In response to Sunday’s query about classic-era big-city marquees, a friend pointed to a gallery of Times Square photos on Flickr. Most were posted by Christian Montone of “central New Jersey.” The 1953 Stalag 17/The Moon is Blue shot is owned by a guy named “pfala” who’s requested permission to post, but didn’t include contact info — brilliant.
Taken in August 1953 looking south from 47th Street. It seems vaguely odd to consider Billy Wilder’s monochrome Stalag 17 being visually represented in grand vivid colors.
Early in the run of Stanley Kramer’s still-decent anti-war film, based on the novel by Nevil Shute. This north-facing shot of the Astor marquee was possibly taken soon after the film’s 12.17.59 opening.
Early in the 1955 run of John Sturges’ now completely forgotten CinemaScope drama, which basically sold Jane Russell’s boobs through the filter of underwater photography.
Allegedly snapped in 1950.
The Great Escape opened on 7.4.63.
I recently tried watching a spiffed-up DVD of Robert Rossen‘s Lilith (1964) with Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg. An intriguing moment or line pops through now and then, but mostly it’s a leaden dirge-like thing.
George Seaton‘s The Counterfeit Traitor was never a great or top-drawer World War II spy thriller, but it’s definitely a decent one — a solid B or B-plus. It came out on DVD in ’04 — available through Amazon. It’s visually drab, but I’ll never forget a scene in which Lili Palmer (playing an anti-German spy and William Holden‘s romantic interest) and three or four others are machine-gunned to death in the courtyard of a German prison. Klaus Kinski has a vivid scene as a guy being smuggled to safety inside a small yacht who smothers to death rather than cough and alert the Germans to his presence. Traitor opened on 4.17.62. Notice the splashy Oscar-award promotion given to Judgment at Nuremberg (which had opened roadshow-style in late ’61) at the next-door Palace.