Friday, September 05, 2014
1950's Disneyland Gems, Pt. 3
Traveling down Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland we come to the Silent Screen Cinema, with headliners Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle.
The two featured shorts are "The Speed Kings," a 1913 Mack Sennett comedy starring Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand:
and "The Great Train Robbery," the 1903 Edwin S. Porter ten minute short that is considered a milestone in filmmaking for its cross cutting, composite editing, hand tinting, and location shooting.
Today, memories of Normand and Arbuckle are tainted by the scandals that they were involved in. Normand had an addiction to drugs and was also a suspect (later cleared) in the still unsolved murder of director William Desmond Taylor. Arbuckle was accused of raping a young girl in a San Francisco hotel. Although he was cleared of all charges, his career never recovered from the headlines.
A little further down Main Street, we see a White Wing sweeping up the horse poop. Not an enviable job, but somebody's got to do it.
Zooming in for a closer look at East Center Street, with the Gibson Greeting Card Shop on the corner.
Yesterday, I received this sad email from Daveland reader Peter B.:
Last night I was informed that Disneyland removed the large tree that has been sitting on the Plaza Pavilion/Coke Corner for must be 50 plus years.
You can see the tree in this December 1968 image:
And how it looked recently, providing lots of shade to this little area of the park:
Last bit for today is on yesterday's news of the passing of comedienne Joan Rivers.
I discovered her back in the 80's when my dad took me to see her at the Valley Forge Music Fair. I thought she was one of the funniest people I had ever seen. She was brutal to a number of celebrities (Elizabeth Taylor, the Royal Family,…) but most of all, her humor poked fun at herself. Her timing and delivery were impeccable. I wore out my vinyl version of What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most until I could practically recite the whole album myself. She rarely (if ever) apologized for her somewhat offensive jokes which touched on such subjects as weight, religion, and the Holocaust. As she stated herself, "I've learned to have absolutely no regrets about any jokes I've ever done ... You can tune me out, you can click me off, it's OK. I am not going to bow to political correctness. But you do have to learn, if you want to be a satirist, you can't be part of the party."
Whether you liked her or not, you could never say the woman was lazy. Even at the age of 81, she worked endlessly, rarely turning down a gig no matter where it was. RIP, Joan. You were a true trailblazer.
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