My Warner Bros publicity clock from Noah’s Ark (1928). A production with a fascinating, important and certainly sad history.
Dolores Costello, that is to say, Drew Barrymore’s grandmother starred alongside George O’Brien in the 1928 epic “Noah’s Ark”. Michael Curtiz and Darryl F. Zanuck directed. A hybrid part talkie using the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.
Production inundated the set with 600,000 gallons of water in order to capture the realism of the cataclysmic flood event. Tragically, it overwhelmed many in the cast. As a result, Dolores Costello suffered a severe case of Pneumonia. The deluge also resulted in three deaths, an amputation and many broken limbs. Hollywood introduced stunt safety regulations the following year.
The clock is cast iron and therefore heavy (weighing over a kilogram), and was a publicity piece commissioned by the studio for the film’s release. Dolores Costello’s image features on the clock face. Fashioned in the shape of an ark, the color has faded over time and wear is evident for example, lower left portion of the “N” is missing. The mechanism works for a very short period when the clock is tilted. Sterling Art Metal Works manufactured this amazing piece.
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