Friday, August 11, 2017

The Wizard of Oz Contest I didn't know about

It's easy to forget that there were all sorts of movie promotions back in the day, just like that midnight premiere of Dick Tracy I mentioned in the blogathon yesterday. One of today's shorts on TCM is a new one to me, and deals with one of those promotions: Houston Post Contest Winners Arrive in Los Angeles, at abut 5:44 PM.

This is apparently a short short that was made to document a contest that MGM had in which the babies who won got to come to Los Angeles with their parents to see MGM and some of the stuff going on around the then-upcoming film The Wizard of Oz. This must have been fairly early, since the IMDb credits list Buddy Ebsen as himself. He was supposed to be the original Tin Man, but he was allergic to the make-up and had to be replaced.

TCM actually did a month-long spotlight quite a few years back, before Robert Osborne's first hiatus created a need for the official "Spotlight" series, about advertising in the movies, with things like radios and phonographs having been among the things apparently included as product placement. Or at least, that's the one thing I remember from the series.

As for the short, a cursory internet search couldn't find anything about the contest. I assume Google's newspaper archive is separate from the Books archive, and the search I did at Google didn't bring up any matches.

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