Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Murky Cruise, January 1965

Here are two more images from a set of slides in which many (but not all) of them are mysteriously dark, and soft focus in places. In spite of the flaws, they still manage to retain some visual appeal - maybe you could argue that they have a "noir" quality.

There is stuff to be seen on both sides of a Jungle Cruise launch, which makes for some less-than-optimal photos. Clearly our photographer was trying to capture the dancing natives on the opposite bank, but instead got a silhouetted picture of fellow guests (craning their necks!). I almost expect Crow and Tom Servo to be there too (any MST3K fans out there??). 

I'll bet the person who took this picture didn't even know these people! Still, it's moody and dreamy, like looking through an antique pane of glass.


Nanook said...


Rather than having "a thing" for anchors, perhaps this photographer "had a thing" for cable knit sweaters-! The gentleman seems to be sporting a nice example.

I'm afraid to be true 'noir', we'd need a B&W image - but your point is well-taken. (Perhaps Robert Mitchum is lurking in the shadows, just out of camera range).

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Some of the MST3K jokes would fit right into a typical JC Skipper's patter. I was thinking of this one from Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues:

"It is from this tributary that the creature got its name." "The creature's name is 'Tributary?'"

Melissa said...

@Nanook, it's a good idea to always assume Robert Mitchum is lurking in the shadows, just out of camera range. Better safe than sorry.

Anonymous said...

The second picture is amazing. It feels like these people are on an actual adventure. The softness of picture almost makes it look like the colors were painted on

Tom said...

Obviously we're passing through deepest, darkest Africa.

That second shot looks like something that was edited out of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"

Three cheers for murk!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, ugh, cable-knit sweaters, I used to have those when I was a kid. Not sure why, but I never really liked them. Can't "noir" be in color? I'm thinking "Chinatown" or even "Blade Runner". Not low-budget or 1940's, but they still seem to follow the film noir style.

Melissa, you are clearly a huge MST3K fan! I think I've read that many of their episodes are going to be available on Netflix - or one of those other streaming services.

Melissa again, poor Robert Mitchum's hands were always at war with each other.

Anonymous, that's the funny thing about this series of photos… the "too dark" quality, plus the selective blurring makes them look kind of cool.

Tom, you're so right, "Sky Captain" did have that same strange image quality. I still remember thinking how striking that movie looked at times… too bad it wasn't a better story.

K. Martinez said...

Major - Yes, although film noir is primarily associated with a certain B&W style found in films of 1940's and 1950's, there are some crime films in color, that employed the cynical attitudes and sexual motivations found in the B&W noir films. Leaver Her To Heaven, House of Bamboo and Black Widow are some examples of color film noir.

I'm sure it's still debatable in some circles, but that's my two cents.

Nanook said...


I think Neo-noir better fits films such as Chinatown, Farewell My Lovely, etc., but I'm not here to argue the point. Yes, color can be used in Noir films; I was just going for a more 'traditional' definition. Either way - the Jungle Cruise would make for great backgrounds in any Noir film. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Disneyland is no POP, so that seems an unlikely eventuality.

K. Martinez said...

Nanook - I totally forgot about post-50's Neo-noir. I've seen Chinatown and L.A. Confidential, but haven't dug too deep into that sub-genre. Interesting your mention of POP as I've watched a few noir films which I think were partially filmed on location at some of the old L.A. amusement piers in the 40's-50's.

Chuck said...

I have to agree, Nanook - Disneyland is no POP. If only Walt had tried harder... ;-)

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I agree that classic film noir is B&W - how could anybody argue! Plus I just love the look of those movies.

Nanook, I prefer Paleo-noir - movies about dinosaurs that solve crimes. I'm sure I've read that the concept of a Jungle Cruise film has been bandied about… I almost hope they don't do it though. They love to come up with back stories for these classic attractions, but I prefer it when they leave things unexplained. Let the guest make up their own narrative, if they so desire.

K. Martinez, I would love to know some of the films you refer to (that were filmed in old amusement piers)!

Chuck, I do think POP might have inspired Walt do improve his park considerably - who knows, maybe he would have done it anyway, but it's a reasonable theory!

Nanook said...


Well, there's Man In the Dark - in 3D, no less-! Scenes using the Hi-Boy Roller Coaster @ POP (pre-Sea Serpent). And the Leave It to Beaver episode: "Beaver's Fear", Season 5, Episode 21 - shot at the Cyclone Racer - at the Pike, in Long Beach.

There are certainly others - besides the (in)famous final episode of The Fugitive (at POP), which used west coast pier settings.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I remember when I used to come home from school (college) in the afternoons in time to watch "The Avengers" (the British show) and "The Fugitive" on A&E. At some point I realized that I was watching the final episode of The Fugitive, and I was so excited! This was at least 20 years ago, and I still remember the POP scenes.