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A Tale of Two Snipes: A Silent Gem UncoveredJune 6, 2014
Last year we acquired a collection of Silent 1-Sheet movie posters dating from the early Teens. Included in the purchase were a couple of fairly generic looking posters all bearing the same title, The Passing Show. My first instinct was that these were essentially stock posters using nondescript artwork to advertise a recurring weekly newsreel, a common practice in the early days of cinema.

Much to my surprise, when I held one of the posters up to a bright light I discovered this was not quite the case. These posters had indeed been used to advertise a weekly newsreel, but they were not printed for that purpose. In this case, the theater had taken an older poster and simply pasted a snipe with the words The Passing Show over the original title, and in a similar fashion covered the studio information at the bottom with another blank snipe. I had my restorer remove the two snipes (at the top and bottom) and lo and behold, there was an original 1-Sheet for a 1910 Biograph film. And not just any Biograph film, but an early D.W. Griffith short starring Mack Sennett! Here are the before and after photos below.

From a thrift shop in South Philly...June 5, 2014
Well here's something you don't find everyday. In fact, you could search for decades and never find any material from this film. A pristine title card from Tod Browning's 1935 Mark of the Vampire, a sound remake of his lost Silent classic London After Midnight. Paper from this film is legendarily scarce. This turned up in a consignment / thrift shop in South Philadelphia.

R.I.P. The Bronze BuckarooMay 28, 2014
Herb Jeffries, the first singing cowboy in Black-cast films, passed away May 25th at the ripe old age of 100. Known as the Bronze Buckaroo to his fans, his career included not only movies, he also made Jazz recordings with the likes of Earl Hines and Duke Ellington.

Norman Jewison... who knew?May 3, 2014
Who knew that Norman Jewison, the talented director of films as diverse as In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, Fiddler on the Roof, A Soldier's Story and Moonstruck (among many others) is now making maple syrup in his retirement. A friend of mine was traveling north of Toronto when he stumbled on Jewison's Putney Heath Farms, a 200-acre spread in Caledon, Ontario. The farm itself is named for Putney Heath, southwest of London, England, where Norman and his wife purchased a Victorian home previously owned by Sean Connery.

Jayne Mansfield and those milk bottlesApril 29, 2014
The Girl Can't Help It. Parts of this 1956 movie play like a Tex Avery cartoon, especially when Jayne Mansfield's assets are in motion. No surprise that director Frank Tashlin got his start in animation. It's hard to believe that this scene made it past the censors.

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