Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Luella O. Parsons
Los Angeles, April 23
All anyone talks about in Los Angeles, it seems to me, is the Olympic games. Just wait until the games, the theaters will be filled, business will boom and empty houses will be rented. Not being a politician, I don’t like to say that it will take something more than the Olympic games to change conditions but I know plenty of women who are going to vote a different ticket this year just to see what happens.
Oh, dear, I didn’t mean to even mention politics for I know nothing about it. What I am aiming at is the Olympic games story written by Joe Mankiewicz for Paramount. It’s called “On Your Mark,” and Jack Oakie is the chief athlete with Eddie Cline directing.
Chatter in Hollywood: Did you know that Joan Blondell is really a brunette? She blondined her hair again and again to play those vamp roles on the screen and she finally grew tired of being a peroxide blonde so she donned a wig and let her own hair turn back to its natural color. I think Joan would be foolish to try to change her personality and its exactly what she would do if she goes back to her own natural dark hair.
That reminds me, Percy Westmore, chief adviser at First National on makeup, is not signing with Warner’s again. Just a little matter of salary, that’s all.
Still another story of makeup. Clark Gable had his hair grayed for “Strange Interlude” and the girl who was sent out from Jim’s beauty parlor was in the seventh heaven of delight.
A NEW CONTRACT
Small chance of Wallace Beery leaving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when so many plays have been sought for him. But anyway, it’s interesting to know that Wallace has a brand new contract and I hear it whispered, a raise in salary. His next picture under the new contract is the Russian Soviet story which has been in preparation nigh on a year at M-G-M. Don Isaac Levine spent weeks on it and other writers have contributed their best talents.
A couple of contracts were also handed out at Paramount yesterday. Stephen R. Douglas was given a long-term sentence as a Paramount director. He has been in the business since Hector was a pup but just lately he has been promoted to directing. Waldemar Young also has a new contract. What with the studios cutting down, anyone who gets a new contract these days is just plain in luck.
Want to hear what Marlene Dietrich’s answer was to Florenz Ziegfeld when he asked her to go into his “Follies”? “I will let you know a little later.”
There is trouble at Paramount. B. P. Schulberg wants one story and Josef von Sternberg wants another. Marlene strings with Sternberg and refuses to take another director. Seems as if Marlene and von Sternberg come pretty near dictating their own terms these days.
“Shanghai Express” is the biggest sensation London has seen. The lines in front of the theaters are enormous. The picture is making money and will be in the end one of the biggest money-makers Paramount has ever had. That is why von Sternberg chooses to select his own story.
MRS. MENJOU’S POPULARITY
Clive Brook is authority for the story that Kathryn Menjou is one of the most popular women ever to be entertained by royalty in England.
Said Clive: “I was born and brought up in England, but it remained for Adolphe and Kathryn to introduce me to people I had heard but never met. They liked Mrs. Menjou’s sense of humor, her beauty and her naturalness.”
Kathryn is on her way back to Hollywood and when she gets here, what stories she will have to tell us.
Corinne Griffith and Walter Morosco, who were sailing with the Fred Niblos and Richard Barthelmess are remaining in England. Corinne’s picture, “Lily Christine,” opens there at a big charity function where seats are selling at $50 per.
The John Miljans have welcomed a son. He is being called John Miljan, Jr. and the cigars and ginger ale have been on papa at the M-G-M studios.
Jack Dempsey is a gentleman. I said it once and I’ll say it always. When he saw his former wife, Estelle Taylor, in the theater he stopped to shake hands with her.
HERE AND THERE
Wonder if you know that William Le Baron is going to produce four features independently? He is now dickering for a story and when he finds it he will make it at the Pathe studios, which he will lease. The picture will be financed and released by RKO. Mr. Le Baron’s contract at Radio still has several months to run and I imagine he will make a picture in the interim (good word, isn’t it?).
Udet, the German flying ace, will accompany Dr. Fenck and his expedition to make “Iceberg” in Greenland. He just put his John Hancock on a contract.
Paramount has signed Walter De Leon to work on “Merton of the Talkies.” He authored “Bamboo Tree” and “Dewdrop Inn.”
Mike Levee is leaving Friday for New York. He says the screen guild has prospered beyond his wildest expectations.
FILMS OF HOLLYWOOD
Last season we were flooded with books dealing with Hollywood. This coming season we are going to have an avalanche of screen plays dealing with the same town.
Charlie Rogers has just purchased “I Can’t Go Home,” by Jack Lait. It is the tale of a girl who comes to Hollywood and gets so fascinated with the promise of a movie career that she never leaves. Mr. Lait’s story will be published in over 200 newspapers and finally in book form. He and Charlie Rogers have gotten together on the purchase of two of his books, “The Girl Without a Room” and “I Can’t Go Home.” The same actress will be starred in both, an opportunity, Charlie says, for a newcomer.
TWO RADIO PURCHASES
“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 censorable 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 yesterday it was whispered that Dolores Del Rio will play the beautiful native girl who falls in love with an artist. John Barrymore and Dolores Del Rio together should be a great combination.