Bachelor comic strip artist Stanley Ford (Jack Lemmon) is torn between a life of drawing boards and white Luxo lamps, and his accidental surprise wife played by Virna Lisi in the 1965 farce "How to Murder Your Wife." His comic strip Bash Brannigan, Secret Agent was actually drawn for the movie by Mel Keefer, a long-time veteran of TV animated cartoons such as The Jetsons and Jonny Quest.
Wondering if he made a big mistake marrying the winner (Diana Dors) of the Miss Luxembourg Beer contest in the 1958 film "I Married a Woman," advertising AD Marshall Briggs (George Gobel) applies pencil and classic wooden t-square to his newest billboard comp. In the '50s, it seems like an artist's art supplies always included an ashtray for some reason. Later in the story, Briggs discovers all of the former Miss Luxembourgs are married now, and hits on an idea to crown a Mrs. Luxembourg... only to find out that they're all fat from drinking too much Luxembourg Beer.
Photo from The It's a Wonderful Life Book by Jeanine Basinger, Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.
Frank Capra (right), legendary director of such classic films as It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), discusses a scene from It's a Wonderful Life (1946), while showing his storyboards done on Hurlock Super Royal 85 illustration board. The Hurlock Brothers Company is still in the art supply business in Philadelphia, although they no longer make illustration board. Hollywood really dressed sharp in those days!
I've just recently taken the big step to finally unplug my desktop fax machine and give its final resting spot in the garage next to my pile of Atari players and VCRs. I've gently laid the last of those weird fax paper rolls by its side. Those were the best years of our lives, my fax and I. But it's time to turn that desk space over to a few more young ambitious tetrabyte externals or whatever.
And even with emails and PDF and JPEG attachments and texting and on and on, I know that people out there must still be using the quaint 20th-century technology of the fax machine. I see fax numbers on letterheads and email signatures all the time. Somebody besides IRS and Social Security workers must be sending them. But I gotta figure that most all of the faxing still being sent and received has gotta be electronic. I don't think you can even buy a plain simple desktop fax machine anymore. They seem to have mated with the printer and copier into some newer ungodly machine.
So who in the wide world of art is still using a desktop fax machine? I have no idea. I figure Mark here must know. He seems so sincere and willing to help, even though it's hard to believe this video was made only four years ago. My favorite part is his description of two fax machines saying hello and having a conversation. Thanks to Anna Jane Grossman over at Obsolete for finding this. -- Lou Brooks