Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Temple Tuesday: Fred Astaire is Melting



In this publicity still for Shirley’s 1936 film “Stowaway,” she is shown between takes of the “You Gotta S-M-I-L-E To Be H-A-P-P-Y” number where she dances with a dummy that is supposed to represent Fred Astaire. It wasn’t until I acquired this photo that I realized just how primitive and creepy the dummy’s face was. No wonder Shirley appears to be pulling her own face away!



Wondering if this was just a test dummy, I decided to look at my other still from this number and dang if it wasn’t the same dummy, looking as if his face had come straight out of a creepy horror movie.



“Freddy, your face is melting!”



The prop man who put this together obviously did not bother making it look much like the real Fred Astaire!



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2 comments:

Fifthrider said...

It came so close, only to fail for the sake of not knowing how to use sandpaper before painting it. I hope Astaire tap danced on the prop guy's head.

Stefano said...

Ghastly. This dummy belongs with his horrific cousins, the ones in "Magic" and "Dead of Night" and "The Great Gabbo" and the 1963 "Devil Doll". Buster Keaton had a spooky dummy joke in "Steamboat Bill, Jr.", the earliest I know of.