Friday, July 23, 2010
PICTURES AND PLAYERS
April 24, 1932
Now that he has completed “Two Seconds,” Edward G. Robinson will spend the next few weeks making “Tiger Shark,” formerly known as “Tuna,” which Howard Hawks wrote and which he will also direct. It is a story of the ins and outs of the fishing industry along the coast of California and Mexico.
Mr. Robinson will be sailing a small fishing boat in Pacific waters most of the time the film is in production, which should be a satisfying change from guns and prison stripes.
“Silver Dollar,” a story of pioneer Colorado, which was recently purchased for Mr. Robinson’s use, will be postponed until after the production of “Tiger Shark.”
Universal has collected an interesting cast for its production of “The Old Dark House.” Charles Laughton, the English actor who gave theatergoers the shudders in “Payment Deferred” last Fall, has one of the leads. He was brought over by Paramount and loaned to Universal for this one film, his first picture in America.
Gloria Stuart, the ingénue whose entrance into the films caused so much controversy that the Hays office had to step in and adjudicate it, will have her first opportunity in “The Old Dark House.”
Raymond Massey, who came over from England to play “Hamlet” and found his way into pictures, has replaced Walter Byron in the cast. He will likewise be acting his first role in an American film.
In addition there are Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas and Lillian Bond. James Whale is directing the production.
The momentous news from Joe. E. Brown this week is that the comedian will be a life saver instead of a six-day bike racer in his next film. The title, however, remains unchanged – “You Said a Mouthful.” The high spot of the comedy will be Mr. Brown’s entry into the twenty-eight mile marathon swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. Among the supporting cast will be Minnie, Hollywood’s best-known trained seal.
George Arliss is in New York before sailing with Mrs. Arliss for England and a vacation. He has completed “A Successful Calamity” at the Warner Brothers studios and the picture will be released during the Summer. Mary Astor has the feminine lead. Mr. Arliss plans to return to work around the end of September.
Once there was a time when rain was the bugaboo of motion picture making. Loss of time resulting from unexpected showers or cloudbursts was costly. Now they get around the weather man by arranging a duplicate camera schedule for a picture.
“Weather Permitting” is the summons for location work. When this is the summons, the company is required to leave for location so as to be able to shoot at 9 A. M. The substitute program, headed “In Case of Bad Weather,” automatically notifies all departments to be prepared for studio work at the same time.
This information comes from a Paramount worker, who reports that no time has been wasted during recent Spring rains although five pictures required much outside camera work.
“When a Feller Needs a Friend” is the new and final title for the Jackie Cooper story which was formerly known as “Limpy.” As a crippled newsboy, Master Cooper shares the lead in this film with Chic Sale. It was directed by Harry Pollard and is based on a novel by William Johnson.
Odds and ends of the week…
Lyda Roberti left for Hollywood last week to resume her camera work for Paramount…
Mae Marsh will play her first role since her return to the screen in “Over the Hill” when she appears in “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”…
Walter Wanger is in New York from the Coast to examine the current books and plays for Columbia…
The Warners plan to reissue the Vitaphone short subjects called “Adventures in Africa”…
Pat O’Brien joins Walter Huston and Kay Johnson in the cast of Columbia’s “Faith,” which is about banking.
ANNA STEN ARRIVES IN NEW YORK
Anna Sten, the slender Russian blond peasant girl who has finished two screen careers and is now Hollywood-bound for a third, smiled sweetly and said:
“How do you do? Very well. Yes. No. Maybe.”
She was looking out toward Brooklyn from the thirty-fifth floor of the Hotel Pierre as she spoke, but that was not the explanation. Miss Sten was simply airing most of the English she knew.
Mr. Goldwyn’s representative, Lynn Farnol, then explained that if Miss Sten could learn enough additional English in three weeks to make a talking picture, she would be Ronald Colman’s leading lady in his new picture.
This was conveyed to the young woman in German by an interpreter.
“She says two weeks is all she will need,” the interpreter said. “She says she learned enough French in ten days to make a French version of ‘Karamazoff.’”
Miss Sten, who is 22, smiled and nodded her head vigorously to show she meant it. Then, in snatches of voluble German, she went on to describe her career.
At what must have been a sufficiently early age she took leave of the wheat fields and peasant huts of her native Kiev for Moscow. She went through a course of training in the Soviet State Theater and film group. In a few months she was in the forefront of the young Russian actresses. Some of her films were shown here in 1928 and 1929 – “The Yellow Pass,” “The Lash of the Czar,” “Living Russia.”
The Soviet sent her to Berlin to make films. It was in German, a language she had never spoken before, that she began to be noticed in the capitals of the world. She played with Fritz Kortner in “Karamazoff” and with Emil Jannings in “Stuerme der Leidenschaft,” which was shown here last month.
Mr. Goldwyn saw “Karamazoff” in New York and cabled a representative to have a look at her. The report was highly flattering to Anna Sten, so Mr. Goldwyn cabled instructions to give her a screen test.
“Can she learn English?” Mr. Goldwyn asked.
Miss Sten, who happened to be in Paris just then, was given two pages of dialogue from Glora Swanson’s picture “Indiscretion.” She memorized it and took a film test.
If she learns the language as quickly as she expects to, she will soon be playing opposite Mr. Colman in one of two pictures, “The Brothers Karamazov” or “Way of the Lancer,” the Boleslavsky book which Goldwyn has just bought.
Miss Sten has refused to name her favorite American cinema players. Not so many American talking pictures have been shown in Germany, she told the interpreter, and therefore must decline to answer the question.
Charlie Chaplin, she finally was lured into admitting, pleased her most among the silent film stars. And Lillian Gish, which she pronounced “Liyen Geesh.”
What has surprised her most about New York is that the lights at night brighten the darkness all the way up to her suite. Thirty-five stories above the ground, she expected, it would be dark.
The Goldwyn henchmen had sedulously forced her to spend most of her time in her room since she landed. She had been taken for a drive through Brooklyn, but that was all. She had not even seen Broadway yet.
“Tell her she will thank me when she becomes a famous American picture star,” the Goldwyn representative said to the interpreter.
There was an explosion of German from Miss Sten and a merry smile.
“She says she is sure you have her interests at heart, but that you are cruel to keep her shut up. She says she is determined to walk about New York. “