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Misbabbitry

December 06, 1987

Let me point out two errors in Dennis McDougal's article, "Why Actresses Are in Love With 'Babbitt' " (Nov. 22):

The Mercury Theatre on the air did not "launch itself" with "The War of the Worlds." The series debuted on Sept. 11, 1938, with a production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." The notorious Halloween Eve broadcast of the H.G. Wells adaptation was the Mercury's eighth show.

Secondly, even if the 1927 premiere of "The Jazz Singer" is regarded as "the advent of talkies" (which conveniently ignores a silent-to-sound transition period lasting into the early 1930s), Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" (1936) was released only nine years later--not 15, as stated in the article.

Also, it's misleading to refer to the film as Chaplin's "attempt to resurrect the little tramp"--as though the world's most beloved comic figure had somehow become a forgotten relic in the five years following the release of "City Lights" (1931).

HOWARD H. PROUTY

North Hollywood

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