THE MUPPET SHOW (1976 - 1981)
—1.19 Special Guest: Vincent Price
dir. Josef von Sternberg
— "In an article written by Robert S. White for the April 4, 1931 edition of The Scrutiner, he talks about animal actors, especially those who belonged to J.H. Kerr, the owner of an establishment called Animal Land which provided animals for film productions. Running down the list of animals provided for the film Morocco (another film directed by von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich) a black cat is mentioned. The writer goes on to explain the cat’s name was Blackie and that he was one of Animal Land’s best money-makers. 'Blackie was a stray that wandered into the tightly fenced preserves of Animal Land one evening just about feeding time,' White writes. 'Finding the meal was first class, Blackie remained. He proved to be friendly, anxious to please and has become one of the most reliable of all animal actors.' (Another article from 1930 noted that Blackie was trained to stretch and yawn on command.)
The article goes on to explain how Blackie became the property of Paramount Pictures. After his role in Morocco, Blackie was hired for Dishonored.
'But Blackie was not content to be just a fleeting brand,' White continues. 'When put before the cameras in Dishonored, he purred with conscious pride and proceeded to give one of the most remarkable feline performances ever witnessed by an astonished director and company. Blackie was promptly assigned a more important role. He became Marlene Dietrich’s pet, and thus carries an extended role through-out the entire production, even winning himself a big-eyed closeup at the end of the picture.'
White went on to explain how von Sternberg proclaimed, 'That closeup will make Dishonored worth ten thousand dollars more at the box office. Buy Blackie for the property department and give him a home. I want him for my next picture.'
Because of this, Blackie was given a valuation of eight thousand dollars." [x]
Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about...
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