rand’s esoteric otr

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Behind the Scenes in Hollywood - Series A Pgm 1

November 30th, 2010

Since "The Police Reporter" finished up this week, let's start up a new series.  This one will be of interest to anyone who is a fan of classic Hollywood movies.

According to the seller I got this set from, Bidwell McCormick worked for RKO and the discs came from his estate.  He probably worked in the publcity department; I haven't found any newspaper references to the show or Bidwell himself or any listings for him in film reference works.  So I'm not sure if McCormick produced the series on his own or if it was something put out by RKO's publicity department.

transcription label

This is a full set of Series A of the series, eighteen programs.  It's unknown if others were produced.  They came in the original container used when they were mailed to a station in Clovis, New Mexico.  Based on the content, the programs appear to date from mid 1945.  Each show consisted of three segments; there's no opening and close since these would be provided by the local station.  In the first, there's a story about how something is done in the movies - sets, costumes, props and the like.  Then there's a round-up of news from around the studio with stars that have signed on for particular projects and interesting short stories from current productions.  The last segment profiles two stars or interesting people connected with the movie business.  It sounds as though the three segments could be used individually, perhaps on a radio station's early morning show block.  Heard on the show with McCormick are Manna Ray Eule and Nathan Hale.

Program 1 of series A starts out with the story of how color is used in sets for black and white movies so they can be efficiently used during a production.  In the news, Disney's casting female leads for "Three Cabelleros".  Two captured Jap planes were loaned for use in "Objective Burma".  Finally, we hear profiles of Joan Bennett and her life as a housewife and Edward G. Robinson's love of fine art, poetry and classical music.

This show, and some others in the series, mention "The Robe" being in production at RKO.  Yes, it's the referring to the same property that would eventually be made by Fox in the 1950s as the first Cinemascope production.  RKO was never able to get the film produced and sold rights to the novel to Fox.

The show was digitized from an original vinyl transcription, probably pressed by Allied Recording.  It is previously uncirculated.

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  • DavidinBerkeley

    This sounds very interesting. I’m going to put a link to this on the film-music board I go to.

    Dec 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm
  • Christopher McPherson

    I wonder if 1944 is more likely, as they mention the end of filming of “Murder My Sweet” which was released in December 1944.

    Dec 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm