Thurber Thursday: Down Another Rabbit Hole

Down Another Rabbit Hole

Doing an online search last night looking for a poster shown on a wall in the film, Heartburn of Thurber & Nugent’s The Male Animal at the Cort Theater, the below poster turned up of the 1972 film based on Thurber’s The War Between Men And Women (a series of drawings that ran in The New Yorker from January 30, 1934  through April 28, 1934).

  How un-Thurberish I thought (the poster has zero Thurberness about it, including the small drawings scattered on the floor). I went to YouTube; the first clip shown from the movie was a long sequence with Jack Lemmon as a near-sighted cartoonist named Peter Wilson (he’s Thurber-ish, of course, but not Thurber) showing his step-daughter (played by Lisa Gerritsen) his just completed sequence of drawings that, in real non-Hollywood life, was released, in 1939, as a book,The Last Flower.  A Thurber drawing, titled The Last Flower appeared in The New Yorker, September 16, 1933. That drawing does not appear in the book.

Here’s a link to the animated Last Flower sequence, with drawings “based on” Thurber’s original work. Directly below is a screen grab from the animated sequence.

In the book, Thurber’s actual drawing looks a bit different and carries text:

Bits & Pieces:

…I learned that Melville Shavelson, the director of The War Between Men & Women, was the very same fellow who created the 1969 Thurber-based My World — And Welcome To It television series (also featuring Thurber-based animation).

…the poster for The Male Animal film (released in 1942) also has zero Thurberness about it (even though there are some cartoon characters running along the bottom of the poster. Missed opportunity!)

Here are the various Thurber books mentioned in the above post, and where you can find the Thurber drawn “The War Between Men And Women.”

The Male Animal, by Thurber and Elliot Nugent was published in 1940 by Random House.

The Last Flower was published in 1939 by Harper & Bros.

My World — And Welcome To it, was published in 1942 by Harcourt, Brace & Co.

“The War Between Men And Women” can be found in Men, Women and Dogs, 1943 Harcourt, Brace & Co., and in The Thurber Carnival, published in 1945 by Harper & Bros.. It can also be found, as mentioned above, as a series, published inThe New Yorker in early 1934.

PS: …I never did find that Male Animal poster on the wall in Heartburn.






One comment

  1. That movie poster looks like a very close ape of one of Jack Davis’ old movie posters. The shoes are always the giveaway.

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