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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Stooges Classic Short - At The Steel Pier




Three Stooges at Steel Pier 1938 randommusings.filminspector.com




Here we present one of the classic shorts, long forgotten by everyone but Three Stooges fans. "Three Stooges at Steel Pier."

This was created in 1938, but it looks much more recent due to the excellent color quality. Color film has been around in one form or another since the early 1910s, but it was very expensive until fairly recently. Thus, the first feature films were not done routinely in color until the 1960s, so seeing an act that had largely disappeared by then in living, vibrant color is a bit of a shocker.

This was filmed at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

Three Stooges at Steel Pier 1938 randommusings.filminspector.com


The lady in the film is Barbara “Babs” Bradford (October 17, 1917 in Worcester, Massachusetts - February 3, 1991 in Encino, California). She was voted the most beautiful girl in her high school class, nd she began modeling for the John C. MacInnes Co. and other stores in Worcester.  She was voted “Miss. Worcester” in the 1935 beauty pageant.  In 1936 she moved to New York and became one of the top "supermodels" of her day.  In 1937, Barbara was voted the most beautiful woman in New York, and in 1938 she appeared in this film with the Three Stooges. She basically retired when she got married for the second time during World War II, which was quite common then. She retired to California.

Make no mistake, Barbara Bradford was a very big deal. She was often seen in the company of big shots of the day such as Alfred Bloomingdale and the like. Maybe the Stooges and the Mann/Bradford team just happened to be in Atlantic City at the same time and decided to do a quick one-off on the pier. It doesn't look like a tremendous amount of time went into this, maybe a couple of hours one afternoon. A couple of hours spend back at the shop editing and adding background music and - presto! - instant classic short.

Three Stooges at Steel Pier 1938 randommusings.filminspector.com
Babs Bradford sunbathing on Steel Pier in 1938, apparently during this shoot with the Three Stooges.

George Mann also appears. He was part of a successful vaudeville comedy team, Barto and Mann, kind of the Martin and Lewis of his day. Mann and Bradford were married when they did this short, but divorced five years later. Barbara was going by Barbara Bradford Mann at this time, and later became Barbara Bradford Smith. George was known for taking many pictures and home movies of his stylish wife, so this production likely was his idea.

Three Stooges at Steel Pier 1938 randommusings.filminspector.com
Barbara Bradford Mann in 1939.

The music is by Abe Lyman and his orchestra, recorded in 1928. The track is "A Jazz Holiday."

The Three Stooges here were Moe Howard, his brother Curly Howard, and Larry Fine.

The basic plot is that the boys try to hit on a beautiful dame, but the dame hits back - until she doesn't. This was some kind of experimental or home film, as aside from the musical track, there is no sound - but it is constructed so that it doesn't need sound. One could almost say that it is a color production from the silent film era, a true rarity, though of course the actual silent film era had ended by 1930. Adding voices and such probably would have expanded production costs beyond the point where it would have been feasible, especially considering the ocean noise.

Note the people on the beach watching and taking pictures. Also, a mother and young child gets in frame at one point (maybe the kid is still alive?), as do some other passersby. Everyone must have just decided to go down to Atlantic City and film a quickie short, and then hit the bars. While this was decades before legalized gambling, Atlantic City in the '20s and '30s was known as the vice capital of the eastern seaboard both during Prohibition (which was long gone by this point) and afterward - and the boys, who were Brooklyn natives, would gladly have taken the chance to have a nice working weekend down there to do a little filming and take in the sun and other attractions.



2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Union Square Park Blizzard




snow blizzard Union Square Park randommusings.filminspector.com

Just a few random snaps of snowy Union Square Park in New York City. It happens to be only a block away from my apartment, so it's not like I had to fly in to see it or anything. Still, getting there wasn't the easiest thing, either.

snow blizzard Union Square Park randommusings.filminspector.com

I suppose if you live around a lot of snow, or you don't get any snow at all, this probably just looks like an average snowy day. I mean, there's snow, and there are people in the snow, and like, that's what a snowy day looks like, right? Well, for New York, it is far from normal. It is an epic blizzard, and the snow was still falling when these shots were taken this morning. Anyone familiar with NYC knows that the temperature there is always higher than surrounding areas (by about 5 degrees). So, when things get frozen and snowy in Manhattan, that means it is really frozen and snowy.

snow blizzard Union Square Park randommusings.filminspector.com

Never fear, it may be the worst snowfall of the decade, but people will still find their favorite spot on a park bench! Don't know if the pigeons are going to come out to be fed, though.



2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Union Square Battleship


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In April 1917, the United States entered World War I. The U.S. Navy decided to make a recruiting statement by constructing a full-size battleship in Union Square, New York City.

Greenwich Village and surrounding environs at the time had a large German-American population. You can still see traces of this today. Whether that had anything to do with the choice of location is unclear. In fact, if you are familiar with Union Square, you will see recognize many of the surrounding buildings, which are still there today.

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Called the "USS Recruit," the ship was intended as a recruitment and training center. The Recruit was carried on the Navy rolls as a normal seagoing ship under the command of Acting Captain C. F. Pierce. The Recruit was manned by trainee sailors from Newport Training Station. While constructed of wood, the ship had living quarters, a wireless station, full officer's quarters, doctor's quarters and examination rooms to assess the health of potential candidates.

In structure the Recruit carried two cage masts, a conning tower and a dummy funnel, or smokestack. It had six wooden replicas of 14-inch (360 mm) guns housed in three twin turrets, 10 wooden five-inch (130 mm) anti-torpedo boat guns and two replica one-pound saluting guns, matching the configuration of battleships of the time.

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

Popular Science Magazine reviewed the project in its August 1917 issue and concluded:
"The equipment is that of the up-to-the-minute dreadnought with accommodations on board for day and night life of officers and men."
The USS Recruit was run like a normal naval vessel. Sailors rose at 6 a.m., scrubbed the decks, did their laundry, and attended instructional classes. They then stood guard over the ship and were available to answer questions from visitors and process recruits - some 25,000 over the ship's existence from 1917 to 1920. By night, all the ship's lights were turned on, including a series of searchlights. At that time, the Recruit hosted a variety of social events and receptions, including a christening, patriotic speeches and visits by various dignitaries, a group of Native Americans and the woman's motor corps.

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

With the war long over, the Recruit was no longer needed in Union Square. It was properly decommissioned and dismantled in 1920. The plan was to relocate it to Coney Island's Luna Park, but it never made it there. It may have wound up like many naval vessels at the bottom of the Atlantic.

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com

USS Recruit Union Square randommusings.filminspector.com



2016

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New York at Christmastime



Christmas Washington Square Park randommusings.filminspector.com


For those who haven't the chance to experience the real New York, as opposed to the manufactured tv-version, this is Christmas in New York.

Washington Square Park, Bobst Library in the background and, far away, the World Trade Center.







2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jetpacks Over Dubai


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There seem to be a lot of aerial stunts going on around Dubai these days. Scroll down for the video.

jetpacks Dubai randommusings.filminspector.com

Well, here is another one.  This time, it is two guys wearing jetpacks flying with an airliner. Dubai is quite scenic, and they can fly very near populated areas with great scenery without actually endangering anyone aside from the people involved.

jetpacks Dubai randommusings.filminspector.com


They call themselves "Jetman Dubai" Here, they fly with an Emirates A380.

jetpacks Dubai randommusings.filminspector.com


Below is the Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai skyline. The A380, incidentally, is the world’s largest passenger aircraft.

jetpacks Dubai randommusings.filminspector.com


The Jetman Dubai pilots are Yves Rossy and Vince Reffet.



There was a lot of planning involved. Wing turbulence is a major issue, so the jetpackers couldn't actually land on the wings or anything like that. But they could get close enough to the plane to make for some great footage.

jetpacks Dubai randommusings.filminspector.com

There is a "making of" video below if you have the time and interest, but it actually doesn't tell you whole lot. If you're wondering, the plane's stalling speed is just about the maximum speed of the jetpacks. So, this is possible and it was not faked. The airspeeds apparently were in the 110 - 130 knot range, give or take. The jetpacks can reach about 115 knots in level flight, 140 in a dive, and the plane stalls at about 110 knots. In other words, everything has to be timed to absolute perfection. The jetpacks only have 8 gallons of fuel that can keep them up for about 10 minutes, so these are quickie flybys, and then the jetpackers parachuted down.




2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lunar Eclipse: Blood Moon

blood red moon randommusings.filminspector.com

I took some video of the Lunar eclipse on 27 October 2015. Since there won't be another one for a while - 18 years I hear, but who's counting - I figured I'd post the video here for posterity and whoever wants a peek. Please be forewarned - it's over an hour of footage. I broke it up into five-minute chunks, you may want just a manageable taste.

First, here is an hour-long version. The moon is tiny, just a red dot that slowly turns white, no photo-lens on this one. Still, it has a certain serenity to it.

After the first one, they are in consecutive order.








































2015