Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two history points

I note that today is the birth anniversary of director Norman Taurog, who was born February 23, 1899. Taurog won the Best Director Oscar for Skippy -- which interestingly enough was programmed on TCM for yesterday afternoon. Now, I do realize that TCM has been programming 31 Days of Oscar around themes. But it does seem slightly odd to program a film for the day before one of the main crew members' birthdays.

Another of yesterday's movies was The Divine Lady, about the love affair between Admiral Horatio Nelson and Lady Hamilton, who were each married to other people while carrying on the affair. Early in the movie, the Lady Hamilton character, who at that point in the movie was not yet married to Hamilton, attneds a fair at Vauxhall. The scene is set in the early 1780s and the graphic for Vauxhall, which is presumably supposed to be some sort of entryway, is lighted in what look to be sparklers that I would have thought were much too recent for the 1780s. What I thought was even worse, however, was that the two ride what looks like a small Ferris wheel. I knew that George Ferris created the ride that bears his name for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Besides, they didn't have motors to power a Ferris wheel-like device back in the 1780s. But apparently, if Wikipedia is accurate, there were primitive devices resembling Ferris wheels already in the 17th century. You learn something new every day.

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