To quote the promotional materials from Preston Opportunities of Georgia, which is staging the auction, Volney Phifer “was a man with a lifetime of extreme adventure. Sent by the studio to Africa in 1930 to be the wildlife expert for the groundbreaking film, Trader Horn. A remote set where the local wildlife could, and did, take the lives of crew members. Taking up residence with the entire production on the Arctic Circle for the 1931 film Eskimo. Constructing a sprawling Chinese farmland in Chatsworth, California for the 1937 film The Good Earth. Oh, and all the while domesticating a water buffalo to be one of the film's stars.
“The stories he could have told about his daily routines on Gone With the Wind as chief animal wrangler, whenever he handed the reins to Clark Gable. The intensive training he and Cheetah must have gone through preparing for every single Tarzan film. And who wouldn't want to have been there for the daily ritual on the set of The Wizard of Oz. Volney was MGM's go-to man for literally any production that involved an animal, on set or on a publicity tour, throughout the Golden Era of Hollywood.”
It’s well worth your time to explore the auction house website HERE and see some of the colorful memorabilia that’s being sold this Friday. Be sure to click on various links at the bottom of the page to see Volney’s scrapbooks, posters, marionettes, and some of the advertising signage he used on his various promotional tours for films as diverse as Sequoia and Ziegfeld Girl. I would love to see some of this material find a proper home—perhaps the museum being planned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Just a thought…
RT @leonardmaltin: "The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend" is a great book by any measure http://t.co/ivVpqYHt8M @BloomsburyPub #JohnFord #HollywoodPosted 57 minutes ago
RT @leonardmaltin: 'Hit & Run' is original and thoroughly engaging @daxshepard1 @IMKristenBell http://t.co/T3Z1tqnk #MovieCrazyPosted 4 hours ago
RT @poetryquestion: @leonardmaltin @extratv @ETonlineAlert @eonline @eonlineMovies @HBO @RollingStone INTERVIEW with @MatthewModine http://t.co/sstCnjoxMdPosted 11 hours ago
@M_Morse @leonardmaltin Disney has no problem creating demand to hype up consumers.Posted 15 hours ago