Gary Cooper’s ‘The Wedding Night’ special effects (1935)

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Film director invents cold breath reality

Condensed breath of actors now made real

One of the most difficult problems of Hollywood film producers has been to create the condensed breath that emanates from a person’s mouth on a cold day.

Directors have tried putting little pads of “dry ice” on the player’s tongue, but the result is generally a badly burned tongue. Then they have experimented with smoke, but this appeared unreal.

When King Vidor came to film the winter farm scenes for Samuel Goldwyn’s production of “The Wedding Night,” starring Gary Cooper and Anna Sten, he introduced an innovation by having ten tons of ice banked around a sound stage on the lot before the chill scenes were due.

The condensed breath of the actors was very real — and so were the shivers.


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