Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wow! Old News Is So Exciting!

I assume you're familiar with the concept of those old-timey newsreels. Before the days of television, one way people got their news was from news clips played before movies- the place where you now see the previews, celebrity anagrams, and warnings to turn off your damn cell phone already.

But that was a long time ago. You may be familiar with the concept, but the newsreels YOU'VE seen have most likely all been parodies of the concept, created for modern media, such as that episode of Futurama where Bender gets into pro wrestling. You've probably never actually seen the real, actual newsreels.

Well, that changes today, because I'm linking you to an online archive of newsreels. The hub site for such a thing is, naturally, the Newsreel Archive. They in turn link out to archives of specific newsreel companies, such as Universal Newsreels, Hearst Metrotone (as archived by UCLA), and British Pathe (movies didn't stop with Hollywood).

For instance, here's the newsreel from 1945 announcing Japan's surrender to the United States at the close of World War 2. (As an aside, if you recall the thing about Obama using 22 pens to sign the healthcare bill into law and wondered why he did that... well, you'll see here that it's not a new thing.)

One man you'd be likely to hear doing newsreels- though not the one above- is Ed Herlihy, longtime newsreel anchor for Universal. He was also heard doing TV, radio, decades worth of ads for Kraft cheese, and just about everything right on up to a 'Newscaster' credit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. These days, think Don Pardo.

Here's Herlihy, alongside fellow anchor Ben Grauer (who would go on to be one of NBC's early and longtime voicemen), on a slightly slower news day in 1947.

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