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August 1997, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Langer <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 10:53:34 EDT
<[log in to unmask]>; from "plath3" at Aug 19, 97 9:55 pm
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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plath3 writes:
> This led me to wonder how the tie-ins between popular films and related
> products: books, toys, clothing, styles, etc. developed over the years. I
> remember that Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951) was followed by a
> paperback reprint, with a photograph from the film on the cover, of the
> C.S. Forester trilogy on which it was based. But I'm sure this wasn't the
> first.
> Does anyone have any thoughts on how this phenomenon developed? Does it
> exist in other countries/cultures?
> Thanks for your thoughts.
> Peter S. Latham
Popular book editions tied to movies go back at least as far as Grosset &
Dunlap's inauguration of the "Photoplay Editions" by tying a cheap edition of
(I believe) Hal Caine's The Christian to the movie version somewhere
around 1912, if memory serves.  Photoplay Editions were released with
several film stills and a dust jacket that featured an image based
on one from the film.  "Photoplay Editions" were produced on such titles
as The Clansman, The Singing Fool, Way Down East, Amarilly of Clothesline
Alley, The Gaucho, 42nd Street, Scaramouche, Our Dancing Daughters, Cabin
in the Cotton, etc.   I haven't really done any research on this topic
other than listing a random sample based on a brief glance at my bookshelf.
Such books were routinely published, tied to major and modest productions,
and sold in the millions.  They can easily be found in used bookshops today.
Other books were aimed at a juvenile audience.  There was a whole series
of Ginger Rogers Mysteries in the 1940s.  Western Publishing had an
arrangement with Disney to bring out books based on Disney characters, as
well as arrangements with other studios and companies to print books
featuring Red Ryder, Gene Autry, Popeye, etc.
There is a small body of literature on product tie-ins, but I'm not aware
of any literature on the "Photoplay Editions" or similar publications.
Perhaps some other Screen-L participant can help out.
Mark Langer
Email address: [log in to unmask]
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the 
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