Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Now Playing: MARCH 14, 1962

Remember Satan Never Sleeps from a few days ago? I mentioned that exhibitors had a choice between soft-sell and hard-sell campaigns for Leo McCarey's swan song, depending on whether they wanted to promote feel-good inspiration or Commie atrocities. The Embassy theater in Reading PA opted for atrocity.

Local exhibitors knew their audiences, presumably. Some could presume that their regular patrons didn't care for political movies -- those places would opt for the soft sell. Others figured that politics might not draw, but violence would. Thus the Embassy.
Apart from the first-run films you might see advertised on TV or the big general-interest magazines, it was often hard to tell from a newspaper ad how old a movie was. Can you guess anything from this ad in a Pittsburgh paper?

Back Streets of Paris was actually made back in 1946 and had first played the U.S. in 1948. Oddly, the management of the Art Cinema didn't think to mention that it featured recent Oscar winner Simone Signoret in an early role -- I believe that's her in the ad art. But maybe an Oscar pedigree would turn off the Art Cinema's target "mature adults" audience -- "Art" was already virtually synonymous with sleaze in some places. If memory serves, we've encountered the 1958 German film Das Maedchen Rosemarie already -- and we'll most likely encounter it again.

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