Saturday, April 28, 2018

Slap Happy

Glenn Ford and Rita Hayward in Affair in Trinidad (1952)
A Madison Avenue man, Gene Case, developed the "Thanks. . .  I needed that" campaign for Mennen's Skin Bracer aftershave.

The idea of slapping a hysterical person to compose them had been circulating in films and literature for years.

Here is a passage from the 1939 novel "Ten Little Indians":
She began laughing wildly again.  Dr. Armstrong strode forward.  He raised his hand and struck her a flat blow across the cheek. She gasped, hiccupped – and swallowed.  She stood motionless a minute, then she said, "Thank you. . . I’m all right now."  Her voice was once more calm and controlled - the voice of the efficient games mistress.
Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons in Angel Face (1953)

John Wayne and Robert Stack in The High and the Mighty (1954)

Tippi Hedren and Doreen Lang in The Birds (1963)

Dewey Martin and Mary Murphy in The Outer Limits ("The Premonition," 1965)

Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell in That Girl ("Don't Just Do Something, Stand There," 1966)

Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in The Producers (1967)

George C. Scott and Tim Considine in Patton (1970)

Tony Randall and Al Molinaro in The Odd Couple ("The Flying Felix," 1970)

Marlon Brando and Al Martino in The Godfather (1972)

Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon in Here's Lucy ("Lucy Plays Cops and Robbers," 1973)

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in Chinatown (1974)

John Cleese and Connie Booth in Fawlty Towers ("The Builders," 1975)

Sissy Spacek and Betty Buckley in Carrie (1976)

Leslie Nielsen and Lee Bryant in Airplane! (1980)

Cher and Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck (1987)

Holly Hunter and Brad Bird in The Incredibles (2004)

So, now, you know how to handle an hysterical person.  I am glad that I could help.

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