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Just How Flimsy Were Playing Cards in the Thirties?


sewhite2000
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In The Cincinatti Kid, Edward G. Robinson says he wants a new deck, and Karl Malden takes the old one and just RIPS IT IN HALF with his bare hands! What the hell? It made me think of that mentalist in the '70s who used to go on Johnny Carson and rip phone books in half. Were playing cards made out of tissue paper back then? Imagine just ripping a modern deck of cards in half. You'd need the strength of the Hulk or be on a bath salts high, maybe.

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8 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

In The Cincinatti Kid, Edward G. Robinson says he wants a new deck, and Karl Malden takes the old one and just RIPS IT IN HALF with his bare hands! What the hell? It made me think of that mentalist in the '70s who used to go on Johnny Carson and rip phone books in half. Were playing cards made out of tissue paper back then? Imagine just ripping a modern deck of cards in half. You'd need the strength of the Hulk or be on a bath salts high, maybe.

Malden was buff, man. You should have seen what he did to his old American Express cards ... and that was just with his nose.

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9 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

In The Cincinatti Kid, Edward G. Robinson says he wants a new deck, and Karl Malden takes the old one and just RIPS IT IN HALF with his bare hands! What the hell? It made me think of that mentalist in the '70s who used to go on Johnny Carson and rip phone books in half. Were playing cards made out of tissue paper back then? Imagine just ripping a modern deck of cards in half. You'd need the strength of the Hulk or be on a bath salts high, maybe.

I have all kinds of old card decks from the 1920's since my family tended to not throw things away, and they are not flimsy at all. Seem just as thick and impervious to being ripped apart like a phone book, as decks from later years. Personally, though I love Eddie G. I doubt he was capable of much in the way of physical legerdemain or acts of strength. Now if it had been done by Tor Johnson, that would be a whole nuther thing.

 I think the filmmakers were just playing with you, SE!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeas, I collect vintage playing cards and have several decks from the 20's & 30's. They are the same grade & thickness of paper, varnished or waxed for strength just like modern ones.

The scene of ripping a deck of cards is just a scene in a movie, not unlike scenes of guys ripping a phone book in half as earlier stated. (except early phone "directories" were actually bound with hard covers, like a real book)

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I knew a guy that could rip phone books in half.  There's a certain trick to it, but STILL calls for a bit of good forearm strength.  But today's "Yellow Pages" are so thin a PRE-SCHOOLER could probably tear one!  ;)

As for those scenes in the movie, I'd have to go with TIKI's assessment.

Sepiatone

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Not only could Karl Malden rip a deck of playing cards in half if someone beat him in a game but he would use a bullwhip on you if you ticked him off for any reason.

vlcsnap-2014-12-31-22h05m56s7_zps0e161f1

Edmond O'Brien went into hiding for six months after he won the Oscar over Malden in 1955.

 

Nobody got Karl Malden angry.

97618-v8.jpg

NOBODY!

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13 hours ago, TomJH said:

Not only could Karl Malden rip a deck of playing cards in half if someone beat him in a game but he would use a bullwhip on you if you ticked him off for any reason.

vlcsnap-2014-12-31-22h05m56s7_zps0e161f1

Edmond O'Brien went into hiding for six months after he won the Oscar over Malden in 1955.

 

Nobody got Karl Malden angry.

97618-v8.jpg

NOBODY!

Well, he might have gotten a bit cheesed off, courtesy of Mr Tracy in BDABR...

BadDayAtBlackRock-1.jpg

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It is my understanding that the 'trick' to tearing a telephone directory or a deck of cards is half is to bend them sharply to separate the layers and then beginning the tear at an angle so that you are in effect starting the tear in each page or card individually. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR2OaAW4mZc

 

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1 hour ago, jimmymac21 said:

Jimmy not play with full deck.

 

Ah yes. One of my favorite lyrics of all time here.

♪♪ Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo...Now don't tell me, I've nothin' to do ♪♪   

(...boy, they just don't write 'em like anymore, do they!)

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