Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Son of Frankenstein": You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!



This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!


Wow. Today's post is a "twofor," fellow babies!

While researching yesterday's post, I found a quote on Wikipedia that...

Well, let me explain.

When I was a kid in the 1960s and early 1970s, watching old movies late at night was a passion. (Hey, at that age, there's only a few things about which you can have any "passion.")

I watched a lot of 1930s and 1940s horror films, many of them from Universal Studios. One of my all-time favorites (still is!) was Son of Frankenstein. The first time I saw that film, I watched as several objects, including Frankenstein's Monster himself, were thrown into a bubbling sulphur pit. Each time an object hit the surface of the sulphur, there was a bright blue flash.

Only problem was, Son of Frankenstein was filmed in black & white!

I told my friends about this curious occurrence, and they said I was nuts.

Some time later, I got to watch the movie again, on another station.

No blue flash.

Puzzling, that...

At least until tonight, when I was reading about how early TV broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz showed the sepia-toned beginning and ending segments in black & white instead. The article continued, stating the following:

It was also very common (and even an FCC requirement for early color broadcasters) for TV stations to turn off the color portion of their transmission when broadcasting a black & white show or movie. This was because unusual colors or "color noise" could be seen during the showing of black-and-white programming under some conditions.

Well! There's the explanation. In the case of Son of Frankenstein, that so-called "color noise" translated to my blue flash. The first time I watched the film, the station had not turned off their transmission's color portion; the second time I saw it, that station had.

Case solved... and it only took about 45 years!

Now, I mentioned that today was a "twofor," meaning two for the price of one, so to speak. Here's why:

The gentleman pictured above is an actor named Donnie Dunagan. As a curly-haired little moppet, he played young Peter Frankenstein -- Wolf Frankenstein's son -- in Son of Frankenstein, which would make Peter the grandson of Frankenstein, if you're keeping track!

Well, as I surfed the web for Son of Frankenstein-related posts, I was happy to learn that Mr. Dunagan is still alive. And I learned that he has two major credits to boast of, one being the role of Peter Frankenstein...

And the other being the voice of Disney's Bambi!

Thanks for your time.

3 comments:

  1. This was really interesting David!Really!Enjoy your weekend and that blog is great,should be more people reading it!

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  2. Thanks, Candie. Actually, hits on this site are up just a little. Wonder how they're finding me, since I don't even push this site on my Silver Fox blog!

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  3. Hey - it's Anastacia from work :)

    That's very cool about the actor & that he was the voice of Bambi, too! Wonder why he never did anything else.

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