21 June 2009

Hoax or Reality?

Today’s Back Issue doesn’t include any specific articles, but rather an examination of an entire newspaper. Positioned alongside the Rocketeer’s helmet and jetpack and a copy of Peevy’s schematic at Peevy’s Polar Pipeline in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an copy of an October issue of the Los Angeles Examiner.Contained within the newspaper is an article about Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron and his attempts to reign in the corruption in the city, specifically the Civil Service Commission and the vice squad. This article actually comes straight from the September 30, 1938 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

The second article is where the publication takes a swift turn. The article entitled “Bill Gets Approval 64 – 20,” discusses the Senate vote to make Alaska the 49th state. The essential problem with this article is that that vote actually took place in 1958, with the article itself coming from the Associated Press on September 30 of 1958.

Two articles separated by twenty years exactly. Considering that The Rocketeer takes place in 1938 Los Angeles, it is safe to assume the Alaska article is the one that doesn’t belong. Included alongside these two articles is the Disney created headlines, “Who is the Rocketeer?” and “Hoax or Reality?,” near pictures of the Rocketeer and the pilot he saved during the Chaplin Field Air Circus.

While The Rocketeer did poorly at the box office, coming in fourth during its opening weekend behind Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, City Slickers, and Dying Young, it was given high marks by critics at the time. Today, it stills serves as a terrific Saturday afternoon action movie, complete with a full array of glitz, glamour, pulp, spies, and shtick.

The Rocketeer opened on June 21, 1991, eighteen years ago today.

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