Friday, 4 December 2015

Picture Show, May 29th 1948

This issue of Picture Show from May 1948 is, it must be said, rather light on content. Still, the gossip pages provide us with tit-bits like the fact that 'Boris Karloff believes that actors make a big mistake in holding out for star roles in Hollywood. ... [I] would rather have a comparatively small but "meaty" part in a good picture than a major role in a bad one,' and the news that 'They're saving sugar in Hollywood by using a new kind of plastic glass in scenes in which mirrors, windows, cases and other ware are broken to fragments.' The centre spread advises readers of 'seven really outstanding productions of the past few years which are again in the cinemas.'

The Fortnight's Films page is full of reissues too, suggesting that we're given what we want when it comes to repeats, rather than just getting what we're given. Page 12 recounts the life story of Michael Rennie, who would go on to star in the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Page 13 warns women about the damage moths can do, while advising that 'the film stars are now using pastel tinted make-up that is in perfect harmony with the femininity of the new fashions.' Finally we come to the best bit: the retro advertisements.

'My teeth really ARE whiter - it's the Irium in Pepsodent!' one reads, which is pretty amazing given that Irium was the same SDS found in all its rivals. Viscountess Tarbat flogs readers Pond's cold cream, tampon company holly-pax claims its brand 'is practically another name for freedom', while the Ministry of Health cheers everyone up by reminding women that not seeking treatment for syphilis or gonorrhea can result in still births. The Ministry of Transport, not to be outdone, informs readers that 958 children were killed in road accidents in 1947. To put that in perspective, the number of children killed or seriously injured on the roads last year was about 20. The answer, says the ad, is kerb drill:

1. At the kerb, Halt!
2. Eyes Right!
3. Eyes Left!
4. Glance again - Right!
5. If all clear - Quick March! Don't rush. Cross calmly.
Kerb drill is worth the trouble. It may save your child's life.

Front cover of Picture Show magazine, 1948
The cover features Glynis Johns (best known as Mrs Banks in Mary Poppins) and Griffith Jones in the comedy Miranda, one of the best performing films at the British box office in 1948. A short story adaptation of the film makes up the bulk of the issue.

Click HERE to read as one document, or click on the thumbnail pictures below to enlarge individual pages. (If it just goes into picture viewer mode, right click and opt for view image in a new tab so you can enlarge it to its fullest.)


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