Little shrimp

I keep returning to the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star because there is so much there. Here’s an article about someone who would have been in line for the Worst Husband Award of 1933:


Claire Windsor (1892-1972) was a silent film star whose career did not survive the transition into talkies. She was born Clara Viola “Ola” Cronk, but officially changed her name to Claire Windsor in 1943; I don’t really blame her.

This excerpt reveals that Mrs. Read was eventually awarded $75,000, and Mr. Read was found guilty of stealing $11 from Ms. Windsor.


Fanny By Gaslight

The May 29 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured an ad for the movie Fanny By Gaslight, the title of which might cause sniggers these days:


This movie ad is unusual because it looks like it was hand-written.

Fanny By Gaslight is a British film that was made in 1944. It was not released in the U.S. until 1948, as 17 minutes of it needed to be removed for it to meet the Motion Picture Production Code. When it was released there, it was called Man Of Evil, which would not have provoked sniggering.

YouTube has the entire movie here. Or, if you like, you can just watch the corset lacing scene.


Sins Of The Fathers

Here’s an ad from the July 22 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a movie to which men and women were admitted separately:


Wikipedia has an entry for Sins Of The Fathers, which was a Canadian film about the effects of syphilis in a small town. The plot synopsis pulls no punches:

Ben Edwards is a crusading doctor who tries to pass a public health law, against the hypocritical opposition of the leaders of the community who profit from prostitution and slums. Finally the opponents find out that they themselves have syphilis and have transmitted it to their own children.

The movie apparently incorporated footage from educational films produced by the U.S. Public Health Service. It was a huge box-office success: Variety reported that there were four-block lineups to get into the Royal Alexandra.

A Google search for Leslie Hamilton, consulting sexologist, turned up nothing.

If you’re curious about the movie, you can download it from the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s digital collections.


Book night

Here’s some listings for neighbourhood movie houses for April 8 1940, from the Toronto Daily Star. As an incentive, some theatres were offering free volumes of the Standard American Encyclopedia with admission:


Volume 2, by the way, covered all topics with names starting with ART to BOO. Volume 1 was still available, if you had missed out!



Here’s a movie ad from the May 1 1954 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. Then, as now, movie ads followed a basic principle: sex sells.


A publicity photograph for the movie, later in the same edition, mislabelled it as “Rhadsody”:


Rotten Tomatoes was less than complimentary of this movie, giving it a so-so 59% rating. One reviewer’s comment: “Beautiful music, ravishing Elizabeth, pedestrian script.”