Monday, May 31, 2010

CalColor 1957 at Disneyland, pt. 1



Time for another series—this time a batch of CalColor slides from 1957. Just like so many other batches, this one begins at the Main Street Train Station, where you can feast your eyes on a few of the original colorful attraction posters.

Although I can’t say that losing the Skyway was a huge blow to Disneyland, it sure did provide some very cool views of the park. This shot really breaks the mood as you can see a lot of backstage buildings, including the one behind the fa├žade of the Main Street Opera House.



Not very “Main Street” looking, is it?



Finish up with a look at the Castle Moat and the Swans that used to inhabit the green waters there:





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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sailing Through Sundays on The JC: Short 1950’s Trip



Three photos from an undated 1950’s trip on the Jungle Cruise, shown (of course) in the order that they were shot. The snake has changed locations since shot #1 was taken; he seems little more menacing hanging overhead!

Somebody needs to tell these guests that there’s an angry African Bull Elephant behind them!



Ho hum...another hippo shot:



See more vintage (and current) Jungle Cruise photos on my regular website.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Screen Gem Saturdays: Restoration of "A Star Is Born" (1954)



I was extremely excited to hear that Warner Brothers was going to release the 1954 Judy Garland movie "A Star Is Born” on Blu-ray; I held out hope that the remaining few minutes of footage that had yet to surface might have been found. Unless Warner Brothers is going to surprise us though, it looks like the version being released will still be minus a few bits and pieces. On the bright side, the Blu-ray special edition is chock full of extras and the movie has undergone yet another extensive restoration. Should be a beauty! If you’re not familiar with how this film was butchered shortly after its release (so that theaters could show it more times per day), then you should read Ron Haver's fantastic book documenting the exhaustive search for the deleted footage.

One of the sequences originally cut showed Judy's character, Esther Blodgett, attempting to make ends meet as a carhop serving burgers.



This still is from another deleted sequence (for which the footage is still missing) where Norman Maine (James Mason) finally finds Esther (Judy), washing her hair on the rooftop of her apartment:



According to the Judy Garland fansite The Judy Room, a complete print DOES exist. It’s an interesting tale of studio vs. individual, where the lines are somewhat blurred as to who is holding up the release of this rare footage:

http://www.thejudyroom.com/asib/asib-article.html

For some excellent reading about where this film was shot, check out one of my favorite blogs:

http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/2010/03/star-is-born-1954-film-locations.html





To see more Judy Garland photos, visit my regular website.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freaky Fridays @ The Haunted Mansion: NBC—The Corridor



The wallpaper is the same, but a few “Little Shop of Horrors”-style plants have been added, and they are singing as obnoxiously as possible. Instead of the carefully planned music from the original attraction, the new soundtrack for the NBC overlay just seems like an ADD cacophony, similar to my opinion on the track for Nemo. Too much for the ears to process at once. Or maybe I'm just getting old.





See more Haunted Mansion (regular AND NBC) photos at my website.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Traveling Thursdays: Carmel by The Sea



I’ve only spent one afternoon here, but boy have I been dying to go back ever since. Just a stone’s throw from Monterey, Carmel is a beautiful and peaceful area. The beach seemed so natural and unspoiled, especially in comparison to the somewhat filthy beaches of Southern California.





If nature isn’t your bag, there’s plenty of cool architecture to marvel over as well:



This one looks like the home from “North by Northwest”:



On my next visit, I want to stay at The Cypress Inn, which I found out was owned by Doris Day!



Meanwhile, in Disney-related news, it is sad to note the recent passing of Art Linkletter, who was the main host for the opening day festivities at Disneyland.



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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Disneyland 1958 in Living Color, Pt. 2



Welcome to Tomorrowland! Once you are done gazing at the Monsanto House of the Future, be sure to notice the placard on the Oregon State Flag Pole at the entrance to Tomorrowland.

Nothing very futuristic about the water fountain in this shot:



Be sure to notice the Thimble Drome sign in the background:



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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Disneyland 1958 in Living Color, Pt. 1



This was a great batch of large-format transparencies, yielding some very sharp details, circa 1958. The back of the peg-legged pirate is visible aboard the deck of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant.

Moving over to Frontierland, we have a good clear view of the Golden Horseshoe, taken from the deck of the Mark Twain.



Hungry? How about Swift’s Chicken Plantation Restaurant? The restaurant is to the rear of our photographer, as you can see the sign directly in the forefront of this shot.



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Monday, May 24, 2010

1957 Frontierland Duo



Here are two shots circa 1957 from Frontierland. Up first, The Stagecoach barrels through its route, viewing some of the same scenery that guests see on the long-gone Mine Train.

Photo #2 features the Pack Mules, a much more sedate (but sometimes just as bumpy) mode of transportation:



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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sailing Through Sundays on The JC: The Kate’s Meow—Skipper Kate, Pt. 2



Skipper Kate is back at it again with another post that she is sharing with the Daveland readers:

“The only "official" names we have for residents in the Jungle are Trader Sam, Little Squirt (sometimes known as Seymour), Ellie, and Bertha. You know Bertha—she’s been sitting in that shower so long, she has more wrinkles than she can count. She's been in there for like fifty years; it's time to get out, girl! Bertha is definitely our homie. She's one of the few animals you can really count on to get some solo attention, and it's mostly because she's so cute.

“I'm not entirely sure why Little Squirt is so special that she gets an official name. I do know she's adorable, and I tend to make a big deal out of her when we go by. Part of the reason I like her is she's very close to the boat, so kids especially seem fond of her (as well as guests with cameras). She's also a great distraction for meeting her cousin, "Big Squirt", who is the one who tries to soak boats. I have a personal dialogue with "Big Squirt", and we CAN threaten revenge on hecklers. Um... not that we've ever done that...



“I almost forgot about Ellie; she's a bit awkward to talk about, and most guests aren't very fond of her because she can get you wet (She's at the end of the jungle, hanging out with Trader Sam). Unlike "Big Squirt" by the Gorilla camp, we are NOT in cahoots, and if she gets you wet, it is of her own accord. I know Sam allegedly values her for her trunk space, but I like to pretend that she's really an attack elephant, and she gets people wet because she worries about them getting too close to Sam. Of course, this is completely my interpretation to make Ellie seem a lot cooler.

“I have a personal favorite (besides Little Squirt), and that's because I unofficially named her. I call the charging hippo in the hippo pool "Bessie". I don't have a good reason, other than it just flung its way out of my mouth one day when we were fleeing her attack, and ever since then, it just... stuck. If I'm ever out in the jungle on a boat without any guests (usually this happens during fireworks), I like to stop a spend a moment with her. She's really much more friendly without guests on the boat.



“I do not call the Bengal Tiger "Tony", nor will I ever. I think of the tiger as being female, and I usually call her "my big black and orange kitty". This sometimes frightens people.

“Lastly, although I've mostly been talking about animals with specific nicknames, there are two animals in the jungle who get the shaft. Next time you're riding the Jungle Cruise, pay attention to the left side of the boat AFTER the Rhino tormenting the hunter and Co, but well BEFORE the hippo pool. There are two tiny deer (?) lurking in the shadows. To my knowledge there are no jokes about them, nor is there any canon Disney commentary on them. It makes me sad because I think they're really cute, and deserve more attention.


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Screen Gem Saturdays: Batman—60’s Campy Fun



Every now and then, a certain TV show or film is looked upon favorably by the Gods and allowed to have absolute perfection. The 1966 “Batman” TV series is one of those programs. Perfect casting, music, crew, and just the right amount of cheese. Cheese? Yup...that perfect amount of camp humor that lets you know that they know that it’s every bit as cheesey as you think it is. Adam West gives a pitch-perfect performance as Batman; every line uttered as if it were Shakespeare, giving the camp lines the deadpan humor that they deserve. Burt Ward’s enthusiasm as The Boy Wonder is genuine; every “holy [fill-in-the-blank]" line bubbles over with his youthful zest. Together, they are one of the greatest duos in TV history. Yvonne Craig added a much needed element of female sexuality; who doesn’t remember her startling transformation into the skin-tight purple glitter costume and red wig? Hot damn! And just about every celebrity in Hollywood wanted to play a villain on Batman. Check out a few of them: Talullah Bankhead, Cesar Romero, Van Johnson, Eartha Kitt, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liberace, Milton Berle, Shelley Winters....need I go on?



Here are photos of Adam West (Batman) and Van Williams (The Green Hornet) posing by their famous cars, The Batmobile and The Black Beauty. Bruce Lee (Kato) & Burt Ward (Robin) are visible in the 2nd shot.





Living near LA & Hollywood, it’s always fun to scout out the original locations used in movies and television. The Batcave from 1966’s “Batman” is naturally one I sought out. How many kids were thrilled each week to see the Batmobile roaring out of the cave, getting ready to do battle with a super villain! Here’s how the cave looks in “the real world”:





This cave, located in Bronson Canyon, has also been used in “Star Trek,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” and “Wonder Woman.” And yes, I am referring to the original versions!

Sadly enough, the TV series has never made it to DVD because of legal problems. Let’s hope the complications get wrapped up soon so that this show can find a new legion of fans.

Anyone aware of the decades-long attempt to restore Judy Garland's butchered classic, “A Star is Born” (1954) back to its original length will be excited to hear that a complete print is apparently in the hands of a private collector.



A petition is circulating to encourage the owner to release his print so that others can finally see this movie as it was meant to be seen. If so inclined, please follow this link to the petition:

ipetitions.com/petition/shareasib

Follow my updates on Twitter. To see more “Batman” photos, visit my regular website.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freaky Fridays @ The Haunted Mansion: NBC—Trip To The Loading Area



What a great effect; I’ve always loved how these characters just seem to stare at you as you walk by. Nice addition of the cob-web lighting.





In the tradition of the original Fantasyland Dark Rides, much of the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay relies on black light and fluorescent painted 2-dimensional figures. As low-tech and deceptively simple as that may seem, I still think it looks mighty cool, especially in the loading queue area where all of the main characters from Nightmare Before Christmas can be found, including "Sandy Claws."

















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