Monday, September 22, 2014

Manic Monday Bonus--Hey, Kid, You Wanna Be In Movies??

So, there are many ways to break into motion pictures.

This probably wasn't one of them:

Irony: Song Of The Open Road was a film about how a child actor tires of the terrible life and runs away. So yeah, that's a good first role for a child actor...

And even though the ad provides much convincing evidence:

Note: what is obviously a small story from a hometown newspaper hardly qualifies as convincing or unbiased.

There's not much indication that Roger Batton's movie contract ever actually amounted to anything. He's not listed in the movie's credits, nor anywhere on IMDB.

Of course, he may have changed his name for the movie, but it's far, far likelier that he was some background character who never even had a line.

Further internet searches turn up no one that can be identified as this Roger Batton except for transcriptions of this ad!

So who was behind this incredible plan to get famous?

Judith Allen was real enough..."star" of 52 pictures is a bit of an exaggeration, as she was a model who became a minor character actor, whose career was essentially over by 1940. So why not try and get $1 from gullible kids reading comic books? (The "I'll give you my autograph if you avoid my paying the Post Office for C.O.D." is an especially nice touch)

Of course, many American's lust for fame is so great, Allen probably made out fairly well hawking this book, even if it likely never produced any talent that you ever heard of.

Ad appeared in Science Comics #1 (1946)

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