Offerings

At Frank Sinatra’s funeral, friends and family members were invited to place items of personal significance into his coffin. Reportedly these included:

  • several Tootsie Rolls
  • a pack of Black Jack chewing gum
  • a roll of wild cherry Life Savers
  • a ring engraved with the word Dream
  • a mini-bottle of Jack Daniel’s
  • a pack of Camel cigarettes and a Zippo lighter
  • 10 dimes

Why 10 dimes? “He never wanted to get caught not able to make a phone call,” his daughter Tina told Larry King.

A Household Name

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HalleBerryFeb06.jpg
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Halle Berry was named after a department store.

“My mother was shopping in Halle Brothers in Cleveland,” she told the New York Daily News. “She saw the bags and thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to name my child.'”

(By the way: “No one ever says it right. It’s Halle, like Sally.”)

Blind Brickbats

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:His_Majesty's_Theatre,_Perth_1932_audience.jpg

In 1956, Cardinal Spellman forbade New York Catholics to see Elia Kazan’s film Baby Doll. Asked whether he himself had seen it, Spellman replied, “Must you have a disease to know what it is? If your water supply is poisoned, there’s no reason for you to drink the water.”

The British Board of Film Censors reported that the 1928 French surrealist film The Seashell and the Clergyman was “so cryptic as to be almost meaningless” … but “if there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable.”

“Think for yourselves,” wrote Voltaire, “and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”

Shhh!

Americans require a restful quiet in the moving picture theater, and for them talking from the lips of the figures on the screen destroys the illusion. Devices for projecting the film actor’s speech can be perfected, but the idea is not practical. The stage is the place for the spoken word. The reactions of the American public up to now indicate the movies will not supersede it.

— Thomas Edison, quoted in the New York Times, May 21, 1926

Deer Prudence

In 1946, while on location shooting The Yearling, Victor Fleming was barraged with interfering telegrams by producer Sidney Franklin. Finally he wired back:

JUST SAT DOWN AND READ SCRIPT AND YOUR TELEGRAM TO DEER + FEEL HE WILL DO BETTER HEREAFTER.