Saturday, November 10, 2018

Those "Mercury"-al Mavericks! :)

Howdy Everyone!

Just about this time 60 years ago, the Maverick boys--Jack Kelly and James Garner--were crisscrossing the country making personal appearances.

Many of these appearances were in support of the United Appeal charity. For example, according to newspaper accounts, JK promoted the UA campaign mainly in western cities while JG did the same in the east. While JK paused for the cause in Cincinnati, JG visited Cleveland, and they eventually met up in Chicago to wrap up the promotion. Then, they returned to Hollywood to resume filming Maverick.  

So, how did Bart and Bret accomplish this whirlwind trek? Certainly not on horseback or by stagecoach. Nope, they traveled via the latest mode of luxury air transportation for 1958: a non-stop, all first-class American Airlines DC-7 propliner! It was part of AA's service dubbed the "Mercury" because of its speed (7 hours and 15 minutes from Los Angeles to New York City). 

And...well, I'll just let these vintage newspaper ads for the Mercury--starring the Mavericks!--explain the rest:

"Millions of viewers follow James Garner and Jack Kelly as Bret and Bart Maverick each Sunday night on ABC-TV in Maverick filmed by Warner Bros.", the text reads. "And when they set forth across the country to meet personal appearance commitments, both Mavericks follow the trail of other knowing travelers aboard American's famous Mercury. Once you've been aboard, the reason's obvious. You fly the radar-equpped DC-7, fastest airliner coast-to-coast. You enjoy reserved seats, spacious lounge, the marvelous Mercury menu and and exceptionally attentive service every minute of your flight. Make your next trip East on American's Mercury. You'll be glad you did."

There were variations of the ad tailored to different cities:

To get an idea of the Mercury "experience" for yourself, here's a fascinating video from the archives of the San Diego Air and Space Museum:
Well, I hope you enjoyed our flight through time with JK and JG. Where will TDS travel to next? Please stay tuned and find out! :)  

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Bart Maverick Gets My Vote! :)


Since today is Election Day in the U.S., a look at Jack Kelly's Maverick episode "The People's Friend" is in order. Below are some vintage newspaper ads which publicized the episode when it originally aired in 1960. Enjoy! :) 

"FAVORITE SON? MAVERICK - Pappy's boy Bart gets nominated for state senator--as a reform candidate. Poker, romance and other pleasures appear taboo--but trouble's a running mate on the ticket!"
"Give up poker for politics? It seems next to impossible, but see the reformed Bart Maverick in a campaign story rich in comedy and cutthroats."
JK and Merry Anders in "The People's Friend", courtesy of the Internet Movie Database:

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Three Days of "Night" Pt. III

And finally, the U.S. pressbook for The Night Holds Terror:

It contains 16 oversized pages of newspaper ads, blurbs and suggested publicity campaigns for the film.

The campaigns--like the ads--play upon the audience's fear of being victimized by juvenile delinquents and other criminals. The intro page states:

"'NIGHT' HOLDS SHOWMANSHIP--Title and theme of The Night Holds Terror make the film an exploitation 'natural' in this time of increasing headline concern with juvenile delinquency and crime. The Night Holds Terror can hit your town like a ton of shocks, if you pave the way through showmanship aimed at newspapers, radio/TV, public officials...and every citizen for whom The Night Holds Terror today!"

Some of the suggested campaigns include: creating safety posters which incorporate the film's title into slogans including "Beware! The Night Holds Terror!" and "Don't Stop for Hitch-Hikers--The Night Holds Terror!"; persuading local merchants to offer crime deterrents such as locks, police whistles, alarms, door chains, window bars, etc., and then having them advertise, "The Night Holds Terror, But Not For Our Customers!"; and holding an essay contest seeking the best answer to the question "If a Stranger Walked Into Your House With a Loaded Gun, What Would You Do?" (Run!)

Theatre owners were also advised to make the "pointing gun-hand" artwork (as shown on the pressbook cover above) the focal point of their lobby displays for The Night Holds Terror. "When blown-up and cut-out", the artwork is "a shocker for your inner theatre lobby", the pressbook explains. The image could also be printed on cards placed on the sidewalk to direct patrons into the theatre and be used to cover door panels, overhead boards and stair risers in the lobby.

Then, there are the spine-tingling newspaper ads:

And the provocative posters:

(Moviegoers were probably "Terror"-fied before they even saw the picture!)

The pressbook also contains some blurbs about the actors, including a nice write-up about Jack Kelly:

Well, that wraps up our look at pressbooks for The Night Holds Terror. Please stay tuned for much more about JK in TDS! :)