Sunday, November 30, 2008

February 28, 1932


Future Co-Dictator of Russia Cast in Early Series of Vitagraph Pictures Recently Compiled in Album Form, Soon to Be Released as Historical Relics

New York, Feb. 27
Leon Trotsky, red army war lord, had no sex appeal in the “movies.” He had no “It,” says Harey T. Morey, the Clark Gable of his day and fellow actor of Trotsky in “My Official Wife.” Shots of this old-time film showing Morey, Trotsky and Clara Kimball Young, the leading lady, are soon to be released in local theaters as part of “The Movie Album” series which Vitaphone has assembled from old prints of early Vitaphone silent pictures.
“He was an extra getting $5 a day and he also supervised the Russian “atmosphere,” for the story was laid in Russia and he was supposed to know what was right and what wasn’t,” Morey said. “I remember him as a retiring, almost shy man, who seemed out of his element. As an actor he was a washout because he didn’t have any particular personality.
“But once you’d get to talking to him, he didn’t seem so ordinary – his wide knowledge, his manner of speech and his individual ideas struck you. He spoke good English with a slight foreign accent. He talked about commonplace things, never about socialism, or even about politics, as far as I can remember. And he wasn’t in the least aggressive or what you’d call the flaming type.”


Hollywood, Calif. Feb. 27
The film colony raised its voice to-day to answer the charges of Senator Smith W. Brookhart Jr., (Rep.) Iowa, that the industry went goggle-eyed last year over gangster pictures and was headed this year toward a run of productions dealing with indecorous women.
The reply was framed from a survey of 550 pictures released in the 13-month period between January, 1931 and January, 1932. It disclosed that only about three per cent of those films portrayed the story of the gangster and slightly more than two percent were based on shady women.
In an analysis of the survey, Joseph Breen, assistant to Will H. Hayes, president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., said that only 19 of the 550 films were gangster pictures and only 13 dealt with women.
The cycle of the gangster film has passed definitely for the present. In the future the police will be the heroes and racketeers the villains, executives have decided.


Hollywood, Feb. 27
To get the desired crowd action and outwit “lens hogs,” mostly Oriental extras with an uncontrollable penchant for staring directly into the camera while scenes are being filmed, Josef von Sternberg, director of “Shanghai Express,” had to set up a dummy camera and microphone for certain sequences in his current picture.
More than 1000 men, women and children of many ages and races, were recruited for “Shanghai Express,” the story of which is set in the present war-torn area in China, with Marlene Dietrich starred, and Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, Eugene Pallette and Warner Oland in supporting roles.
When Von Sternberg started work on location at San Bernardino, where the Santa Fe railroad station, main line tracks and adjoining streets had been transformed into the Peiping, China terminal, many of the extras, who had never worked in pictures, insisted on peeping into the camera lens during filming. Von Sternberg kept admonishing them, through interpreters, to pay no attention to the “evil-eye,” but they could not resist the temptation to steal an occasional peak.
The dummy camera ruse finally was adopted, with the director conducting rehearsals from beside it. Ready for action, he would saunter away, leaving an assistant to keep the attention of the Orientals, and then shoot the scene from another angle.
Some of the older Chinese, men in their seventies and eighties, believe it is impossible for the camera to register their images unless they gaze into the lens, an interpreter explained to Von Sternberg.


A motion picture company came to her home town, Tampa, Florida, and Ruth Hall played an extra role. A few weeks later she packed her bags and went to Hollywood. Now she is a featured player.


Raymond Hatton of the Wallace Beery-Raymond Hatton comedy team, has been signed by Mack Sennett for “Divorce a la Mode,” with Harry Myers, Vivian Oakland, Dorothy Granger and George Sherman. Leslie Pearce will direct.


Maureen O’Sullivan has been signed by Universal to play opposite Tom Brown in “The Jockey Kid,” racetrack story by Earl Snell. Adaptation and continuity have been provided by James Mulhauser. It will be directed by Kurt Newmann. Mickey Maguire is the only other member of the cast mentioned so far selected.


Sally Blane and John Darrow have the leading roles in Chesterfield’s new release, as yet untitled, with J. Farrell MacDonald, Eddie Phillips, Clara Kimball Young, Betty Grable (through the courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn), David Rollins, Mary Jane Irving, Matty Kemp and David Durand. bis directing at Universal studios.

The most important item in Elissa Landi’s hillside home, so far as she is concerned, is a hanging bookshelf with space to accommodate 15 or 20 books.
The English star hopes some day to have the shelf filled with books authored by herself. Already it contains two volumes, and in March a third, “House for Sale” will be added. A fourth volume, yet untitled, is already begun.


A room in Ann Harding’s home is filled with trophies, banners, decorations and weapons her father gathered during his many years as a general in the United States Army.
Her father, Gen. George Grant Gatley, became reconciled to Ann’s stage career shortly before his death, a year or so ago.
Miss Harding will be official hostess to the Rainbow Division’s convention in July. General Gatley was second in command of the division during the war.


Big gesture of the week. Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey and Edna May Oliver, stars in their own right, consented to play bits in another star’s picture. They impersonated themselves in a premier sequence of RKO Radio’s “The Lost Squadron,” starring Richard Dix. Dix says he’ll return the compliment on request and play an extra for them any old time.


There was a time when an extra’s face was her fortune. That is true yet, to some extent, but with the present styles in evening gowns, the backs of society type extras have become of almost equal importance.
Backless dresses will stay in for some time to come, studio designers have proclaimed.
As a result, casting bureaus have a new listing to add to the several hundred already included in their records of types. It reads something like this:
“Society extras – pretty faces – nice backs.”


The wrecking of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria is said to have suggested the new flicker “Hotel Continental,” although the idea is greatly like one that made Vicki Baum a fortune.


Sunday will bring to the National Theater Charlotte Greenwood and Bert Lahr in the feature comedy “Flying High.”
Charlotte Greenwood plays Pansy Potts, an amorous waitress who desires to marry an aviator. Lahr is “it,” and their rough and tumble courtship is carried out in an aviation show at an airport and thousands of feet in the air.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Hollywood, Feb. 27

Fame in the “movies” is fleeting. A half hundred former stars are ready to testify to that. Lost, it is seldom regained. The star who is a favorite today may be forgotten tomorrow.
The latest arrival preparing to attempt a come-back is Madge Bellamy, a few years ago one of the most scintillating of the stars. Miss Bellamy, a little more mature, comes into the scenes of her former glory after a protracted fling on the speaking stage, principally in stock.
At the studio which formerly employed her are new faces, a new management, new players. They look upon her as “the young woman who once was a star.” And it is that very appellation which hurts her chances of beginning anew. They use the name of Madge Bellamy in the past tense.
She still is pretty. Her eyes still are among the most lustrous ever photographed in pictures. She still knows her screen technique. She has improved her speaking voice. But will these be sufficient to overcome that designation – “The young woman who once was a star?” The result will soon be known.

Anna Q. Nilsson, out of pictures for three years after being thrown by a horse and suffering a hip fracture, arrived in Hollywood last August from France.
“I feel so happy to be back and so hopeful,” she said. “I am completely recovered from my injury and ready to win a place in the new type of films. You see, talking pictures had not come into general vogue when I was injured so they will be something of a new venture to me.” She is still awaiting “the big chance.”

Juanita Hansen is here, also, looking for another chance. Lila Lee, suffering from weak lungs, went to a desert sanitorium in June, 1930. She spent a year undergoing treatment and last July returned. In August she left for Tahiti to return in November, prepared to resume her career. Tests have been made of her for cinema roles, but “the big chance” has not come.

Margaret Livingston, sorrel-haired “vamp,” arrived here last September from Chicago because of a film contract, she said. The weeks went by with no screen appearances and Miss Livingston packed her trunk and returned. However, Margaret will not worry, because she is financially independent.

Raquel Torres, who gave a memorable performance in “White Shadows in the South Seas,” with Monte Blue, is back in town after a fling with the New York stage in “Adam Had Two Sons,” and is checking up on her prospects of returning to the screen.

Of late one might have seen Colleen Moore driving down the boulevard occasionally, and there have been rumors that she was preparing to make a comeback, but none has materialized; and now it is known that Miss Moore has decided to fulfill a stage engagement under the banner of Henry Duffy in San Francisco.

A perennial one is the story of Estelle Taylor “about to get another big role.” Betty Compson is now in vaudeville with a skit. Laura La Plante is doing a stage play in Hollywood.

Renee Adoree, after two years in a desert sanitorium, announces that she soon will return to Hollywood.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

February 27, 1932


Following the enormous success of his personal appearance tour last summer, during which he visited important cities of the Middle West and East, Joe E. Brown plans to make a similar tour at the end of March, according to latest word from Hollywood. If the present project materializes, he will set out from the cinema capital as soon as his next picture, “The Tenderfoot,” has been completed and will visit approximately half a dozen cities before returning to Hollywood to make another film. At the moment Brown is starring in a stage production, “Square Crooks,” in San Francisco.


Now the secret is out as to why Garbo doesn’t talk. When she first arrived here she made a few indiscreet statements to newspapers and magazine writers – So Harry Eddington, her manager and a smart little fellow, decided that she should become “mysterious.” He apparently decided that it would be easier to keep her from talking altogether than to teach her what to say.
Most of Hollywood’s younger girls now are trying to look like Tallaluah Bankhead. That’s the price of being talked about. It used to be Garbo they tried to imitate.

Los Angeles, Feb. 27 (UP)

Duncan Renaldo, film actor, was free on $1500 bail to-day following his arrest on an indictment returned Tuesday for making a false affidavit by which he obtained a passport to Africa where he went to take part in the film production, Trader Horn.
The indictment charges Renaldo represented himself to be an American citizen although he is a native of Rumania. His attorneys said he would deny the charge.

New York, Feb. 27 (AP)

Making an unexpected thrust at the drama, the films are forcing the closing of a Broadway hit before expected. This is Ben Levy’s “The Devil Passes,” which has been a play leader for twelve weeks and must go on tour while still attracting profitable audiences.
The comedy is a peculiar one which demands a group of ten stars, especially cast for their individual roles. Diana Wynyard, Basil Rathbone, Cecelia Loftus, Robert Loraine, Ernest Cossart, May Nash and Ernest Thesinger are among the players.
Most of them entered the play with previously signed contracts which demanded their early departure for Hollywood. So producer Arch Selwyn is sending the company out on a quick tour before leasing them to the movies. The tour begins in Boston on March 28.

“Scarface,” the sensational expose of gangdom filmed by Howard Hughes will be title “The Scar” when it is released throughout the country some weeks hence. And this may be taken as final.
Since the title of “Scarface” was voted down by the powers-that-be, Howard Hughes and United Artists officials have been casting about for another which would fit this powerful film document. Several had been suggested, but none fitted it as well as does “The Scar.”
“The Scar” is confidently expected to create a national sensation, based as it is upon actual occurrences in American gangdom. It was filmed upon an ambitious scale after months of research, but because of its daring treatment and of its political objections, it was withheld from the public since its completion four months ago.
Following conferences in New York with Will H. Hays and certain national political leaders, producer Hughes obtained assurances of complete cooperation, and “The Scar,” with added sequences, and packing much more punch than ever, is now ready for public consumption. As it stands it is probably the first true picture of gangdom, and, because of that fact, probably will be the last. It depicts the gangster as he really is, and it gives the public one of its greatest thrills.
It is expected, too, to stir up a nation-wide demand for the extermination of the gangster through national supervision over inter-state traffic in deadly weapons.
Paul Muni portrays the titular role, and the rival gangsters are played by Boris Karloff, of “Frankenstein,” and Osgood Perkins, who will be remembered as the managing editor in the stage production of “The Front Page.”


The nickel theater is looming on the horizon. Its return, according to sales sources, is imminent despite that no major producer at this time permits an exhibition under contract to play product at less than ten cents admission, says Variety.
This will not act as a positive deterrent, however, it is believed. According to distribution information a few exhibitors with ten-cent houses are already getting only five cents per patron through a subterfuge that may be difficult to check.

San Pedro, Cal. Feb. 27 (AP)

Lily Damita, motion picture actress, and a man who steamship company officials said was Sidney Smith, New York broker, were among the passengers who left here today for Honolulu.
Smith, who numerous times was reported as having married Miss Damita, slipped aboard the boat. His name did not appear on the register list.
Before departing, Miss Damita denies she and Smith were married by declined to comment on his presence aboard, or what they would do in Honolulu.

Los Angeles, Feb. 27 (AP)

Because Jack Pickford, film and stage actor, was described as having “a terrific, jealous nature” and as a man who seldom ate or went to bed, Mary Mulhern, actress, today was in possession of a divorce.
“He would seldom get up until three or four o’clock in the afternoon,” Miss Mulhern, testifying against her husband, yesterday told Superior Judge Walter Guerin. “And it was a continual struggle to get him to eat.”


“Broken Lullaby” is to be the title of the Ernst Lubitsch dramatic talking picture heretofore called “The Man I Killed.” The decision to change the title of “The Man I Killed,” was reached after the premier of the film when it was learned that the original name created erroneous impressions concerning the character of the story.


Constance, Joan and Barbara Bennett have persuaded their father, Richard Bennett, to turn his back on the stage. The noted actor has been signed to a long term contract by Paramount. He will start work in Hollywood upon completion of his Los Angeles stage engagement in “Cyrano de Bergerac.”


For the first time since she appeared with Charles “Buddy” Rogers in “Follow Thru,” Nancy Carroll sings in her next picture, “Wayward,” which has just been completed at Paramount’s New York studio.


Charles Bickford, he-man hero in “Dynamite” and “Anna Christie,” has been signed by Paramount to play a leading male role with Paul Lukas and Eugene Pallette in Tallulah Bankhead’s first Hollywood produced picture, “Thunder Below.”


Wilson Mizner, writer, sportsman and adventurer, will adapt “The Main Event,” James Cagney’s next starring picture for Warner Brothers, which is based on a story by Gerald Beaumont called “One-Thirty-Three-at-Three.” The story deals with the prize ring, and Mizner’s selection to write the screen version is significant in view of the fact that at one time he was closely connected with the ring as a promoter and manager of boxers. Cagney recently completed “The Crowd Roars” which is soon to be released.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Denverites will probably remember James H. Tabor, picturesque character who happened along during the silver mining days. He was known as Silver Dollar Tabor and his rise from poverty to affluence is a favorite story in and around Colorado.
David Krasner has written a novel called Silver Dollar, based on the life of Tabor. Daryl Zanuck after reading it from the galley proofs was so impressed with its drama that he immediately purchased it.
Just about the time the novel makes its appearance at the book stands Edward Robinson will be seen as its hero. Zanuck feels the part of Tabor is peculiarly suited to Robinson, and that it is a little different from the Oriental and gangster characters he has portrayed in the past.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

February 26, 1932

Santa Monica, Feb. 26

His radio audience may know him best as the “Vagabond Lover,” but in real life Rudy Vallee, the crooning song star, spends money for airplanes to speed across the continent to his wfe.
That was the answer of both to-day to questions regarding a possible separation.
“Rudy’s not a vagabond – he’s a real home body when his work permits,” said the young wife, Mrs. Fay Webb Vallee, who is visiting her father, Police Chief C.E. Webb.
“We are neither of us even thinking of a separation,” said the singer. “We are separated too much as it is.”
And if his daughter is thinking of a permanent visit here, leaving Rudy to carry on alone in New York, she hasn’t given any inkling of it to her father, the latter said.
Just now they are enjoying a “happy reunion” since Rudy flew here from New York, arriving last Tuesday. He will remain ”just as long as possible,” the singer said.

Hollywood, Feb. 26 (UP)

Lily Damita, the screen actress, will leave Saturday for Honolulu and a three weeks’ vacation before resuming her work in motion pictures, she said today.
She claimed that so far as she knew, Sydney Smith, reported engaged to her, would not be in Honolulu at the same time.
“I am going only for a nice vacation,” the French actress said. “I don’t know of any one else who is going. You can say that I’m not married, and not engaged, and that I don’t intend to have either happen on my trip. I’ll be back to go to work again in three weeks."

Mineola, Feb. 26 (AP)

A final decree of divorce has freed Rosika Dolly from her wealthy husband, Sir Mortimer Davis, although Miss Dolly, in Paris, won’t get the papers until early next month. The supreme court granted the decree yesterday.
There have been persisting reports that Miss Dolly, of the dance team known as the Dolly Sisters, will be married to Irving Netcher, Chicago merchant whose brother Townsend, is the husband of Constance Talmadge.

Chicago, Feb. 26 (AP)

What Will Rogers said to Al Capone and what Al Capone said to Will Rogers is not known, but the two of them got together the other day and did some talking.
The humorist visited Chicago’s most notorious hoodlum in the county jail, where Capone is awaiting the outcome of his appeal from his 11-year sentence as an income tax dodger.
Several bill collectors tried to get in to see Al the same day, but failed.

Los Angeles, Feb. 26 (AP)

Ian Keith, prominent actor, became “ungentlemanly and un-husband-like,” his wife, Ethel Clayton, stage and screen actress, testified to-day in obtaining a divorce decree.
The “ungentlemanly” and “unhusband-like conduct,” the actress said, included “too frequent use of liquor and insistence to quarrel” with her at early hours in the morning.
Her complaint said they were married in Minneapolis in February, 1928, and that they separated in January, 1931. A property settlement was made out of court.

From Luella O. Parsons
Los Angeles, Feb. 26


The very first contract signed under the new Fox regime was handed George O’Brien. Bigger and better pictures for George, who started as a prop boy and first won recognition in The Iron Horse are in order.
His pictures, you see, click at the box office, and that, my friends, is the satisfactory answer to every motion picture problem.
A Stewart White “drammer” with the terrifying title of The Killer, is the first O’Brien picture under the new contract. Dave Howard will direct.

Well of all things! Harold Lloyd is ensconced in Gloria Swanson’s bungalow. Harold, who for eight years has been at the Metropolitan studios in simple offices and dressing rooms. But he is on the United Artists lot so why not la belle Swanson’s bungalow with its private dining room, bath, sitting room and other luxuries. Miss Swanson won’t be back for a long time. The Farmer heir is due the first of April – and I doubt if Gloria will make a picture before next Fall. Harold starts shooting tomorrow. So far the only people in the cast actually signed are Constance Cummings and Kenneth Thompson. Clyde Buckman directing. A little bird whispers that Harold is much interested in Whistling In the Dark, a play owned by another company.

Marlene Dietrich has rented the beach house formerly occupied by Pola Negri. It is owned by Bebe Daniels.

Dorothy Mackaill leaves in a few days for New York. She is going into vaudeville with her husband Neill Miller.


Beery-Gable Air Thriller Breaks All Precedent in Its S.F. Engagement

“Hell Divers,” the Wallace Beery-Clark Gable picture now playing at the Fox Oakland theater, broke all precedent at the Fox theater in San Francisco recently. Its success was so great and demands for a continued showing so numerous that the film moved into the Warfield where it played a second record-breaking week.
Described as a drama of the air, “Hell Divers” contains many exciting and thrilling aerial maneuvers never before filmed. Their effectiveness is heightened at the Fox-Oakland by use of a giant Magna-Life screen. This is the only theater in the city where the picture will show on such a screen.
The production is crammed with sensational shots. Among its breath-taking scenes are the gigantic “sham battle” of the Panama maneuvers; planes that hurl themselves straight down two miles in less than sixty seconds; the burning of a rescue plane, the landing of a Zeppelin on the deck of a battleship and the night crash of a lighted battle plane.
Beery and Gable, of course, are fliers and their bitter rivalry and sundry romances make up the story. The frequent quarrels and the comedy contributed by Cliff Edwards afford plenty of material for laughter. Important parts are played by Dorothy Jordan, Marjorie Rambeau, Conrad Nagel and Marie Prevost.


Throughout “Under Suspicion,” Fox Movietone romance of the Northwest at the national theater to-day runs a story of rivalry of two members of the Canadian Mounted Police over the heart of a daughter of their commandant.
J. Harold Murray, musical comedy star, and Lois Moran are co-featured in the leading roles. The cast also includes J.M. Kerrigan, Marie Saxon, Lumsden Hare, Erwin Connelly and George Brent.


Hoot Gibson in “Gay Buckaroo” will be the principle attraction at the children’s matinee Saturday afternoon at the National Theater.
Other films include “Chimps Aping Hollywood,” a Mickey Mouse, a musical number "Finn and Caddie,” and serial chapter nine of Buffalo Bill.
A stage show by local school children will start a 3:30 o’clock. The program follows a Jack Ford harmonica solo. Tickets will be sold as usual at the schools on Friday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

February 25, 1932

Pittsburgh, Feb. 25 (AP)

Ethel Barrymore, America’s “First Lady of the Theater” soon will make her screen debut, she announced today and added with a twinkle in her eye that “My only fear is the camera.”
Miss Barrymore, here in a stage play, said her brothers Lionel and John, will support her in her first screen production.
“Nothing is definitely settled yet,” Miss Barrymore said, but she disclosed contract negotiations are being completed.
“It will be a wonderful thrill and I know I will like it.”
She said a special story will be the vehicle for her entrance into the “talkies.”
Production will not begin until after her present road tour, which closes in June.

Los Angeles, Feb. 25

Another effort at reconciliation between Ethel Clayton, screen actress, and Ian Keith, stage and film actor, has failed, it was revealed today, and her suit for divorce is scheduled for hearing tomorrow.
The present suit was filed last August, but hearing had been postponed several times when reconciliation was thought possible. It was filed only after several separations which had marked the brief marital career of the couple.
In her complaint, Miss Clayton charges Keith with being “unhusbandly” and with excessive drinking.

Los Angeles, Feb. 24 (UP)

Jean Harlow isn’t even in college yet today she stood elected as vice-president of the junior class in arts and sciences at the University of Southern California.
For good measure Jean was also elected the most popular girl in college.
Psychology professors shook their heads and spoke of the effect of Spring on youth.
Ed Belasco, college election commissioner, saw no joke in the affair. He immediately ordered another election.

Los Angeles, Feb. 24 (UP)

A suit for divorce charging Jack Pickford, film actor and brother of Mary Pickford, with cruelty was filed to-day by Mary Mulhern, film actress, who accused him specifically of constant nagging and criticism of her theatrical career.
The divorce action followed the announcement yesterday that a property settlement involving an unannounced amount of money to be paid Miss Mulhern has been effected out of court. Pickford said he would not contest the suit.

Hollywood, Cal. Feb. 25 (AP)

Japan may be at machine gun points with China, but the women of the Orient are united on one thing – their desire for American complexions.
And that’s all due to the movies, says T.M. West, head of a makeup studio in Shanghai, here to confer with Hollywood cosmetologists on ways to apply American cosmetics to Oriental women.
Already Japanese and Chinese women have adopted American dress as a result of the movie influence, says West.
“And now Chinese and Japanese girls are eager to know how to disguise the slant of their eyes and to make their skin white.”

Hollywood, Feb. 25 (UP)

Reports that John Barrymore had been injured severely in an automobile accident brought from his physician tonight a statement that the film actor was bruised when his car was in collision with another machine last night and that he would be confined to his home for several days.

From Luella O. Parsons
Los Angeles, Feb. 25


What will happen to Gwili Andre, alluring Swedish model? She is one of the most beautiful women, foreign or otherwise, who has ever stepped foot in Hollywood.
Will she become a second Garbo or will she merely become another movie actress? I put the question to David Selznick.
He plans to exploit her in much the same manner that Garbo and Dietrich were introduced.
Dietrich made her debut opposite Gary Cooper, well known male star. Garbo was first seen in The Temptress. At that time Antonio Moreno was one of the best known film stars in pictures and Garbo was cast as his leading lady.
Miss Andre will be given the role of Richard Dix’ leading lady in The Roar of the Dragon, thus making her entry into the picture world with an important star.

We are always glad to hear when one of our colleagues cracks through and sells a story. Ward Morehouse, a New York Daily columnist, has just persuaded Darryl Zanuck that his story, New York Town, would make a grand movie. The picture will go into immediate production and will be co-directed by Elliott Nugent and James Flood. The story is now talked as a Kay Francis production. Well, Kay wears clothes as well as any woman I know, if smart clothes are what they need. She wears them as well off the screen as on.

Will Hays and his attractive wife were guests of honor at a dinner party given by the Watterson Rothackers. Constance Bennett, in dark blue velvet cut low in the back, spent the evening playing bridge. Joan Bennett, accompanied by Gene Markey, looked very smart in a white lace frock.
Lionel Barrymore, at the Rothcackers, reported his wife improving. She has been critically ill with the flu. Constance Talmadge Netcher, in a black Carnegie frock, was voted as one of the most stunning looking women at the dinner.

Rudy Vallee, much thinner, was at the Brown Derby, lunching with Fay Webb. Fay was all decked out in new Spring clothes in honor of her husband’s arrival in town.


Frances Dee plays Charles “Buddy” Rogers fiancĂ©e in Paramount’s “Working Girls,” the National Theater feature.
An orchid recently was named for Miss Dee at the Southern California Flower Show at Los Angeles, at which the actress was the guest of honor. The flesh red and purple bloom requires seven years to reach maturity.
Paul Lukas, Judith Wood, Dorothy Hall, and Stuart Erwin also are featured.

From Wood Soanes:

Joan Blondell is being elevated to stardom in “Miss Pinkerton of Scotland Yard,” the screen adaptation of Mary Roberts Rhinehart’s new novel which has not yet been published except as a serial.
Warner Brothers announce the elevation as the result of Miss Blondell’s work in “Union Depot,” and “The Famous Ferguson Case,” now in production.

Dickie Moore, who had a role with Chic Sale in “The Expert” is to be given a stellar role in “From Rags to Riches,” a story of American boyhood of yesterday which Maude Fulton is preparing for the screen.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

February 24, 1932


Wife’s Suit for Divorce Says He Menaced and Nagged Her in Inhuman Manner

Los Angeles, Feb. 24 (UP)
Mary Mulhern, former Ziegfeld Follies beauty, once was forced to flea from her home in the dead of night to escape from the threats of her husband, Jack Pickford, screen actor and brother of Mary Pickford, Miss Mulhern charged today in a suit for divorce.
Throughout their married life, Miss Mulhern contended in a complaint filed by Attorney Patrick J. Cooney, Pickford found fault, nagged, and harassed her in a cruel and inhuman manner.
She contended that Pickford once threw a book at her, narrowly missing her head; that while he said at the time of marriage that she could continue her career as an actress, that he later prevented her from doing so; that he annoyed her with telephone calls every time she went to the theater or the hair dresser’s or to visit friends, and that she was forced to leave their home on occasions to avoid nervous breakdowns.
The complaint charged that shortly after Easter, 1931, Pickford demanded one night that Miss Mulhern come to him immediately. She was unable to do so, she said, and he rushed to her, threatening her. The complaint said she ran from the house, seeking safety, but later returned and locked herself in her room.
Then, Miss Mulhern alleged, Pickford began breaking down the door of the room, and she once again was compelled to flee “without any money, and was forced to hide behind trees and hedges to avoid the defendant," and was compelled to borrow money from a stranger in order to call friends to give her shelter for the remainder of the night.

Los Angeles, Feb. 24 (UP)

The federal grand jury today indicted Duncan Renaldo, film star, on a charge he made false affidavits in obtaining a passport March 14, 1929.
Renaldo needed the passport to go to Africa for a role he took in the film “Trader Horn.”
The indictment charged that Renaldo said he was a citizen of the United States when, as a matter of fact, he was not.
The indictment said his real name is Lasile Dumitree Cuchianas and that he was born in Rumania.

Los Angeles, Feb. 24 (UP)

Jack Hoxie, western film actor, was ordered by Superior Judge Valentine to pay $125 a month alimony to his wife Marie Hoxie, former actress, pending trial of her suit for divorce in which she charges non-support and desertion.

Los Angeles, Feb.23 (UP)

Will Rogers, famous humorist, had completed a tour of the world today, and found upon his arrival here by airplane that Democrats of California have begun a movement to nominate him for president of the United States.
Fred W. French, member of the Democratic State Central Committee, was in Sacramento to-day, according to the Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News, to notify Secretary of State Jordan that a petition will be filed to place Rogers’ name on the ballot.
Rogers refused to comment upon politics when he stepped from the plane at Grand Central Air Terminal. He only remarked:
“All these candidates for president better stop worrying about what’s going to happen in November and start thinking about eating breakfast under a Japanese mandate.”

London, Feb. 24 (UP)

“I am going to have another baby,” Gloria Swanson told interviewers at the palatial London Hotel to-day where she is staying with her new husband, Michael Farmer.
“Isn’t it wonderful!” she said. She added she expected the baby to provide a playmate for her child by a former husband and another child which she adopted.

Tahoe City, Cal. Feb. 24 (Special)

Dr. R.S. Elmer, former president of the National Ski Association, arrived here yesterday, accompanied by Ottar and Magnus Satre, brother ski champions from the Salisbury Outing Club, Salisbury, Conn. Ottar is noted for winning jumps at various tournaments in the East, while Magnus holds the amateur championship for cross-country skiing.
Dr. Elmer will officiate at the national tournament here as judge at class A and B ski jumping events. Governor Rolph, who will arrive here Saturday morning, will be starter at the jumps.
Anita Page, motion picture star of Hollywood, will also arrive here Saturday. A delegation of women was appointed Tuesday by the president of the Lake Tahoe Ski Club, to welcome the star on her arrival here and escort her to the Tavern where she will be crowned “Queen of the Winter.” The coronation will be presented by the governor, and a very elaborate costume is awaiting the coming of the snow queen. The appointed committee who will wait upon Miss Page at her arrival includes the wives of the Lake Tahoe Ski Club officials.

From Luella O. Parsons:


Los Angeles, Feb. 23
Didn’t I say get ready for pictures dealing with the Chinese-Japanese war? Well, Paramount is hurrying to complete arrangements on “Come On, Marines,” a thrilling tale of the devil dogs, written J.K. McGinness and Thomas Boyd. Martin Flavin will adapt it.
Hurry is what I mean, too. All else will be dropped to give Marion Gering a chance to study the Oriental war situation so he can direct with all the proper understanding.
Chester Morris and Richard Arlen will be co-featured as leads.
The girl – oh, well – this is a man’s picture so any girl will be just so much decoration. A pretty girl will be necessary, and probably a Chinese beauty or two. We nominate Anna May Wong as one of the loveliest Chinese women in Hollywood, and certainly the best actress.

Since Hollywood has gone mad on the subject of white drawing rooms with furniture, draperies and bric-a-brac, Mrs. Somerset Maugham ought to do a flourishing business. Yes, she is the wife of the famous British novelist, and she is here with her daughter. She tells me she is going to have an exhibition of all white things, both modern and antique, and they are all moderately priced. Known as Cyrie, she has quite a vogue in London. Mrs. Richard Barthelmess and Mary Pickford were among the first to have white drawing rooms in Hollywood, although many of the other films stars are using all white flowers in decorating their homes for parties. Mrs. Maugham’s daughter is quite ill with influenza, so that the date of her exhibition will be announced later.

Dorothy Burgess and Clarence Brown, still “thata way” about each other, are back home from Palm Springs.

Jimmy Durante, at the Springs, was giving everybody a good laugh over his w.k. nonsense. Eddie Buzzell, Harry Cohn and Eddie Cantor were also swapping a few jokes.

Buddy Rogers, in a telegram, denies that he and Bert Lahr ever had any unpleasantness.

Lila Lee, who was entertained by Mrs. Gouveneur Morris in Tahiti, was lunching with her at the Beverly Hills Brown Derby.

Jetta Goudal is planning a welcome party for Colleen Moore and her bridegroom, Al Stewart.

James Gleason, Marie Prevost, Buster Collier and Mr. and Mrs. Kalmus are home from the races at Agua Caliente. No information on whether any of them picked winners or not.

Spencer Tracy’s mother is in town, visiting with her son.


A picture within a picture forms a part of Ex-Bad Boy, the comedy now showing at the National Theater.
A number of the scenes take place in a motion picture theater, and on the screen is unfolded a drama featuring Letta Larbo, famous film star.
Members of the audience are Chester and his sweetheart (played by Robert Armstrong and Jean Arthur,) and Chester, it so happens, has boosted his stock with his girl friend by boasting of a previous love affair with the star. A few days later Letta Larbo, whom he has never seen, comes to town to make a personal appearance!

Friday, November 21, 2008

February 23, 1932

Hollywood, Feb. 23 (UP)

Reports that Virginia Cherrill, motion picture actress, and William Rhinelander Stewart, socially prominent New Yorker, would marry in Tahiti were unconfirmed today by Miss Cherrill’s mother.
Her mother refused to confirm or deny the report.
The actress sailed from San Francisco on the S.S. Makura, aboard which are Douglas Fairbanks and party en route to the South seas for motion picture work.
Stewart is now in the South seas with a Vincent Astor yachting party. The couple were seen together frequently in New York, and there were unconfirmed reports of their engagement.
Miss Cherrill was leading lady for Charles Chaplin in “City Lights.”

Hollywood, Feb. 23 (UP)

George McFarland, 52, for 25 years connected with the stage and screen as an actor and producer, is dead today as the result of an automobile accident. He was struck and killed while crossing the street last night by an automobile driven by Harold Davis, 31. McFarland’s wife, Viola, is playing with Al Jolson in “The Wonder Bar” which is to open an engagement here next month. McFarland came here from New York. He recently appeared in the film productions, “Taxi,” and “Union Depot.”

From Luella O. Parsons
Irving Thalberg has had his eye on Phillips Holmes ever since he looked at the test Holmes made for Strange Interlude. Today negotiations were on to borrow him from Paramount to play the lead in Night Court. Shows an actor seldom loses by submitting to a test, although some of our players feel it is beneath their dignity. Young Holmes will be in good company on the M-G-M lot. Karen Morley, a girl that all Hollywood expects to become a headliner, is slated for a part with Walter Huston in the leading character role. W.S. Van Dyke, of Trader Horn fame, is the director of this opera written by Mark Hellinger.

I have never seen a sadder lad than Tay Garnett was over Prestige. Tay isn’t the kind who does much talking but he felt that the picture was given bad advance publicity after Ann Harding asked to buy the prints. He was so upset that Patsy Ruth Miller, his well known spouse, marched him off to New York. Tay returns to direct S.S. Atlantic for Warner Brothers. Darryl Zanuck says there will probably be other offers for Garnett, who enjoys writing when he isn’t directing. Darryl is making plans for an all-star cast for S.S. Atlantic.

Hollywood, Feb. 23 (UP)

All of Hollywood’s invalids were reported to be out of danger today and to be recovering from their illnesses.
Erich Von Stroheim, film director, who has undergone two operations for tumors, told the United Press from his hospital bed that he “spent a bum night but I feel pretty good.”
Edna Purviance, former leading lady to Charles Chaplin, was reported as having spent a comfortable night at the Hollywood hospital. She is suffering from heart trouble and an abdominal disorder.
Although Miss Purviance was said to be out of danger she was not told of the death of her father, M.G. Purviance, 84, of Biggs.
Maurice Costello, stage and screen actor and father of Dolores and Helene Costello, both film stars, was said to be improving at his home. He was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage last week.

Los Angeles, Feb. 23 (UP)

Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Normand, mother of the late Mabel Normand, screen star, were held here today. Mrs. Normand was buried in a crypt adjoining that of her daughter in Calvary mausoleum.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Hope Placed in Cowboy Films to Attract Children to Theaters

Hollywood, Cal. - Feb. 22
Considerable interest is being evinced by the cinema in the outcome of Tom Mix’s return to the screen in his first big talking picture, now being filmed by Universal. The children, a problem to Hollywood as well as to their parents, have not followed the theater with as much avidity since the screen became garrulous as was shown during the days of golden silence.

Tom Mix may be the solution. The producers hope so. Will Hays followed the circus for two days discussing the actor’s return, with the cowboy arguing against it. Now, after considerable story trouble, the shooting of “Destry Rides Again,” is in full swing.

When producers had it forcefully brought to their attention via the box office that the children’s dimes were anything but plentiful, Carl Laemmle, veteran head of Universal, hit on Mix as the answer to Hollywood’s prayer.

“There were several things to actuate me.” Mr. Laemmle said this week. “Theaters needed children. They didn’t go to the ‘kid’ pictures that were made for them. They did go to see the gangster thrillers that were not made for them.” While the public does not generally credit Hollywood with such an attitude, producers are quite conscious of their responsibility and something had to be done to head off this interest in the morbid.

“Pictures have become so definite a part of home life that the industry has a national and public responsibility. So it is up to us to divert juvenile minds from the blood and thunder they naturally seek and interest them in clean wholesome attractions.”

Mix was loath, at first, to return to Hollywood. The town has not been overly kind to him. He was getting $10,000 a week with the circus, with three years of his contract still to run. But under the combined pleading of Mr. Hays and Mr. Laemmle, together with an accident which injured him when his horse fell during a performance in Peru, Ind., he changed his mind. His injury, while not serious, provoked such a deluge of letters from children all over the country that he decided to ride the screen again.

After the contract signing, Mix showed up at the studio ready for action only to find that the character he was to play got drunk and shot a man. Tom Mix has never smoked, taken a drink or shot any one except in self-defense in any character he ever played, and he attributes his popularity with children to this adherence to a definite type. So he refused to play the part, and the story was rewritten with rugged virtue in the saddle.

Mix regards his child-following very seriously. He views acting solely as a business. He came from the ranks of cowboys, he says, and he does not care to change. Hence his boots and two-gallon hat with dinner jacket. He says a cowpuncher would not wear a derby or plug hat, and so he won’t. And his reasons seem convincing.

While “Destry Rides Again” is slated as a juvenile picture, indications are that it will establish an adult following among those who like their virility old-fashioned. It is a story of the West of thirty years ago, and after the epidemic of drawing room dramas, audiences may find it a welcome relief.