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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Guess Who With Three Clues (43 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alan M
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Wow, that was quick! Drew Barrymore is indeed correct.
arthur stead
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In my heyday, I used to party with the so-called “beautiful people,” so this was an easy guess for me. (It had to be either Drew or Mackenzie Phillips, but I know the latter only went to rehab later in life).

Here’s a new mystery personality:

I was born in New York City to Jewish Parents.

My mother died when I was nine. When my father followed a year later, I was left an orphan and went to live with my older sister.

Later in life, I translated my Jewish surname into English as my pseudonym.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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At age 13, I went to see the play Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and was entranced. I watched performance after performance, eventually managing to meet Lugosi himself.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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When Lugosi recommended me for the position of assistant stage manager for the road company tour of the play, I dropped out of high school at age 15 to take the job.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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I spent my teenage years working on Broadway, in jobs ranging from set building to acting. This proved good training for my future profession.
Arthur Stead
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Fedora
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Ed wood?
arthur stead
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I once pulled an outrageous stunt in Connecticut, by writing and staging a German-themed play, then vandalizing the theatre and painting swastikas on the exterior. It worked. The resulting publicity ensured the success of my play.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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At age 23, I left for Hollywood to work at Columbia Pictures. I learned the film business and graduated to directing inexpensive B-movies, gaining a reputation for being able to make films under budget and quickly.
Arthur Stead
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karnak
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Roger Corman?
For a supernatural chiller mixing magic (prestidigitation, legerdemain) with Magic (occultism, mysticism), check out my novel MAGIC: AN OCCULT THRILLER at http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Occult-Thriller-Reed-Hall/dp/1453874836
arthur stead
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Close, but no cigar, Karnak.

Four of The Whistler series of movies were among the many films I directed for Colombia. I was also an associate producer on Orson Welles’ film, The Lady From Shanghai.
Arthur Stead
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Eventually I struck out on my own, producing and directing thrillers, which, despite their low budgets, I effectively promoted using gimmicks (a trademark for which I am best known).
Arthur Stead
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In 1958, I financed my first non-Colombia Pictures movie by mortgaging my house. I came up with the idea to give every customer a certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy from Lloyd's of London in case they should die of fright during the film. I stationed nurses in the lobbies, and had hearses parked outside the theaters.
Arthur Stead
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Other films (and gimmicks) followed. In one of them, I launched a publicized worldwide casting call for the prettiest girls from different countries. Then I filmed slightly different versions of the trailer, highlighting each girl for the release in her country.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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In another of my films, there was a "fright break" with a timer overlaid on the film's climax, as the heroine approaches a house harboring a sadistic killer. The audience had 45 seconds to leave and get a full refund if they were too frightened to see the remainder of the film.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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Alfred Hitchcock decided to make Psycho after noting the financial success of my 1950s B-movies.
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S2000magician
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Ed Wood
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Not Ed. (Actually, Fedora guessed that earlier).

For one of my movies, the theaters had a skeleton with red lighted eye sockets floating over the audience, to parallel the onscreen action in the final moments of the film.
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Fedora
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William castle
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Yes! William Schloss Jr, better known as William Castle.

He was a truly fascinating character, an innovative film-maker, and a marketing genius. Among many other films, he directed The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill, Homicidal, and Mr. Sardonicus. The movie for which he had nurses stationed in the lobbies, and hearses parked outside the theaters, was entitled Macabre. At the premiere, William Castle arrived by emerging from a coffin.

These were my remaining clues (worth reading just for the amazing marketing schemes he devised):

For one of my movies, the theaters had a skeleton with red lighted eye sockets floating over the audience, to parallel the onscreen action in the final moments of the film.

Another idea I concocted was to have my crew attach devices to the underside of some of the theater seats in order to give the occupants a “buzz.”

Yet another gimmick was to have the audience vote on the villain's fate in a "punishment poll" during the film’s climax. Each member of the audience was given a card with a glow-in-the-dark thumb they could hold up or down to decide if the character should live or die.

For another movie, each patron received a handheld ghost viewer/remover. During certain segments of the film, a person could see the ghosts by looking through the red cellophane, or hide them by looking through the blue.

Another gimmick was to turn the back rows of theatres into "Shock Sections." Seat belts were installed to keep patrons from being jolted from their chairs in fright.

At the height of my popularity, I had a fan club with 250,000 members.

For Rosemary's Baby, I mortgaged my home (again) and obtained the movie rights to the Ira Levin novel before it was published, hoping to finally direct a prestigious A-movie myself. I made a deal with Paramount Pictures, but they insisted on hiring director Roman Polanski. So I had to settle for producing the film.

Unfortunately, I was unable to build on the film's success, and suffered kidney failure soon after its release. By the time I recovered, all momentum was lost, and I went back to making B-movies.

I died of a heart attack in 1977. Roger Corman and John Waters were among my greatest admirers. Waters wrote, "He was my idol. His films made me want to make films ... he was God.”

Your turn, Fedora.
Arthur Stead
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Fedora
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I was born in 1890 in Indiana.

My father died when I was 5, I was left to cook
for my siblings, by 7 I was a skilled with cooking
bread vegetables and meat.

In 1906 I lied about my age to get into the army,
i worked as a teamster (wagon driver) in cuba.
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