Rumor has it… Harold Lloyd’s “Glasses character” was the inspiration for Superman’s identity as Clark Kent. Like that character, Lloyd found that he could hide his identity simply by taking off the glasses.
Rumor has it… Silent film star Charlie Chaplin was a big believer in developing an affordable color film process for movies. He announced that he often performed for free (under another name and without the trademark toothbrush moustache) in many experimental color films.
Rumor has it… Before movie-houses became popular, films were usually shown as sideshow attractions at carnivals and state fairs.
Rumor has it… Stunt doubles were virtually unknown. During the filming of Pandora’s Box (1928), the scene in which Nancy runs alongside of and boards a moving train, no stunt double was employed. The movie’s star, Louise Brooks, actually performed the stunt.
Rumor has it… The first stand-up comedy film appeared during the silent era. Jerome Reed performed a stand-up comedy act in front of an audience in Newark, NJ. He stood next to a large easel in front of a brick wall and told his jokes while an assistant revealed a series of caption cards. Occasionally the film woild cut to show the audience who had been given a series of placards that read words such as “Laugh,” “Groan,” “Applause,” and “Wild Applause.”
Rumor has it… Buster Keaton’s stunts were so dangerous that no insurance company was willing to insure him or his films. Instead, Keaton acquired financing by taking out a series of gambling wagers depending on the number of injuries he and his crew would suffer in each film. As a result, Keaton’s films were the most profitable films made in Hollywood at the time until state treasury officers shut down his operation. By this point, though, Keaton was a popular enough star that studios were willing to sign him on even without insurance.
Rumor has it… In 1919, Harold Lloyd lit a cigarette with what he had been told was a prop bomb. Instead, it turned out to be real and exploded, blowing off Lloyd’s right thumb and index finger. After he recovered, Lloyd took to a white glove while on screen to conceal the damage. He performed the infamous clock-clinging stunt in Safety Last (1923), using only eight fingers.
Rumor has it… Clara Bow hooked up and had an affair with Bela Lugosi (before Dracula (1931) made him infamous) in the late ’20s. Lugosi displayed a nude portrait of Bow in the bedroom of his Hollywood apartment until his death.
Today’s link goes to a new webcomic I’ve stumbled across created by T Campbell, Erica Henderson, and Phil Kahn. Check out Guilded Age. I’m not familiar with two of the creators, but I’ve been a fan of T Campbell’s Faans! for many years. Guilded Age looks to be a heroic, epic fantasy story. It’s still in the first chapter and we’re still meeting the main characters, but it shows a lot of potential and I heartily recommend keeping an eye on this one.