(Roughly) Daily

Now you see ’em…

 

… Now you don’t.

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Consider Wikipedia’s (incomplete* but fascinating) “List of People Who Disappeared Mysteriously“: from Spartacus and Edward V of England to Ambrose Bierce and D.B. Cooper, there’s still no trace… 

[TotH to Parijata D. Mackey]

* There are about 900,000 missing persons cases per year– almost 2,500 per day– in the U.S. alone; in countries where politically-motivated “disappearances” occur and/or where human trafficking is an even more regular practice, the rates can run proportionately higher…  And then, there are those who vanish while sailing or exploring or otherwise adventuring…

The rate of disappearance in the U.S. has risen six-fold since 1980; but as the Wikipedia list illustrates, vanishing certainly isn’t a recent phenomenon.

 

As we check the clasps on our ID bracelets, we might wish a hilarious Happy Birthday to writer-director Preston Sturges; he was born (Edmund Preston Biden) on this date in 1898.   After a brief career as a Broadway playwright, Sturges sold a screenplay (The Power and the Glory, produced by Fox, starring Spencer Tracy) in 1933; the film did relatively well at the box office, but had a huge impact in Hollywood (e.g., its use of flashbacks and flashforwards was an acknowledged source of inspiration to the screenwriters of Citizen Kane).  For the balance of that decade Sturges worked as a studio screenwriter, until, in 1939, he agreed to sell the script for The Great McGinty to Paramount for $1 in return for the chance to direct.  The screenplay earned him an Academy Award, the first “Original Screenplay” Oscar; the success of the film assured his chance to continue in the Director’s chair.

Sturges worked in Hollywood for almost 30 years; but his legacy was built in the five years from 1939 through 1943, when he wrote and directed The Great McGinty, Christmas in July, The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, and Hail the Conquering Hero.  Four of those films– The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story, and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek— are on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Funniest American Films.  Arguably they should all be– along with such later gems as The Sins of Harold Diddlebock and Unfaithfully Yours.

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