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Screevers watching films
Sometimes, you just can’t beat a good western!
Duel in the Sun is a Technicolor 1946 Western film directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick, which tells the story of a Mestiza (half-Native American) girl who goes to live with her Anglo relatives, becoming involved in prejudice and forbidden love. The movie stars Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore.
It was nicknamed “Lust in the Dust” and was claimed to be “the most shocking film ever made.” It was also the most expensive film Hollywood had made since “Gone With the Wind”
The producers spent an unprecedented (at the time) £500,000 on publicity to persuade people to go and see it. Although the film itself was made in 1946, it wasn’t released in the Britain until 1947.
In a brilliant marketing ploy, the producers roped in almost the entire population of London Screevers to view the film at special screenings and to reproduce the film stars, and scenes in chalk on their London pavement pitches.
Pavement artists were also invited to the UK premiere, held at the Carlton Cinema, Haymarket on the 23rd May 1947. The idea was simple….to encourage the artists to spread the word about the film; publicity ‘word-of-mouth’ on the streets. BRILLIANT!
As far as I know, this was the very first use of pavement artists to market a product/movie; it’s certainly the first to be recorded, in any case.
Its worth noting, it was estimated that over 400 artists were making a full time living on the streets of London, screeving during the 1940′s
And sorry; NO, I don’t have any photos of pavement artists watching films!
Details published in The DAILY EXPRESS, Friday 23rd May 1947.
Researched and written by Philip Battle