Friday, April 3, 2009
STUDIOS BUSY GRINDING OUT FILMS
Barbara Stanwyck’s next picture for Warner Brothers will be “The Mud Lark,” from the new novel by Arthur Stringer which recently was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post. Miss Stanwyck will be back in Hollywood from her vaudeville tour by the first of April to study her script. “So Big,” from Edna Ferber’s novel, in which Miss Stanwyck plays the central role for Selina Peake, is ready for release.
Several pictures are to be built around the fighting in Shanghai, but Columbia has a new angle. “War Correspondent,” it is called, and it will deal with the lighter side of the conflict. Jack Holt will be precipitated among the warring factions in the role of a news gatherer with no sense of the fitness of things. Harlan Thompson, recently brought to Hollywood from the street called Broadway, will be in charge of the production, which is scheduled to get underway immediately.
Captain Frank M. Hawks, who is as fast as his name suggests, will make a short subject for Vitaphone over in Brooklyn, beginning probably during this week. The film will deal with flying. Arrangements have been made to do the outdoor “shooting” at one of the metropolitan airports. The script calls for a total of fifty-four planes.
Rian James, author of the novel on which the new Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. film, “Love Is a Racket” is based, has sold a second story to the Warners. “Crooner” is the title and it is scheduled for Spring production.
Walter Huston, one of the cinema’s leading free-agents, has cast in his lot with Columbia Pictures for one film. Mr. Huston will play the lead in the first production to be directed by Allan Dwan for the company. The film, as yet untitled, will show him as the head of a metropolitan bank which is having its troubles because of the general state of things. At the moment Mr. Huston is on the MGM lot finishing his role in “The Wet Parade.”
Lee Tracy will have a part in “Doctor X,” the mystery piece by Howard Comstock and Allen Miller, which the Warners will produce in Technicolor. Mr. Tracy recently completed a role in “Tinsel Girl” and is now working with the younger Fairbanks in “Love Is a Racket.” Lionel Atwell and Fay Wray will have the two leading roles in “Dr. X.” Production is scheduled to begin this week.
An important part in Mary Roberts Rhinehart’s thriller, “Miss Pinkerton,” is that of the corpus delicti, Allan Lane, an ambitious young actor, was delighted to find himself cast in the role of Herbert Wynne until he learned the exact nature of his assignment. He becomes The Body as soon as the story opens, and plays the rest of the picture with one ear buried in the carpet, quite dead.
“The Famous Ferguson Case,” First National’s recently completed newspaper story, will be out on Broadway in a fortnight or so, probably at the Strand. Joan Blondell heads a cast which includes Tom Brown, Adrienne Dore, Vivienne Osborne and Leslie Fenton. Courtney Terrett wrote the story.
Universal has acquired two Hollywood directors, John Ford and Tay Garnett, for next year’s program. It will be a homecoming for Mr. Ford, the director of “Arrowsmith.” He started in the films on the Universal lot as assistant to his brother, Francis Ford, in serials. For several years he supervised Harry Carey in Westerns, and then left Universal to direct “The Iron Horse” for Fox.
John Francis Dillon’s first duty under his recently signed Fox contact will be to direct Warner Baxter in “Man About Town” with a cast that includes Karen Morley, Conway Tearle and Alan Mowbray.
The picture recently produced at the now empty Astoria studio under the title “Sensation” is to be released as “Escapade.” Edmund Lowe and Claudette Colbert are the principals and April 8 is the date of its opening at the New York and Brooklyn Paramounts.