Attack of the Killer 3-D Glasses. © 2005
Run for your lives!
We can't stop them.
They're red and blue and
Really, really stupid looking!
Once again, it's sweeps month, and this time
around, the powers that be (namely, the NBC TV
network) have decided that it's time for TV
viewers to put on a pair of silly 3-D glasses.
Why? To watch their upcoming episode of MEDIUM
on NBC, of course. The show stars Patricia
Arquette as Allison Dubois, a married woman who
can see and communicate with the dead. As
Count Floyd of SCTV would say,
"EEWW! That's Scary Stuff!"
Although I find the idea of 3-D glasses goofy to
the max, I am a fan of the show MEDIUM and I
will definitely be watching the program. Who
knows. If peer pressure gets too heavy, I might
commiserate and plop a pair of 3-D glasses on my
nose just to fit in with everyone else. (Want to
see me in 3-D glasses? Click Here ).
If you are entertaining the notion of wearing
3-D glasses, you can get a free pair inside TV
Guide Magazine (on news stands November 17th).
Of course, you may already have a pair of 3-D
glasses sitting idle in one of your drawers from
the past TV experiments with 3-D. What's that's?
There have been other programs with 3-D. Well,
sad to say, there have.
The idea of 3-D images have been floating around
since the early 1900s. The Brothers Lumiére
hosted the very first publicly shown 3-D short
(about a minute) in 1903 entitled L'Arrivée du
Train that featured the arrival of a train in a
railway station. Great entertainment for its
A few years later, the first 3-D film to require
the audience to wear 3D glasses (red/green
anaglyphs) debuted with "The Penman" starring
John Mason and Marie Doro which was shown on
June 10th. 1915. at the Astor Theatre in New
The first 3-D feature film was Power of Love
(1922), starring Terry O'Neil and Barbara
Bedford about the adventures of a sea captain in
1840s California. Directed by Nat Deverich, the
5-reel melodrama premiered at the Ambassador
Hotel Theater, Los Angeles on September 27,
I wasn't until the 1950s that the 3-D glasses
craze began to boom with the release of Bwana
Devil (1952) about two-man-eating lions gone
amuck in Kenya (remade in 1996 as The Ghost and
the Darkness with Val Kilmer).
As each visitor entered the theater, they
received a disposable pair of cardboard glasses
to view the movie produced by Sidney W. Pink -
who produced over fifty 3-D movies.
The following year, Vincent Price starred in
House of Wax (1953), the first full-color,
stereophonic 3-D movie in which Price played a
mad museum curator who liked to make statues out
of real people.
The gimmick of the 3-D films is to have images
pop out of the screen. So, for instance, if a
native warrior in the film threw a spear in the
direction of the audience, anyone wearing
glasses would flinch or duck because the weapon
"appeared" to flying out of the movie right in
their faces. You can imagine what a wild lion
jumping towards the audience would do.
Since the 1950s, however, films with 3-D
formatting have not been able to sustain their
initial craze, but, from time to time, the
gimmicky genre is reintroduced for public
The 1980s and 90s produced such lack luster 3-D
films as Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare,
Friday the 13th Part 3, Amityville 3-D, and
Now, before NBC airs its 3-D MEDIUM episode on
November 21st, let's take a look at some other
3-D attempts to have hit the TV screen in
Oh, and you won't need a pair of 3-D glasses to
read the list.
Continued next page >
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