Friday, December 18, 2015

FFB: Previews of Entertainment through June, 1952 -- Gilbert Seldes

Sometimes I feel as if I'm reading a book nobody else in the entire world is reading.  It's a truly forgotten book.  Published in October, 1951, it's what it says it is, a preview of entertainment options for the first half of the coming year.  Naturally a guy who misses the old days would love something like this.  It's a real time machine.

What you have is essentially a series of lists of names and titles, followed by a capsule summary and sometimes an opinion.  Even animated cartoons get a brief section, with mentions of things like Barefaced Flatfoot.  I'm surprised by how many of the movies I saw or have seen since as well as by how many I'd never heard of.  There's even a section called "The Gleam in the Eye" about movies that are rumored to be in production or about to be, with a warning that some of them might not appear.  In that group are Spartacus, Gandhi, and 1984, which did eventually appear, but certainly not in 1952.  Then there's Hiawatha, which did come out in 1952, with none other than Vince Edwards in the title role.  Here's Seldes' interesting comment about that movie:  "Once dropped because someone suggested that the idea of peace among the Indian tribes might be considered anti-American propaganda, the picture is again scheduled -- in color."

There's more, so much more about books and TV and radio that I can't begin to quote it all to you or even describe all the categories and items that are listed.  I'll just say that I bought this book on eBay for $2.89, and it was the best bargain I've found in a good while.


3 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Adventures in paperback publishing...and who better than Seldes to take on the task. Sounds like something I might attempt, with mixed results...a one-person ENTERTAINMENT SEMI-ANUALLY. Definitely reads as if it would be a valuable resource.

Todd Mason said...

However, I might not make the delightful distinction between "mysteries...and serious novels" that I suspect wasn't just the blurb writer's snobbery...

Daniel Stumpf said...

Every now &then I find a back issue of TIME or SATURDAY REVIEW or something like that from long ago. It's fascinating to see how many Important books, plays, movies & events of the time are completely forgotten now. In fact, it's enough to make a man think.