Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 1932


Hollywood, April 22 (UP)
Paramount studios today issued an ultimatum threatening to remove Marlene Dietrich, actress, and Joseph Von Sternberg, director, from studio payroll unless they begin work Monday on “The Blonde Venus.”

Studio officials said production of the picture had been held up for more than a month because the star and director expressed dissatisfaction with the story and refused to proceed.

Von Sternberg wrote the original story, but expressed dissatisfaction after studio writers had prepared it for the screen, and said the picture would prove a disappointment if produced in its present form.

Both the director and Miss Dietrich are on yearly salary contracts.


Oakland, Cal., April 22 (UP)
Denying all charges she attempted to alienate the affections of Alfred C. Read, Jr., San Francisco broker, Claire Windsor, motion picture star, to-day filed an answer here to the $100,000 suit brought by Mrs. Marian Y. Read, Oakland society matron.

In the formal answer Miss Windsor admitted meeting Read last September 1, but denied she “attempted to alienate his affections, was with him constantly, exchanged affectionate notes with him, and accompanied him to places of amusement or on long motor trips,” as the suit charges.


Hollywood, Calif., April 22 (AP)
Jack Dempsey, former world’s heavyweight champion, and Estelle Taylor, film actress, who recently were separated by a Reno divorce, are being seen together a lot these days.

Their appearances together, the actress said, resulted from mutual business interests.


After years of absence from the West Coast, where she once reigned as one of the queens of filmland, Anita Stewart returned to testify in the suit of La Cienega Holding Company against Mrs. Ignatius Brown, mother of Herbert Brown, noted song writer. Lately Miss Stewart has been engaged in small playlets presented on easter vaudeville circuits. She is married to George Converse.


Los Angeles, April 22 (UP)
Polly Moran had the assistance of the district attorney’s office today in locating an acquaintance to whom she entrusted $500 for investment in an oil lease venture near Monterey in 1930. She has not seen the acquaintance or the oil well since, she said.


Singapore, April 22 (AP)
Charles Chaplin was making a satisfactory recovery today from an attack of dengue fever, but plans for his departure Sunday to continue his Far Eastern tour remained uncertain.


Los Angeles, April 22 (UP)
Jack Noonan, brother of the film actresses, Molly O’Day and Sally O’Neill, was held for trial yesterday on a charge of escaping from a prison camp, where he had been serving a sentence for receiving stolen goods. He was arrested in New York. Miss O’Day and Noonan’s mother appeared with him in court.

From Wood Soanes:

Will H. Hays gave an accounting of his cinema stewardship in connection with his tenth annual report on the motion picture industry and some of his findings are worth reading.

He believes that “self-regulation in the industry (as opposed to censorship from without) is improving product and winning friends,” and that “research and experiment in the field of pedagogical film… might result in savings to the American taxpayer as much as $1,000,000,000 in 10 years.”

New audiences, he feels, are being drawn by “pictures like ‘The Man Who Played God,’ ‘Broken Lullaby,’ ‘Arrowsmith,’ and ‘Emma,’ which are not the result of accident but the fruit of 10 years of developing public taste and of diversified experimentation at the studios.”

“But,” he continues, “the screen cannot disregard practicalities and survive. The box office delivers the final verdict on our product… it cannot become a forum, an academy or a soap-box and continue to command universal attendance. It steps out of character into disastrous experience when it invades controversial ground.

Evangelism and propaganda are not its appointed precincts.”

As to the future, Hays is hopeful. He believes that tremendous advance has been made since the industry was forced to reform its “mechanical, artistic, financial and administrative ranks to control the unprecedented situations created by sound.” He calls the reader’s attention to the fact that the first exhibition of a sound picture was as recent as August 4, 1926.

“The prosperity of the future in our business,” Hays concludes from his observations, “will come not through so-called cheap pictures but through good ones, pictures that will draw to the box office crowds of satisfied people. We read 70,000 stories a year in order to produce 500 feature and pictures and 2500 short subjects.”

Wallace Ford has been given a term contract at M-G-M. He is now working with Dressler and Moran in “Prosperity.”

Creighton Chaney, the son of Lon, will make his debut in “The Bird of Paradise.”

Charles Butterworth, whose movie career terminated largely because his style of humor is so distinctive that he needed a special author to provide him with material, is returning to the stage for a comedy part in the next Max Gordon revue. Before that happens, however, he’ll work with Chevalier in a picture.

Jacqueline Logan, who used to be a picture name, will be in “Coast to Coast,” the new radio satire in which Joseph Santley will star.

Paul Lukas, Erich Von Stroheim, Mae Busch, Priscilla Dean, Duncan Renaldo and Mary Adams of the film colony arrived in Oakland today as guests of Walter Varney, the airline owner, to attend the “Aviation Night” fete at the Alameda Bay airdrome. They return by special plane tomorrow morning.


On Your Mark” Will Serve Comedian as Next Vehicle

By Chester B. Bahn

Last minute Rialto news –
Jack Oakie will star in Paramount’s contribution to the Olympic games story cycle. The comedy will be entitled “On Your Mark.”

Warners have retitled “S. S. Atlantic,” in which Bill Powell and Kay Francis are reunited, as “One Way Passage.”

Stephen R. Roberts today signed a long-term contract as a Paramount picture director and was at once assigned to direct George Bancroft’s next starring picture, “The Challenger,” in which Wynne Gibson and Charles Starrett have important parts.

I hear that –

Walter Huston is practically set as the missionary in “Rain”

Signed by Paramount, Charles Laughton’s first film work nevertheless will be for Universal, which has borrowed him for “Old Dark House.”

United Artists is delaying production on “Brothers Karamazov” until the tangle of copyrights on earlier film versions is cleared… Meanwhile, Colman will star in “Way of a Lancer,” King Vidor directing.

Radio may loan Zita Johann to Warners to play opposite Edward G. Robinson in “Tiger Shark”

Columbia will give special status to Barbara Stanwyck’s “Brief Moment”

Skeets Gallagher will return to the screen in “Merrily We Go to Hell”

Universal failed to pick up option of Mickey Rooney, formerly known as Mickey McGuire

Kenneth Goldsmith will produce “Okay, New York,” radio story by Henry Johnson, who will also adapt and dialog

Universal is again considering making “Marriage Interlude” and “Leviathan” and has dropped “Boulder Dam”

Donald Cook’s hobby is collecting stray dogs and giving them a home until friends take them, so the actor has room for another. Recently moving into a new home in Beverly Hills, the actor built the wire enclosure for his five dogs and housed them safely before he moved his own belongings. The white dog is named Jean, after Jean Harlow.

Today’s questions –

Will the scheduled “blessed event” cause Sue Carol’s retirement?

Is Jeanette MacDonald ever going altarward with Robert Ritchie?

Are Al Jolson and Georgie Jessel really friends again?


What can be accomplished in six weeks of intensive training is demonstrated by James Dunn and Sally Eilers in “Dance Team,” headlining the program at the Riviera. The dancing done by the pair is the result of a month and a half’s steady practice under a well known Hollywood teacher in preparation for the part. On the same program, Ken Maynard is seen in “The Arizona Terror.”

Sidney Fox, who has the chief feminine role opposite Warren William in the Strand’s “The Mouthpiece,” is a specialist in the portrayal of Southern girls, having acquired an authentic accent in spite of her Northern origin. She is best remembered for her part in “Strictly Dishonorable.” Aline MacMahon, also an important feminine cast member, specializes in portraying cynical secretaries, having the same type of role she played in “Five Star Final” with Edward G. Robinson.

Edmund Lowe, whose love ‘em and leave ‘em methods became famous in “What Price Glory?” matches his strongarm courtship against the quite sloe-eyed, but highly inflammable wiles of Claudette Colbert in “The Misleading Lady,” at the Paramount. This is Paramount’s talking adaptation of the play, and is directed by Stuart Walker.

Nora Gregor, German stage star appearing with Robert Montgomery in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “But the Flesh Is Weak” at Lowes, was born in Gorizia, Austria. She won fame on the Vienna stage and was for five years a Max Reinhardt star. Among her successful plays was “The Sacred Flame.” She has appeared in several German films and came to America to do German film plays, such as her role in “Olympia.” This is her first picture in English.

From Luella Parsons:

Los Angeles, April 22
Those tickets that Richard Arlen bought for a trip to Europe with his wife, Jobyna Ralston, will not be used. Instead of seeing Paris, London, Italy and a few other places, Dick will migrate to the South Sea Islands but with plenty of company. He has been signed by Warner Brothers to play one of the leading roles in “Tiger Shark,” Edward Robinson’s next thriller. And since it calls for a trip to the tropical South Seas he will be there for several months with Howard Hawks and company.

Paramount has had a change of heart where Dick is concerned and is calling him back, I am told, to sign a new contract. No one need underestimate the popularity of Dick Arlen. He is quite a chap, not given to sounding his own horn, but he is plenty strong with the fans.

“The Sun Also Rises,” to star Constance Bennett, is more than just a mere rumor. The book has been purchased and Rowland Brown is now reading it and discussing treatment, for he will direct her. Some of the considerable angles will have to be removed but it is fundamentally a splendid story and should give Connie an excellent vehicle.

“The Moon and Sixpence,” the other important Radio purchase, is being put into proper shape and it has been whispered that Dolores Del Rio will play the beautiful native girl who falls in love with the artist. John Barrymore and Dolores Del Rio together should be a great combination.

It certainly looks as if Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Madge Evans are going to get together on their contract troubles today or perhaps they settled their difficulties last night. Miss Evans’ option expired two weeks ago today and her actual contract expires today. The reason I think everything will be settled is because she has been loaned by M-G-M to Columbia for “Hollywood Speaks.” That is Harry Cohn’s Hollywood picture and he says it’s serious “drammer.” Betcha’ anything a little comedy creeps in because Eddie Buzzell is directing and comedy is his middle name.

I don’t know when anything has made me as happy as the news that Betty Blythe will play in two pictures at Universal. One is “Back Streets” and the other, “Brown of Culver.” These two offers came to her on her twelfth wedding anniversary and just when she was beginning to feel that there was no place for her in Hollywood. Betty has been living on a little ranch with her husband, Paul Scardon.

I had been wondering who would get the part of “Horn” in “Rain,” the part that Rapley Holmes played on stage with such skill, the fat, lazy owner of the general store who is married to a native woman. Guy Kibbee gets that role and what a chance! Lewis Milestone who personally selected each person for the cast, told me yesterday that Kibbee had signed a contract. Speaking of contracts, Robert Montgomery stays on at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He has put his John Hancock on a new contract for a brief year.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Jean Harlow in New York clothes, on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot.

Marie Dressler, improving in health, working to finish her picture.

Jack Dempsey lunching at the Brown Derby with a group of men. Estelle Taylor at a nearby table with Evelyn Brent.

The Lionel Barrymores entertaining with a buffet supper in honor of Mrs. Lionel who leaves Saturday via the Panama Canal. Lionel and Raoul Walsh, who both went to Seton Hall as youngsters, reminiscing at the dinner table. The Walsh home, new and colonial, one of the most gorgeous and tastefully furnished houses in Beverly Hills.

Anita Page adding a gymnasium to her new beach home at Manhattan.

Ramon Novarro vacationing quietly in San Francisco.

The Jack Warners entertaining Sunday, their first dinner party since their return from New York.

Joan Crawford still incommunicado in the desert.


Old Favorite Film, Which Brought Fame to Three, Is Seen in Modern Form

Lon Chaney, Thomas Meighan, and Betty Compson became “names” overnight, and rose to fame in the silent version of “The Miracle Man.” As a talking production the film begins a week’s engagement at the Fox theater tomorrow. It is said to be even more powerful in its theme.

Headlining the cast are Sylvia Sidney, Chester Morris, Irving Pichel, who is remembered for his role as district attorney in “The American Tragedy,” Hobart Bosworth, Robert Coogan, and John Wray.

From beginning to end the story is packed with intense excitement; there is a powerful climax, and the theme is one with appeal to all amusement seekers. Many contrasting elements of underworld types, fakirs, soldiers of fortune, men of God, and unfortunates mold the regeneration through love and the faith theme.

“Tarzan the Ape Man,” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s adventure thriller, will be screened for the last time tonight. Johnny Weissmuller, swimming champion, as Tarzan, has been so enthusiastically welcomed by theatergoers that the producing company have already signed him for future films.


Cladrite Radio said...

Interesting reading, as always -- thanks.

I'm glad that Charles Butterworth's movie career wasn't really over in 1932. I recently enjoyed him in THE NUISANCE (1933), with Lee Tracy and Madge Evans.

GAH1965 said...

I'm right there with you regarding Butterworth and The Nuisance. I just saw it at the Film Forum in NYC a week or two ago. Is that where you saw it too? The Lee Tracy shows have all been fantastic so far, including my favorite, Blessed Event.

billy said...

quite a busy day April 22nd. Clare Windsor should be careful about who she dates considering William Desmond Taylors last official outing was with her. And I don’t think we have had to worry about lovely Jeanette marrying that guy. thanks, great post

GAH1965 said...

I honestly don't know the first thing about Claire Windsor's personal life, but my gut still tells me that she's guilty as charged.

The two really interesting points about this day for me are, 1) the very early newspaper reference to Mickey Rooney. I didn't think he was a significant enough name yet to have his contract option make the papers and 2) Marie Dressler's "illness." Was it just some minor ailment, or was she perhaps starting to have symptoms of the cancer that would take her life two years later.

Cladrite Radio said...

Yep, GAH, it was at Film Forum that I saw THE NUISANCE. I didn't make as many of the movies in that series as I would have liked, but I caught most of the Lee Tracy pictures.

I enjoy your blog, by the way, and gave it a plug recently on my site,

GAH1965 said...

Thanks so much for the shout out on your site, Cladrite.

I saw most of the Lee Tracy films as well. Would have liked to have seen a few more, but time only allowed for me to see the '31/'32/'33 pictures, which are my favorite, obviously.