3-D film and Ziegfeld

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drednm

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3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostTue Oct 31, 2017 11:44 am

While re-reading Marion Davies' The Times We Had by oil lamp (2-day power outage), I came across a passage I don't remember from previous reads. Davies chats about the 1916 "Follies" she was in and how Ziegfeld, always an innovator, used a 3-D film pre-intermission. He issued red/green lens glasses and stunned the theater crowd with a film of animals fighting and a gorilla threatening the camera. She got a kick out of the screams from the audience. Apparently Edwin Porter had "perfected" a 3-D process in 1915. First I ever heard of Ziegfeld incorporating film in his "Follies."
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Jack Theakston

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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:13 pm

Davies is misremembering all points. Ziegfeld presented his "Shadowgraphs" presentation in 1924, and they weren't films, but an elaborate process in which shadows in red and green were rear-projected onto a screen. Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond Organ, was doing 3D work at the time (including the NY presentation of RADIO MANIA in 1923) and sold the idea to Ziegfeld, who took it on the road.
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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:26 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:Davies is misremembering all points. Ziegfeld presented his "Shadowgraphs" presentation in 1924, and they weren't films, but an elaborate process in which shadows in red and green were rear-projected onto a screen. Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond Organ, was doing 3D work at the time (including the NY presentation of RADIO MANIA in 1923) and sold the idea to Ziegfeld, who took it on the road.


Yup. I couldn't find any reference anywhere to films of any kind in the "Follies" in the teens (which doesn't mean they weren't shown, but it seems unlikely).
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JFK

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Film and Ziegfeld

PostTue Oct 31, 2017 8:01 pm

There may have been one made by Ed Wynn
See Variety June 25, 1915:
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Last edited by JFK on Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Film and Ziegfeld

PostTue Oct 31, 2017 8:07 pm

JFK wrote:ImageImage


wow... nice find.
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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostWed Nov 01, 2017 2:57 pm

I guarantee that had it been in 3D, it would have made the review. I'm quite convinced that Davies was confusing that show with the later Shadowgraphs.
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3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostWed Nov 01, 2017 5:17 pm

Just to make it clear- the 1915 Variety review I posted above was intended only to show that the Follies did use films, not to suggest one way or another that the Wynn film was in 3-D.
Below is a June 16, 1916 Variety review of the 1916 Follies- the only one in which ibdb says Davies appeared- which mentions a "cinema effect" involving a ship, a Zeppelin, and "aeroplanes."
Image
No mention of 3-D
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drednm

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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostWed Nov 01, 2017 8:12 pm

Found a couple reviews in NY Times of both the 1915 and 1916 editions and there's no mention at all of any kind of film or movie.....
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1915 Ziegfeld Follies Film Based On Joe Cook Jean Havez Bit

PostWed Nov 01, 2017 9:22 pm

Review excerpt from Variety June 25, 1915 (seen in full in earlier post)

Image

Origins of the Ed Wynn Follies Film Sketch
(Winsor McCay’s act with Gertie is not mentioned as being a possible inspiration)

Image

It seems Jean Havez's sketch for Jack Gardner, "Curse You, Jack Dalton" -
upon which Ed Wynn’s 1915 Follies routine was based - definitely used projected film.
So, the Ed Wynn Follies routine must have done likewise,
with W C Fields being one of those appearing in the film.

Image

Havez, of course, later co-wrote Sherlock, Jr. --
where Buster interacted with a projected film.
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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostThu Nov 02, 2017 3:45 am

All very interesting.... Thanks the the reviews.
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Re: 3-D film and Ziegfeld

PostThu Nov 02, 2017 5:18 pm

I read an article somewhere that Mae Murray appeared in the 1908, 1909, and 1915 Ziegfeld Follies as a featured dancer. She amazed an audience at the 1915 Ziegfeld Follies with two specialty songs that stopped the show.

In a sketch, Ziegfeld had her enter the darkened theater from the rear of the house, come down the aisle, and then take a seat beside comedian Ed Wynn, excitedly telling him about her new “movie role.” Then, a huge screen descended over the stage, and an actual motion picture was shown starring Mae as “Merry Pickum” in a satire of Mary Pickford. In the spoof, Mae wore Mary’s trademark golden curls and swished around in an antebellum hoop skirt all too reminiscent of the Griffith girls in The Birth of a Nation. This skit created the impression that Mae was already working in films, and the impression was not lost on Adolph Zukor when he saw her in the sketch. He quickly hired her.
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