Archive for March, 2020

The Titfield Thunderbolt – Again

No apologies for going back to this lovely Technicolor Film with a typically English feel to it – and filmed in summertime in the glorious English Countryside.

These pictures and snippets of information are taken from an article written by Hugh Samson dated August 1952 who had travelled down to Limpley Stoke Nr Bath and then to the disused railway track at Monckton Combe Station between  Limpley Stoke and Camerton that Ealing Studios had taken over for the filming.

Titfield Thunderbolt

 

ABOVE – George Relph has time for a drink on a hot English summer day

Titfield Thunderbolt 2

 ABOVE – Stanley Holloway seems to be enjoying his pack up – I think we see him along with others, being given this in a picture below

Titfield Thunderbolt 3

 

ABOVE – John Gregson always appears very self confident as he does here

Titfield Thunderbolt 4

 

ABOVE – Stanley Holloway seems to be collecting  his pack up – along with others working on the film – we see him eating it above

 

Titfield Thunderbolt 5

 

ABOVE – Hugh Griffith doing a spot of poaching in the film

Titfield Thunderbolt 6

 

ABOVE – Make-up man Harry Frampton ( with scarf) and Naunton Wayne resting between scenes as they await the arrival of the  ‘Thunderbolt’.

Titfield Thunderbolt 7

 

ABOVE – George Relph chatting with Film Director Charles Crichton

Titfield Thunderbolt 8

ABOVE – Dummies are being used as passengers for a long-shot on the Thunderbolt as it draws the train to Titfield Station

 

 

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Cinecolor – and Super Cinecolor

I have seen a few films using the Cinecolor process and one film that used it was the subject of the  last article on ‘The Man from Nevada’  or ‘The Nevadan’ released in 1950.

Previous to that I have a DVD of The Prince of Thieves’ with Jon Hall playing Robin Hood.  I just loved the Cinecolor in that one – it seemed to fit the film so well.

Another one – a bit later – with Jon Hall was ‘Hurricane Island’ filmed in Super Cinecolor – see further below

Cinecolor 5

By the end of the 1940s, Cinecolor seemed to have improved their process quite a bit (they eventually switched to three strip colour) 

I read a comment from someone who originally thought the Cincolor was poor  but late changed his mind after seeing nice looking cartoons originally processed in Cinecolor.

He thought that it was just as appealing as Technicolor, but in a different way.  Technicolor seemed richer, but Cinecolor has a sort of shimmering quality to it.

I would tend to agree with this observation.

Cinecolor 4

 

Cinecolor

Cinecolor

Cinecolor

 

Cinecolor 3

 

While Cinecolor wasn’t perfect, I read a comment about it’s long lasting qualities –  Cinecolor standard 8mm print I have,  Blackhawk eastman color print is only 25 years old, (and already starting a slight fade), the Cinecolor print is at least 50 years old, (as Cinecolor ceased in 1955) and yet still retains it’s full and rich color, which at least tells me that this cinecolor process, while a little grainier, was a much better process.

Randolph Scott made all the films he produced himself in cinecolor. Notoriously tight with money, the Cinecolor process was much cheaper than techicolor.

In “The Gunfighters,” Cinecolor looked as great as Technicolor.

While Cinecolor may not have been equal to Technicolor’s 3-color system, it was  far superior to the 2-color Technicolor that was its early competition, both in colour balance and a pleasing appearance on screen.  Cinecolor never stopped refining and improving its process, and by the 1940’s achieved some outstanding results.

Hurricane Island 1951

 

Hurricane Island 1951 2

Hurricane Island 1951 3

 

ABOVE: Jon Hall was ‘Hurricane Island’ filmed in Super Cinecolor

Cinecolor was a dye-transfer printing process very much like Technicolor.

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The Man from Nevada 1950

 

Now this is a Western I was not familiar with but watched it on TCM at the weekend. It starred Randolph Scott, Dorothy Malone and Forrest Tucker but also in the cast was Jack Mahoney – later to become The Range Rider to all us young kids at the time.

Apparently in this film former Stunt Man Jack Mahoney also doubled as Randolph Scott in some of the fight scenes – he was probably one of filmlands most accomplished Stunt Men and famous in this job as he later would be in film acting

The film was made I Cinecolor which I have to say I like – a more muted colour than the wonderful Technicolor but appealing in it’s own way. I did buy ‘The Prince of Thieves’ on DVD released in 1948 with Jon Hall, and that too used the Cinelocor process – here again very good.

 

The Nevadan 5

 

The Man from Nevada ABOVE – Randolph Scott squares up to Jack Mahoney

 

The Man from Nevada 1950

The Man from Nevada

The Man from Nevada 1950 2

The Man from Nevada ABOVE – Randolph Scott and Forrest Tucker

The Man from Nevada 1950

 

The Man from Nevada

The Nevadan 2

The Man from Nevada is 80 minutes in which you can simply enjoy the  storytelling, the characters, the beautiful locations, and the rugged action. – but it is much more than that

The story is set pretty quickly by the theft of  gold by Tom Tanner (Forrest Tucker) and his arrest and escape, followed by wary partnership with a mysterious man, Andrew Barclay (Randolph Scott), who he meets on the trail.  The story leads us to an abandoned mine where Tom has left the gold.  Other characters play come into the story and a number of other relationships are treated, all with increasing drama as these characters move toward  the eventful climax.

Edward Galt (George Macready), a rancher and saloon owner, wants to take the gold for himself, and his daughter Karen (Dorothy Malone), involved after she becomes attracted to Barclay, comes to see the unhealthiness of her father, both in his obsessive greed and obsessive attachment to her in the absence of her mother who left him long ago.

There are also two brothers who work for Galt, Jeff (Frank Faylen) and Bart (Jeff Corey) – they were excellent characters and their acting was impressive particularly in the final gunfight sequence played out against an imposing rocky landscape –  a landscape that I can’t remember seeing in any other film.

The Man from Nevada

The Man from Nevada 1950 2

There is a great action sequence in the film where Jack Mahoney pursues Dorothy Malone – both on horseback. She cleverly gives him the slip but he is persistent and this shot above and below sees him riding through a small lake as he bears down her.

He very shortly comes to a sticky end as he is knocked off his horse by an overhanging branch that he did not see. I would bet that Jack Mahoney peformed this stunt which was very well done

The Man from Nevada 1950 3

The Man from Nevada

The Nevadan 3

The Man from Nevada – ABOVE a still showing Jack Mahoney coming off his horse – this is the stunt that I would bet Jack Mahoney did himself.

The Man from Nevada

ABOVE – Jock Mahoney looks to be finished

The Man from Nevada 1950 4

The Man from Nevada – Dorothy Malone saves the day

The Man from Nevada 1950 5

If you haven’t seen this film, I would recommend you do – some of the comments you read online are not that good but I thought it was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed it. Like going back in time to a night at the ‘pictures’

The Man from Nevada 1950 6

ABOVE – Forrest Tucker and Randolph Scott

The Man from Nevada 1950 7

The Man from Nevada – This film was shown under the title ‘The Nevadan’

The Man from Nevada 1950 8

The Man from Nevada

 

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Jo Burdick – at the Anaheim Parade

 

I had never heard of Jo Burdick until I was looking through a Picturegoer Magazine of 20 September 1952 and the picture below appeared. Since coming across this, I have found out the she has had a very interesting and fun filled life which in the early days was quite attached to the Film World of that time

 

David Wayne and Jo Burdick

 

ABOVE – David Wayne offered Jo Burdick a lift during a charity parade – Jo was a well know Baton Twirler on these occasions – this may well have been at the Anaheim Halloween Parade

 

Annaheim Parade 1950

 

Walt Disney got involved with the Anaheim Halloween Parade, in 1953, sending six float designs as a bouquet to the farm town that, only months before, he had chosen as the place to build Disneyland.

 

“I remember how impressed Walt was that we had the biggest Halloween parade in America,” says Jo An Burdick Gottlieb, now 82, a 6-foot baton twirler known for tossing a baton higher than many people could see. Jo saw her first baton twirler in the Anaheim Halloween Parade when she was 4, and she was smitten. She spent the rest of her career twirling and teaching others at her studio.

 

She has been in the parade since she was 5, occasionally putting down the baton to dress as a witch and ride on a float celebrating a bygone department store from downtown Anaheim.

“We were nothing but walnut trees and packing houses here. And people came from all over. Thousands. People were hanging off the roofs,” she says. “It was the deal. Walt looked at our parade, and he could already see his vision for Disneyland.”

 

 

Jo Burdick

 

 

 

Anaheim High Class of ’51 graduate Jo An (Burdick) Gottlieb credits living a life she describes as a “dream come true” to being at the right place at the right time. In one instance, the right place and time happened to be sitting on a curb in 1939 at age 5 with her parents and sister in front of Anaheim’s old Chung King Cafe on Center Street (now Lincoln) waiting for the Halloween Parade to begin.“Looking to the east I saw the band approach with girls out front holding these shiny things.” The objects that caught her attention were batons being tossed and twirled by the band’s majorettes. From that day forward, Jo said her dream was to be the “best darn baton twirler ever.”But she never imagined that from her humble beginnings, practicing with a bamboo pole in the alley behind her homeat500 N. Vine Street, that she would one day lead the nation’s top parades as a majorette, appear on stage and screen with entertainers like Frank Sinatra and own her own baton, dance and music studio. In Jo words: “It’s been one fabulous ride.”Because money wasn’t available for lessons, she learned to dance by standing at the sidelines of friends’ classes and imitating the moves of movie stars she watched during double features she attended with her older sister, Wanda Lee, an Anaheim Class of ’47 graduate. (Jo’s talented older sister was class speaker and also played lead rolls in the school plays. She earned first place in public speaking contest on the Constitution and was given a scholarship to the famed Pasadena Play House.)Any extra money earned by her family went into patenting her father Harry’s inventions, one of which was the Burdick Scotch Watchman Automatic TimeValve, a water-saving device installed at Stanford University, El Rancho Golf Course and publicized in Popular Mechanic Magazine.

Finally, thanks to a visit from a cousin from Wyoming, Jo An received her first real baton when she was 8 years old. Her older cousin saw how creative she had been without any formal lessons and sent her a hand-me-down baton that had a steel ball instead of the usual soft rubber.

Jo An remembers conking herself in the head several times with the 32-inch baton, but she kept persevering, and by the time she was a freshman at Anaheim High, band director William Cook had Jo An and her friend, Joanne Lee, marching with the older, more experienced majorettes during the pre-game National Anthem.

“We really thought we had arrived when we got to wear white shorts, navy blue sweaters and home-made tassels to go on our rubber white rain boots,” said Jo An. Her talents grew along with her stature. By her junior year, Jo An, a 6-foot-tall blonde, was leading the Anaheim High Marching Band as the head twirling majorette.

Next stop on her journey was Fullerton Junior College, where she also led the band as head drum major and twirler. She then attended Pasadena City College and realized her dream of serving as the Official Rose Parade Majorette. She was also chosen as the only paid majorette in the Rose Parading leading Tommy Walker’s famed Toppers Band. For five additional Rose Parades, Jo marched the 7 1/2 –mile parade route in her high-heeled boots and top hat. Tickets to the Rose Bowl game, with seats at the 50-yard-line, were one of the job perks, but she was always too tired to attend.

During this time, Jo An was chosen as California VFW State Poppy Queen and traveled to San Francisco to lead a parade, perform at other events and lead the California VFW Ball with the State Commander in a specially designed formal. Her photo appeared in newspapers throughout the state.

Along with the fun and glamour, there was work. To earn income Jo An started busing tables at Knott’s Berry Farm at the early age of 13. Her big sis, Wanda Lee, was one of more than 80 hostesses and waitresses serving patrons who stood in long lines for Mrs. Knott’s chicken dinners, homemade boysenberry pies and her famous biscuits served with boysenberry jam.

It wasn’t long before Jo moved from busing tables to landing the job of can-can dancer at the Ghost Town Calico Saloon. Her career continued a steady climb and in 1953, at age 19, Jo was one of five chosen out of 2,000 who tried out at a RKO Movie Studio’s audition to become a Las Vegas showgirl. She arrived in Las Vegas in March of 1954 by train and was soon dancing and singing with Frank Sinatra at the Sands Hotel Copa Room.

Rehearsals started at 2 a.m. until sun up for the next few weeks and Jo An was chosen to sing “I’ve Got the Pinks” with Frank Sinatra. “The New Ziegfield Follies Copa Show was a sell out night after night,” remembers Jo An. “We did two shows a night with Mondays dark. I shared a semi-private dressing room with Irene King, who sang “I’ve Got the Reds.” The room was right next to Frank’s, who sang “I’ve Got the Green’s” (meaning money), so they were given queenly treatment. Frank would have hot tea delivered to their dressing room and prior to each show, would pop in for a visit and have a cup of tea. He also sent each girl in the show a long-stemmed yellow rose with a person good-luck note, mementos Jo still treasurers.

“I was 6 feet tall in stocking feet and Irene, 5-foot-10,” said Jo. “We were the tallest in the show, especially with the addition of 3-inch high heels, and made Frank look even smaller.” Other girls who made the cut were Evelyn Cherry, kid sister of movie star June Haver, and Randy Brown, who later changed her name to Felicia Farr, married Jack Lemmon and left the Sands to become a movie star. Jo still sees many of the girls at annual show girl and dancer reunions held in Hollywood or Las Vegas.

Las Vegas was star studded during this time and hanging out at the pool with celebrities was a daily routine for Jo An. “Many stars came to see us and we attended after-show parties at the hotel where we met Milton Beryl, Danny Thomas, Mae West and her Hunks (appearing at the Desert Inn), Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Danny Thomas, Bob Hope and many others.

Jo remembers one evening when Frank Sinatra hired limousines to take the cast to a special movie showing of his latest film, “Suddenly,” in which he played a hit man whose roll was to shoot the president from an apartment where he held a family hostage.

Next stop for Jo was the stage of Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. She appeared with Sophie Tucker, a singer and comedian who was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first two-thirds of the 20th century.

Considered an “entertainment palace,” the Moulin Rouge was the largest nightclub in America. Shows were performed on a massive stage with a 60-foot-wide double revolving turntable and staircase, swings that could be lowered from the ceiling and the first walk-around that allowed the showgirls to walk into the audience and then back onto the stage.

While performing at the Moulin Rouge, Jo was chosen to appear in the first coast-to-coast televised color broadcast of the Emmy Awards. Jo and her “twin,” wearing extravagant 3-foot-tall pink wigs and gowns with a huge hoop skirt with hundreds of hand-sewn mirrors, flanked Jimmy Durante for the opening of this historical broadcast. During this time, Jo was also a Carolyn Leonetti model and did some movie work at Universal International in her spare time.

After nine months at the Moulin Rouge, Jo An left the stage to tour with a dance teacher convention traveling across the nation with stops in Houston, Chicago, Boston and New York, where she was offered a contract to appear at the famed Latin Quarter Nightclub. Instead, Jo opted to return to Anaheim to open the Jo-An Burdick Dance, Baton, Music and Modeling Studio in Anaheim at Lemon and Broadway. Younger sister Linda Burdick, AHS Class of 1962, taught baton twirling, ballroom, ballet and tap at the studio; her mother was the receptionist and costume designer.

In 1960, Jo married orchestra leader, clarinet and sax musician Bernard Gottlieb, known professionally as Bernie Bernard. A musical contractor for Disneyland in ‘60s and ‘70s, Bernie’s 30-piece orchestra backed major stars for Disneyland’s special summer season performances. Bernie also played for The Righteous Brothers’ Bobby Hatfield (an Anaheim High grad) & Bill Medley, Engelbert Humperdinck, Peggy Lee, Kay Star, Vicki Carr, Phyllis Diller, George Gobel, The Osmond Family and The Jackson 5. Jo remembers holding Michel Jackson on her lap during their Disneyland appearance.

Along with being beautiful and talented, Jo An also had brains. Upon graduating from CSU Fullerton in December 1979 with a bachelor’s of science in physical education, she went on to obtain her California teaching credential and became a physical education teacher at Fullerton High, introducing yoga and jazz dance to the curriculum. Jo also earned a real estate license and pilot’s license.

Jo still lives in Anaheim and is living an active life volunteering with the Anaheim Family Justice Center, the Anaheim Historical Society and the AHS Alumni Association.

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