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Vintage Variety

Stories have been edited for brevity and clarity, but some archaic spellings, phrases and punctuation (or lack thereof) are retained for period authenticity.

75 Years Ago

(Jan. 28,1916)

Ballet Needs Stars

Warslav Nijinsky, the famed Russian dancer, will, according to advices received here, manage to obtain his release from the detention camp in the German war zone within the next month or so and immediately sail for America. The Russian Ballet is at present in America making a tour under the direction of Serge de Diaghileff.

50 Years Ago

(Jan. 29,1941)

Soldiers Want Realism In Films

Soldiers don’t want sentimental pictures about the Army and Navy, Mrs. Bettina Gunezy, council secretary of the National Board of Review, learned last week in a poll of 100 privates and non-commissioned officers at Governor’s Island, New York. Boys demanded realism in pictures that deal with any branch of the service, they stated.

London In Wartime

Yuletide brought glad tidings to the West End b.o. as usual. “The Great Dictator” did particularly smash biz. “Thief of Bagdad” at Odeon also big. Biz not so good at other theatres.

Fred Karno is now operating a wine and spirit business near Portsmouth.

25 Years Ago

(Jan. 26,1966)

Spain ‘Forgives’ Columbia

The three-year Spanish ban on Columbia Pictures was lifted last week without ceremony or fanfare. Spain imposed its ban as a penalty for the film company’s distribution of Fred Zinnemann’s “Behold A Pale Horse.” Government considered it embodied a hostile viewpoint toward the Franco regime and in particular, Spain’s major police arm, the Guardia Civil, the villain in the fictional tale. “Pale Horse” was a boxoffice flop and the ban cost Columbia a distribution loss in the Spanish market of $2,500,000.

Fears The Audience

Graham Greene, the British novelist and playwright, visiting Paris, told friends that he rarely goes to theatre anymore. “Not because of the usual reasons that intellectuals talk about,” he explained. “It’s because of the intermissions. I am terrified of intermissions. One sees people, one has to talk to them. Very distracting.”

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