I Want To Believe

Behind the camera: X-Files production team
Where:
Photo Summary: UFO above some trees
Picture Taken:
Feeding off a popular cultural belief in the paranormal, extraterrestrial life and government cover-ups the TV show The X-Files exploded onto the television scene when it aired in 1993. Chris Carter the series creator said he was inspired to create the show after reading a survey suggesting that 3.7 million Americans believe they had been abducted. The shows main characters Skully and Mulder became superstars and the show developed one of the largest cult following in TV history (Only being beaten by the Star Trek franchise). The show’s slogans (“The Truth Is Out There,” “Trust No One,” “Deny Everything,” “I Want to Believe”) became pop culture catchphrases. The “I Want to Believe” slogan came from a poster that hung on Mulder’s wall making the poster a Famous Picture as it came to represent believers of extraterrestrial life.

The FIGU Community picture that some claim the original picture was based on.

Birth of the Poster

The X-Files production team has been silent on the origins of the “original” poster. However, a group calling themselves the FIGU Community have claimed that the picture is based on an actual UFO taken by their UFO researchers. As proof, they offer some photos supposedly from a series that some claim the original was taken from (Larger Pictures are found on the bottom right of the site). They offer the pictures in (BMP) form so that users can download make the picture their background image.

In the actual X-Files plot, the poster is destroyed by a fire in Mulder’s office in the last episode of Season 5.

Screenshot from season 1 showing the original poster.

In the middle of Season 6 in episode “Alpha”, Mulder meets a kindred spirit: Karin Berquist, a dog whisperer who has the same poster. She dies as a result of their investigation, but after his return back to Washington, Mulder receives a package, a poster tube, of her poster. In 2008 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a collection of objects including one of the set’s I want to believe posters for their exhibit.

X-Files

Created by Chris Carter the show first aired on FOX on September 10, 1993, and ended after a nine-year run on May 19, 2002.

To allow for easier merchandising the poster in Mulder’s basement office was changed to this UFO shot.

The X-Files was one of the network’s first major hits. In the series, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson play two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who are tasked with investigating the so-called “X-Files.” These cases, marginalized by the FBI, often involve paranormal phenomena. Mulder plays the role of the “believer,” having faith in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, while Scully plays the skeptic, initially assigned by her departmental superiors to debunk Mulder’s unconventional work and contain its profound implications. As the show progressed both Mulder and Scully became embroiled in the same larger conflicts (termed “the mythology” or “mytharc” by the show’s creators) and developed a close and ambiguous friendship — which some fans, known as “shippers,” saw as more than platonic. The X-Files also featured many “monster of the week” episodes ranging in tone from horror to comedy, in which Mulder and Scully investigated unique, stand-alone cases that did not usually have long-term implications.

The show’s popularity peaked in the mid-to-late ’90s, even inspiring a hit movie in 1998. But in the last two seasons, Anderson became the star as Duchovny appeared rarely, and new central characters were introduced: FBI Agents John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). At the time of its final episode, The X-Files was the longest running sci-fi show in American television history, a title since lost to Stargate SG-1.

Is the poster real?

The replacement poster shown in a screenshot taken from season 7

This version of the poster is the poster that was shown in the first season of the show hanging on the wall of Mulder’s basement FBI X-Files office. The poster was an original image created by the X-files production team and couldn’t be mass produced. To rectify this problem the X-Files merchandising team changed the poster by adding the “I want to believe” text to an existing UFO image. Other companies were quick to cash in on the confusion created their own versions so that now several “I want to believe” posters exist.

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American Girl in Italy

Behind the camera: Ruth Orkin
Where: Streets of Florence, Italy
Photo Summary: Ninalee Craig walking down a street surrounded by Italian men. She is wearing an orange shawl
Picture Taken: 1951
In 1951 Ruth Orkin was backpacking around Italy when she ran into another American, Ninalee Craig, doing the same thing at a cheap hotel in Florence, Italy. Talking the two decided to do a photo shoot on the streets of Florence. This, now iconic, shot is just one of many of Ninalee walking around the city while Orkin followed her and took shots Paparazzi style.

Taking the picture

After the two girls decided on doing the photo shoot they walked around the city taking pictures of Ninalee (then going by the name Jinx) doing various things. Craig remembers the two hours the shoot took as “we were literally horsing around.” While walking down a street Orkin noticed that the 6ft tall Craig was getting a lot of looks from the men hanging out there. She had Craig walk up and down the street and then captured this image. The daughter of Orkin who maintains the photographer’s collection after her death also confirms that the photo isn’t staged saying “She told the man on [the] motorcycle to tell the other men not to look at the camera,… But the composition, it just happened. And my mother got it. That’s what she was good at. … She didn’t take loads and loads of photos. She waited for shots.”

When asked if the men were harassing her or threatening her Craig said:

Very few of those men had jobs, Italy was recovering from the war and had really been devastated by it … I can tell you that it wasn’t the intent of any man there to harass me.
That young man [touching himself] is not whistling, by the way; he’s making a happy, yelping sound, And where you see him touching the family jewels, or indicating them, with his hand — well, for a long time that was considered an image people should not look at. That part was airbrushed out for years … But none of those men crossed the line at all.

Ninalee Craig



In 1951 a 23-year-old Ninalee Craig gave up her New York job and booked passage on a third-class ship going to Europe. Taking the name Jinx Allen for six months she toured through France, Spain, and Italy by herself. After about six months and spending less than a thousand American dollars Craig returned to her life in New York. She spent some time teaching before meeting an Italian widower and moving to Italy. The marriage didn’t last and so she returned to America where she met a Canadian and married again moving to Toronto in the 70s. “My life has been wonderful, I’m ready for more” says Craig.

Ruth Orkin

Ruth Orkin was born in 1921, Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of the silent film actress, Mary Ruby. At the age of 10 she took up photography and enjoyed a bit of fame after cycling from LA to New York, taking pictures along the way. She went on to become an American photographer, filmmaker and a late member of the Photo League. She married photographer and filmmaker Morris Engel. Together the made the critically acclaimed movie The Little Fugitive. She produced two photobooks, A A World Through My Window and More Pictures From My Window before dying from Cancer in New York on 16 January 1985.

American Girl in Italy

Colourized by DOUG

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Microsoft – Bliss

Behind the camera: Charles O’Rear
Where: Sonoma County, California
Photo Summary: A hillside next to the shoulder of Highway 121
Picture Taken: 1996

In 1996 photographer Charles O’Rear was driving on Highway 121 through the Napa and Sonoma counties to the city of Marin. Looking over at the beautiful green hill and perfect sky O’Rear made the decision to pull over and snap the scene. Much later Microsoft Windows XP was looking for a picture and selected this one, renaming it Bliss. They choose the picture to be the centerpiece for the Windows XP $200 million advertising campaign Yes you can.

Taking the photo



Charles O’Rear was driving to the city of Marin and was struck by the scene he saw laid out before his eyes along Highway 121. To get the perfect shot he got out of his car and poked his medium format camera through the wire fence. He chose the ISO and f-stop settings and pushed the shutter. He would later remark in an interview:

Photographers like to become famous for pictures they created, I didn’t ‘create’ this. I just happened to be there at the right moment and documented it. If you are Ansel Adams and you take a particular picture of Half Dome and want the light a certain way, you manipulate the light. He was famous for going into the dark room and burning and dodging. Well, this is none of that.
I sure would have liked to have sold them another photo, But I think this is one that will be recognized by more people on the planet than any other photograph. People may still remember it when I’m dead and gone. It will probably be mentioned in my obituary.

To have full ownership of the photo Microsoft paid a huge sum, “one of the largest amounts ever paid to a living, working photographer.”

Photographer


Same location taken in 2006 shows there are now vineyards on the hill


Charles O’Rear is a professional photographer who has travelled the world taking pictures for National Geographic. He got his first camera when he was 10 and in his hometown of Butler, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Democrat. Moving to the big city he shot pictures for the Kansas City Star before he moved and worked for the Los Angeles Times shooting celebrities. After seeing his pictures National Geographic decided to give him a job and sent him to Alaska. For the next few decades, he worked NG taking pictures all around the world. While travelling through Indonesia on a year-long assignment he used over 500 rolls of film or thousands of pictures. Of all those only 25 for use for the issue of the magazine. He is now based out of Napa Valley, California and has published nine books of wine photography, including his best-selling Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People and his wife co-wrote the Wine Across America: A Photographic Road Trip in 2007

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Kissing Couple

Behind the camera: Robert Doisneau
Where: Streets of Paris outside the Hotel de Ville
Photo Summary: Françoise Bornet and then boyfriend Jacques Carteaud posing for a kiss
Picture Taken: 1950

Titled “Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville,” or “Kiss at City Hall.” Robert Doisneau’s (pronounced ro-bear dwa-no.) picture has itself come to symbolize spontaneous acts of love and cement that Paris is the city of romance. In late 2000 Paris Match magazine called on young couples to recreate the kiss in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the picture. Doisneau took the snapshot of lust, in 1950, as part of a series on young love in Paris, for LIFE magazine. Over the years millions of copies of the image were sold as posters. One of the women who showed up for the reenactment said she has never really understood why Paris is seen as more romantic than other European cities. “But we must continue to perpetuate the image”

Rebirth

He didn’t want to shatter their dream
Why Robert Doisneau didn’t admit using models

After the picture appeared in the LIFE magazine series it lay forgotten for 31 years until a publisher called Doisneau asking to make a poster of the “Kiss at City Hall” shot. The poster was a huge hit, and soon posters and postcards were sold all over the world. The image brought Doisneau fame but it also brought a lot of headaches too. Since the success of the poster, many couples have come forward claiming to be the couple in the picture. Doisneau was not threatened by the claims, as he knew he had used models to pose for the kiss. In a 1992 interview, Doisneau said: “I would have never dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate.”

Still, he greeted the claims with gentleness. His daughter Annette Doisneau, who worked as an assistant for Robert, remembers meeting one of the couples with her father. Even though he knew that their claim was false, “He said nothing,” she said. “I asked him why he hadn’t told them the truth. He said he didn’t want to shatter their dream.” Not denying the claims would cost Robert dearly. In 1993 Denise and Jean-Louis Lavergne took him to court claiming that they were the couple in the picture and demanding compensation for taking the picture without their knowledge.

Models come forward

The photo was posed. But the kiss was real
Ms Bornet the women in the shot

The lawsuit forced Robert to admit that the shot wasn’t spontaneous, he had indeed used models for the picture. With this admission, the lawsuit was dismissed. However his legal trouble didn’t end as the model that he used, Françoise Bornet then came forward and sued for a portion of the poster sales. This case too was thrown out when Robert provided evidence that she had been paid for posing in 1950. Françoise Bornet and then-boyfriend Jacques Carteaud posed for the picture after Robert had seen them kissing earlier in a café. Mrs. Bornet a former actress, now in her 70’s has revealed that her and Jacques’ relationship only lasted around 9 months. Even though they are forever linked in the picture as one of the most romantic couples they didn’t stay in touch. “I now think of it as a picture that should never really have existed,” Ms. Bornet said. She added maybe with regret: “The photo was posed. But the kiss was real.”

In 2005 she sold the original print, which bears the photographer’s authentic signature and stamp, that Robert Doisneau had sent her a few days after taking the shot. At the Artcurial Briest-Poulain-Le Fur auction, an unidentified Swiss collector paid 155,000 euros, more than 10 times what it was expected to fetch. A surprised Mrs. Bornet told the French media that she would use the proceeds to set up a film production company with her husband.

Robert Doisneau


Robert Doisneau became one of Frances’s most prolific and popular photographers. He is known for his everyday shots of life in France’s cafés and streets. He once said that “The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” This is ironic considering that his most famous picture was staged. Critic’s have tried to marginalize his artistic reputation as a “cheerful chappie” who marched around happily taking pictures of whoever passed him by. However, this image has always annoyed those close to him. His daughter, Francine Doisneau, “Nothing could be further from the truth, … If you look closely at his work, you’ll see that the lightness, the carefree touch he strives for, aims to mask his own melancholy.” Doisneau’s own life was indeed anything but cheerful. Born in Gentilly in the Val-de-Marne, France 1912. He watched his father march off to World War I and then his mother died when he was seven. Raised by an aunt and then stepmother who never showed him the love that his mother did, he eventually trained as an engraver at the Ecole Estienne in Chantilly. However, when he graduated he found that his training was out of date and useless. While working at a pharmaceutical firm he learned photography in the advertising department. He first started taking pictures as a hobbyist but soon he turned pro selling his first photo story to the Excelsior newspaper in 1932 at the age of 20.

When World War II came around, he was first a member of the French Army and then the Resistance using his skills as an engraver to forge passports and identification papers. After the war, he did some freelance work for a number of international magazines including Life, and Vogue. Through Vogue, he became well known in the high-society fashion circles but Robert Doisneau didn’t go down in the books for his fashion photography but his “street photography”. Some of his favorite pictures were of street urchins and those whom he called “Urban Gallantry” (prostitutes). He used to wander the streets at night trying to capture those on the edge of French society. One of his favorite pictures, taken in 1935, is a near self-portrait of Doisneau as a street kid. A short film about his version of Paris, Le Paris de Robert Doisneau, was made in 1973. Doisneau won the Prix Kodak in 1947, the Prix Niepce in 1956 and was a consultant to Expo ’67, Canada. He died on April Fools’ Day 1994.

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Marilyn Monroe

Behind the camera: The many press photographers and bystanders that took pictures of the movie shoot for, The Seven Year Itch
Where: The pictures were shot at Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street close to the Trans-Lux theatre.
Photo Summary: Marilyn Monroe
Picture Taken: Late Sept 8, early morning of Sept 9, 1954

Before her death, Marilyn Monroe was an iconic Movie star who’s movies thrilled millions. This famous scene was shot for the movie, The Seven Year Itch . The picture has been turned into posters, t-shirts, mugs and is probably her most famous image. Filmed on location on Lexington Ave, New York, the New Yorkers who turned up to watch the filming got so out of control that the director couldn’t use any of the footage taken because of the crowd noise. The scene had to be recreated in Studio but then was cut by the censors for being too steamy. In the actual movie, her skirt never rises above her knees.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and model. After acting in small roles for several years, she gradually became known for her comedic skills, sex appeal, and screen presence, going on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. She was and is idolized throughout the world as a sex goddess. Later in her career, she worked towards serious roles with a measure of success but was always restrained by several prescription drug addictions. On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She was 36 years old. The cause of death based on the toxicology report was acute barbiturate poisoning.

Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio

We haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder
-Fox execs on the Dimaggio marriage

Marilyn was married three times in her short life. Her third and last was to Arthur Miller the famous playwright on June 29, 1956. Author of the play Death of a Salesman and a movie Marilyn stared in, The Misfits; their marriage lasted four years and seven months with the two divorcing in 1961. Her first marriage was when she was just 16 to James Dougherty on June 19, 1942. She filed for divorce in Las Vegas, Nevada and it was finalized on September 13, 1946.

Her second was in 1951 she eloped with, famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954. Fox loved the idea of marriage with executives boasting that “we haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder”. The marriage was rocky from the start with Joe pressuring Marilyn to become a quiet wife while Marilyn tried to keep her star rising. Even on their honeymoon, Marilyn left to do a tour for the troops in Korea. A busy schedule of movies saw Marilyn go directly from the movie set of Show Business to the set of The Seven Year Itch. This was a move that made Dimaggio furious as he wanted to spend some time with his new wife. An abusive man, friends, and makeup people would often see bruises on her arms and backs from her fights with Joe. When Marilyn visited Marlon Brando on the set of Desirée he noticed that her arm was black and blue. Yet the stoic Marilyn, while their marriage was crumbling she, had to shoot, The Seven Year Itch.

The scene from The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch was a play turned into a movie about a man who sent his family away upstate to escape the hot and humid New York summer. While alone he meets his new neighbor, the blonde and beautiful Marilyn Monroe, known in the movie as “the girl”. The two get to know each other and he is torn between his lust for the girl and being faithful to his wife.

The scene in which the skirt was to blow up was a part of the movie were Marilyn’s character, known as the girl, was on a date with the main character, Richard Sherman played by Tom Ewell. They are walking out of the Trans-Lux theatre where they just watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. As they walk down the street Marilyn sees the breeze wafting up from the sidewalk grates as a subway car passes underneath. Even though it is night, New York is still hot and humid and she runs over to catch the breeze. As subways run back and forth and her skirt is lifted up, she says her lines from which we get some famous quotes such as, “Don’t you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?” and “Ooohhh! This feels just elegant!”

This particular scene is where Richard Sherman is overtaken by the moment and kisses Marilyn. However, while the play had Sherman eventually sleeping with Marilyn’s character the movie ends with Sherman being faithful and running to upstate New York to join his wife and son.

Behind the Scenes


Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene picture by Sam Shaw

Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene, picture by Sam Shaw


Directed by Billy Wilder the film required the subway skirt scene to be shot at a location on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street in New York. Fox Studio publicity men put the word out on the street that Marilyn would be on location wearing an outfit that would, “stop traffic”. Marilyn who by this time was taking multiple pills for various ailments both real and imagined struggled with her lines. While Marilyn did a take after take a crowd began to develop around the many photographers who showed up to get pictures. Rather than being quiet and constrained, the mob of New Yorkers yelled and whooped whenever the skirt was blown up over her waist which the bright movie lights, despite wearing two sets of underwear, revealed “all” of Marilyn.

The Split

Joe Dimaggio hated publicity and Hollywood, he usually stayed away from the set but since Marilyn was filming in New York he hovered nearby drinking at a bar. He ran into a friend, Walter Winchell who convinced him to go to the set and watch Marilyn.

The scene when he arrived was of thousands of fans screaming every time they could see her underwear. Conservative Joe Dimaggio while listening to the roar of the mob in time with the skirt lifting over her waist became infuriated and stormed off the set. At the hotel, that night crewmen heard screaming from their room and the next day Marilyn’s hairdresser, Gladys Whitten had to cover up bruises on her shoulders with make-up.

After filming, the couple flew back to California were friends saw more fights and neighbors saw Marilyn wandering the streets crying. 274 days after getting married the two staged an elaborate press conference where they announced that they were getting a divorce due to, “conflict of careers” and, “the usual mental cruelty”.
The skirt scene that helped kill the marriage was thrown out by the director as the crowd noise made it unusable. The whole street was recreated in a studio so that Marilyn could do it again in privacy. Even then most of the skirt shots were cut from the picture when the Hollywood censorship board, the Hays Code or Production code, killed any shot where the skirt went over the knee.

The Dress

Over the years actress, Debbie Reynolds amassed a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia including the infamous dress used in this image. In 2011 her collection was put on the auction block and a lucky and very rich bidder bought the dress for $4.6 million ( $5.52 million after taxes and fees were included ) This smashed the record for the most-payed-for dress which was held by Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, which sold for $923,187.

Copyright images

AP Images handles the listening for some of the September 8, 1954, Seven Year Itch photos.

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Tennis Girl

Behind the camera: Martin Elliot
Where: Birmingham University’s tennis courts in Edgbaston, United Kingdom
Photo Summary: Then 18-year-old Fiona Butler (Married and now Fiona Walker)
Picture Taken: September of 1976

In September of 1976 aspiring photographer, Martin Elliot convinced, his then-girlfriend, Fiona Butler to pose for a series of cheeky pictures in hopes of creating the next big pinup poster. He took a couple of shots and sold this image to publishing giant Athena. The poster went on to sell 2 million copies. In response to famous British film and television critic George Melly calling the poster a “schoolboy joke” Martin Elliot replied, “that’s just what it was.”

Taking the photo

In 2011 Fiona Butler finally agreed to show her face


In 1976 Martin Elliot was dating 18-year-old Fiona Butler. Anxious to help out her photographer boyfriend she agreed to pose for some photos at the Birmingham University’s tennis courts in Edgbaston, central England. Fiona didn’t actually play tennis and had to borrow the tennis racket and Eliot had their tailor friend, Carol Knotts, design and create a sexy tennis dress. In a 2007 interview, Fiona recalled that she:

can remember the day quite clearly … When the picture got so popular I was quite amused that something taken that afternoon could get so big. It became one of those pictures that everyone knows and everyone’s seen. It gave me quite a buzz because I could secretly smile and say ‘no you’re wrong’, every time someone guessed.

I remember going to a party with my husband and people were saying ‘is that the girl in the photograph?’. They looked me up and down and said ‘I don’t think so’ I’ve got no objections to it whatsoever. My children have never been upset about it. It’s really nothing that anyone could be offended by. It’s just a bit of fun. I think it was banned in a couple of countries but really I don’t think there was anything to get upset about.

The poster has become such a cultural icon that when Fiona went on to marry, millionaire Ian Walker, and have kids her son’s headmaster confided in her that he had the poster on his wall while in University.

The poster

Publishing giant Athena bought the rights for the poster and released the first print in a calendar for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The calendar was released the same year Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon singles title. Due to the popularity of the calendar, Athena published a poster and these combined factors pushed the poster into mass production and it eventually went on to sell over 2 million copies.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the photo the tennis outfit and racket were sold on Internet auction site eBay on June 16, 2006. Some of the proceeds of the sale went to the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust, a disabled children charity. The remaining went to the dress designer Carol Knotts’ attempt to take part in the Global Challenge round-the-world yacht race in 2008.

Imitators

For British male comedians, it’s almost like a right of passage to imitate this image with celebs like Alan Carr, Frank Skinner, and Ricky Gervais exposing their backsides. I’ll spare you their pictures but I’ll include this one of singer, and all-around superstar, Kylie Minogue.

The Photographer

Originally from Oldbury, Martin Elliot was in the Birmingham School of Photography program and after graduating had a successful career with a studio in Birmingham’s Jewelry Quarter; living in Stourbridge and Portishead. In later life when doing interviews he would remember that he took the shot during “an afternoon in September at the end of the long hot summer. It was over very quickly. I only took one roll of film, which is pretty feeble for a photographer and I just hoped I’d got the shot.”

In 1999 he retired and lived in Cornwall before losing a 10-year battle to cancer in April 2010.

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Betty Grable

Behind the camera: Frank Powolny
Where: Studio
Photo Summary: Betty Grable in a promotional shot for the movie Sweet Rosie O’Grady
Picture Taken:1943

While American soldiers were overseas fighting World War II, they longed for something that reminded them of home. They chose this picture of Betty Grable. Some liked her sexy figure; others thought she reminded them of that ideal “girl back home.” Whatever the reason, she was by far the number-one pin-up girl during that time.

Taking the picture

Grable had just finished the movie Sweet Rosie O’Grady, and the studio needed some bathing suit shots. Grable herself remembers that “the session wasn’t going too well; Frank was trying to achieve something different. After about a dozen shots, he told me to turn my back to the camera and he would catch my face in profile. I obliged, turned my face toward the camera, and asked, ‘How about this?'” which was when Powolny snapped his photo. Powolny remembers that:

I asked Betty if she’d like to have a back shot, just to be different, She said, ‘Yes,’ and began to clown around. ‘You want it like this?’ she asked, posing. And I said, ‘Yeah.’ I made only two shots of that pose. It was the second shot that became famous.

There are some who claim that Grable was pregnant at the time when this shoot happened but both her kids Victoria and Jessica’s birth dates wouldn’t match up. Victoria was born on March 4, 1944, and Jessica was born on May 20, 1947. It was doubtful that the pregnancy would have been showing in early 1943 if she conceived as late as June 1943. Also, Powolny took other photos of her facing the camera and it doesn’t appear to show a baby bump. When the studio released the photo it became the most requested picture in movie history.
FOX studios saw its potential and persuaded the US military to allow it to distribute 5 million postcards of this picture to American GIs fighting in the war. Soldiers soon had painted the picture on planes, bomber jackets, and barrack walls making it the most popular pin-up during the war.
[midgoogle]

Betty Grable

She was born Elizabeth Ruth Grable in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 18, 1916. The third child of John Conn Grable (June 28, 1883-January 25, 1954) and Lillian Rose Hofmann (May 29, 1889-December 24, 1964). Her sister was Marjorie L. Grable (April 17, 1909-November 25, 1980) and her brother was John Carl Grable (who died in infancy). She was propelled into acting by her mother, who insisted that one of her daughters become a star. For her first role, as a chorus girl in the movie Happy Days (1929), Grable was only 13 years old (legally underage for acting), but, because the chorus line performed in blackface, it was impossible to tell how old she was.

She got a number of small-time roles in various movies before obtaining a contract with 20th Century Fox, becoming their top star throughout the 40s. It was during her reign as box-office champ (in 1943) that Grable posed for her iconic pin-up photo, which (along with her movies) soon became escapist fare among GIs fighting overseas in World War II. Despite solid competition from Rita Hayworth, Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake, and Lana Turner, Grable was indisputably the number-one pin-up girl for American soldiers. She was wildly popular at home as well, placing in the top ten box-office draws each year for ten years. By the end of the 1940s, Grable was the highest-paid female star in Hollywood.

Also, in 1943, she married jazz trumpeter and big band leader Harry James, by whom she had two children; they divorced in 1965. Grable’s later career was marked by feuds with studio heads, who worked her to exhaustion. At one point, in the middle of a fight with Darryl F. Zanuck, she tore up her contract with him and stormed out of his office. Gradually leaving movies entirely, she made the transition to television and starred in Las Vegas.

I little tragic irony involved a nuclear weapon named after Betty. On May 25, 1953, the largest atomic weapon fired by artillery was exploded over the Las Vegas desert in the test series named Operation Upshot-Knothole. The cannon was named Atomic Annie while the shell and the blast were named Grable. Thousands of military personnel were present at the Grable blast to test exposure to radiation. Operation Upshot-Knothole was responsible for the release of a large portion of the radioactive iodine produced as a result of continental nuclear tests. This fallout resulted in thousands of cases of cancer. Grable herself died of lung cancer at age 56 in Santa Monica, California. Her funeral was held July 5, 1973, 30 years to the day after her marriage to Harry James. She is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.

Frank Powolny

Frank Powolny was an immigrant moving to the United States when he was 13, growing up in Clarkson, Nebraska. As the chief portrait and still photographer at 20th Century Fox from 1923 to 1966 he captured thousands of stars including taking the last known photographs of Marilyn Monroe. On January 5th, 1986 he died of a heart attack in Valencia.

Picture copyright


The Wikipedia Commons website claims this image is in the public domain.

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Matrix Ping Pong


When March 31, 2003
Where: Kinchan and Katori Shingo’s National Costume Competition
Who:NTV
Summary: Team captiain: Hideki Kajiwara (梶原比出樹)”




Matrix Ping Pong is a famous video clip that makes the rounds as an Internet meme on the web. It is a recording from the popular annual Japanese show Kinchan and Katori Shingo’s National Costume Competition (欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の新!仮装大賞). The video shows a group of people attempting to mix moves in the style of The Matrix movie while parodying another, Japanese movie named Ping Pong, using kurokos (stagehands dressed all in black that are used in Japanese theatre) to hold the actors and the props up. This performance won the competition on March 31, 2003.

Video Breakdown

The video opens with what appears to be two competitors about to start a ping pong match. On closer inspection, you can see the kurokos in the background that move the various parts of the stage. Each “competitor” is made up of two people one controls the visible top half and the other the legs, the visible lower half. All told there are 7 people involved in the skit:

4 people to control the Red and Orange players
1 person to control the ping pong ball
2 people to move the actual ping pong table

On the screen appear the Skit Title and 29. The title is in Katakana letters that translate into PingPong and the contestants are number 29.

Celebration


In each episode, there are 30 or so skits that individuals or groups of people act out. There is a panel of 10 judges, each with two buttons to vote with. At the end of each skit, they vote on how much they liked it, with 15 being a passing score and 20 being the max score. So if they didn’t like the skit then they give no points, kind of liked it then they get 1 point, really like it 2 points. If a skit gets below 15 then don’t move onto the next round but if they get above 15, they get a medal and get a chance to win money. This is why and the end of the skit you see them cheering and hugging each other because they got above 15 points.

Kasou Taishou

Kasou Taishou or the (欽ちゃん&香取慎吾の新!仮装大賞; Kinchan and Katori Shingo’s National Costume Competition) is a semi-annual show on NTV in which various amateur groups (or solo artists) perform short skits, which are rated by a panel of judges. It originally was just a show to showcase costumes but as people started performing to showcase their costume the show, especially in recent years, has evolved into skits that revolve around clever methods of “faking” cinematic special effects on a live stage, like “Matrix Ping Pong”. You can view the winners of each episode on the official website press the sixth link down on the left menu bar.

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Man Sucked Into Jet Engine

Behind the camera: Deck Camera
Where: Flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt
Photo Summary: John Bridget is shown getting sucked into an A-6E’s engine
Picture Taken: 03:41:11 Feb 20, 1991
This image is in the public domain because it was taken by Navy personnel

Not to be confused with the video of a helmet getting sucked into a Jet, this video is actual footage of a one John Bridget (21 years old at the time) getting sucked into an A-6E Intruder’s jet engine. It’s been a segment on numerous TV shows like World’s Wildest Videos and has since been taped, digitized and uploaded to the net. Once online it became quite famous, as its small size made for easy sharing. The footage got a second life when it was revealed that not only did the man get sucked into an engine but that he survived.

Getting sucked into a Jet engine doesn’t happen very often but it has happened in the past. In another incident in January 01, 2006 a mechanic was sucked into the jet engine of a Boeing 737 at El Paso International Airport and killed.

Video Breakdown


The video starts on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and according to the camera time, it’s 03:41:11 Feb 20, 1991. An A-6E pilot is getting ready for take off as a trainee checks the position of the carrier launching mechanism. All this time the pilot has the engines at full throttle and as the trainee moves away from the trainer, a green shirt (Navy personnel wear color coated uniforms), John Bridget, comes to make sure everything is OK. Navy personal Daniel P Streckfuss tells the story from there:

I was attached to VFA-15 on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt during that deployment in 1991. This occurred [during Desert Storm, Desert Storm ended February 28, 1991]. He did survive and I’m surprised the editors of that video didn’t include him climbing out. What allowed him to survive was the design of the A-6 engine (the J-52). It has a long protruding ‘bullet’ or cone that extends in front of the first stage fans. When he was sucked in, his arm extended above his head which caused his body to wedge between the bullet and inside wall of the intake. Lucky for him, his cranial and float coat were sucked in first causing the FOD’d engine which prompted the pilot to cut the throttle (commanded by the Shooter who moves into the frame kneeling and moving his wand up and down). It took almost 3 minutes for him to push his way out of the intake after being sucked in. Needless to say, I don’t think he was seen on the flight deck for the rest of the cruise.

According to the video, the scene where he has bandages around his head and his arm taped up was taken only a few hours after the incident. After recovering from his injuries he left the Navy.

A-6 Intruder

19 December 1996 saw the last launch of an A-6E Intruder from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) marked the last Intruder squadron to fly from the deck of an aircraft carrier.

The A-6E Intruder, the plane that sucked in the Navy man, is a twin-engine, mid-wing attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. In service between 1963 and 1996, the Intruder was designed as a replacement for the piston-engined A-1 Skyraider. A specialized electronic warfare derivative, the EA-6B Prowler, remains in service as of 2006. As the A-6 neared retirement, it was replaced at some reduction in combat radius by the multi-role F/A-18 Hornet and fighter-bomber adaptations of the now also retired F-14 Tomcat.

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)

The video was filmed on the flight deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) (known affectionately as the Big Stick or TR). It is the fourth Nimitz-class supercarrier and its call sign is Rough Rider, the name of President Theodore Roosevelt’s volunteer cavalry unit during the Spanish-American War. It was launched on 27 October 1984 and saw action in the first Gulf War. On 9 June 1990, Capt. Charles S. Abbot became the ship’s third Commanding Officer and on 28 December, Theodore Roosevelt and CVW-8 deployed for Operation Desert Shield. Theodore Roosevelt entered the war on 9 January 1991, eventually flying over 4,200 sorties (more than any other carrier) and dropping more than 4,800,000 pounds of ordnance before the cease-fire on 28 February.

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Leeroy Jenkins

Behind the camera: Anfrony, Pals for Life member
Where: The Upper Black Rock Spire. Not too far in – the area is called the Rookery
Photo Summary: “Pals for Life” members and Ben Schulz aka Leeroy Jenkins
Picture Taken:

Not to be confused with Leroy Jenkins the famous Jazz musician, Leeroy Jenkins is the name of a famous machinima video clip, that was created in the Blizzard Entertainment’s popular MMORPG World of Warcraft or WoW. The clip is famous for one of the characters running off into a Lion’s Den … actually, Dragon’s Den where he gets himself and most of his companions killed. The clip has since become an Internet meme and spread well beyond the boundaries of the WoW community, into other online games and media. A presentation at the 2005 “Aesthetics of Play” conference at the University of Bergen described Leeroy as the “one icon of the WoW player, one movie from the game that most people have seen. So mainstream is the “Leeroy Jenkins” clip that the character was mentioned as part of a clue on the November 16, 2005 episode of the game show Jeopardy! as part of their college week tournament. ”

Video Breakdown





The video clip is a computer recording of the game World of Warcraft. The clip begins with a dozen players from the group or clan Pals for Life (P4L), including Leeroy, planning a raid on The Rookery, a virtual location in the WOW world, part of the Upper Blackrock Spire. The players are heard conversing over Ventrilo, a type of voice over software, before entering combat. Jamaal is the one doing most of the planning and talking. Leeroy, remains quiet and off to the side. He has since stated that he was away, “reheating myself some previously bought fried chicken for my own enjoyment”. Just as they are discussing tactics (which players of the game will recognize to be comically poor) and calculating the possible rate of survival for the attack, Leeroy suddenly springs to life, shouting his battle cry: “Alright chums, I’m (back), let’s do this! LEEROOOOOOOY!!! JENKIIIIIINS!!!”. He then charges fearlessly into The Rookery, to the complete and utter incredulity of his teammates. Attempting to save him, they follow him in and are quickly overwhelmed by the whelplings, and unable to stick to the plan. At the conclusion of the clip, one of his teammates remarks, “Leeroy, you are just stupid as hell”, to which he replies, “Least I have chicken.”

Was it Staged?

Almost as soon as the clip was posted WOW gamers claimed it was staged due and after much debate and controversy Pals for Life, Leeroy’s guild, have admitted that this was a staged promotional video. They maintain, however, that it is essentially a faithful re-enaction of a true event.

Interviews with Leeroy

Leeroy aka Ben Schulz (aged 24 as of Oct 25, 2005)did a number of interviews including one with Played to Death and GGL.com. In the interviews, it’s revealed that Leeroy is based out of Laffayete, Colorado and he’s been playing WoW since the early open beta version. At the time of the interview, Ben’s character Leeroy was at, level 60 with a PVP rank of sergeant that works as a miner/engineer.
Leeroy did get kicked out of the P4L after the incident but was allowed to return 5min later. Ben, when asked about how often he plays the game, said ” …about four or five hours a day. Some days I take a break … I’m currently unemployed so that helps (laughs) … Actually I just graduated in December … I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering [with] emphasis on digital signal processing and system design stuff. So, like making a cell phone.” As of May 2006, Ben is working as a repair technician for industrial lighting. He was offered a position as a game tester for EA but at $10 an hour turned it down.
He got the name one day while hanging with his friends:

It was pretty much made up. I was sitting around with a few guild-mates drinking forties … we start throwing out name for each other and Leeroy Jenkins popped out. I like the name because it was fun to yell … The rushing itself doesn’t happen too often. It happens a little more now when we are joking around. My “Leeroy Jenkins” yell happens far more often. I’ve been yelling that for about four years. (laughs)
[Leeroy tried to gain control of his name and the rampant merchandising but he said there was,] “actually nothing I can do about it now. I can trademark the name henceforth, which I have looked into, but other than that the video is public domain. The [Pals 4 Life] have made our own T Shirts … That’s www.ThePals4life.com. We’ve only sold three shirts and a thong, but we are really excited about the thong selling. There is nothing in my life that makes me happier than pulling down a chick’s pants and seeing my face.

Cheering for the Whiter One


Leeroy stepped into a little bit of controversy when it was revealed that he would be cheering the “white” as in a caucasian team. Here is how he tried to explain it:

I guess it came out wrong but like I’ve tried explaining that before but until America televises video gaming to that extent and we have people that are that hyped about it and play that hard to get there we are not going to produce that kind of players that Korea is producing right now. They are superstars. They play against the best and people strive to do that much harder than they do here. So in that, generally, Koreans kick the shit out of the white dudes. And that’s what that was about. I was just doing that to root for the underdog.

Timeline of Fame

This Internet phenomenon started with the release of a video clip online to the World of Warcraft forums. The video was released by the World of Warcraft Alliance player guild PALS FOR LIFE on the Laughing Skull PvP realm.
Leeroy was given a substantial boost in notoriety by the publication of an article in the August 2005 issue of PC Gamer UK by author Craig Pearson, entitled “The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins”. Pearson’s article claims that the original video was designed as a negative commentary on the kind of “nerd-guilds” that meticulously and statistically plan out raids the way Leeroy’s guild was apparently doing. Leeroy is, in fact, the hero of the piece, acting against the geekiness of his guild.
A sidebar found in Pearson’s article titled “How to Be a Leeroy: Perhaps You Already Are?” cites Urban Dictionary as an indication that Leeroy has become a descriptive noun; “to Leeroy” is even being used as a verb in some circles. The article further encourages the readers to send in their best examples of being a Leeroy to “I’m a Leeroy” at the magazine’s address.

Mentions outside the Internet fuel the fame


Leeroy’s fame has crossed over into the mainstream by not only being featured as a Jeopardy question but also:

  • Mentioned in a strip of the popular comic, FoxTrot
  • Leeroy has recently been added to the Upper Deck World of Warcraft Trading Card Game (TCG). The card was drawn by Mike Krahulik, the artist who draws the webcomic Penny Arcade. Leeroy’s TCG appearance along with rumors of his cameo in the upcoming World of Warcraft motion picture keeps the legend alive into the future.
  • Referenced in the Marvel Comics series, Runaways, Vol. 2 #18, when Victor Mancha yells out the name to Chase Stein as he charges headlong into a burning building.
  • In MegaMan Battle Network 6, a man looking at a jellyfish tank in the aquarium states “The right jellyfish is Leeroy. The left is Jenkins.”
  • In the beginning clip of AMV Hell 3, of the popular AMV Hell series, Leeroy’s end catchphrase “At least I have chicken,” appears. However, it is jokingly referred to as “an old Klingon proverb.”
  • In the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft, some of the words that Cartman uses when they start the final battle are quotes from the video, said in the same matter-of-fact tone of the video’s narrator. In the same episode, a character appears named Jenkins. Lastly, at the end of the credits, the Leeroy Jenkins voice is heard saying “it’s not my fault!”
  • Number of downloads

    As of December 2005, the Warcraft Movies website reports well over 1,500,000 downloads of the original Leeroy Jenkins video. However, it is difficult to estimate the total number of people who have seen the original video largely because it has appeared on numerous other websites like google video and YouTube, file sharing networks, and has been sent extensively by email as well. On Google and YouTube alone there have been over a million downloads.

    Transcript

    PALS 4 LIFE have now released as close to an ‘official’ transcript as is likely to be seen. Since there was no script the P4Ls have tried their hand at remembering who said what. Some of the audio is too bad to hear clearly, even for the P4Ls.
    Jamaal: [talking to teammates outside cave] OK guys, these eggs have given us a lot of trouble in the past, uh does anybody need anything off this guy or can we bypass him?

    Ritter: Uhh, I think Leeroy needs something from this guy.

    Jamaal: Oh, does he, he [sic] need those Devout Shoulders? Doesn’t, doesn’t [sic] he a paladin?

    Ritter: Yeah, but that will help him heal better, he’ll have more mana.

    Jamaal: [sighs] Christ. OK, uhh well what we’ll do, I’ll run in first, uh gather up all the eggs, we can kinda just, ya know blast them all down with AOE. Um, I will use Intimidating Shout, to kinda scatter’em, so we don’t have to fight a whole bunch of them at once. Uhh, when my Shouts are done, uhh, I’ll need Anfrony to come in and drop his Shout too, uh so we can keep them scattered and not have to fight too many. Um, when his is done, Bas of course will need to run in and do the same thing. Uhh, we’re gonna need Divine Intervention on our mages, uhh so they can, uhh, AE, uh so we can of course get them down fast, cause we’re bringing all these guys, I mean, we’ll be in trouble if we don’t take them down quick. Uhh I think this is a pretty good plan, we should be able to pull it off this time. Uhh, what do you think Abduhl? Can you give me a number crunch real quick?

    Abduhl: Uhhh.. yeah gimme a sec… I’m coming up with thirty-two point three three, repeating of course, percentage, of survival.

    Jamaal: That’s a lot better than we usually do, uhh, alright, you think we’re ready guys? [interrupted]

    Leeroy: All right chums, I’m (back)! Let’s do this! LEEROOOOOOOY JEEENKIIIIIINSSS!!! [runs into cave]

    -Short pause-

    Forekin: [incredulous] … Oh my God he just ran in. [runs in]

    Ritter: Save him!

    Jamaal: Oh jeez, stick to the plan.

    Forekin: Oh jeez, let’s go, let’s go! [follows]

    Abduhl [laughing]: Stick to the plan chums!

    Jamaal: Stick to the plan!

    Forekin: Oh jeez, oh fuck.

    Therien: Gimme a Divine Intervention, hurry up.

    Jamaal: Shoutin’!

    Therien: It’s saying I can’t cast! I can’t move, am I lagging, guys?

    Spiffy: I can’t move!

    Forekin: What the—what the hell?

    Spiffy: I can’t AE!

    Forekin: Oh my God…

    Abduhl: The eggs just keep respawning! More respawning!!

    Forekin: I don’t think you can cast with that shit on!

    Spiffy: Oh my God!

    Leeroy: We got em, we got em!

    Basphemy: I got it! I got it! [muffled shouts]

    Jamaal: Jamaal’s down. Jamaal’s down.

    Forekin: Oh my God..

    Jamaal: Goddamnit Leeroy!

    Forekin: Goddamnit…

    Abduhl: Leeroy you moron! [various put-downs of Leeroy amongst group]

    Unknown: gremove gremove

    Ritter: I’m on it.

    Basphemy: It’s on Bas.

    Jamaal: This is ridiculous.

    Forekin: I’m down, Forekin down. Goddamnit.

    Basphemy: Bas is down.

    Abduhl: This is the (something)th time we’ve died on this, God!

    Abduhl: Spiffy, rez us! Spiffy, rez us!

    Jamaal: Why do you do this shit Leeroy?

    Spiffy: I’m trying!

    Leeroy [crying]: It’s not my fault!

    Forekin: Who’s Soulstoned?

    Jamaal: We do have a Soulstone up, don’t we? [everyone dies] Think I need a Soulstone?

    Abduhl: Yeah but I don’t think we brought a Warlock.

    Forekin [noticing everybody is dead]: … Oh God…

    Jamaal + Others: Oh for – [sighs] Great job!

    Unknown: For Christ’s sake! [indistinguishable]

    Unknown: Fag.

    Abduhl: Leeroy, you are just stupid as hell.

    Spiffy: Nimrod.

    Leeroy: … ‘Least I have chicken

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