For those who consider Snakes On A Plane a low point in cinematic history, here we present House On Fire.
The 1867 play Under The Gaslight, for instance, featured the hero being tied to the tracks of an onrushing train (he's rescued by the heroine, thereby demonstrating that Victorians were ahead of the curve in more than one respect). The production was a smash hit in the U.S., and its playwright, John Augustin Daly, became synonymous with the special effect, making it sort of the Michael Bay explosion of its day.
Oofty Gooft's New York Combiation
Oofty Gooft does sound like a shitty Transformer ...
Such melodramas were considered "illegitimate" theater (i.e. not the type of play that was permitted in official, or patent, theaters). By the late 19th century, however, the line between legitimate and illegitimate theater became blurred, to the point where a production such as Ben-Hur -- which employed cutting-edge technology to depict scenes ranging from a shipwreck to a chariot race onstage -- became the hottest ticket in the goddamned world.
This is like the first-ever behind-the-scenes featurette.
Critics, of course, railed against this apparent collapse in the legitimacy of entertainment. One critic for The Times declared Ben-Hur so lacking in substance that "the best plan would really be to dispense with dialogue altogether, and to give it as a series of tableaux vivants with a little dumb-show action in between."
And that long-dead critic unknowingly wrote the first draft for 300. He's probably spinning in his grave right now. In extra-slow motion.
Laura H has considered her options and decided to go insane. Follow her on Twitter.
It's Spring Break! You know what that means! Hot coeds getting loose on the beaches of Cancun and becoming imperiled in all classic beach slasher ways: Man-eating shark, school of piranhas, James Franco with dreadlocks. There are so many films about vacations gone wrong, it's a chore to wonder if there's even such a thing as a movie vacation gone right. Amity Island and Camp Crystal Lake are out. So what does that leave? The ship from Wall-E? Hawaii with the Brady Bunch? A road trip with famous curmudgeon Chevy Chase? On this month's live podcast Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff are joined by some special guest comedians to figure out what would be the best vacation to take in a fictional universe.
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