Wednesday, December 10, 2008
March 2, 1932
U.S. TALKIE EVILS DRAW STAR’S FIRE
Clive Brook Decries the Practices of Hollywood
Clive Brook is returning to his native England following the completion of Shanghai Express. Paramount-bound is more candid than diplomatic in his remarks to the London Daily Mail.
Mr. Brook, who came to the stage by accident but with a hereditary right (his mother was a well-known English actress), told the interviewer that he would like to appear in a British talkie because of his admiration for production methods employed in England.
“British producers,” observes Mr. Brook, “certainly get hold of the best stories and they do not alter them as they do in the United States. Also, there are not so many people to say ‘cut that out’ and ‘put that in’ or to insist on something being cut out to insert a lot of girls’ legs. “
The first impulse is to pen a heated 100 per cent American retort to Mr. Brook, and to remind him that there’s no reason why he should not jolly well stay in England where production methods are so admirable that even English cinemagoers won’t patronize the resulting pictures.
On second thought, however, Mr. Brook actually has said very little in criticism of Hollywood that has not been said by citizens of the Republic. American producers do manhandle stories, and frequently it's a toss up as to whom does the most damage – supervisors who say ‘put that in’ or censors who cry ‘cut that out.’
As for the Hollywood penchant for legs, I’m afraid that here again Mr. Brook has us. Isn’t it quite true that not a little of the success won on this side by Frau Marlene Dietrich is attributable to the matchless pair which, alas, are carefully hidden in “Shanghai Express.”
Be that as it may, one wonders what Frau Dietrich will have to say to Mr. Brook upon his return from England. It should be interesting.
From Luella O. Parsons
Los Angeles, Mar. 2
Contrary to the general belief in Hollywood, the Fox Company will not maintain a waiting stock company of expensive players. Also, there will be no unknowns lifted to lofty heights. Players will be chosen as they are needed with more careful casting than heretofore and no strangers in any important roles.
In the opinion of Al Rockett, the best picture in the world is a loss with an unknown star. “We are more convinced than ever,” he says, “that the star is the thing and that the public goes shopping for pictures with their favorites.”
The players on the Fox lot who will be exploited carefully in selected stories with good supporting casts are Elissa Landi, Charles Farrell, Janet Gaynor, Joan Bennett, Spencer Tracy, Sally Eilers, James Dunn, Warner Baxter, already under contract, and Marian Nixon and Peggy Shannon, new Fox players. Victor McLaglen has finished his contract which will not be renewed. El Brendel, it is expected, will also say adieu.
I call February a very good month for Harry Hervey, writer. If March is as good, we will have money in the bank. He sold “Burnt Offering” to the Fox Film Company for Elissa Landi, and on the very same day he convinced Walter Wanger “Destroyer” was a good cinema story for Columbia. “Destroyer” is another Japanese-Chinese war number. Oh dear, oh dear. I hope they won’t all be making Japanese-Chinese war pictures. We always have so much of everything in the movies; gangster pictures, horror thrillers, sex dramas.
LAST MINUTE RIALTO NEWS
Barbara Stanwyck looms for the lead in Columbia’s production of “Brief Moment,” Frank Capra directing.
George Bancroft will star in “The Challenger,” prize ring drama.
Frances Dee, Allison Skipworth and Richard Bennett will be in “The Countess Auburn” for Paramount.
Corinne Griffith is the season’s social lioness in old London.
Lowell Sherman will direct Ricardo Cortez in “Is My Face Red?” for Radio.
Helen Twelvetrees’ next is dubbed “Young Bride”
“Ambition” is back to the original title “Hot News”
Ralph Bellamy, Neil Hamilton and Gilbert Roland will bein in Elissa Landi’s “Woman in Room 13.”
Three years ago Sidney Fox, now a successful screen actress, was giving stage advice to the lovelorn, when she was in charge of this department for a newspaper syndicate, her readers never realizing that she “was only sweet 16.” Miss Fox continues her experiments in love in the principal feminine role of “Strictly Dishonorable,” at the Regent.
Dickie Moore and George Ernest, two Warner Brothers-First National featured children players, take parts in “Fireman, Save My Child,” in which Joe E. Brown is Strand-bound.
They, with Junior Coughlan, are the leaders of a group of boys who chase the fire engine to every fire and follow Joe Brown about as the local hero.
It was as a dancer that Mae Clarke began her theatrical career appearing in the chorus of “In Gay Paree” and on the Strand Roof in New York, and also in various night clubs of the same city, including the Everglades and the Vanity Club. Miss Clarke makes her latest screen appearance in “The Impatient Maiden,” playing opposite Lew Ayres in the comedy.
BAD SISTER ON SCREEN AT NATIONAL
Which is the “bad sister”?
The answer to this question will be found on the screen at the National Theater, where the Booth Tarkington story, “Bad Sister,” with a cast including Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts is the feature film.
The picture tells the story of an inconstant girl who trifles with the affections of many men, and who finally comes face to face with a bitter disillusionment.
The usual program of shorts will also be shown.
“Law and Order,” Universal’s picturization of “Saint Johnson” at the Warners’ Strand, is a rip-snorting melodrama. Not since the halcyon days of Broncho Billy Anderson has there been as much shooting in a horse op’ry. Walter Huston spills lead with two hands, and there’s able assistance too, from Ralph Ince, Harry Carey, Raymond Hatton and Russell Simpson among others.