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The Caesar Romero Advertisment "Short" for Portrait Drawings of Stars


Sharir7209
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Earlier this evening, at approximately 11:50pm [on Thursday 01-19-2012], between the films "The Master of Ballentrae" and "The Prince and the Showgirl", there was a short film (b&w) that was actually a sort of "movie theatre commercial"--I cannot describe it any other way because it truly was promoting a film-related product, as opposed to promoting a film via a trailer--that had Caesar Romero advertising (selling? I doubt they were free) a set of artist drawings of various movie stars.

 

Although I watch TCM for the majority of my TV viewing time, I don't recall ever seeing this short before-and-Unfortunately, I did not see the entire short this evening, partly because I was also taking advantage of the time between films to have a "short" break. I had walked away from the television just as the TCM-produced "introductory/bridge" video began-the one with the wooden box opening to expose reels of film) that often plays prior to the short films that run between the feature films- and I did not return until Mr. Romero was well into the discussion/promotio of the drawings.

 

When I returned (about 3-4 minutes into the film) I saw Caesar Romero sitting behind a desk, displaying and discussing drawings of some movie stars. I believe he said something about the origins of the drawings (who the artist was, the medium used, and where/how they came to be done). He also mentioned a few people by name, including Elizabeth Taylor, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart (?) along with something relating to "Oscar"- I'm not sure, but he may have said all of the drawings were of Academy Award winners and/or nominees. I also saw some of the drawings as they came onscreen, and I did recognize a drawing of Greer Garson.

 

All of the drawings were also displayed on the wall behind and above where Mr. Romero was seated, but they were too far back in the set to be seen clearly on a television screen....based on the names/faces, it couldn't have been a single studio promotion, because the above stars were not all under contract to the same studio.

 

At the end of the promotion, Mr. Romero said that a book or portfolio containing the drawings "...will be available in your theatre lobby after the film...".

 

If there were any titles/beginning credits on this short, I missed them. There were no end credits-the screen just went black.

 

Did anyone else see this short film this evening?

 

If so, did the beginning of the film provide any further information? Or, can anyone provide any further information or personal knowledge of any kind? Does the collection perhaps have a name? I am asking because I'm interested in finding out if this collection of drawings was widely distributed, and if so, are any of the copies still around? If so, are there any belonging to a public collection, like a museum, university, historical society or film archive? I don't want to buy them (probably couldn't afford them) but I would like to see them and learn more about why/where/when/how they came to be created. I am also wondering if there is any relation between the drawings and the cinematographer Jack Cardiff, whose films are featured this evening, since TCM often takes care to find a link or relationship, even with the between-film programming, to the actor, artist, theme, etc., being featured in the evening's films.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

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Hello 'Sharir7209' -

 

I didn't catch the short itself but did see it listed yesterday in TCM's schedule in the cable box's guide. And I am guessing what the short subject was referring to. Does this look familiar?

 

lfCADY892E

 

It seems in 1961/62, the Motion Picture Academy commissioned an artist to create portraits of each winner of the "Best Actor" and Best Actress" Oscar since 1928. The "complete" portfolio contains 69 portraits. (I don't know how it could end up with an "odd" number of 69. Was there a "tie" in one of the early years?)

 

lfCAJ3O9Z3

 

The artwork was done by Nicholas Volpe. I don't know any background on him. The "portraits" measure a standard letter size of 8.5" x 11" and the retail price for the collection was $3.00.

 

lfCAUF3A07

 

lfCA30ROAE

 

I have seen a handful of collections sold online at an auction site I frequent. But a set hasn't been offered for sale in over two years. And sometimes groups of individual portraits have been sold. The full sets (in various levels of condition) have sold for as much as $47.00, but most have sold between $20.00 and $30.00.

 

lfCAD1WJ4M

 

lfCAV2DBJH

 

You can view a past auction listing here -

http://movieposters.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=510052&lotNo=52011'>http://movieposters.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=510052&lotNo=52011'>http://movieposters.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=510052&lotNo=52011'>http://movieposters.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=510052&lotNo=52011

If that link doesn't work for a non-registered visitor, go to http://movieposters.ha.com and search the auction archives using the term "AMPAS". You may also want to search EBay.

 

lfCAK9NMTY

 

lfCA4PY7ZU

 

AMPAS made many different materials over the years that promote the film industry, the Academy Awards ceremony or the Academy itself. There are many "short subject" films that were shown in theaters that were made by AMPAS. But this is the only item I am aware of that was created for sale to the public. The portraits are interesting and attractive but I doubt that they are "high quality" prints. But such judgements are personal.

 

lfCAYQZNLX

 

lf

 

I hope this helps satisfy your curiosity. I wish I had seen the short on TCM last night. Maybe it will be rerun during TCM"s "31 Days Of Oscar" festival in February. And you may want to reconsider your thought on purchasing a set. They seem to be had a reasonable price - when available.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> The "complete" portfolio contains 69 portraits. (I don't know how it could end up with an "odd" number of 69. Was there a "tie" in one of the early years?)

 

Fredric March in *Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde* and Wallace Beery in *The Champ*.

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> It seems in 1961/62, the Motion Picture Academy commissioned an artist to create portraits of each winner of the "Best Actor" and Best Actress" Oscar since 1928. The "complete" portfolio contains 69 portraits. (I don't know how it could end up with an "odd" number of 69. Was there a "tie" in one of the early years?)

There was a tie for the Best Actor award in 1931-32, between Frederic March ( DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE ) and Wallace Beery ( THE CHAMP ). Beery had one vote less than March, but rules in effect at the time stated that if any eligible nominee's total came within three votes of the nominee finishing first, it would be considered a tie. The fact remains that a lot of ham was served that year.

 

The total number of Oscar-winning actors and actresses would later return to an even number when Katharine Hepburn ( GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER ) and Barbra Streisand ( FUNNY GIRL ) tied -- this time with the exact same vote tallies -- in 1968.

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Chief,

 

I had this collection a thousand years ago when I was a young teenager and exploring my love of classic films. I bought it at the original MGM Grand Hotel after watching a classic MGM film in their theater.

 

I don't know what happened to my set but it was a very nice set and your post brought back many memories of them.

 

Thanks for the info!

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*"I had this collection a thousand years ago when I was a young teenager and exploring my love of classic films. I bought it at the original MGM Grand Hotel..."* - lzcutter

 

How cool that you owned a set. But it is too bad that its location is unknown today.

 

I wonder if the prints were sold to raise money for the Motion Picture Home, or some other Academy charitable endeavor? When you bought it, was it still priced at $3.00? That would be quite the deal in the 70's.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> When you bought it, was it still priced at $3.00? That would be quite the deal in the 70's.

 

Chief,

 

It would. I'm fairly sure I paid a bit more than $3.00 but it was probably less than $10.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote} I had this collection a thousand years ago when I was a young teenager and exploring my love of classic films. I bought it at the original MGM Grand Hotel after watching a classic MGM film in their theater.

>

>

 

I still have a set and I just happened to stumble across it (while looking for something else) a couple of weeks ago. As I recall, every theater in town was selling them in the lobby that year. Back then, I was financing my early movie collecting with the meager profits from my paper route and would have thought that three bucks was outrageous, but I'm so glad I sprang for that set.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow! Thank you!

 

I am sorry it took me so long to come back to this thread to say thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute their memories, knowledge, which enabled me to do a little research on my own (difficult to research something when you don't even know its name)--and I certainly didn't expect to actually get to see some of the portraits (thank you Kyle in Hollywood-I thought the drawings looked like they were quite good, just in the little bit I saw on the tv-and after getting an opportunity to take a longer look, I was not disappointed).

 

My gratitude to everyone is a bit late but very sincere.

 

I am a big TCM/classic movie fan. I have been sort of "lurking" around these boards for several years, and have enjoyed reading here and learning from a very knowledgeable group of people.

 

I feel rather badly that my first interaction was a "take" (ask for information) rather than a "give" (contribute to an answer/discussion) but circumstances have not allowed me enough uninterrupted time to contribute (I'm in that statistical "group" where the generations before and after me are both dependent on my care-mom with Alzheimer's and a little nephew)....but my circumstances have changed in the last few months, so I'm hoping this is a start (it is certainly a good one) to a more active participation on my part...not to mention looking forward to the start of TCM's Academy winning films month. Crummy Winter Weather = Time to Watch a Few Good Films ;)

 

Thank you!

Shari

 

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Hello Shari -

 

*"I am sorry it took me so long to come back to this thread to say thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute..."*

 

Don't worry about it. Not a big "faux-pas" as internet interaction goes. Everyone has lives that need attention. Besides, it has taken me five days to check back in and see that you've responded and to then reply to you. I feel bad. So, we're even.

 

*"My gratitude to everyone is a bit late but very sincere."*

 

You're most welcome. It was fun to be able to answer such a unique request. Luck seems to have been on our sides.

 

I do hope you find this an interesting place to hang out every once in a while. We'll be looking for you. But, now that you've broken the ice, you'll have to speak up once in awhile.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

 

Edited by: hlywdkjk on Feb 4, 2012 10:16 PM

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  • 2 weeks later...
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