Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Hey Abbott

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.

Directorial changes, the shifting of production to the US at the outbreak of war and other costly delays and circumstances made the film's budget balloon far beyond original projections. The production became so costly that the American distributor, United Artists, put up additional funds so the film could be completed.

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

Even though he was a middle-aged man of 46 when the show began, Lou Costello did most of his own stunts on the show. An athlete in his youth, he was actually a stuntman in Hollywood for a time back in the silent era before he teamed up with partner Bud Abbott, and was renowned for taking spectacular pratfalls in his films and on stage.

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.

It was agreed Cary Grant would keep all of his clothes on when he took a shower, as he was nearly sixty and slightly overweight. However, they then decided the scene was funnier that way.

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

The sketch about the doctor making his patient fill in a form while bleeding to death was co-written by Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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

Shortly after the Band On The Run album was released, Paul McCartney was asked if the album was a reference to Wings escaping from The Beatles, he replied: "Sort of – yeah. I think most bands on tour are on the run."

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.

Jennifer Garner dropped her A-list salary to a percentage point agreement for Juno when it was expected to be a small, low-grossing indie film, but the decision paid off when Juno became a breakout smash at the box office - giving Garner her best payday yet.

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 admits that he usually enjoys playing cards, and joking around on movie sets, but felt it would compromise his character if he didn't remain Presidential on this set. While working on this movie, other cast and crew referred to him as "Mr. President." Langella suggests almost none of the crew ever met Frank Langella.

ACME's favorite holiday game show: Guess the theme?

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, frequently touching 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 -  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.)

20 days until Christmas


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