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Max Palmer



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Max Palmer's Height?

Discussions about extremely tall people

Max Palmer's Height?

Postby Steve V. » 03 Apr 2010, 07:27

I was just wondering what criteria were used to assess Max Palmer's height at 7'4.5" rather than the generally accepted 7'7" (as estimated in the 1980 Guinness edition)? Admittedly, the photo with him and Martin and Lewis might cause one to think 7'7" is a bit generous -- unless Dean is even taller than his show biz bios claimed --, but other pictures such as stills from KILLER APE, in which he really looms over the good-sized Johnny Weismueller, seem to argue for a greater peak height.

In the U.S., the standard height for interior household doors is 6'8", and literally handfuls of shots show Palmer's shoulders rising above the tops of such doors. It's reasonable to believe that his neck and head added at least another foot to his total, for a good 7'8" reading. In the minor sci-fi classic of 1953 INVADERS FROM MARS, Max and the acknowledged 7'7" Lock Martin portray gigantic Martians --

here's a photo: http://www.imagesjournal.com/2003/reviews/invaders/

-- and while it's difficult to decide which is which, neither man seems to be nearly three inches taller than the other. Of course, if there is some existing medical information placing Palmer at this lower height, I surrender. But by sight alone, I have to believe the man was larger than a number of the giants now rated ahead of him.

A personal aside: I believe I actually saw Max Palmer in person as a young child. Sometime in the early Sixties, a wrestling card was held here in Dalton, GA, and while I was no fan of the "sport," my family enjoyed it and I was too young to stay home alone then. The main attraction was a gigantic battler known as "Big Max." Almost fifty years later, I recall the awe I felt at seeing this incredibly massive human being only a few feet away from me as he and his fellow actors went through their paces. Ii was easy for me to believe that he could "tag out" to his partner halfway across the standard-sized ring, and I regaled my schoolmates with tales of his stunning dimensions for days thereafter (even though he lost the match). This was about the time that Palmer was traveling the wrestling circuit. Steve V.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby GROSMONT » 03 Apr 2010, 10:32

Interesting anecdote, Steve, but I don't know about "Big Max". I thought Palmer wrestled under the name of Paul Bunyan. Mind you, wrestlers do adopt multiple personas!
I wonder what was the usual height of a cell in American gaols in Palmer's day? We have that photo of him being released after a night in the jug for drunken behaviour. Unless the cop is tall, I never thought Palmer looked particularly huge in that picture.
Incidentally, can you imagine the scene?
Sherriff to deputy: "Hank, just get along to Murphy's bar, and bring in a guy called Palmer. He's causing a disturbance."
Deputy: "OK Chief. How will I know him?"
Sherriff: "No problem, he's seven feet seven."
Deputy: "Here's my badge!"
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby Boxerwhiteray » 03 Apr 2010, 14:20

http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com/pr ... bunyan.php
Max Palmer did wrestle as Paul Bunyan but he probably used his real name also. Now Max played one of the Mutants in the original version of Invaders From Mars. The other being Joseph Lockard Martin "Lock Martin". Both men looked about equal height and Martin was said to be 7 ft 7.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby lasoi » 03 Apr 2010, 15:41

Steve V. I've done a couple of perspective scale studies of Max Palmer. You might find them interesting. I posted them on page 4 of the Comparisons topic on the message board (though common sense would have had me post them here). The perspective theory I've used to estimate his height is a standard model that has been used for years by artists and it has proven very accurate. Cheers.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby Steve V. » 05 Apr 2010, 07:25

Thanks. That's an interesting look at the situation.

As for the jailhouse photo of Palmer leaving his cell, I would imagine that cell doors are fairly close to regular household doors in size, though I can't swear to that. (My nephew is a sergeant with the local sheriff's department, and I'll ask him about this the next time we talk.) Anyway, it should be remembered that Max is suffering from a hangover in this picture, and it's clear that he is slumping both along his back and his neck, with his kness bent appreciably. Straightened out, he probably would be most of a foot taller.

A relevant photo attached to Palmer's entry here is the newspaper clipping wherein he meets the college baskerball player Eddie Jackson. While Max is closer to the camera, therefore throwing off the perspective a bit, it seems clear that Jackson -- who's listed in the article as a "seven-footer" -- could stand comfortably beneath Palmer's chin. Certainly, Palmer's head is larger than four inches or so. He also appears at least sixteen inches or more taller than Weismeuller in KILLER APE, and Johnny is generally listed at 6'3".

It may also be significant that the clipping announcing Max's arrival in the area as a visiting preacher lists his height as 7'8" rather than the previously claimed 8'2" or 8'4" used by Hollywood publicity sources. If this was due to some religious commitment to honesty, why would Palmer choose that height?

Still, as with many large human beings, Max was wont to hunch over from time to time. The comparison to Dean Martin is troubling for anyone who believes Palmer to be taller than 7'4", but again Deano is closer to the camera, while Jerry Lewis, who appeared rather near Martin's height usually, is farther away and clearly dwarfed by Max. If it can be certified that Eddie Jackson was a true seven-foot athlete, then it appears settled (to me, anyway) that the head-taller Max Palmer was more than four inches larger than he. I think 7'7"/7'8" is a reasonable guess. Steve V.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby Never Wrong » 05 Apr 2010, 21:39

I'd like to go on record (again) by stating that Max was likely taller than the number accredited here. Just like one impressive picture doesn't make Ghulam Shabbir or Mounir Fourir 8 feet tall
see Fouriri pic here that fooled me
Image

Neither should one pic exclude max from 7'8"
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby GROSMONT » 06 Apr 2010, 11:59

Steve, I wouildn't attach too much importance to Palmer's religious status when he stated that measurement. He might have thought a really impressive height would somehow proclaim the glory of the Lord who made him. The religious fraternity don't hesitate to distort the facts if it suits their case, as is amply demonstrated in the evolution/creationism debate.
Look at the Steve Quayle (religious) website, where the former existence of thirty foot giants is presented as fact.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby Steve V. » 06 Apr 2010, 18:05

In most of the material that I've been able to read about Palmer, aside from the obvious press agent exaggerations of 8' +, his height is routinely listed as 7'8". He certainly isn't three or four inches shorter than Lock Martin in INVADERS FROM MARS, and it seems highly unlikely that from the tops of his shoulders to the crown of his head is only eight inches or so (thus making him 7'4") in all of those photos in which his shoulders clearly rise above the 6'8" doorways against which he's contrasted. Even in the jail cell photo, his head rises above the barred door though he's obviously slumping in enhaustion or inebriation. For me, however, the clincher is the picture taken with 7'0'' Eddie Jackson. The article itself states that Palmer is "eight inches taller" than Jackson, and with the top of the basketball player's head seemingly at chin-level with Max, this appears to be quite reasonable. 7'4" or 7'5" is certainly a considerable height, but it seems to me that Palmer tops that by several inches.

As for the religious press release, if the people involved (including Palmer himself) were interested in over-stating his size for publicity purposes, why did they reduce the claim to 7'8" rather than staying with the widely-related p.r. statement of 8'4"? An eight-footer is more impressive than a seven-footer, after all. Steve V.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby lasoi » 07 Apr 2010, 18:14

Assuming the height of the doorway is 6'8" in the photo then there's no doubt in my mind. The dude is clearly 7'8". Perspective theory is proven and easily verifiable in real life, not just photos.
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Re: Max Palmer's Height?

Postby fivefootnine » 07 Apr 2010, 22:22

hmmmm...I don´t know... Now matter how hard I try, I can´t convince myself on the fact that Max Palmer could have stand at the, rather impressive, height of seven foot eight. I always thought he were 7´2", don´t know where I got this height from??, but actually, looking at pictures where the giant is visible among other human beings which is, according to me, a more reliable method to use, when calculating heights, because doors and such material can easily be made in any size without affecting the proportions, human beings also comes in variations, but you could often se on the proportions of the body whether the person is short or tall, well, looking at those pictures makes me think that I´m right about the height 7´2". I´m pretty sure Locker were 7´7", has someone meuasured the actual height difference between Locker and Palmer on the picture of them together??, but Palmer seems a lot shorter, and there could be things hidden under the costumes, high heel shoes for example, I think I should try to find out more about the proportions of Palmer and by assuming that Locker were 7´7" write a little observation on that picture.

Another Giant that comes to my mind, also standing at 7´2", is Richard Kiel.
Looking at the pictures in his autobiography, "making it big in the movies", cannot publish them here though, he makes a perfect match for Palmer at this height, Kiel is, according to himself 7´1 3/4", a height that has to be concidered as true, look at this picture, barbara bach is 5´7" according to the IMDB.com, and that height is matching the height of Kiel in this picture, here it is, just for you guys to have a look. I know you´ll think,,,"Well I know how a 7´2 man looks"", but I´ll show it anyway just to make an opinion. BTW, I have a copy of this picture, signed by mr.Kiel himself handed to me in person ;), but I don´t own a scanner...

http://www.nude.actors.nu/pictures/3416 ... rdkiel.jpg

I´ve also made measurements on photos of Don Koehler from the seventies, from various TV show appearances, to make the notification that his head were at the height of "7´7" - 7´8", I´m not stating this as a fact, but my measurements is maybe something you´d like to see??,,,
of course he´s bending over quite a bit, and suffering from spinal curvature abnormalities, but anyway, he´s probably standing at 7´7" - 7´8" in the pictures.

Compare those guys to photos of Max Palmer among other people.
I don´t know but at this moment, I truly believes that he were around 7´2".
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