmother tells him the place ain't a real restaurant because they don't have spaghetti. She makes a fuss and finally I think someone went out and bought a can of Chef Boy R Dee and served it to her. She saw the ruse and said to the waiter the joint has no class and they wouldn't have any of this in Chicago.
I really liked the time at the Ambassador Hotel though. The swimming pool reminded me of a small lake and for lunch we ate at the Coconut Grove. They had palm trees on the tables with coconuts, but the coconuts were phony.
But I did see a few movie stars. I saw Rita Hayworth because her husband at the time, Dick Haymes, was singing there. I guess they had a big brouhaha in the lounge and afterwards I heard they got a divorce.
Shortly after the trip to Disneyland, this bit appeared in the papers:
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 29.—Crooner Dick Haymes announced today that he and Screen Star Rita Hayworth "have separated" after nearly two years of marriage. The trouble- beset singer, who recently won final victory from the U. S. Government against his deportation to his native Argentina, declared through a representative: "I am very unhappy about it. I can't even tell you what caused it. All I know is that Rita was not home last night. "She took the children and I don't know where she is at this moment. "I am so distraught I can hardly even talk but I love her and I know we will get back together." Intimates of the couple said that Rita and Dick had a "violent argument" late yesterday, climaxed by their parting. Friends said that Rita remained in the couple's Malibu Beach home while Dick had moved to the Ambassador Hotel, where last Tuesday he had opened a three-week singing engagement. Dick left his clothes at the hotel and then disappeared. A servant at the Malibu home said 'that Rita refused to come to the telephone.' She appeared at Haymes' Hollywood nightclub engagement at The Grove, again at ringside. Dick sang all his love songs to her. Rita was conspicuously absent on other nights during the first week of her mate's local engagement. She explained that she had a cold, but during the week she showed up at Disneyland with her two children, Rebecca (born of her marriage to actor Orson Wells) and Yasmin (born to her spectacular marriage to Moslem Prince Aly Khan). The breakup came as a complete surprise to Hollywood. The two had planned to make films together later in the year. Dick returned to the night club circuit as a singer after he settled his alimony suits with Ex-Wives Nora Eddington Flynn and Actress Joanne Dru and won his final victory against deportation last May.
According to stories, Haymes struck Hayworth in the face in public at the famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel, shown below:
Hayworth dumped the louse and divorced him. Both went on to other marriages; she had one more, he had two. At least they had Disneyland.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The two images featured today were marked June 1967 by the seller, but the slides (from Italy) had no date stamp. The first one shows a bit of trouble brewing outside the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland, as the sheriff and outlaw seem to be having words with each other. Of course, the most exciting part of the image are the Disneyland soda cup and the multi-colored vintage souvenir bag (barely visible at left)! I am sure there is a Disney geek out there who could approximately date this image based on those two objects!
The trouble has now moved over to a grassy knoll (it's always a grassy knoll where trouble can be found!) in front of the Haunted Mansion as the two begin to shoot out their issues.
If the June 1967 date is true, then this shot shows guests sitting on the lawn in front of the Mansion but BEHIND the gates two years before it opens.
Even if the years are off and the Mansion is open, I've never seen guests able to relax and sit on the Mansion's lawn. You just never know what you're going to find when you zoom in!
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Monday, January 27, 2014
"The Wizard of Oz" is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year (seems like just yesterday I was excited about the beloved classic's 50th!), and authors William Stillman and Jay Scarfone have published the book "The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion." When the authors saw that I had mentioned their book in my blog, they graciously contacted me and agreed to do an interview. They quickly responded to the questions that I sent to them and allowed me to use some of the rare images from their book in today's post.
Q. One of the most fascinating things from your book is seeing the color Lilly test shots with the stars in somewhat candid poses while wearing their costumes. Could you maybe explain those a bit and how you happened to find them to use in the book? At one time, did footage actually exist for these?
A. William: As it was explained to us, and as reported in "The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion," the Lilly was a hand-held card with a white portion and a color-chart portion. This was used to test the “correctness” of the make-up, wardrobe and set hues for the appropriate translation to Technicolor film. After each scene, the actors would hold their mark as an assistant ran in and held up the Lilly while a few extra feet of film was taken. If, when developed, the white portion of the Lilly remained white, the footage was undistorted and good to print. After its intended use, this test footage was cut up into clips three-frames in length and distributed to the crew as souvenirs. So, yes, while the test footage would’ve actually existed for a brief time during production, I am unaware of actual uncut footage of said tests existing today. Jay Scarfone and I are the keepers of the Wizard of Oz Technicolor clip archives of M-G-M make-up artist Charles Schram (a gift from Mr. Schram) and Technicolor cameraman Allen Davey (acquired by us at great expense from an individual who purchased them at a Midwest estate sale a few years ago).
Q. What are the chances of finding the Renovation or Jitterbug sequences (besides the rehearsal footage everyone has seen)? Are they really buried under a freeway? Or were they destroyed? Any possibility a studio employee has a print?
A. William: One never knows. We are aware of publicly unseen special effects tests so who knows what certain individuals possess, perhaps unaware. What’s more likely to surface might be Technicolor film-frame outtakes from those scenes in the manner that we discovered clips from Ray Bolger’s deleted Scarecrow dance, two of which are reproduced in the book. There’s also the original 1939 theatrical trailer which was longer than the re-release versions and featured additional outtake footage. We have over three dozen Technicolor clips of the Wizard’s head being tested, a few samples of which are published in the book, so we could conceivably assemble a film sequence if we ever got ambitious enough to do it.
Q. I have read about the deleted sequence where the bees come out of the tin man's mouth; just how far along was that sequence developed? Was the animation done, or was it deleted before the effect was added?
A. William: Yes, apparently the animation was completed and included in a rough cut of the film as the subsequent scene (“You’re the best friends anybody ever had.”) required some creative editing once the bee scene was deleted in order to match the actors’ positions pre-animated bees. M-G-M had 95 cartoonists in its animation department at the time and other special effects for Oz were animated as well including the jitterbug insect and tests for the Winged Monkeys, flying Witch, and Wizard’s floating head.
Q. What are your thoughts on the deleted sequences? Do you think all of the trims made were correct?
A. William: Yes, for the most part, I concur with the choices that were made with one exception: I wish they had retained the triumphal return to the Emerald City for the magnificence of its pageantry and for the addition of some music to the latter part of the film; it only lasted a few moments but in the editing process, anything that wasn’t necessary to the plot was cut for time. From the surviving stills and brief snippet in the film trailer, it looks gorgeous, though. Judy’s reprise of “Over the Rainbow” in the Witch’s castle would be great to see but, by today’s standards, might possibly be interpreted as a bit too contrived or over-the-top manipulative.
Jay: I agree with Bill that the “Triumphal Return” sequence could have remained in the film (were it not for the need to trim the running time), thereby helping to balance the musicality of the latter part of the movie with respect to the first half. I do think that Judy’s brief “Over the Rainbow” reprise might have stayed, giving audiences yet another chance to hear her sing as well as amplifying the poignancy and drama of Dorothy’s predicament at that point in the story. I also think it would have been nice to have kept the entire montage of images originally included during Dorothy’s transition back to Kansas (“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . .”) rather than those of just the ruby slippers and the house crashing to the ground. Even as a young person, before I knew that these other images had at one time existed, I sensed that this scene (and accompanying music) seemed somewhat abrupt and choppy.
Q. What is your favorite song in the movie?
A. William: Believe it or not, I’ve always liked “Optimistic Voices” best. That’s the brief musical interlude sung by a disembodied female trio as Dorothy and her friends emerge from the poppy field.
Jay: I’ve always enjoyed all the choruses of “You’re/We’re Off to See the Wizard,” with its catchy lyrics and spirited tempo. I have to also admit that I rather like “The Jitterbug” as sung by Judy Garland. That song, of course, was right in the zone of jazzy numbers for which she particularly excelled in her youth.
Q. BESIDES the ruby slippers, what costume or prop would be a Holy Grail to you if you had the opportunity to acquire it?
A. William: I’d like the Wicked Witch’s Golden Cap, the one she intended to use to call the Winged Monkeys (as in the L. Frank Baum book) to retrieve the ruby slippers from the unconscious Dorothy in the poppy field. It is seen briefly on film as Nikko, the Witch’s monkey familiar, brings it to her and she throws it across the room after being foiled by Glinda’s snowstorm.
Jay: If we’re strictly talking about wish-list type items, I think it would be thrilling to locate Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch broom, Billie Burke’s Glinda wand, or Jack Haley’s Tin Man ax. Not only are all of these items very distinct in their design, I believe their existence (or lack thereof) remains unknown.
Q. Even today, some sources publish the story that the only reason Shirley Temple didn't get into the movie was because of Jean Harlow's death. Any idea where this rumor came from? Also - are there many details known about Roger Edens' audition of Shirley Temple for the movie?
A. William: In our research, we discovered that most long-standing rumors about The Wizard of Oz almost always contain a grain of truth. Since 1935, Shirley Temple had been the critical and editorial favorite to play Dorothy in a modern talkie version of Oz. We have found evidence of a brief window of time in 1937, and preceding Harlow’s death, when a proposed deal involving Temple for Oz in exchange for M-G-M’s loan of Gable and Harlow to Fox would’ve been quite feasible. This is in keeping with the general timeframe as Temple recalled it in her book, Child Star, and would’ve certainly been a different Oz project than what ultimately transpired (i.e. one with only Temple’s name attached to it for the moment). So what’s likely happened over time is that the alleged events of 1937 have become blurred with the 1938 Oz project for which Judy Garland was cast and for which there was cursory interest in Temple’s availability. I have no further details about Edens auditioning Temple other than what’s been previously published.
Q. Can you give one teaser of a tidbit or fact that you had to leave out of this volume for size/space purposes?
A. William: There was an extraordinary amount of research we uncovered over the course of the five years we spent compiling this project, much of which was cut from the book. We are setting it all aside for future use; but one tidbit we can share concerns a posed, close-up still of Jack Haley reading The Wizard of Oz to his son, Jack Jr. It is a photograph that is familiar to many Oz fans and has been published before. But in the true Hollywood tradition of saving face, what people don’t realize is that the original photo was tightly cropped to edit out Jack Haley’s previously-unknown “other” son—a boy who was reportedly adopted by the Haleys but allegedly “returned” after a brief period. He was said to have been a hellion and is wearing a military academy uniform in the picture. But we’ll save the details about that for another time!
Jay: We did find a particularly specific 1939 quote from Jack Dawn, head of M-G-M’s makeup department, that detailed the various “flaws” of young Judy’s facial attributes—and what he did to “correct” (or at least compensate for) them. While not necessarily intended to be mean, Mr. Dawn’s comments were nonetheless blunt and insensitive at best. It is no doubt that such pointed comments by M-G-M makeup and wardrobe personnel, not to mention the Hollywood press, would have had a strong impact on the fragile psyche of Garland—the same as any other girl her age. Warner Bros., however, was reluctant to approve the inclusion of any such commentary about Judy in our manuscript (including reference to her self-admitted weight struggles), so that information was ultimately excised from the book.
Many many thanks to William and Jay for taking the time to share their vast knowledge of "The Wizard of Oz" at Daveland. I suggest if you are an Oz fan that you pick up a copy of their book today!
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Sunday, January 26, 2014
Today we have two more images from a batch of color-shifted September 1960 slides. Although I love the original 1959 red Monorail, there's something about the blue one that seems so much more sleek.
Here's a contemporary view of the Monorail at its Tomorrowland station, circa 2009. The brightly colored Nemo signage breaks the illusion that you might be visiting the future and boarding something that is high-tech.
In this vintage view, you can see both the Astrojets and the Moonliner/Rocket to the Moon attractions:
A closeup of the Canopus jet:
Today, the Astrojets have been dumped at the front of Tomorrowland's entrance and the Moonliner has been reduced (perhaps it went into the ATIS shrinking atomic machine?) into an advertising vehicle for Coke:
As the photo shows, perhaps there's a rainbow in Tomorrowland's future...or a furry Ewok at the very least.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014
Last week, I had the opportunity to shoot Bob & Renee's engagement portraits. Sometimes, you meet couples and think, "How are they going to last?" This is definitely not the case with these two. They were a total joy to work with, and their personalities complement each other perfectly. The session started out with an attempt to get their cat out for a few photos. This first shot was the only one I could capture; he obviously had other things on his mind.
Bob and Renee selected Balboa Park for the shoot which turned out to be ideal. One location with a multitude of settings all within walking distance (which was good with Renee's killer heels!).
Could they be any more adorable?
It was key to show off Renee's gorgeous engagement bling; some shots were not quite as subtle as others!
In the background is the Marston House; living here would probably put a smile on anyone's face. The architecture, view, and landscaping are incredible, despite the whirring sounds from the 163 nearby.
Tree huggers relax; no trees were harmed in the making of this photo:
The archways in the park are a photographer's delight, providing interesting lighting possibilities throughout the day.
As we wrapped up the session, the sky began to get interesting.
Back at Bob & Renee's, the cat was a bit more cooperative this time.
I was actually able to get one group shot before he leaped out of their arms.
Although I love to paint, being able to do a photography session with people that captures their chemistry, expressions, and emotions is so much more rewarding. Bob and Renee were the perfect subjects, which made the afternoon that much more enjoyable.
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Friday, January 24, 2014
"Art" lovers needed to look no further than Main Street, U.S.A. to find unique pieces to decorate their abodes. In the early years, original Disney cels could be purchased near the Plaza Inn, as you can see in this unfortunate beginning of the roll wacky exposure. The gent in the Stetson seems to be admiring little Alice.
Those not wanting to go quite as "high brow" as a Disney animated cel could create their own art, thanks to these colorful cutouts that were in the same area:
By the time this September 1960 color-shifted photo was taken, the art had moved to East Center Street.
Granted, the detail when zooming in is not that great, but these interpretations on canvas of the Castle and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship appear somewhat amateurish.
If you're wondering how I could tell the previous shot was from East Center Street, just compare the buildings at the top of the photo with this shot of the Art Festival:
It would truly make my day to discover that this wacky pirate painting still exists:
"Live" artists were also on hand to do portraits for guests, as seen in this September 1964 photo:
If "art" wasn't your thing, you could always walk across the way to West Center Street and pick up some plastic flowers.
Nothing but "class" on Main Street!
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