Spinning Newspaper Injures Printer

As you guys would know, I love a good mock-up newspaper! Whenever I encounter one, I try to include a screenshot in my review; but some films offer so many treats of this nature that one shot won’t do it. So I’ve decided to create a space where I can take a closer look at the fine detail of these beloved movie props—and keep an eye out for Repeat Offenders…



I’m very proud of this one! I mean, everyone knows about Panic in New York: Menagerie breaks loose, but this is my baby! At least, as far as I’m aware no-one but me has repeat-spotted New ‘Living Buddha’ Reported Discovered.

This mock-up newspaper subheading first caught my eye during Gigantis, The Fire Monster, the 1959 Americanisation of Godzilla’s Counterattack. I next spotted it in The Mummy’s Tomb, which was released 17 years earlier! And you may imagine my giddy surprise when I spotted it again while watching the non-genre drama, Girls On Probation, made in 1938!

Girls On Probation (1938):










The Mummy’s Tomb (1942):

(Scroll down for more on The Mummy’s Tomb)

Gigantis, The Fire Monster (1959):

(Scroll down for more on Gigantis)


When I posted the mock-up newspapers from Gigantis, The Fire Monster (see below), commenter Uncle Mike felt that he had seen the headline, $3,000,000 for Aid Pledged for S. A. Earthquake Victims, somewhere else. I thought I had too—and was delighted when I subsequently spotted it in one of the papers from The Flying Saucer.

But that isn’t all! The Gigantis paper has a smaller headline to the right, Limited Farm Bill Favored, which also rang a bell for me; and that too is in the mock-up from The Flying Saucer!

I’m also very sure that these films do not exhaust the usage of these two headlines—stay tuned!

The Flying Saucer:

(Scroll down for more on The Flying Saucer)

(Scroll down for more on Gigantis)


In fact, Gigantis turns out to be a goldmine of repeated headlines, as well as further proof of how long the same mock-ups were used and re-used by the studios.

Thus, we find the same headline – Bill Aids Owner On Foreclosure – in The Walking Dead, from 1936, and Gigantis, from 1959:

The Walking Dead:

(Scroll down for more on The Walking Dead)

Gigantis, The Fire Monster:

(Scroll down for more on Gigantis)


Obviously (and not surprisingly), The Mummy’s Tomb and The Mummy’s Ghost used the same template for their mock-ups, because their newspapers have more in common than just headlines about rampaging mummies—giving us four separate instances of reused “stories”:
Victory Sighted In Fight Against Yellow Fever
– Ocean at Last Yields Its Gold and Its Silver
– No Precedent For Handling Certificates
– Passengers Make Hasty Exit From Blazing Street Car

The Mummy’s Tomb:………………………………………..The Mummy’s Ghost:




(Scroll down for more on both The Mummy’s Tomb and The Mummy’s Ghost)


The Mummy’s Ghost is another that just keeps on giving! In addition to its numerous double-ups with The Mummy’s Tomb, it offered another of those I’ve seen that somewhere else touches—which turned out to be Gigantis, The Fire Monster:

The Mummy’s Ghost:








(Scroll down for more on The Mummy’s Ghost)

Gigantis, The Fire Monster:








(Scroll down for more on Gigantis)


College Coach (1933):
…features numerous headlines, and only headlines, to convey the success or otherwise of the film’s central college football team:

CollgeCoach3b  CollegeCoach5b  CollegeCoach6b

There are only two “full” newspapers used, and it is fairly evident that real newspapers have been used, and used rather well, so little inadvertent entertainment is offered by them—other than the fact that no-one can decide on the spelling of the surname of Calvert’s star quarterback, offering both “Sargent” and “Sergeant”. We can hardly blame the newspapers for this, since the film itself never settles on a spelling either: it’s “Sargeant” in the opening credits, but “Sargent” on the quarterback’s class list.

CollegeCoach1b  CollegeCoach4b



Supernatural (1933):
…uses its few newspapers efficiently on the whole, mostly to summarise the career of serial killer, Ruth Rogen. There’s only one overt blunder, when fake spiritualist, Paul Bavian, buys a paper: we see him reading a story about Ruth swearing vengeance against the man who betrayed her (guess who?); but that isn’t the headline on the paper in the longer shot:


(Can anyone read the third word in the first headline? LOVE NEST—what??)


Death In The Air (1936):
…uses headlines mostly to emphasise the enormity of its villain’s crimes, which consist of shooting commercial planes out of the air. The production evidently used real papers rather than studio mock-ups, and apart from one amusingly ambiguous headline Sheriff Holds Youth – the news is pretty grim; particularly in China, afflicted simultaneously by earthquakes and the arrival of still more Japanese troops. In-film, we have only the unnamed Police Chief’s blanket dismissal of the dying testimony of the one person not killed outright by the psychotic pilot to smile at:

DeathInTheAir4c  DeathInTheAir5c

DeathInTheAir1d DeathInTheAir2d DeathInTheAir3d DeathInTheAir4d


The Walking Dead (1936):
…uses only a few mock-ups and (disappointingly from my point of view) does an excellent job integrating the film’s material into real papers.

There is, however, a typical Warners touch in the reporting of the astonishing resurrection of the wrongly executed John Ellman, with “mad science” sitting cheek-by-jowl with the prosaic announcement that Ellman’s attorney will be suing the State for wrongful death:


Otherwise, my attention was caught by the story bumped from the front page by news of Ellman’s pending execution—Three Former Bank Clerks Held Following Sensational Confession By Delivery Boy:


walkingdead1 walkingdead2 walkingdead3 walkingdead4 walkingdead5


The Devil Bat (1940):
…is a riot of mock-up papers, all reporting Death By Embiggened Bat. No less than ten different front pages appear, each with a zoom-in to match; and although these represent the journalistic offerings  of the Chicago Daily Register, the Peoria Gazette, the Springfield Daily and the Heathville Daily, it is amusingly clear that the same templates were used over and over, since the all-too-clear sub-headlines appear again and again in different editions, and even in different papers. Thus, both the Peoria Gazette and the Heathville Daily favour short, pithy headers like “Congratulations” and “Controversial”; while we can only ponder the content of the Chicago Daily Register‘s ongoing front-page columns—not so much “Americanism”, perhaps, but definitely “Pericles The Great Athenian Speaks”. The same paper manages to get the name of its star reporter wrong, although the Peoria Gazette sets the record straight. The big winner, however, is the mysterious “Mac”, who appears in the right-hand column of all ten front pages.

DevilBat1c  DevilBat15f

DevilBat3c  DevilBat5c

DevilBat10d  DevilBat12d

DevilBat1 DevilBat2 DevilBat3 DevilBat4 DevilBat5
DevilBat6 DevilBat7 DevilBat8 DevilBat9 DevilBat10
DevilBat11 DevilBat12 DevilBat13 DevilBat14 DevilBat15
DevilBat16 DevilBat17 DevilBat18 DevilBat19 DevilBat20


The Mummy’s Tomb (1942):
…is most remarkable for the fact that, despite being made and, presumably set, in 1942; having a character being called up as a subplot; and featuring a reporter joking about being sent to the Russian front, not one of its fairly numerous newspapers so much as mentions the war!

Otherwise, we note the contradiction between the paper headlines and the in-film dialogue, which suggests that there is already a “fiend” at work in Mapleton before Kharis arrives; busy town!

As mentioned in the review, the sub-headline ‘Murder Attributed to Supernatural Being‘ always cracks me up. However, allow me also to draw your attention to the sub-sub-headline to its right—‘Taken for Chipmunk, News Worker Shot’—joke, or not?

The mock-ups used here are fairly carefully prepared otherwise, although in addition to the ‘Living Buddha’ Repeat Offender noted above, I’m going to note down a couple of provisional Repeat Offenders, that is, headlines I’m sure I’ve seen elsewhere but can’t immediately locate:
Victory Sighted In Fight Against Yellow Fever (in fact, I’m sure I’ve drawn attention to that one in a review)
Ocean At Last Yields Its Gold And Its Silver
– …
and something about Passengers making a Hasty exit from a Blazing…ship, I think.

NB: I had indeed seen these elsewhere! – in this film’s sequel, The Mummy’s Ghost, as I have now illustrated above (where it turned out to be a blazing street car which was being hastily exited).



The Mummy’s Ghost (1944):
…offers both a riot of Repeat Offenders in its mock-ups, and an amusing indication of how such mock-ups are put together.

Though the tiny size of the font makes it easy neither to see nor to illustrate, a close examination of one of the film’s faux-front pages reveals that with several of the stories, a new headline has been pressed into existing text. Thus, for example, the headline Heavy Defalcation in New York Bank is followed by what sounds like an excerpt from a comic short story: Then followed a real touch of genius on the part of “The Major”. Knowing he was in trouble about the marriage license, he gathered the fortune hunters round him and made them sign a document, purporting to be under the Official Secrets Act…

This approach was also taken for the paper’s lead story, with the call for “able-bodied men” to volunteer for mummy-watch suddenly giving way to an account of the aftermath of a car crash: Versions of what happened to Hosking immediately after the accident vary. The state police said that Hosking was taken to Denver General Hospital by passerby while Mrs Hoking and Mrs Smith were taken to Mountainside Hospital


Captive Wild Woman (1943):
…gifts the audience with a tale of a mad scientist transforming a gorilla into an attractive young woman, who displays an unfortunate tendency to revert when her emotions get too much for her. There’s only one paper in the film, and quite a carefully prepared one (which declines to reveal what city we’re located in); although its writers seem more than a little confused over the meaning of words like “murder” and “strangulation”. Meanwhile, it is hard not to be distracted from the matter at hand, i.e. a killer gorilla on the loose, by local law’s hard-line stance on glitter removal:


CaptiveWildWoman1b CaptiveWildWoman2c


The Iron Major (1943)
This biopic of college football coach and WWI hero Frank Cavanagh is a low-low-low-budget production that gets enormous mileage out of stock footage and shots of newspapers—more newspapers than feature in The Devil Bat, our previous champion! The difference here is that these are clearly real papers, dug out of the archives to indicate the passage of time, to highlight important historical events (including the sinking of the Lusitania), and to convey the fortunes of the various Cavanaugh-coached teams.

As far as I can tell, there’s only a single instance of tampering, when a picture of Pat O’Brien as Frank Cavanaugh appears on one front-page via the 1943 equivalent of Photoshop:


Historically, despite the war news, I found this front page to be of the most interest:


Sports-wise, maybe this one, since I have no idea what “table net” is—table tennis, perhaps?


ironmajor1 ironmajor2 ironmajor3 ironmajor4 ironmajor5
ironmajor6 ironmajor7 ironmajor8 ironmajor9 ironmajor10
ironmajor11 ironmajor12 ironmajor13 ironmajor14 ironmajor15
ironmajor16 ironmajor17 ironmajor18 ironmajor19 ironmajor20
ironmajor21 ironmajor22 ironmajor23 ironmajor24 ironmajor25


Devil Bat’s Daughter (1946):
…is an in-name-only sequel to The Devil Bat that spends most of its running-time contradicting the action of the earlier film. The main thing these two productions have in common is their tendency to convey information to the audience via newspaper headlines; although, alas, more care went into the preparation of the mock-ups in Devil Bat’s Daughter, using, it appears, real newspapers instead of prop templates, which by definition makes them far less funny. In fact, we’re reduced to finding humour in the New York Record’s inability to place an apostrophe correctly:




The Creeper (1948):
…is all-but a remake of Devil Bat’s Daughter, and like it has its heroine suspected of committing murder while suffering a blackout. Nora is subsequently discharged due to lack of evidence—with an unwise zoom allowing us to see that the newspaper story about Nora has been imposed over a real one about a conference: Ninety-four projects, reports and proposals covering the conference’s twenty-three point agenda…


TheCreeper1b TheCreeper2b TheCreeper3d


The Flying Saucer (1950):
…was the first science film of the decade, but rather than giving us space and/or aliens, serves up a silly Cold War spy-story about a “saucer” manufactured on earth for the purpose of dropping nukes. However, when the saucer in questioned is spotted, it sets off the predictable panic. The papers eat it up, of course; though we might be inclined to wonder why the Washington Globe chose to focus upon their appearance over Idaho:

However, the best part of the saucer panic is undoubtedly that we learn of it via an actual spinning newspaper!—



.Warning From Space (1956):
…in its original form does use the occasional newspaper as a prop, though in the current Showa print there is no translation of the text; but conversely, there’s an interesting use of papers in English and French:


The American version of the film shows no such restraint, but piles on the mock-ups in order to convey information through their headlines (though really, they don’t tell us anything not conveyed by the dialogue). We note the amusing distinction drawn between “scientists” and “experts”:

wfs56-paper7d  wfs56-paper8d

However, of all the papers used here, this is the one that really caught my eye—please tell me the original ending of that sub-headline was Menagerie breaks loose!?


wfs56-paper10c wfs56-paper11c wfs56-paper12c wfs56-paper1c wfs56-paper2c
wfs56-paper3c wfs56-paper6c wfs56-paper8c wfs56-paper9c


Gigantis, The Fire Monster (1959):
…is the Americanised version of Godzilla’s Counterattack, the second Godzilla film. Although it keeps the same story as the Japanese version, there is some significant dumbing down here, as well as the inclusion of elements presumably meant to make it more appealing to American audiences.

For instance—apparently Japan being threatened by giant monsters isn’t interesting enough; the film therefore suggests that America is also threatened—gasp! And of course, the Japanese aren’t capable of dealing with the situation themselves, but have to rely upon American help. (Which never eventuates within the film, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)

Naturally, these details are conveyed via newspaper:



Mind you—all this monster mayhem fades into insignificance besides the fact that Gigantis actually features a spinning newspaper!




Project X (1968):
…is a low-budget science fiction actioner from William Castle, which is set in the far-flung future of 2118, but which conveniently enough must recreate 1968 as part of an elaborate scheme to access an individual’s buried memories. The scientists in charge of the project get a crash course in the 1960s, and are properly appalled.

This is one of the more interesting mock-up sequences I’ve encountered, inventing a series of fake newspapers (like the Oakland Bugler) but carefully integrating new, shocking stories into real material. However, the art director does slip up at one point: all the papers are dated January 2nd 1968, but when we get a close-up of one of them, the real material is dated March 12th:



px68-paper1c px68-paper2c px68-paper3c px68-paper5c px68-paper4c


Hurricane (1979):
The best bit of intentional humour in this overblown melodrama comes in the form of a throwaway joke perpetrated by, presumably, Italian production designer Danilo Donati: the newspaper which Jason Robards uses as an umbrella carries the headline, Italy To Tax Bachelors. The “bachelor tax” was real enough, imposed by Benito Mussolini in an effort to get the country’s birth-rate up, and it lasted as long as he did. This bit of business places the film’s action in 1927:



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19 Responses to Spinning Newspaper Injures Printer

  1. therevdd says:

    Oh, boy! New fun stuff from Lyz! I always loved your “Immortal Dialogue” and tagline sections. More of this is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

    Looking forward to May…and June, as well! I’ll have to check that site out.


    • lyzmadness says:

      Thanks! I was almost sorry I thought of this while re-slogging through The Devil Bat, though! 🙂

      I’m hoping that committing myself publicly will keep me up to the mark—though by May / June I should have more free time, fingers crossed.


      • therevdd says:

        What’s up with your life that may give you more free time, if you don’t mind me once again burying my nose in your business? I hope it’s something positive (for a change).


      • lyzmadness says:

        I’m still trying to escape my job; I’m in the dreaded “last 10% that takes 90% of the time” part of my final project. Once I do manage it, I’m planning on taking a break for several months, getting my health in order and spending more time doing stuff I enjoy, before thinking about re-employment.


  2. therevdd says:

    Oh, goodness, I thought you’d left by now! I hope this isn’t affecting your health adversely. I don’t imagine it’s any better this soon, but hopefully it’s at least more tolerable now?


    • lyzmadness says:

      I had been hoping for the end of February; I’m now hoping for the end of April. I’m in the design / proofreading part of the project so it’s nearing completion, but all the close reading is misery for my eyes, and I’m headachey most of the time. But the sooner I get it done…


      • therevdd says:

        If I thought it was possible, I’d offer my services on the proofreading; I’ve served as a proofreader and editor in the past, and my current line of work requires me to regularly edit transcripts, so it’s not just a case of my trying to ingratiate myself to you, I’m actually rather experienced. 🙂


      • lyzmadness says:

        Alas, I have reached the point of checking correct company terminology and spelling, so not only can I not out-source, I can’t even ask for general help {*sniff*}.


      • therevdd says:

        Sorry I couldn’t be of help, hon. I figured it was a long shot, but if I could help I would be happy to.


  3. Ray Ochitwa says:

    Thank you so much for this. Yes, I’m one of those people who always tries to read the rest of the paper whenever one shows up on screen. I think it’s all part of the same metal aberration that made me re watch The Beast Of Yucca Flats with the remote in hand so I could opause it because I wanted to find out if any of the narrator’s lines formed a Haiku. “Flag on the Moon, how did it get there?…”


    • therevdd says:

      Hey, you’re in the right place. Obviously Lyz looks at the newspapers with interest, or we wouldn’t have this little section. The first time I realized the infamous “Menagerie Breaks Loose” paper was being used in more than one movie is what got me looking at them. I’m sure it’s not just us three, either.

      I can’t say I’m with you on the Beast thing, though, despite how insane that narration is. That’s a dedication I don’t think I could devote to that movie.

      I’m sure Lyz will be along to do so properly, but since I’m here anyway, welcome!


      • lyzmadness says:

        Yes, hi Ray! 🙂

        That sounds to me like a very sensible coping mechanism for watching Beast Of Yucca Flats!

        My own discovery is “New ‘Living Buddha’ Found”, which I’ve drawn attention to in two reviews, and which I spotted again a while back in a non-genre film: that’s what put the idea of doing this into my head. That one is remarkable for its longevity, since the three films span twenty years of film-making!


  4. I notice that the locationless Daily Star from Captive Wild Woman has what appears to be a byline from Vallejo, California — the city adjacent to my current home town.


    • lyzmadness says:

      HA!! well spotted! 😀

      Not a very cheerful story, though—too depressing to be anything but real: FIVE PERSONS BURN TO DEATH IN CLUBHOUSE. Elks Building, in Vallejo, Calif., is Destroyed with Significant Loss of Life for Occupants. Sixth Person Is Missing. I can’t read the next subheading, let alone the story, though we can see from the enlarged image that “revelers’ cigarettes” were a suspect.

      I guess that settles us for a west-coast location. Would the docks be San Francisco or San Diego, would you say?


  5. Pingback: Et al. – Latest entries | and you call yourself a scientist!?

  6. Uncle Mike says:

    Somehow I missed this – it’s fascinating! I’m always freezing the frame and squinting at the headlines. I noticed one of the headlines from GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER says “$3,000,000 In Aid Pledged For S.A. Earthquake Victims”. Swear I’ve seen that headline before, though I can’t remember where.


  7. Bipolar Explorer says:

    A humorous film book I read pointed out that each edition of the newspaper in “The Horror of Party Beach” is the same, apart from the banner headline and the featured photo. To the left of the photo is “Panic in New York; Menagerie Breaks Loose.” to the right, “Planarians Give New Clues To Early Migration” (maybe “Migration”)


    • lyzmadness says:

      “Panic In New York” is one of the most famous of the recurring mock-up headlines, although I haven’t spotted it since I took up fake newspapers as a serious hobby (unless that is it in Warning From Space, up above). I should certainly immortalise the Horror Of Party Beach appearances here, though – thanks for the reminder!


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