Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Now Playing: JULY 3, 1962

I'm back from my vacation from the past with a word in memory of the sneak preview. It wasn't that long ago when it was still a common thing, though fairly long ago Hollywood gave up the idea of keeping the previewed movie a mystery. This example from Milwaukee actually gives away more than most preview ads did in those days. In fact, it's pretty obvious what the film is. The only mystery is whether the studio was actually uncertain about titling it Birdman of Alcatraz. Probably not, since it opened nationally, or at least in the big cities, the following day.

In the last days of the sneak preview, at least in my experience, the treat of it was that you'd actually see a double-feature of the preview and the regular attraction. Two for the price of one isn't a very popular idea with anyone in the movie business outside the drive-ins these days, I suppose. In fact, it's unclear from this ad whether Wisconsin audiences got to see Road to Hong Kong for free or not. Of course, whether a picture like that (by its reputation) is really "free" or not, given the hours of life you'd lose, is debatable -- or it was once.

Watch tomorrow for big July 4 openings all over the country. For tonight, here's the trailer for Birdman, with even the narrator admitting that it's a strange title for a movie. Clipdirect uploaded this copy to YouTube

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