april 1957

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The red-letter anniversaries are coming thick and fast here in the Parallel Julieverse. No sooner have we finished toasting the 50th Anniversary of Thoroughly Modern Millie, than it’s time to charge the glasses for another milestone in the annals of Julie-history: the Diamond Jubilee of Cinderella. The celebrated tele-musical premiered 60 years ago on 31 March 1957.

It would be no exaggeration to call Cinderella a major cultural event of the late-1950s. The first television musical created by legendary composer-lyricist team Rodgers and Hammerstein, the show was seen by a record audience of over 100 million viewers, enough, it was pointed out, “to fill a Broadway theatre seven days a week for 165 years” (Messing, 61). Even today, Cinderalla remains one of the most widely seen programs in television history (Hischak, 152).

Julie was, at the time, riding high on the success of another Cinderella musical, My Fair Lady so she was the perfect fit to play the fairytale princess. As these production stills attest, she never looked lovelier and the critics were enraptured.

“Perhaps it’s the unassuming simplicity of Mis Andrews, or the crystal clear articulation, or yet again the perfect pitch, that transforms her performance (as in “My Fair Lady”) to the definitive characterization. No two ways about it, she was Cinderella” (Variety, 42).

“Miss Andrews was Miss Andrews, sweet, beautiful and lyrical. Her only minor problem was that she was fully as beautiful behind the broom and under the tiara” (Gould, 49).

“As Cinderella, Julie Andrews was the personification of innocence. Her face, her style, her talent added up to that rare quality that makes a performer a star” (Torre, 5).

So happy anniversary, Cinderella…thank you for sixty years of fol-de-rol and fiddle-dee-dee enchantment!

Sources:

Gould, Jack. “TV: Broadway Musical.” The New York Times. 1 April 1957: 49.

Hischak, Thomas S. “Cinderella.” The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Messing, Harold. CBS Television Production of ‘Cinderella‘. (Unpublished Masters thesis). Stanford University, 1957.

“Review: Cinderella.” Variety. 3 April 1957: 42.

Torre, Martha. “Cinderella.” The New York Herald Tribune. 1 April 1957: 5.

© 2017, Brett Farmer. All Rights Reserved

from left to right: Guiseppe Pinot Gallizio, Piero Simondo, Elena Verrone, Michele Bernstein, Guy Debord, Asger Jorn, and Walter Olmo.

Today is the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Situationist International on the 27th of April 1957

“Presented with the alternative of love or a garbage disposal unit, young people of all countries have chosen the garbage disposal unit”

60 years ago.. the Mexican IDOL, Pedro Infante die in a  plane crash.

Pedro Infante Cruz  (18 November 1917 – 15 April 1957), better known as Pedro Infante, was a Mexican actor and singer. Hailed as one of the greatest actors of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, he is considered an idol of the Latin American people, together with Jorge Negrete and Javier Solís, who were styled as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (the Three Mexican Roosters).

Glenn Gould’s need to recreate the music he heard in his brain led him on a quest for the perfect piano, as responsive to his intuition as it was to his fingertips. In April 1957, Gould visited the Steinway factory in Astoria, Queens, and, after playing every piano in the showroom, had the final four contenders sent over to the 30th Street Studio for a more intensive audition. Pic Don Hunstein 

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On April 21, 1957, Mrs. Marshall of Lewisham Park in London, found a note beside her backyard fence. The contents of the note were spine chilling. It was from a young lady being held hostage in a dug out prison underneath her neighbors shed. The police were called and they searched the house of John Raymond Bridal. Sure enough, just as the note said, there was 28 year old Marjorie Jordan, locked in a reinforced cellar under the shed. It was made up like a small apartment, bed, chairs, table, and even a radio. Bridal was immediately arrested and Marjorie was taken to the hospital.

She was seized from her room in a boarding house on January 7th by Bridal. He broke into her room, tied her up and kidnapped her on the back of his motorcycle. He took her back to his house where he told her he needed help with his inventions. He wasn’t exactly lying, he was an inventor, at least he wanted to be, but her main job would be digging. Digging his under shed dungeon so there would be more room for his inventions, and, oddly, for his laundry. He didn’t sexually assault her, but he did force her to obey his instructions. When she didn’t listen he made her undress in front of him or beat her. So she dug, for 105 days she was trapped in Bridal’s twisted world. Finally, as she was being led to the washroom one night, she managed to sneak the note over the fence which was her only view for the past few months.

Bridal went to trial at the Old Baily. Though he professed she was only helping him and was there consensually, he ended up pleading guilty to unlawful imprisonment and assault. The court only gave him a sentence of a measly three years. Of the whole incident Marjorie had this to say:

“I shovelled out earth and put it into buckets which he pulled up. Sometimes we loaded as many as sixty buckets a day…He would come into the room each night and let me come up to his house…He would stand guard outside the bathroom door while I washed. Then he would lead me back to the room…He got an electric stove and fixed up the current in the hole and everyday he would lower down food which he bought from shopping lists I made out for him…About three weeks ago he decided I was resigned to my fate and he let down a wireless set…I had my handbag compact, luckily, so I was able to do my face each day and keep my self respect a bit…But, golly, how I longed to go to the hairdresser or else have a darned good bath.”

That british 1950s stiff upper lip really showing.

Pictured above: gifs from archival footage, first is Marjorie Jordan, then John Bridal (in glasses), Mrs. Marshall demonstrating where she found the note and a few shots of his underground lair.

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Happy Birthday Daniel Day-Lewis (April 29, 1957)

“I like to take a long time over things, and I believe that it’s the time spent away from the work that allows me to do the work itself. If you’re lurching from from one film set or one theater to the other, I’m not sure what your resources would be as a human being.”