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The Dalai Lama, Reefer Insanity, kaiju, and extra!

The Dalai Lama, Reefer Insanity, kaiju, and extra!

Prop newspaper with a story headline, "New Living Buddha Reported Discovered."

New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found

What does his Holiness the Dalai Lama should do with ethical panics over “marihuana,” (sic) a backwoodsman changing into an unlikely political hero, noir skulduggery in wartime San Francisco, Ronald Reagan, a resurrected Egyptian mummy, President Taft’s bathtub, and a large reptile terrorizing Japan? Quite a bit, because it seems.

A number of years in the past, somebody instructed me a few reference to the Dalai Lama that had appeared in faux (prop) newspapers in two outdated Hollywood films: “Reefer Insanity” and “Mr Smith Goes to Washington.” (Sadly it’s so way back I’ve forgotten who it was that instructed me about this, and even a search of my emails has failed to show up any clue.)

The newspaper story has the title, “New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found.” This appears to be a reference to the invention of the Dalai Lama’s “tulku” — his new incarnation — in Tibet in 1936.

I’ve to say I used to be somewhat skeptical when this was delivered to my consideration. I’d assumed that the prop newspapers utilized in outdated films have been solely faux. My understanding was that to keep away from incurring licensing charges, any prop newspaper utilized in a movie would include tales that have been solely invented. That seems to not have been the case within the early days of cinema, as a result of no less than a few of the tales have been real — together with the one concerning the Dalai Lama.

You possibly can see this headline — simply, in the event you screw up your eyes very onerous and look sideways at simply the appropriate part of the moon —  within the picture above, which is from “Reefer Insanity.” The primary story is “Harper Verdict Anticipated Tonight.” This can be a reference to the plot of the film. Beneath that’s the slightly unbelievable, “Dick Tracy, G-Man, In Sensational Raid.” And tucked below that, you may nearly make out, within the blur of a low-resolution picture taken from a TV scan of an already low-resolution celluloid movie, “New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found.”

You possibly can see the headline way more clearly within the picture beneath, which is from “Mr Smith Goes to Washington,” starring an improbably younger Jimmy Stewart. Right here I don’t even should circle the headline. In reality you may virtually make out the subheading.

A newspaper prop from Mr Smith Goes to Washington, showing the headline, "New Living Buddha Reported Discovered."A newspaper prop from Mr Smith Goes to Washington, showing the headline, "New Living Buddha Reported Discovered."

That is from the pivotal second within the movie when Governor Hubert “Comfortable” Hopper tosses a coin to resolve whether or not to interchange a deceased senator with both a political stooge or a naive native hero. The tossed coin finally ends up beside this newspaper, serving to him to make his resolution.

“New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found” and “36 Mexican Rebels Killed by Troopers” are the filler tales.

I later found that His Holiness exhibits up in quite a lot of different movies as properly.

These embody “This Gun For Rent,” the place our “New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found” seems beneath the primary story, “Chemist and Lady Murdered.”

Prop newspaper from This Gun For Hire, with the story, "New Living Buddha Reported Discovered."Prop newspaper from This Gun For Hire, with the story, "New Living Buddha Reported Discovered."

Additionally (and because of the weblog, “And also you name your self a scientist!?” for this) it’s in “Gigantis, The Fireplace Monster.”

Newspaper prop from Gigantis, The Fire Monster.Newspaper prop from Gigantis, The Fire Monster.

Thanks for eagle-eyed commenter Jeff (see feedback beneath) I do know that the article additionally seems on a prop newspaper on episode one in every of “Backstairs on the Whitehouse,” which was a TV miniseries that got here out in 1979. That’s essentially the most look of this story that I do know of, and the one one I do know of (up to now) that’s in shade.

Still from BackStairs at the Whitehouse, showing a prop newspaper with the story 'New Living Buddha Reported Discovered'Still from BackStairs at the Whitehouse, showing a prop newspaper with the story 'New Living Buddha Reported Discovered'

Earlier it appeared on “Women On Probation” (1938), which stars Ronald Reagan, and “The Mummy’s Tomb” (1942).

The Dalai Lama will get round!

I can’t say for positive who originated these newspapers, nevertheless it’s more likely to have been The Earl Hays Press, which has been supplying props to Hollywood for greater than 100 years.

However is that this “Dwelling Buddha” story actually concerning the Dalai Lama? And is it based mostly on a narrative that really appeared in actual newspapers.

The solutions are “sure” and “sure.”

On Wednesday, 27 Might 1936, an Related Press story with the title “New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Reported Found” was revealed on web page 25 of the St. Louis Submit-Dispatch. The identical story was additionally revealed in different shops below totally different headlines, reminiscent of “New ‘Dwelling Buddha’ Found After Two- Yr Search in Tibet,” in The Atlanta Journal, on the identical date.

Right here for the sake of completeness is the whole article, in case you have been interested by what was behind the blur:

Two-Yr Quest Ends After Tibetan Clergymen Research Floor of Sacred Lake.

See Also

By the Related Press.
SHANGHAI, Might 27. Dispatches from the forbidden kingdom of Tibet reported in the present day a brand new Dalai Lama, or “Dwelling Buddha,” was found within the Han Jen district, northeast of Lhasa, after a search of greater than two years.

The brand new Buddha was believed, the Tibetan advices [sic] stated, to be a reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, who died Dec. 17, 1933.

The Dalai Lama is the religious and temporal ruler of Tibet. Tibetans consider their “residing god” is immortal and that when he dies, his attributes are handed right down to a toddler born concerning the time of his dying.

Tibetan monks {and professional} “diviners” have been looking for the reincarnated Dalai Lama ever because the dying of the earlier ruler. Studies acquired earlier from Lhasa stated the omens have been favorable for an early discovering of the brand new “Dwelling Buddha.”

The Tibetan new 12 months started in February below auspicious circumstances, studies stated. Religious authorities despatched a deputation of excessive monks, sages, monks and philosophers to the sacred Chugkhorgyae Lake, east of Lhasa, close to which the primary Dalai Lama was born, to ponder photos mirrored on the floor.

The lake gazers have been reported profitable of their quest for indications which could result in discovery of a brand new Pontiff. Visions of a home sporting the mysterious phrases “a ka ma” appeared, thought to bear some relation to the identify of the mother and father of the long run Dalai Lama.

The populace was instructed then to hitch within the seek for the home and the kid.

The current religious chief of Tibet, the Panchen Lama, has been residing in exile in China for the final 12 years.

He can be unable to return. to imagine his duties as tutor to his reported new “reincarnated brother” as a result of no invitation has been prolonged to him.

Because the dying of the late Dalai Lama below mysterious circumstances at Lhasa, political views have been within the fingers of the temporal regent, Jechen Hutukehtu.

Among the different tales, reminiscent of “36 Mexican Rebels Killed by Troopers” and “Fireplace Destroys State Arsenal,” have been additionally taken from actual newspapers.

Anyway, there now we have it: The Dalai Lama made appearances in quite a lot of movies, from the traditional “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” to the risible — “Gigantis” and Reefer Insanity.” Little doubt he was in lots of extra as properly. In the event you discover any others, please let me know!

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