Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Now Playing: SEPT. 12, 1962

The Miracle Worker goes into wide release around the country today following some limited engagements in big cities earlier in the summer. As this ad from Daytona Beach FL proves, the "Brief Pause" gimmick employed in some of those early markets has been picked up for the wider run.

The fine print reads: "Because it stirs the emotions so deeply, the theater will remain dark for a brief pause at the end of the picture." The simplest of gimmicks, but still a gimmick.

Speaking of gimmicks, an old reliable is changing an older picture's title. Here's one you're unlikely to see in either star's filmography, opening in Charleston.

"Twinkle and Shine" is actually the three year old picture It Happened to Jane, renamed after a song Doris Day sings in it. Theaters apparently can't get enough Doris Day-Rock Hudson pictures, so this exhibitor "divorces" the screen couple in a weird echo of the Taylor-Burton Cleosploitation from earlier in the year.

Here's another gimmick from Tuscaloosa AL.

For those pictures would you drink the six Dr. Peppers or just pay the money?

Elsewhere, theaters seem to be getting out of their late-summer doldrums. The held-over attractions are closing and screens are opening for a wider variety of product. Here are three shows opening today in Schenectady NY. Which would you choose?...

Here's more along the same line in Salt Lake City.

Rory Calhoun is like a proto-Eastwood, a Western actor who went to Europe but made anything but Westerns. He even worked with Sergio Leone, but the picture was The Colossus of Rhodes. By the time the Europeans started making westerns Calhoun was back in the U.S.A. making the sort of American-style B westerns that would soon be obsolete. But enough about him. How about some cross-generation exploitation opening in Warsaw IN?

In the show on your right, John Barrymore Jr., aka John Drew Barrymore, plays the same role (as the very fine print notes) that his father essayed in Rasputin and the Empress, though the name was changed in the earlier picture. Rasputin himself, played by Junior's uncle Lionel in the 1933 movie, is here portrayed by the ferocious, the diabolically charismatic ... Edmund Purdom? No wonder I've never heard of this film.

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