Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Temple Tuesday: The Boy Next Door

We often hear about how Shirley Temple came THIS CLOSE to having the role of Dorothy that made Judy Garland a legend. What you probably don’t hear about is something else they actually DID share: the boy next door. Surely you remember him. He’s the guy who lived at 5133 Kensington Avenue that inspired Judy to sing “The Boy Next Door” in 1944’s “Meet Me In St. Louis.” He was played by Tom Drake, who had a moderately successful career but definitely not one that would pop to the top of most memorable. He was born Alfred Sinclair Alderdice; I can see why he changed his name. That’s a mouthful for a billboard. Once was not enough for Judy though; she also made “Words and Music” with him in 1948. They only had a few seconds of screen time together though, as she was only on board for two musical numbers. That’s Janet Leigh (of “Psycho” fame) on the right.

In 1949, Shirley won Drake away from Judy, as she was the one who ended up with him in “Mr. Belvedere Goes to College,” also starring Clifton Webb.

It’s a mildly amusing film with Shirley as a war widow with a son; Drake plays a college student job coordinator. Of course they fall in love, but not without a few little roadblocks along the way.

It may have all been a moot point, as it appears based on a few sources that Tom actually preferred “the boy next door.”

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Flashback Friday: Balboa Park

It's embarrassing to think how long this post has been waiting for me to shoot a matching contemporary view (not quite as embarrassing as the VERY cool vintage Disneyland post that has been sitting on my computer for a few years). The initial photo is from February 1962 and shows the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Not a stellar photo, but it does show a set of arches that are no longer there; in their place is a large plaza with a fountain. The first time I attempted the similar view I didn't get the angle right and completely left the Natural History Museum out of the shot.

Flash forward to about six months later and round two. Success!

Here’s a better composed vintage view of the Natural History Museum from September 1963:

It was quite odd to see Balboa Park empty at sunset; normally this is a time when the place is packed. Just a sign of the times.

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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Castle Panorama, 1956

One big juicy panorama of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is what I present to you today. What do you see as you zoom in to this shot? I see a girl eating from a Disneyland box of popcorn; I see a woman in a fur stole; I see two little boys that may or may not be twins, yet Mom has dressed them up in matching outfits.

As a follow-up to my Sheriff/Badge posts, Disneyland slide collector supreme Bill Cotter graciously supplied this 1956 image of Disneyland’s nefarious villain, Black Bart, who appears to be lost in Central Plaza. Ready for a shoot-out, let’s hope everyone was safe as he made his way back to Frontierland!
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Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley Goes Latin!

What happens when Shirley and Cinco de Mayo collide? You’ll find out today! Cinco de Mayo (aka the fifth of May) celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it has become a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage here in the U.S.

There weren’t many Latin-themed elements in Shirley’s movies. The only one I could think of was the pitiful “Honeymoon.” About the only thing I can recommend about it are two dance numbers that Shirley performs.

The movie is set in Mexico; the premise is that an underage Shirley is supposed to meet her honey, Guy Madison, in Mexico to be wed. Trouble immediately begins when they have difficulty finding each other. With the help of the American Consul, played by Franchot Tone, things work out...until Shirley falls off a pool diving board and lands on Franchot. When she wakes up, she’s in love with him. She’s 17; Tone was in his 40’s, and his character was engaged. Oh, and falling off a diving board onto Madison was how those two fell in love. Are you with me yet? If you say “no,” I can’t blame you. There’s a bit of an ‘ick’ factor to the Tone-Temple storyline; so bad that actor Joseph Cotten turned the role down, even though it meant he was to be put on suspension. Wise career move, Joseph!

This series of publicity photos was taken by famed LIFE photographer Peter Stackpole:

In early March 1946, RKO announced that the film was to be shot in and around its new Churubusco studios near Mexico City. Because of a workers' strike in the Mexican film industry, filming was delayed by a month. The cast and crew shot for approximately three weeks in and around the Mexican studio. Over two hundred Spanish-speaking extras were hired to appear in the film. I do not believe Shirley went to Mexico; all of the location shots have a very bad double who looks nothing like our gal. Instead, all of her work was back in the U.S. at the studio.

The film wasn’t released until 1947, receiving a not-so-good review from the New York Times:

The friends of Shirley Temple must be getting a little bit tired of seeing this buxom young lady still acting as though she were a kid. Shirley is no Greta Garbo, which is plain enough to see, but she certainly deserves an opportunity to act smarter than she does in “Honeymoon,” her latest RKO comedy…In this frivolous item, for which frivolous is really a flattering word, she plays a flighty little subdeb who arrives in Mexico City to be married to an American soldier-boy who has flown up from Panama to meet her. But she misses connection with him first, and then when she does finally find him, they have all sorts of trouble getting wed—mainly because Miss Shirley is so casual and careless about things. To be sure, her "Dreamboat," Guy Madison, is no mental giant himself, but with all her foolish behavior, it is no wonder he gets provoked with her at times. However, through the frantic assistance of the American vice consul, Franchot Tone—with whom the little lady, at one point, thinks that she has fallen in love—the whole mess is straightened out nicely, but not until poor Mr. Tone has been driven almost to his wits end and to a break with his fiancée, Lina Romay. Incidentally, Miss Romay sings more sweetly than does Miss Temple, who has a couple of songs.

The joke was on the Times; Shirley’s two songs were dubbed. Why, I have no idea, as neither song would have been out of her capabilities and the voice she is lip-syncing to is obviously not hers.

I hope you’re Cinco de Mayo is a blast; have a margarita for me! And if you decide to watch this movie, you should have at least TWO margaritas!

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Monday, May 04, 2020

Cruising into another week

Is it Monday? Hard to tell anymore. Every day seems to blend into the next. This 1956 image of the Jungle Cruise dock really speaks to me today. The skipper has just emptied his boat and is about to head to the dock to get another load of guests. While I do feel that I am being very productive during this time of quarantine, there is a sense of monotony in the air.

As a follow-up to last week’s post about the Frontierland Sheriff, I was contacted by Daveland reader and badge collector supreme Michael Hulme.

Here is a poor picture of the Deputy Marshall badge worn in the early days of the park. Your recent photo of Sheriff Lucky is a great photo showing both badges and proving my theory that the Sheriff would rate a different badge than his deputy. I was lucky to obtain the Deputy's badge many years ago on E-bay. As you can see it is badge number 4, so one could assume they are rare. I do not have a Sheriff’s badge and have never seen a good close-up of what it exactly looks like. Judging from the picture I think the Deputy Marshall's badge looks more traditional and is way cooler. It was made by the Sun Badge Company back when Walt wanted everybody to have a themed costume to where they worked in the park. All that started to change around 1962 when the early metal employee badges were phased out for the plastic ones. I doubt the Deputy Marshall's badges lasted that long.

Thanks a million for that info, Michael!

As a follow-up to my post last week giving kudos to Dianne Jacob, I want to thank those who left such supportive comments. In this time of social isolation, knowing that others feel the same way about the restrictions actually made me feel connected again. Irene - I applaud your courage. I also find it funny (but not in a good way) that an entire group of people are being singled out as COVID-19 risks due to their age. In the workplace, that could get you fired! Obviously, a person’s health is not necessarily based on their age. It all depends on how a person has lived their life, genetics, etc. Fifthrider - can I tag along with you on that trip to find common sense?

For the gutless wonder who anonymously posted this:

Please leave the politics out of your site. There are plenty of other places for that, and your views do you no credit -- however much other readers may agree with them.

You are symptomatic of the problem. It’s time that people spoke out for their freedom, even if it’s a little uncomfortable. I rarely get political, but warning: there will be more posts here when I feel the need. That’s why the blog is called “Daveland” and not “Anonymous Land.”

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Friday, May 01, 2020

A Fair Friday

TGIF with Christopher Fair, the Court Jester of Disneyland, circa 1959. He was hired out of high school to do magic tricks and juggling at the Park; it was his idea to ride around on a unicycle. Here he is in Central Plaza, near the Castle, with the Matterhorn in the background.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Kudos to Dianne Jacob; Welcome to the DCD

Recently, California Governor Newsom’s office sent memos to police chiefs statewide that beaches would be closing again this Friday as a result of citizens violating social distancing suggestions made to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to pushback from citizens and local government, Newsom’s directive now only covers Orange and Ventura counties, which are the locations that the media sent out photos of the "violating citizens.” NOTE: lifeguards reported that “most people followed social distancing.” And as for the crowds that were shown gathering under umbrellas…if they are in the same household, that doesn’t violate the mandate.

Newsom was told that it was not right to have the citizens of San Diego lose the ability to hit the beaches since they had followed “the rules.” In a classic case of publicity damage control, Newsom claimed he never intended to close San Diego. Unfortunately for him, local government has spoken up about his blatant lie. Regardless, it makes me very happy that local citizens, supported by their elected officials, can make a difference. Thank you County Supervisor Dianne Jacob for speaking up for us!

I rarely go to the beaches anymore. I don’t enjoy sunbathing as I did in my youth, and I've read too many accounts about sewage spills from down south that seep into our ocean waters. No thanks. I’d prefer to take a long soak in my own bathtub.

So why do I care? Because I am tired of American citizens being treated like idiots and having their freedoms being taken away. Punishment for the masses because of a few. Tired of the media sensationally reporting worst-case scenarios which only serves to rile people up, give them anxiety, and fill them full of stress. I’m also tired of receiving “news” tainted by the interests of who is reporting it, and by interests I mean the all-mighty-dollar.

While I don’t doubt that the virus that causes COVID-19 can cause illness and potentially death, I DOUBT that it single-handedly has caused the number of deaths being reported. Sorry, call me a doubting Thomas but the majority of cases I have read about (yes, I do read beyond the headlines) list an underlying health condition. Heart issues, lung problems, obesity, and yes…old age. Now, because of the social distancing rules and the closure of “non-essential” storefront businesses, many Americans are without jobs and a paycheck. I saw one person on social media saying that most people out of jobs weren’t complaining about the social distancing; it was the rich crybabies. Of course the jobless don’t care about social distancing; they’re trying to figure out where the rent/mortgage/food $$ is going to come from. Another social media troll said he wasn’t aware that “getting a tan” was one of our rights. No dumbass, it’s not about getting a tan. It’s about allowing citizens to have a voice and show that they can be intelligent.

I see a parallel to the changes at Disneyland that have occurred in America the last 30 years or so. Attractions that were once popular have to be removed or reconfigured because Americans take no personal responsibility. One or two people are dumb enough to try to jump out of a moving Skyway vehicle? Remove it. Punish everyone. I was involved as a witness for a lawsuit against Disneyland by a guest who fell over a rope (yes, you read that right) at the exit of the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction. Of course they lost, but how did it even get to court in the first place? No corporation big or small wants to be involved in legal action, so instead they dumb everything down. No personal responsibility leads to the blame game which leads to lawsuits which leads to dumb everything down to the DCD (Dumbest Common Denominator). I’m waiting for a lawsuit against Trump for the people who drank bleach and died. You know it’s coming.

While going to the beach may seem frivolous, for someone like me who likes to run outdoors to improve my health, if I’m not running with anyone and don’t come within 6' of another person while doing so, why should my ability to do so be removed? It’s a slippery slope about rights and this country is on the precipice. I encourage you to speak up; you just might make a difference as San Diegans did this week.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wild West Wednesday

Today’s image hails from 1957, where you can see a little tot wearing his Disneyland Keppy Kap, surrounded by Frontierland law enforcement. The boy is also holding some kind of card in his hands; wonder if it was a souvenir that he received from the Sheriff? Digging the Sheriff’s vintage watch and ring, even if they don't really go with his costume!

I have separate pics of both of these gentlemen, and always referred to them as Sheriff Lucky, however…now that I look at their badges, they are definitely different. Maybe one is a deputy. Anyone out there able to shed light on the different badges or characters they played?

I know the one on the right was definitely Sheriff Lucky, as that’s how this Encyclopaedia Britannica labeled him:

Wanna’s see his signature? Here it is on a Wanted Poster in Rainbow Ridge:

Perhaps yet another Deputy on the left? On the right is Black Bart.

In this March 1956 shot, a guest caught him taking a break with a pretty little lass on New Orleans Street:

Finally, here’s another previously posted image of who I am “assuming” the Frontierland Deputy:

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Abbey

In 1944, Shirley made a comeback with her supporting role in “Since You Went Away,” produced by David O. Selznick. Know what the “O” stood for? Absolutely nothing; one story says Selznick used it to distinguish himself from his Uncle (same name), and another said he just liked the sound of it. The truth? Probably a combo of both. But enough about him…

Today’s photo shows Shirley at home knitting with Abbey Wilder, who was the real-life inspiration for the character she played in Selznick’s movie, Brig Hilton. Brig…short for Bridget. I wonder if her Aunt’s name was Bridget? Here’s the caption that accompanied the publicity still:

Shirley Temple is shown demonstrating her knitting to Abbey Wilder, the girl whose role Shirley is to portray in the filming of the novel, “Since You Went Away.” In the novel, Mrs. Margaret Buell Wilder, Abbey’s mother, in her letters to her soldier husband tells of the home-front struggle of herself and her two teen-aged daughters.

Here’s a shot of Shirley from the film with Claudette Colbert, who portrayed her mother:

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Still Sending In The Clowns

My very first post was on June 4, 2006 and it was titled “Send in the Clowns,” featuring a shot of one of the clowns from the short-lived (November 25, 1955—September 7, 1956) Mickey Mouse Club Circus at Disneyland. Today, I post a recently acquired shot of a different clown (but same circus!) standing in Central Plaza. Not sure what the guy on all fours on the ground is doing. Maybe he has an aversion to clowns. Yesterday, I saw a clown of a different kind; a guy wearing his COVID-19 mask while smoking a cigarette. Gotta’ love the irony; protect yourself from the air, but make sure you don't miss that nicotine!

Here’s the image I posted on the fateful day almost fourteen years ago:

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Henry

Henry Fonda looks very pleased to be posing with Shirley on the set of “Captain January,” Shirley’s first film of 1936. Stamped April 23, 1936 (Shirley’s birthday), the publicity blurb on the back states:

HE KEPT HIS PROMISE — So Henry Fonda dropped in to see Shirley Temple work in “Captain January,” having made the promise when he left the 20th Century-Fox studios after completing a picture some time ago.

Was the promise to Shirley or Studio Execs? Inquiring minds want to know how this all came about! I was hoping Shirley would have mentioned Fonda in her autobiography, “Child Star,” but no such luck. The only mentions of him are in regards to him making a personal appearance at one of the nationwide premieres of “The Blue Bird” in 1940 and costarring with her in 1948’s “Fort Apache.”

How the two looked twelve years later in a publicity still from that famous John Ford movie, where Fonda played her father:

I was hoping that maybe there’d be a shot on the web of Shirley with Jane Fonda; instead, I came up with this info: Jane and Shirley were 11th cousins, making her and Henry 10th cousins! I wonder if Shirley knew?

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Matterhorn Music Monday

For eighteen years, Fred Burri entertained guests at Disneyland by playing the swiss-accordion and yodeling ON THE MATTERHORN! Here’s a recently acquired shot from July 1960 and a previously posted one from November 1963.

Got some free time on your hands? Here’s a video on how to yodel:

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Shadow of a Doubt Saturday

When most people hear Alfred Hitchcock they think of “Psycho,” “The Birds,” and “Vertigo.” Don't be so quick to ignore his older films, like the psychological thriller “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). As it is in most Hitchcock movies, things are not quite as sedate and serene as they appear in little old Santa Rosa, California! Joseph Cotten plays against type as a lovable but thoroughly immoral heel who is idolized by his naive niece and namesake, Charlie Newton, played by Teresa Wright.

On my one trip to Santa Rosa, I did not make it to the location that Hitchcock used for the exterior of the Newton family home. Today’s post shows a recent shot of the house taken by a regular Daveland reader on their recent trip to Santa Rosa:

Not hard to recognize when compared to this screenshot of the actual movie:

The master of suspense can be seen at left in this location photo outside of the home:

Always one to prefer a controlled environment, Hitch had much of the exterior and all the interiors built on a soundstage, as seen in this shot from LIFE Magazine:

Now rent, buy, or download that movie!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Guy Goes Dress Shopping

In the 1936 movie “Captain January,” Guy Kibbee’s character takes Shirley shopping for a new dress so that she can look her best for her school examination. However, the poor guy has no money and has to borrow it from the local widow to pay for it.

How’d he do? Obviously not too bad, as you can see in this publicity still where Shirley is wearing the dress. FYI: of course she passed the exam with flying colors, too!

The dress was also copied by the Ideal Toy Company and sold with the ever popular 1930’s Shirley Temple dolls.

Six years later in “Miss Annie Rooney,” Kibbee plays Shirley’s grandfather. It’s like déjà vu all over again. Shirley needs a dress for her society debut at her boyfriend’s birthday party, and poor Guy...hardly any money. He has to pay for the dress with money from his pension fund. Was it worth it?

Of course! Shirley is a hit and lands herself a rich boyfriend who probably put Guy up in a rich folk’s retirement community!

Another six years go by and Shirley and Guy costar in a third film together: John Ford’s “Fort Apache.” I’ll just bet you there was a deleted scene where Guy took Shirley shopping for this blue striped number!

Thumbs up for Guy Kibbee; his characters may have been poor, but they were certainly rich in fashion taste!

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