Monday, April 13, 2015

"Speak Softly and Carry A Big Stick:" Theodore Roosevelt appears in forerunner to Paramount's Newsreels

This is in relation to a recent Hood College class trip to the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Some eleven years before the studio presented its newsreels with "The Eyes of the World" (later "The Eyes and Ears of the World" after the dawn of sound), Paramount Pictures released a news magazine series to theaters- titled Paramount Pictographs.

The weekly newsreel series was produced in conjunction with Bray Studios, a company that was better known for its pioneering work in cartoon animation (though Bray produced a live-action film for General Electric, A Day with Thomas A. Edison in 1921).  Bray's animated output was included with newsreel product featured in Paramount releases.

According to the 1916 issue of The Motion Picture News, this was the second installment of Paramount's newsreel gazette.  For this edition, former President Theodore Roosevelt, who was no stranger to the newsreel camera, presented his thoughts on the topic of preparedness (with inter-titles).  The newsreel also showcased Roosevelt, collaborating on the subject of preparedness with the editor of the Metropolitan Magazine.  The footage was filmed at President Roosevelt's house, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, New York.

It was an interesting and fascinating newsreel of Theodore Roosevelt in 1916, featured in an early newsreel for a major motion picture studio.

The early Paramount newsreel of Theodore Roosevelt can be viewed here at the Library of Congress' YouTube channel.

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