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(Rare!) George Bernard Shaw's First Visit To America (1928 Fox Movietone Newsreel)

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Uploaded on Dec 25, 2008

The great British/Irish playwright (and one of my personal favorite), George Bernard Shaw (or "The World's Outstanding Literary Genius", as the title card says) on Fox Movietone Newsreel. Filmed in August 26th, 1928.

Shaw says;

"Well, this is a surprise, have you all come to see me.. ladies and gentlemen? Well, I should never have expected this.... its extremely kind of you and I'm very glad to see you.

You know, I'm very glad to have come as I like people to see me. I don't know how it is, but people who only know me from reading my books or sometimes see my plays get an unpleasant impression of me.

And....the people who meet me as you've been kind enough to meet me, when they see that I'm a most harmless person, I'm really a most kindly person, you know.

But...it's not necessary for me to always look as genial as I'm trying to look now, of course I can put on the other thing.

(COVERS FACE WITH HANDS and glows at camera)

Now, that is, that is what I call my "Mussolini" style, and by the way I think in justice to Signor Mussolini, I ought to tell you that he has a very wonderful head - a wonderful brow which comes down to here. But the difficulty is that he can't take it off...now if you watch me, I can put on that imposing look which terrifies you, a "Mussolini look"!

(Plays to camera)

But just watch...I can take it off! (Grins to camera)

Now, Signor Mussolini cannot take it off - he is condemned although he's a most amiable man, he is condemned to go through life with that terrible and imposing expression which really does a great deal of injustice to his kindly nature...But I can put it on and I can take it off...and do all sorts of things.

One thing, of course, that I'm really glad you've seen me here, is that you will know me when you see me. I'll tell you something that happened to me the other day....I was at Conway in North Wales...a little girl came over to me, she pulled out an autograph book and said, "please give me your autograph".

I said "What do you want my autograph for...? I'm not Mr. Lloyd- George!" "Oh", she said, " I know you are not Mr. Lloyd-George". Well I said, "Now, who am I?" "I don't know - I've forgotten your name, but my Father told me to get your autograph."

It's quite possible that some little girl who is here on this occasion may imagine that she can get an autograph out of me that way, because I gave that little girl the autograph, but you won't get me a second time...so it's not the slightest use trying that on.

Now, ladies and Gentlemen, I'm afraid I'm always an extremely busy man - at least I pretend I am. And I'm afraid I must go back to work, I must say goodnight.

Ah, By the way....this may be a method, goodnight might not be the right thing to say, however, good afternoon, good-day, Good luck!"

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