CineSavant Column

Tuesday November 28, 2023



We’re back at full strength today! Correspondent Michael McQuarrie leads off with something interesting, an audio link from The Internet Archive.

It’s 1961, and the rush to build backyard bomb shelters is about to get a big boost from the Cuban Missile Crisis. But public information about the threat of nuclear war is still stuck in the Atomic Cafe era of misleading government propaganda, pundit-based hysteria, and a booming consumer culture looking to make a buck from almost anything.

From ’61 comes the Tops Records release  If the Bomb Falls — a Recorded Guide to survival.  It looks serious, it looks official — and according to researchers Mike Callahan, David Edwards, and Patrice Eyries (at this link) it was “a shameless attempt to cash in on that fear.”

Dave Pell, a busy producer at Tops, came up with the concept, which amounts to little more than two speeches about general nuclear preparedness. The Internet Archive’s encodings were uploaded earlier this month by Tony Angel.



Helpful correspondent Rutcherd Bong follows up with an entertaining graphics-oriented link to a  Pinterest Page of Movie Ad Mats.  This resource is common knowledge, but this link brought up a lot of interesting movie advertising material.


Rutcherd pointed out the top ad from the King Bros – Lawrence Tierney Dillinger, which shows that even in the late 1940s various municipalities were ignoring the Production Code and banning individual movies found offensive.

Scrolling down, the page carries at least a hundred ad mats just as they appeared in newspapers, naming the theaters, etc.. The selection includes obvious titles and real rarities, even an ad for an all-colored Oscar Micheaux booking. Big city bookings include live performances by radio stars, and other promotions.

The mat to the right proves that Philip Kaufman’s Goldstein got its share of arthouse screenings — I like the way they try to sell it as an ‘adult’ movie. And of course it caught my eye to see an ad mat for today’s review, Dance, Fools, Dance.

Saturday’s reviews are shaping up as a belated Halloween offering — with new horror reviews.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson