A Day’s Pleasure with Charlie Chaplin

A Day’s Pleasure with Charlie Chaplin

Though sometimes titled Charlie’s Picnic, A Day’s Pleasure was meant to be ironic because the story is a series of misfortunes: seasickness, fistfights, and a return home that ends with a fight with traffic police in a drying pile of cement.  The final screen legend...
Ford Motors’ Touring Car Picnic in Advertisement

Ford Motors’ Touring Car Picnic in Advertisement

Twentieth Century motoring greatly expanded opportunities for picnicking by allowing anyone to enjoy the freedom of the road. Fords were ubiquitous cars , and in this advertisement, they reinforced their dominance by claiming “Wherever you live—in town or...
Paul Sample’s Church Supper

Paul Sample’s Church Supper

This dour and static dinner on the grounds is Paul Sample’s Church Super. His take on his wife Sylvia’s hometown in Westmore, Vermont. At a glance the supper is ordinary, but many details tell otherwise. Though the minister is calling the picnickers for grace, many...
Fish Fry Picnics in The Green Pastures

Fish Fry Picnics in The Green Pastures

Broadway audiences ignored issues of racial stereotyping in The Green Pastures, Marc Connelly’s dramatization of Roark Bradford’s Ol’ Man Adam. * How charming to see African American angels with white wings dressed in brightly colored robes preparing for their eternal...
Dreiser’s horrid picnic in An American Tragedy

Dreiser’s horrid picnic in An American Tragedy

Years after, Chester Gillette clubbed Grace Brown with a tennis racquet and left her to drown in Moose Lake, New York, Theodore Dreiser came upon the story and recreated it as An American Tragedy. The real murder had no picnic but Dreiser’s unacknowledged fictional...
Matisse’s Joy of Life Picnic

Matisse’s Joy of Life Picnic

Matisse completed The Joy of Life [Le Bonheur de Vivre] (1905-1906), a lovers’ picnic in a garden. There is a  cloth, though there is neither food nor drink. Who was it that said, “Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink”? [Also see Matisse’s Calm, Luxury, and...
A.T. Smith’s  Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps”

A.T. Smith’s Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps”

The humor of Smith’s picnic fiasco “Slicing the Wasps” is obvious. The legend reads: “Suitable for both sexes, young and old. Fascinating, amusing, skillful exciting, and with that element of danger.” It’s also an allusion to  to...
The Marx Brothers’ Picnic in a Barn

The Marx Brothers’ Picnic in a Barn

The plot of Monkey Business is fluff. It begins with the Marx brothers hiding in kippered herring barrels on a transatlantic liner crossing to New York. The narrative ends in barn (whereabouts unknown) in which Groucho and Chico picnic in a hay pile. Zeppo Marx is in...
Bransom’s The River Bank Picnic in The Wind in the Willows

Bransom’s The River Bank Picnic in The Wind in the Willows

Among the numerous illustrators of I, Paul Bransom’s standout because his portrayal of the character tend to look like animals they are. This is especially evident ion the flyleaf illustration of the “The River Bank.” Others of Bransom’s are more anthropocentric, but...
West’s Cardboard Picnic on Lawn of Fiber

West’s Cardboard Picnic on Lawn of Fiber

The Day of the Locust may have been the best novel ever written about Hollywood, but Nathanael West and his publisher Random House miscalculated. They believed an acerbic satire of the film industry and it’s insidious confusion of illusion and reality would sell, but...