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The Beau Geste Parody, 1939-1940

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Miller and Wade were the comic duo responsible for the San Diego State College silent parody of the film "Beau Geste," which they scripted, and cast Miller as the villainous Sergeant Markoff. The writing team went on to author numerous books under the pseudonym Wade Miller.

This exhibit includes stills from the student filming which took place in the actual set created for the commercially released movie. The cast included fraternity brothers and friends who set off over the 1939 Thanksgiving holiday thinking they could wrap the film in a few days. Carrying 50-lb packs and their own rifles, they trudged through Imperial Valley desert dunes and slept, cooked, and ate on the set. But as the photographs show they began filming in San Diego's Balboa Park on weekends when they couldn't make it to the desert set. Months later they finished their comedy and showed it three times to sold-out houses at San Diego State College, having lost money on the enterprise.