Archive for Jack L Warner

Herr Future Director

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by dcairns

Here’s Andre De Toth, in De Toth on De Toth, on the famous paddle-ball scene from HOUSE OF WAX ~

Andre De Toth: That shot gave me the only problem with the herd of second-guessers. They all wanted more of it; I didn’t.

Bernie Foy knew to get off the stage before the applause dies. Jack Warner saw BWANA DEVIL and the lion jumped out of the screen and unloaded in his lap and he left the show with a blinding headache. JL and Brynie understood what I was trying to avoid. Those overstated effects killed 3D. How many times can a lion crap in the poor suckers’ laps before they rebel?

Anthony Slide: But you were very good at integrating these gimmicks into the film. I’m thinking of, for example, the can-can dancers.

ADT: The properly used power of a third-dimensional film can make the audience believe they are not viewers, but are part of the scene. It was natural that they saw and felt the same derrieres of the can-can girls on their noses as the night-club customers. But not for too long. There is a big difference in concept between a ‘3D movie’ and a ‘third-dimensional film.’


It’s too bad none of the other one-eyed directors — which is not a ‘handicap’ — made third-dimensional movies. John Ford, Fritz Lang, Raoul Walsh. They understood film, the power of lenses; they were perfectionists, demanding the best. For them, too, it would’ve been a challenge to overcome a ‘disability’ which is actually a blessing in disguise, shooting flat or 3D.

There is only one image in the camera — it’s on the negative behind the lens at the moment of exposure, and that’s the image of one eye. The director, and not a sketch artist, has to see that image before the camera is set. Remember, Herr Future Director, there is only one right angle. And be big and don’t care who comes up with it, as long as you, the director, feel it’s right. Say thanks, loud, and do it.

Help Shadowplay by buying from Amazon via our links. UK:

House Of Wax [DVD] [1953]

De Toth on De Toth: Putting the Drama in Front of the Camera (Directors on Directors)


De Toth on De Toth: Putting the Drama in Front of the Camera (Directors on Directors)

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Horror (House of Wax 1953 / The Haunting 1963 / Freaks / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941)