Friday, September 30, 2016

Found photo: She's waiting for someone to throw flowers with

Clearly, this cute little girl is just waiting for a Friend to shamble by, so that she can teach him how to throw flowers into the water. Right?

Of course, it's all fun and games until someone runs out of flowers...

Happy October, everyone!

This old photo is 2¾ inches wide, and I'm not sure if it has a date or not. There's a very faint circular stamp on the back and part of the text appears to be "Se'38." Does that mean September 1938? Maybe.

That would be, speaking of Old Bolt-Neck, about seven years after the original Frankenstein (1931) was released in movie theaters and chilled audiences. Regarding The Monster and the little girl, here are some fun tidbits from

  • In one scene, the Monster walks through a forest and comes upon a little girl, Maria, who is throwing flowers into a pond. The monster joins her in the activity but soon runs out of flowers. At a loss for something to throw into the water, he looks at Maria and moves toward her. In all American prints of the movie, the scene ends here. But as originally filmed, the action continues to show the monster grabbing Maria, hurling her into the lake, then departing in confusion when Maria fails to float as the flowers did. This bit was deleted because the censors objected to the violent end of the little girl. This scene is restored in the DVD reissue.
  • During production, there was some concern that seven-year-old Marilyn Harris, who played Maria, would be overly frightened by the sight of Boris Karloff in costume and make-up when it came time to shoot the scene. When the cast was assembled to travel to the location, Marilyn ran from her car directly up to Karloff, who was in full make-up and costume, took his hand and asked "May I drive with you?" Delighted, and in typical Karloff fashion, he responded, "Would you, darling?"
  • Harris had done several takes of the drowning scene, none of which turned out quite right. Although wet and tired, she agreed to do one last take of the scene, the one that appears in the finished film, after director James Whale promised her anything she wanted if she would do so. She asked for a dozen hard-boiled eggs, her favorite snack. Whale gave her two dozen.

Coincidentally, Young Frankenstein was on TCM on Thursday night, as part of a tribute to the late Gene Wilder. I love that movie's twist on the original's iconic little-girl scene, as the Mel Brooks version has her exclaim, "Oh dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?" followed by Peter Boyle's perfect deadpan look into the camera. And then the teeter-totter...

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You can look forward to many spooktacular posts this month, along with "normal" (as opposed to Abby Normal) posts, too. Last year was the Fortnight of Mild Fear and back in 2011 there was the Halloween Countdown of Horrifying Ephemera. What's a good label for this month's haunted ephemera?

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