Swastikas in Early Films

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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mndean
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Unread post by mndean » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:13 pm

I believe I spotted one in the Joe E. Brown comedy The Tenderfoot, but I can't remember if it was in the film itself or in a publicity still (it was in Joe's cowboy hat's band). I have the film, so I should take a look. I think the symbol was phased out pretty quickly after the Nazis appropriated it, except of course as a symbol of the Nazis.

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stovelsten
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Gary Coopers hat

Unread post by stovelsten » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:10 am

The Clara Bow pic origins from late 1927/early 1928.
The symbol is the true upright standing, rotating right, Nazi-adaption, but since Bow didn't concern herself with politics, until later in life(r), someone close might influenced her to try the thing on.
Hollywood was always polarized; Communists, Nazis, bigamists, axe-killers, you name it - they got them all.
Director Frank Tuttle, member of the communist party, did five pictures with Bow, not to mention Gary Cooper.
Cooper's brown political trail is well known, yet unknown. Unwanted.
Who really want to know everything about Adolf's postcard painting back in the days...

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Re: Gary Coopers hat

Unread post by Brooksie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:01 am

stovelsten wrote:The Clara Bow pic origins from late 1927/early 1928.
The symbol is the true upright standing, rotating right, Nazi-adaption, but since Bow didn't concern herself with politics, until later in life(r), someone close might influenced her to try the thing on.
Given that the swastika had previously been used as a popular good luck symbol and wasn't widely associated with the Nazi Party until the early 30s, I would venture that politics had nothing to do with it.

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Unread post by John Inglesant » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:51 am

Or maybe Brooklynite Bow had some sentimental attachment to an old logging hamlet in upstate NY that STILL goes by the name of Swastica. (Just kidding!) I should have thought do-gooders would have forced the name to be changed during WW II, but somehow it survived, & remains so designated on current road maps.

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Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:57 am

Is page 2 of this thread aware that there's a page 1?

There's lots of actual historical information about the evolution of the meaning of the swastika on page 1, no need for speculation on Clara Bow's political sympathies c. 1927.
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Unread post by Einar the Lonely » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:20 pm

Kaum hatte Hutter die Brücke überschritten, da ergriffen ihn die unheimlichen Gesichte, von denen er mir oft erzählt hat.

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mndean
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Unread post by mndean » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:34 pm

Just one more sighting - In the film The Gay Desperado, Leo Carrillo is wearing a couple of swastikas done in studs on whatever those leather things are that cover his wrists. That's the latest prewar sighting I have.

All Darc
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Unread post by All Darc » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:03 pm

Swastikas once was innocent... until a #[email protected]%¨*!)}+#&¨%%@ use it for evil...


The world gay once had only relation with be happy, fun...

Today someone can look weird after saw Disney's Three Gay Cabaleros.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R53S0VHQ1s


What about the raibow ? The colors of the rainbow was something beautiful, someone could create a shirt with such colors, but today it's a gay symbol...


Note: Nothing against gay people, humans as everybody, but I think the raibow have no sex.
Keep thinking...

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fwtep
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Unread post by fwtep » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:34 pm

All Darc wrote: I think the raibow have no sex.
Of course they do! Where do you think little rainbows come from?

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Unread post by All Darc » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:14 pm

What innocent symbol of today could became the next future symbol of evil, like happened to swastica, or a symbol of some moviment ???


The remake of The Time Machine loose the oportunity of use this symbol as the Morlocks symbol.

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:lol:
Keep thinking...

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Rollo Treadway
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Unread post by Rollo Treadway » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:50 am

In Knute Rockne, All American (1940), in a shot of football game spectators (possibly stock footage?), there's another hat adorned with a swastika. Can't remember if it's turned in the Buddhist/Indian direction or the Nazi direction.

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Unread post by Rodney » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:08 am

There was just a question on the radio quiz show last weekend on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," about hockey games:
Back in 1916, in fact, there was a Canadian hockey team with the official name of what? A: the Edmonton Swastikas. B: the Toronto Foaming Mooses? Or C: the Vancouver Fungi?
Of course, the answer was the Edmonton Swastikas. As Peter Sagal explained,
It was a girl's hockey team. And I want you to picture 1916, all these nice proper Canadian girls sitting there with their hockey sticks and their sweaters with swastikas on them. Because we all know, until it was ruined by some people we won't mention, the swastika was actually a perfectly acceptable symbol and used all over the world. So, you know, just funny crosses, no biggie.
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Unread post by Richard P. May » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:48 am

In Disney's 1942 cartoon DER FUHRER'S FACE, the swastikas change direction from scene to scene.
On purpose, negligence, who knows?
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Unread post by All Darc » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:02 am

Indeed.
If we look 1:15 timecode to 1:17 we see two swastikas, a large and one small, each one in one direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngiKLIyh ... re=related


This other Disney anti-nazi cartoon, have a more serious aprouch, and we see no mistakes about the direction of swastika.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPvQZzcI ... re=related

Richard P. May wrote:In Disney's 1942 cartoon DER FUHRER'S FACE, the swastikas change direction from scene to scene.
On purpose, negligence, who knows?
Keep thinking...

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Rollo Treadway
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Rollo Treadway » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:49 pm


Richard Finegan
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Richard Finegan » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:58 am

This isn't exactly an early film usage, but here's an appearance of Swastikas in a Chinese setting from 1924:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/China-Girl-1924 ... 9014113450" target="_blank

And:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... NA:US:1123" target="_blank

There actually is one film connection: the band pictured on the cover appeared in the 1932 Paramount short SINGAPORE SUE.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:39 am

Rodney wrote:There was just a question on the radio quiz show last weekend on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," about hockey games:


Back in 1916, in fact, there was a Canadian hockey team with the official name of what? A: the Edmonton Swastikas. B: the Toronto Foaming Mooses? Or C: the Vancouver Fungi?
Of course, the answer was the Edmonton Swastikas. As Peter Sagal explained,
It was a girl's hockey team. And I want you to picture 1916, all these nice proper Canadian girls sitting there with their hockey sticks and their sweaters with swastikas on them. Because we all know, until it was ruined by some people we won't mention, the swastika was actually a perfectly acceptable symbol and used all over the world. So, you know, just funny crosses, no biggie.
There were a few teams called the Swastikas, there was also a hockey team here in Nova Scotia, the Windsor Swastikas. Photos are of them are easily viewed via Google.

While searching "Windsor Swastikas" in Google, I also came across these delightful biscuits. Maybe this is where Hitler got the idea it would be a good symbol for racial purity.

Image
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Mikal » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:23 pm

In response to someone's note about the direction of the symbol in the Clara Bow photo, there are two of them on her clothing. Each goes in a different direction. One clockwise, one counter-clockwise. This leads me to believe that it was a design element. If it was meant to have some sort of symbolism, the designer did a very bad job of it. I'd hate to see their McDonald's ad with a huge W right next to the M.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Richard Finegan » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:03 am

Another one spotted in the 1932 Columbia feature WHITE EAGLE starring Buck Jones. He plays an Indian (but because he and leading lady Barbara Weeks are attracted to each other of course it is revealed at the end that he's really white and was brought up by Indians, so it'll be okay for him and Barbara to get hitched). Anyway, Buck has a few swasticas on the band around his hat.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:14 am

Hats & hatbands? Here is a 1920's United States Army Air Corps Boeing P-12, the squadron emblem of which might have become somewhat embarrassing by the late '30s:
Attachments
P-12-Swastica.jpg
P-12-Swastica.jpg (9.04 KiB) Viewed 8610 times

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Rollo Treadway » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 am

A glimpse of the swastika in Joe E. Brown's hatband in the above-mentioned The Tenderfoot (1932) - obviously just part of the "Indian" design, unless one wants to be paranoid and assume it to be deliberately planted:

Image

Nine years after Der Fuehrer's Face, a 1951 Disney comic book story, by the master Carl Barks, showed Der Fuehrer's literary endeavor where it belonged:

Image

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:59 pm

Rollo Treadway wrote:obviously just part of the "Indian" design, unless one wants to be paranoid and assume it to be deliberately planted:
Wouldn't be paranoia so much as sheer ignorance.

And what was the '30s Cagney picture in which someone suggested the scam of mailing to relatives of those recently listed in the obituary column a "lucky piece" which the dear departed had supposedly ordered, but not yet paid for? The piece was about the size of a quarter, with a swastica stamped on one or both sides, & was called in the film a "swastica." Cagney ended up in a prison cell, with his girlfriend claiming (ho ho) she'd wait for him.

In another, the name of which also escapes me, starring Wm. Powell as a pro gambler with Kay Francis as his long-suffering wife, all the blue chips in one of his poker games each had a swastica clearly visible in the center of the chip. And no one said "Sieg heil."

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by FrankFay » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:07 pm

In the early 30's the Nazi party was gaining power but to much of the US it would have been a fringe organization, if it was thought of at all. A Swastika would have just been a symbol.
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:11 pm

Just remembered the Powell/Francis picture--Street of Chance, 1930.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:42 am

Scoundrel wrote:Did anyone else notice the swastikas on the slate in that clip from Lobster Films..?
As has been mentioned in several of the posts to this subject, the Nazis didn't invent the design, but simply borrowed a symbol that until then, had only good associated with it. The Nazis did not change the 'rotation' and they did use it in both directions, just as the Chinese, Koreans and most everyone else did.

The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix. The swastika literally means "to be good".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika" target="_blank" target="_blank

Calling something bad, simply because it later became a symbol of something bad is not really appropriate.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by FrankFay » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:03 pm

Tainted by association is more like it.
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by drednm » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:00 pm

Has anyone mentioned Dorothy Lee's costume in Take a Chance, which bore several swastikas?
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:36 pm

I'm looking at Laughing Boy right now. Lots of swastikas on the blankets.

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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by gentlemanfarmer » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:49 am

While re-watching Nosferatu last night, I noticed that in the letter from Count Orlock to Knock there is at least one swastika in the jumble of occult symbols that make up the text of the letter.

Also, there was a small regional western American railroad in the 1890's-1930's period that used it as a herald or advertising logo on it's boxcars, I can't remember the line now, and the book I believe that features an illustration of it is packed in storage, it shows up in either Louis Hertz's Collecting Model Trains, or his Riding the Tinplate Rails.

Edited for content:

The railroad:
The St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Railroad Company operated with cars and locomotives "emblazoned with the red swastika symbol adopted as the road’s trademark." The symbol featured right facing arms and was tilted at an angle. The 105-mile "Swastika Line" operated from about 1902 to 1915, with major stops at Raton and Cimarron, New Mexico. The tracks were torn up for scrap during World War II when "Swastika Line iron was used to fight a different kind of swastikas in Europe."[68]

When in doubt visit wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_us ... th_century
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Re: Swastikas in Early Films

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:15 pm

Have long been aware of the widespread use of swastikas by American Indians, Indian Indians, & ancient cultures all over the world, but the multitude of documented examples of swastikas installed as architectural decoration in US governmental bldgs., schools, churches, & even one or two synagogues, in the above Wikipedia article left me with mouth agape. It's a wow. A mindless revulsion to the symbol during & shortly after WW II is not incomprehensible, but what’s as surprising as it is deplorable is the CONTINUING effort by rabid historical revisionists (the Anti-Defamation League, in other words) to remove these symbols from public structures, as referenced in this very well-researched piece. PC run amuck. Stupidity run amuck.

Several US military applications were cited, but not the Boeing P-12 squadron I mentioned above. (Anyone computer-savvy enough to add it?)

Numerous examples of commercial usage were cited, but not the once-famous swastika logo of the Ashaway Line & Twine Co., largest US manufacturer of fishing line from the mid-1800s until the ‘50s. (Spools or boxes with this logo sell high on ebay.)

Swastikas were popular as painted canoe decoration before WW II--one of the standard designs available from the Old Town Canoe Co., & other builders. (No surprise that the company was attacked recently for posting images on their web site.) Old canoe prints & advertising are one of the far-too-many items I collect--I’ve picked up about half a dozen bearing this mindlessly-maligned symbol.

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