Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Lies people tell you during the holidays

Supposedly, there is a  very old Christmas eve tradition in Germany was to hide a pickle [ornament] deep in the branches of the family Christmas Tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning, the child who first spots the ornament would receive an extra gift from Santa. The first adult who finds the pickle traditionally gets good luck for the whole year. Don't let anyone tell you that the Christmas pickle is an old world custom from Germany.

This story is a complete lie - no one in Germany hides pickles in their trees - it was a marketing ploy by  F. W. Woolworth to unload a large number of unsold pickle ornaments purchased in the 1880s. (I'm guessing you have no idea what Woolworth's was.)

December 5, 1926 -
The film is widely regarded as one of the most influential films of all time, Sergei Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin premiered  in the US on this date.

It dramatizes the uprising on the Battleship Potemkin that occurred in 1905 when the crew of a Russian battleship rebelled against their oppressive officers of the Tsarist regime.

December 5, 1940 -
One of film's most beautiful Technicolor fairy tales, The Thief of Bagdad, opened in NYC on this date.

Filming began in Britain, but because of the Blitz - the German air raids on London - the production relocated to Hollywood. There was such a long break in production that Sabu's early scenes had to be re-shot because he had grown several inches.

December 5, 1952 -
The local New York City affiliate of CBS-TV, WCBS begin carrying The Abbott and Costello Show on this date.

During filming, one camera was always kept on Lou Costello because he was constantly improvising. The funniest bits of business were then edited into the episode whether they had anything to do with the storyline or not.

December 5, 1963 -
One of the best romantic/ thrillers of the 60s, Charades, starring Cary Grant (at his late career best) and Audrey Hepburn premiered on this date.

Due to the suspense, the presence of Cary Grant, the structure of the screenplay, and the frequent plot twists, many people believe this was an Alfred Hitchcock film. Hitchcock was not involved in the making of the film at all. This confusion has prompted fans of the film to call it "the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made."

December 5, 1974 -
The last episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Party Political Broadcast,  was shown on BBC on this date.

Terry Gilliam had reportedly said that this was his favorite episode.

December 5, 1973
Paul McCarthy and Wings released their third studio album Band on the Run in the US on this date.

The album went on to be the top selling album of 1974

December 5, 1976 -
Hal Ashby
under-rated bio-pix about Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory, starring David Carradine, premiered on this date.

The first film to use a long Steadicam tracking shot as operated by its inventor Garrett Brown under DP Haskell Wexler's supervision.

December 5, 2007 -
The Diablo Cody written comedy-drama, Juno, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney and J. K. Simmons, went into limited release in the US on this date.

It was challenging to show all four seasons within a 30-day filming schedule. Solutions included digitally darkening spring cherry blossoms to look like summer flowers and having crew members off camera throw falling silk leaves for autumn. There was a fluke snowstorm (unusual for March in Vancouver) and three different shots were coordinated that day before the snow could melt. Since fake snow can be expensive to put in a shot, this saved the film considerable money for the winter scenes.

December 5, 2008
Ron Howard's adaptation of the 2006 Peter Morgan play, Frost/ Nixon, starring Michael Sheen Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell, premiered on this date.

Frank Langella and Michael Sheen repeated the roles they created on stage. Ron Howard would only agree to direct if the studio would allow both actors to appear in the film version.

ACME holiday gift suggestions

Today in History :
December 5, 1484 -
Pope Innocent VIII released a papal bull to combat the spread of witchcraft and heresy in Germany, on this date, leading to one of the severest witch hunts in European history. He ordered that all cats belonging to witches scheduled to be burned, also to be burned.

The bull was, alas, less interested in fighting these affronts to civilization than in finding romantically-inclined heifers and was subsequently relieved of his duties.

Witchcraft and heresy therefore flourished (over the next three centuries 200,000 accused witches died under most unpleasant circumstances) and eventually caused Protestants.

December 5, 1791 -
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, child prodigy, influential composer and fart joke lover, died after a sudden (and some would say suspicious) illness on this date.

During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.

December 5, 1876
The Stillson wrench (U.S. Patent #184,993) was patented by Daniel Chapman Stillson on this date.

The device was the first practical pipe wrench, the design is still in use today.

December 5, 1906 -
I do not welcome advice from actors; they are here to act.

Otto Ludwig Preminger, Austrian-born film director, whose films included Laura, The Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder and Advise and Consent, was born on this date.

December 5, 1932 -

Rev. Richard Wayne Penniman, (Little Richard) singer, songwriter, pianist and one of the seminal influences in Rock and Roll first graced this earth on this date.

To experience the true healing powers, as with St. Elvis, remove all your under garments, dance with wild abandon and occasionally touch the screen and yourself.

December 5, 1933 -
Let the good times roll.

Fourteen years of prohibition end when Utah ratifies the 21st amendment. One has to wonder if the delay in the states' ratification had anything to due with the fruits of polygamy.

December 5, 1945
Five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 took off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. The "Lost Squadron" never returned.

The disappearance of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.

December 5, 1968 -
Margaret Cho, comic and actress was born on this date.

Whatever you do - don't offer to discuss sexual technique with her.

And so it goes.

Before you go -  Since we mentioned Technicolor before, I thought I would play the great video that has been making the rounds about Technicolor


And So It Goes!

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