Jun 27, 2012

Silent Movie Muscle

Saw Modern Times (1936), with Charlie Chaplin.  It was ok, a lot of slapstick, very episodic, heteronormative plotline.  But at the beginning, during the factory sequence, there's an extended scene featuring a shirtless muscle guy.  Shirtless + muscle is very rare in the 1930s.

He turns out to be Sammy Stein (1905-1966), a pro football player and wrestler who had small roles in 56 movies from the 1930s through the 1950s, usually as "Gangster #1" or "Henchman."  If you wanted a guy to appear shirtless in your movie, you called Sammy Stein.