YESTERDAY'S TOWNS

HOWDY, MY NAME IS BILL STRONG, I'LL BE YOUR "24 HOUR MAN", ROUTING YOU INTO THE PAST TO SEE WHAT THE CIRCUS WAS IN DAYS GONE BY. IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, AND MISS WHAT IT USED TO BE, THEN COME ON ALONG AS WE GO DOWN THE ROAD FOLLOWING THE ARROWS BACKWARDS, TO "YESTERDAY'S TOWNS"! IF YOU HAVE CIRCUS RELATED PICTURES YOU WOULD LIKE POSTED, SEND THEM TO,,,,yesterday1@verizon.net,,,,AND WE WILL TRY TO FIT THEM IN. "24 HOUR MAN" WILL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION ON POSTING.

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Location: GIBSONTON, FLORIDA, United States

Three years at CWM made me a real traditionalist, and I keep remembering Bob Parkinson saying, "I want the people to see what the circus used to be, not what it is today. That's what this site is about!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

THE SUNDAY MOVIE: MAIN ATTRACTION

11 Comments:

Anonymous James C.Hall said...

After showing this film to my uncle Zavatta of the Zoppe/Zavatta trop Wile visiting him in Phoenix several years ago.
The part when all four do the little step before turning and heading to the horse when all four go for the fork jump.After seeing this part while going out side well into his seventies.He took several steps real fast and did that exact pattern and turning hop and than said dam I will sure never forget that timing you all had to in tune for that one. And than he said
"By far the greatest riding act ever"

11/04/2007 4:37 PM  
Anonymous fatima said...

It sure is frustrating for me not to be able to see these wonderful movie atractions.....I'm on dial-up waiting for Verizon to come to this part of town....
great to see you all last night!

11/04/2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous johnny said...

The greatest of the great. the best of the best and all of us that were priveleged to know them as just as great out of the ring and always one of us.

Note standing jump ups without a jump board. I believe this was done during their first year here, out in Calif. and appearing with Ringling owned Al G. Barnes circus.

11/04/2007 9:20 PM  
Blogger Mike Naughton said...

Fantastic. I met Lucio several times, a very nice gentleman. What a film clip.

Mr. Hall, that little step in slow motion is very effective and shows how tight the synchronization was.

Mr. Strong, keel them coming!

11/04/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRAVO...BRAVO...BRAVO.......
....ONLY...
THE...GREAT...GREAT....GREAT....
CRISTIANI....FAMILY....

11/05/2007 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRAVO...BRAVO...BRAVO...
NO...WAY....NO...MORE....
....ONLY....
THE...GREAT....GREAT...GREAT...
CRISTIANI...FAMILY.....

11/05/2007 4:35 AM  
Anonymous johnny said...

There is another of these "Pete Smith Sprcials" and is Alfredo Cadona and his flying act with slow motion shots of his "triple".

11/05/2007 8:29 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

johnny: I wish I had that one but I don't, I was quite surprised what I did find when I looked through my video cabinet though.
I'm sure I have the St Louis Chimp Act, I know a lot of people have seen it but it's always good for another look.

11/05/2007 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANKS AGAIN BILL! What I would give to actually have seen that act in person! Where's that time machine when I need it? It's hard to imagine it was real, even seeing it on film! Neil

11/06/2007 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Dick Flint said...

Years ago Lucio Cristiani first told me of this newsreel, narrated by the then-famous Pete Smith. When I was at the Smithsonian and produced a series of festivals in the early 1980s that celebrated American popular entertainment (as opposed to the oft-recognized movie, music, and legit stage business), we ran a series of continuous films in the auditorium of the Museum of American History. For the 1982 festival, I tracked down the film series and MGM graciously loaned copies. For the record, the title, acts shown, and year made follow for what MGM told me was the entire circus series (until I looked at my old notes, I thought there were more), all narrated by Pete Smith and each approximately 8-10 minutes:

"Swing High" — Flying Codonas (1932).
"Nip-Ups" — the Pichiannis, longtime teeterboard act that dated back to the old Barnum & Bailey show before the combination (1934).
"Dare-Deviltry" — high thrill acts by the Erwingos, Albanis, Eric the Great, and Lorena Carver's diving horse (1936).
"Equestrian Acrobatics" — Riding Cristianis (1937).

Lucio said that the film was made in the backyard of an MGM executive’s home. He thought it was an especially valuable record because it was the old riding act at its peak and the last year as originally performed in Europe and before they introduced comedy the next year, 1940.

My Smithsonian event also featured veteran performers such as blog commentator Johnny Herriott and the late Danny Chapman. I mention Danny because I remember him asking if he could take a break from meeting and greeting the average 35,000 people that attended each day because he wanted to see the Codona film. I said “of course” even before he explained to me that, briefly, he was in the act at the very end of its existence though some years after the newsreel was made.

A standing ovation to you Bill for all your efforts! We appreciate the encore you are now providing with the old movies! You’ve shared lots of still photos used for publicity that show some great tricks but it is rare to see movie footage showing most of an act’s routine. Bravo! Thanks, too, to the performers who add expert commentary! It only makes me appreciate much more what I have seen at the circus throughout my lifetime or have enjoyed discovering as I research the circus of the distant past, and continue to see today in new formats.

Dick Flint
Baltimore

11/09/2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

dick:I have to admit there are times I get disappointed, even a little depressed from lack of comments on the blog, then something comes along that makes it all worth while. Thank You!!!!

11/09/2007 12:43 PM  

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