Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today -100: September 28, 1914: Get your popcorn, we’ve got a train crash movie

Pope Benedict is not making any public statement about the destruction of the cathedral at Rheims.

Russia bans all Germans and Austrians from the vicinity of the fortresses of Petrograd, Kronstadt, and Vigorg.  The German language is also banned in those areas.

48 Colorado coal companies respond to Pres. Wilson’s plan for a strike truce.  They reject half of the recommendations (the ones that apply to the owners rather than the miners).  They reject re-hiring all the strikers and establishing grievance committees (who needs them when there are no real grievances anyway?).  And they want the federal troops to remain in Colorado until the UMW crawls away and the miners are disarmed.

Carranza will give up the post of First Chief next week, which used to be one of Villa’s demands, although now he’s demanding that no military leader in the revolution be a candidate for the presidency for at least 6 months, which doesn’t fit in with Carranza’s plans to run for the office.

Supposedly the Austrian public are not being allowed to talk to wounded soldiers, and three wounded soldiers who spoke to their families about conditions at the front were arrested.

Germany is mad at the Netherlands for releasing the British sailors it rescued from those three ships sunk by the U-boat, instead of interning them.  Near as I can tell, neutral Holland did exactly what international law called for.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Unburied Dead Strew Lorraine.”

Vitagraph almost kills several actors while making the film “The Juggernaut” about a train crash.  Everyone watching Rose Dugan (who doesn’t even appear in the imdb credits) almost drown thought her cries for help were just acting, evidently never having heard of SILENT movies.  The movie shows a real wreck of a real train.  The engineer (in real life, I mean) set the train going and jumped off, but it went a lot faster than it was supposed to, almost taking out one of the cameramen, and did take out one of the cameras).  When the engine hit the water its boiler exploded, which was unintended.  Compared to the usual use of hilariously obvious models for such scenes (Hitchcock’s Blackmail comes to mind), this film is still pretty spectacular.  Here’s a 3-minute preview of the restored version, including the crash scene and some not very good acting:

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