Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fencing in the News!

In the 1939 news, to be exact. Public domain news clip available through archive.org. Chevrolet Leader News (Vol. 5, No. 2): "Title Card: 'Chevrolet Leader News' over montage. "

"Title Card: 'Clash! Blades Flash in Sand Duel, Throw Challenge to Scoffers.'
Swimsuited women practicing fencing on beach. CU woman's legs (and shadow) thrusting and parrying in sand; CU legs of opponent doing likewise. VS women fencing (with foils) on beach; automobile pulls up behind them and several women (wearing swimsuits) exit and watch. VS women receiving fencing instructions. Women lift up another and carry her to the surf, dunking her several times, then leave her there as they run from water and to car. Dunked woman stands and runs to shore just as car pulls away; CU woman throwing something to sand while smiling, putting hands on hips and looking o.s. "

We may laugh, but think how a 1930s news announcer would've described the gold sabre match in the last Olympics: "The two welders are waving car antennas at each other, and for some reaon all the lights are going on. Looks like they're finished, and hello, those were ladies under the helmets and metal smocks!"

3 comments:

Steve said...

I finally watched this film last night. It is certainly interesting and strange, as (to use the famous quote) there doesn't seem to be any there there.

The fencers on the beach meeting up with the beach bunny girls makes no sense, unless this is something to do with a lipstick lesbian underground in the Florida of 1930?

The film camera suspended from a balloon story looks totally bogus, as the shot of the camera attached to balloon shows the camera spinning wildly to the left and the right as it hangs suspended in the wind. The resulting image would be a blur of left to right swings. I'm sure the over head shot must have been made from a building.

The story of the chicks being shipped on the sea plane to South America might be true, but I find it a little hard to believe the passengers would really put up with all that chirping during flight.

I get the overall impression the director and writers must of been totally out of ideas of how to feature Chevy cars in a news story. I wonder if any one back in Detroit every knew how much this effort was just phoned in?

By the way Mitch, would there be a training advantage to practicing fencing in the sand? Stronger ankle muscles maybe?

Mitch Kief said...

Before Betty Page and Pam Anderson, there were pictures of women fencing. The auto industry still pays for useless ads (I saw one on TV last night that tried to convince me that the Beeetle convertible is a suitable car for a male rocker). The Soviets used to run fencers up sand hills. Let's not forget the Army'remember fondness for those beach range. I doubt the sand actually builds muscles: there's a high degree of sadism involved.

Steve said...

I forgot to mention the scene with the model boat builder testing his new ship at night. It too was a hoot in which we learn about three new features for the Chevy sedans that year:

1. Parking brake
2. Steering wheel
3. High-beam lights

Wow! Could overhead valves be far off?