Random Events from the Fifties in Film Land

Random Events from very big and heavy book I bought in Australia last January and had it shipped back home – I have picked out some of the film related articles from the fifties

ABOVE – The Grand Opening of his Never Never Land childrens and adults park on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim 22 miles outside of Los Angeles which cost a whopping 17 million dollars.

 After years of planning, Walt Disney’s very first theme park Disneyland opened its gates at 2:30 pm on Sunday July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California. Television crews, Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings, the Mouseketeers, Thurl Ravenscroft, California Governor Goodwin J. Knight and over 28,000 guests witnessed the opening of Walt’s dream.

Broadcast on ABC at 4:30PM, it was the biggest live telecast to date. 

Actor Ronald Reagan (who would later become president of the United States) introduced 53-year-old Walt Disney – “And now, Walt Disney will  step forward to read the dedication of Disneyland.” Walt then opened his 160-acre park : 

ABOVE – January 23 rd 1956 – The death of Alexander Korda – film giant that built Denham Film Studios.

Alexander Korda remains an elusive figure and there are still arguments over whether he should best be considered a charlatan or a visionary. He was knighted in June 1942 (for his contribution to the war effort). He died on 23 January 1956.

This Blue Plaque appears on his home in Grosvenor Street London – a street I personally know very well as I worked in an Office there for an Oil Company in the late 1960’s for a few years. A lovely part of London close to Berkeley Square

ABOVE Arthur Miller – in a non too flattering pose – with his wife Marilyn Monroe who looks lovely as always. I think this was taken when they came to England for Marilyn to make ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ with the pompous Laurence Olivier who had nowhere near the screen presence of Marilyn much to his annoyance. I have a feeling that had another actor taken the male lead, that this would have been a much more successful film.

He was the Director on this film

On July 19, 1956 Marilyn joined Olivier and the rest of the cast at Pinewood Studios for a read-through of the script. It did not go well.

Introducing her to the others, Olivier explained it would take her a while to get used to the way they all worked because her acting technique was so vastly different.

Shocked by what she considered his snobbish attitude, Marilyn was immediately on edge. This didn’t bode well.

However as always, she turned out very well in the finished film – he didn’t fare so well in my opinion.

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