Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Movie Memory "Orh Eee Orh" Audience Reaction Part Two

This posting is a continuation of  *Movie Memory Trail: Make-Shift Cinemas At The CC Part 1

Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie
Movie matinee idol.
Cheering for the hero:

Audiences were different then. In Jumping Jacks, (*Part One of above article) when Martin and Lewis landed safely on the ground after a hilarious air-borne-and-parachute scene, everyone on the basketball court clapped loudly.
Similarly in other movies, like in the Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller) series, the ape-man (as he was known) would utter a deafening signature call before a rescue (video above). So when he rescued Jane from a ferocious animal the audience would react instantly with a deafening cheer. 

There were even moments when viewers shouted, "Hee-low-lie-low!" (a Chinese/Hokkein dialect used often in Singapore) which meant, "Hero is here!" (not "hero's lying low"). Tarzan's chimp would do a similar routine on screen. Tarzan movies were popular in the 1940s and re-runs were plentiful in later years.

When Prince Julna (Tony Curtis) in The Prince Who Was A Thief escaped from the wicked assassin's sharp and silvery scimitar, movie patrons brightened up. Some members in the audience  even whistled while others heaved a sigh of relief!  The experience was fun but more importantly it was interactive.

Rescuing Jane from danger and possible death!
Today it's a different ball-game altogether. If there's action or hilarity on the screen nobody flinches, not for a second. Imagine raising your fist for 007 Daniel Craig in Skyfall as he fought his villain on the speeding train. The audience to-day would probably think you are crazy.

At home it's worse, especially when the Acer Tablet is perched on the chest and you are viewing the movie horizontally 5 inches away from the screen. One private audience member and not a sound.
These movies just go on without end.

Matinees and Serials:

Matinees were movies screened on Sunday mornings at eleven. Movies like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers made in the mid-30s were science fiction serials and shown in 13 parts.

Can you imagine watching a movie without an end because the movie-goer had to come back every Sunday to watch the next episode? Like watching TV at the cinema.

Of course each serial would end at the most exciting part. The film-buff just had to come back the following week to find out what happened to Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers! There's a term for movies like these, cliff-hangers.

I used to watch them week after week, sometimes even crying when my folks would not provide me with coins to see them.  It cost fifty cents for each show, cheap today but a lot for a schoolboy like me in the 50s.

BTW, Orh Eee Orh is my song connection for this posting :-)

Flash Gordon killed Ming the Merciless, or did he? Check next week!
Images: Google.


Allan Thompson said...

Don't forget good old George of the Jungle and the unforgettable catchphrase from that series:

Andy Lim* said...

Hi Allan,

Nice to see you back in full force. Yes, George of the Jungle, but that was later in the 90s right. He must have learnt a lot from good old Johnny.

Hope you visit again soon, with your stories.

Allan Thompson said...

Dear Andy, I have found the lyrics for George of the Jungle, and here is the first verse:

George, George,
George of the Jungle,
Strong as he can be.

The original cartoon series was first shown on TV in 1967. George was revived in 1997 as a film and as a TV series once again in 2007.

Am I a very sad person for being in possession of such facts? Or can I go on pretending that it is an important part of my cultural heritage? (Those are rhetorical questions so no replies are required or expected - PLEASE!!!!)

Andy Lim* said...

Hi Allan,

Thanks for information. Love cartoons but missed George. How could I.

Will search for song and set it up. Watch out for that tree.

MATT TAN said...

you forgot my favorite tarzan gordon scott.


Hi Andy

Do you know where the Tarzan films were made featuring Johnny Weismuller? We`ve actually been to the location! J

Best wishes

Andy Lim* said...

Acapulco. The holiday resort? Wow. I honestly thought you were going to say the back lot of a large studio in Hollywood.

How lucky for JW and the Tarzan team. Today they'll probably use computer technology.

Thanks for information.


Went Accupluco in 2009 & was shown the area on a city tour, also visited a couple of hotels where they still had original memorabilia on display although some of it was fading, I suggested that they make copies & keep the originals safe, J.

Andy Lim* said...

Tracing back the years there was no Tarzan song theme in the 40s but there are many Tarzan songs afterwards, possibly the result of spill-overs from the franchise of the same name.

peter said...

"Or E Or" - was that Andy LIm imitating Tazan?

Andy Lim* said...

Thank you Peter for visit. I am wondering which Peter this is; so many with the same name.

John Cher said...

Hi Andy

As far as I know, the only Tarzan movie that was filmed in Acapulco was TARZAN AND THE MERMAIDS. Angel Garcia, stunt double for Johnny Weissmuller died while performing a spectacular dive from the Acapulco Cliff.

J.W lived in Acapulco in his retirement years and died on Jan 20 1984.

John Cher

SUNNY WEE said...

Tarzan n his mate. Best MGM movie shown at Quueen's Theatre in the 50's. Johnny Weisuller was best suited for the role of Tarzan because of his swimming skills, physique and "or-ee-or calls. Think Maureen O'Sullivan was his constant co-star.