Friday, October 16, 2009


Now yer see it. Now yer don’t. Repeated for your interest and entertainment.

Just to show how feature films are often assembled from a series of un-connected scenes, that may, or may not, be filmed on the same day, we offer a small selection from Kaleidoscope, made in the1960’s with Warren Beatty, Susannah York, Murray Melvin & Eric Porter. The continuity person was listed as Constance ( Connie) Willis, and hopefully dear Connie went on to greater things outside the film industry. But no, she is listed on imdb as having organised the continuity in some 50 films! So obviously a bad day at the studio.

The action takes place in the office of a British Intelligence Officer, MI5, 6 or even 007. But the real interest in this scene is the print of W G Grace, the Grand Old Man of English Cricket, and the Vanity Fair print by “Spy”, Leslie Ward, which was one of the most desirable ever produced.

In the pic101 the hero is being coerced into acting on behalf of the UK government in order to obtain evidence against a master criminal. The back wall has a “Spy” print on the left of a dark mirror. Nothing appears behind our young hero’s head.

By the time we reach 102, when Melvin enters the room, the objects on the desk have changed position and the WG Grace picture is hanging on the wall. In pic 103 the print is in position. In 104 it’s gone, and the cigarette box and the other objects have changed place.

In pic 105 the print is back, but in 106 it’s gone again, and the poltergeist has been at work on the desk top. And finally in 107 Dr W G is restored to his rightful position.

So obviously the scenes which included Melvin were shot at a different time to those when Beatty was by himself, and the continuity person’s brain had slipped into neutral.

The Vanity Fair cartoons were a series of beautiful caricatures printed in the period 1880-1913 on fine art paper of “Men of the Day”, and there were also a few women included in the long running series. The W G Grace print now has a value of hundreds of pounds, but there are many others which retail for only £20.00 or so. More information is to be found on