Saturday, February 20, 2010


By Luella O. Parsons

Hollywood, April 16, 1932

The April report of 10 prominent social organizations previewing films in Hollywood covers a large territory. The films recommended for all the family to see are “The Doomed Battalion,” “The Miracle Man,” “Symphony of Six Million,” “Amateur Daddy,’ “Broken Wing,” “County Fair,” “Vanity Fair,” “Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood,” “Girl Crazy,” “Cain,” “Tarzan,” and “Young America.”

The young people who have passed the adolescent stage are advised to see “So Big,” “The Wet Parade,” “The Big Timer,” “The Devil’s Lottery,” “Lena Rivers,” and “Wayward.”

The grown-up are handed for their edification “Careless Lady,” “One Hour With You,” “Beauty and the Boss,” and “The Rich Are Always With Us.” The clubs handing out this advise consist of the Boy Scouts of America, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, International Federation of Catholic Alumnae, National Council of Jewish Women, United Church of Brotherhood of California, and others.


There has been a lot of speculation as to whether Greta Garbo’s love of solitude is a pose or if she really wants to be alone. Neil Hamilton says it can be no pose, for a week ago he and a friend were hiking miles from nowhere. They looked around and to their astonishment saw Garbo climbing the hill. They made a move to speak to her, but before they could get within speaking distance, like a frightened hare, she sped away and was next seen atop another mountain. How she got there so quickly Neil Hamilton says he will never know. He says he is familiar with that part of the country, for he often takes a frying pan, a side of bacon, into the wilderness and cooks his lunch or dinner. As near as he figures Greta must have run a good mile to get away from him.


I noticed in the elevator at the Town House that the numbers of the floors start at 21 instead of 1. Number 2 is 22, number 3, 23, and so on. My curiosity overcame me and I asked the elevator boy why they didn’t start with the customary one. “We did it for Al Jolson, he is superstitious. He is living on the thirteenth floor. So we changed the numbers of the floors and the number recorder in the elevator,” the boy explained. Al Jolson may not be a hero to everyone, but he certainly is a hero to those elevator boys. It was they who thought out the plan and went to the manager to have it carried out. Al will be back from San Francisco next week to confer with Lewis Milestone on his next picture, “Happy Go Lucky.”


England may make its own films until the end of time, but I doubt if any of their home-made stars will ever approach our American-made favorites in popularity. Marlene Dietrich’s picture “Shanghai Express,” brought out London society in full force. Notables in evening frocks escorted by gentlemen in full evening regalia, elbowed each other trying their best to get seats. Seems as if the premiere was not a reserved-seat affair and first come were first served. In other words, the social lights were not too proud to stand in line and wait to get into the theater.


The gold-plated medal mounted with rhinestones goes to Roland Young for absent-mindedness. Roland packed all his clothes that he was to need for his picture in London, and then believe it or not, he promptly forgot to send the trunk. He suddenly remembered on the train that he had forgotten to check his luggage with his wardrobe and that he absolutely must have his wardrobe in London. He wired frantically to have his trunk sent on air mail. It arrived in time to be put on the boat and Mr. Young’s absent-mindedness cost him just $190.


The Norman Fosters are house-hunting. Claudette Colbert has come to California to live and so instead of an apartment, she and friend husband will find themselves a house with a garden and a swimming pool. There are lots of bargains in houses these days. Miss Colbert sold most of her furnishings in New York, but she kept her library intact and some valuable jade wall hangings. That reminds me, those who know her speak of her as being unusually intelligent and of being an inveterate reader.


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