Tuesday, August 31, 2010
$100,000 ACTION AGAINST ACTRESS, DIRECTOR LOOMS
Paramount Studios Plan Suit As Result Of Dispute Over New Film
Hollywood, Calif., April 28 (AP)
Officials of the Paramount Studios said to-day they would file within the next few days a damage suit for $100,000 against its leading director and actress, Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich.
Both von Sternberg and Miss Dietrich are under suspension by the studio for failing to produce a story provided them by the studio, the director objecting to the story as “unsuitable” and Miss Dietrich siding with him in his contention.
The legal department of the studio, officials said, is preparing the suit, which will seek recompense for the delay and expense entailed by the director’s and star’s insurgency.
Von Sternberg is now in New York having left Hollywood last Saturday in the face of a studio ultimatum to proceed with production of the story provided him. His pay, as well as that of Miss Dietrich, has been stopped, and their future status with the film industry was a matter of conjecture to-day.
While Paramount Studios was having its difficulties, Warner Brothers-First National Studios continued their suspension of James Cagney, red-haired star. Cagney has demanded a $2400 increase in salary despite the fact he was signed at $1600 a week on a long-term contract. The studio said his demands were “out of reason” and suspended him.
VON STERNBERG SNIFFS AT SMALL SUM SOUGHT
New York, April 28 (AP)
Josef von Sternberg, Hollywood’s striking film director, was a bit contemptuous to-day about the report that Paramount Studios had started preparations for a $100,000 damage suit against him.
“One hundred thousand dollars, is that all?” the director asked.
“I valued myself higher than that. I think they are trying to humiliate me by asking for so little.”
FIRED FILM HEAD STANDS BY STAR
Sternberg Says Marlene Dietrich Not To Be Ordered About; Other Jobs Open
New York, April 27 (AP)
Marlene Dietrich, German movie actress, “certainly is not going to be ordered about like a soldier in the army,” Josef von Sternberg, suspended Paramount director, declared this afternoon.
Neither is Von Sternberg, he implied.
As for what happened in Hollywood to cause the rebellion and so result in Sternberg and Miss Dietrich temporarily being among the unemployed, he explained succinctly:
“The story of Blonde Venus (the Dietrich film he was directing) was my own. The treatment was mine too. They didn’t like the treatment and made another; I didn’t like that. They ordered me to direct a treatment I didn’t like, and I wouldn’t.
Simple, isn’t it?”
Miss Dietrich sided with Von Sternberg and, when Richard Wallace was appointed substitute director, she didn’t show up for work in Hollywood yesterday.
As for contracts purported to enjoin the director from directing and the actress from acting for anybody else, he said:
“Yes, they threaten eternal excommunication, or something like that, if we go elsewhere. But I don’t think they can prevent it. And I don’t anticipate either of us will have any trouble.
At the Paramount offices, it was said that unless Von Sternberg made a move to confer with officials, there would be no development here. The problem is up to B. P. Schulberg, Paramount’s director in Hollywood. Meanwhile, salaries are not being paid.
Von Sternberg said he would be here a day or two to visit his parents on Long Island, and then would return to Hollywood “to play some golf.”
He expects to go back to work soon, he said.
A reference to damage suits brought last year by Von Sternberg’s divorced wife, Mrs. Ziga von Sternberg, naming Miss Dietrich defendant and charging libel and alienation of affections, he waved aside.
“Domestic difficulties? I haven’t any,” he said. “I was just a passive party to all that, you know.”
ACTOR AWARDED DIVORCE DECREE
Los Angeles, April 28 (AP)
After testifying that his wife, Mrs. Gladys Frazin Banks, actress, had formed a habit of disappearing for a day or more without explanation, Monty Banks, film actor, was granted a divorce today by Superior Judge Lester W. Roth.
Banks, who charged Mrs. Banks with cruelty, cited her disappearance from his home April 7 as one of the many acts of alleged cruelty.
“We looked everywhere but could not find her,” Banks testified. “We finally located her, five days later, at a friend’s home. Many times she was intoxicated when she returned home from one of her disappearances.”
LITA DENIES SHE’LL MARRY CARPENTIER
Seattle, Wash., April 28 (UP)
Reports that she would marry Georges Carpentier, boxer and actor, were denied here to-day by Lita Grey Chaplin, who said she was too busy in vaudeville to think about marrying any one.
The actress said she was not worried about Chaplin’s illness at Singapore, because she understood it was not serious.
SCREEN ACTRESS IS CONVALESCENT
Wife of William Powell to Resume Film Work
Hollywood, Calif., April 27 (AP)
Seriously ill for the last two weeks as the result of a nervous breakdown, Carole Lombard, screen actress and wife of William Powell, actor, was reported out of danger today.
Announcement she had passed the crisis in her illness was the first news given the public that she had been ill.
Miss Lombard denied she was having differences with Paramount studio over her next picture. She said the story provided for her, “Hot Saturday,” was being altered to conform with her wishes.
BARTHELMESS TAKES CUT
Hollywood, Calif., April 27
Warner Brothers-First National Studios announced today Richard Barthelmess has signed a new two-year contract calling for a 33 1/3 per cent cut in salary, although his actual earning power will not be decreased.
Barthelmess, a star nearly as long as any celebrity in Hollywood, formerly made two pictures a year receiving $150,000 for each picture. In the future, he will be paid $100,000 a picture, but he will make three pictures annually.
In announcing the contract, the studio said the actor was “one of the first in Hollywood to realize studio revenues had been affected by economic conditions and volunteered to reframe his contract to meet present-day emergencies.
ROGERS, LYON WILL FLY TO RENO MAY 28
Reno, Nev., April 28
Will Rogers and Ben Lyon, motion picture stars, will be among the passengers of a fleet of 15 airplanes to visit Reno Saturday, May 28, officials of the Reno Chamber of Commerce advised yesterday.
The squadron will make a country-wide tour, advertising the Olympic games at Los Angeles, and the visitors in their stop here will be guests at a luncheon.
CLARA BOW CONTRACTS TO PLAY IN FILMS AGAIN
Hollywood, Cal., April 28 (AP)
Absent from the screen for more than nine months, Clara Bow has signed a contract with the Fox film corporation for six months with a renewal option for a long-term contract.
Originally scheduled to re-enter films via the smaller, independent companies, Miss Bow was successful in obtaining the Fox contract which will pay her between $125,000 and $150,000 for each picture.
The red-headed actress has been in retirement since she left the screen about nine months ago after a breakdown, which followed a host of other troubles. Breaking off her film career at Paramount Studio, Miss Bow went to the Nevada ranch of Rex Bell, cowboy actor, for a long rest. They were married soon afterward.
DONALD COOK MOTOR CRASH VICTIM
Actor Painfully Cut In Accident
Donald Cook, film actor, is confined to his home as the result of injuries received when his auto crashed into a parked car. The esrstwhile leading man was painfully cut about the head.
BARBARA PUTS “SO BIG” IN BEST CLASS
Talkie Is Favorite With Miss Stanwyck
Hollywood, April 28 (AP)
Barbara Stanwyck claims no “sixth sense,” but declares she can predict whether or not a new picture of hers is to be good or not after she has worked in it three days.
A recent film in which she starred she has never seen and does not intend to see, even though she made personal appearances with it for six weeks.
“Why should I see it? After three days on the set I knew it was a mistake,” she says. “How? Just a feeling. You can sense it in the way the director works, in the attitude of the other members of the cast, of your own reactions.”
Miss Stanwyck is exceptionally critical of her own pictures. “Forbidden,” a generally popular film, she liked “only in parts,” but “So Big” is one of her favorites.
But is June Clyde laughing?
As one of 100 applicants for the lead part of a new picture not long ago, she was rejected by screen tester Thornton Freeland. And then, less than six months later, she got him for a husband! So now June, who is only 22, is doing fine in films.
Is she laughing!
From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, April 28
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio yesterday welcomed Marion Davies. She returned home after a vacation, ready to talk business on “Good Time Girl.” It’s a comedy, of course, and it seems fitting that Robert Montgomery should play the lead opposite her. Bob is an expert when it comes to playing these comedy parts.
Anita Loos has written the dialogue for Frances Marion’s story and it has moments that are as humorous as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The story might easily have been called “Two Blondes,” since two chorus girls are the central figures.
Someone asked Marion who ought to play the other girl. “Justine Johnston” was the answer, for it was Justine Johnston who was in the Ziegfeld chorus with Marion when they were struggling young actresses. Justine, however, has gone in for research work at Columbia University and has put the stage behind her.
Evalyn Knapp, the girl who broke her back and was out of pictures for some months, has obtained her release from First National. She said adieu to Warners one day and signed the next to play opposite John Breedon at Paramount.
That excellent comic, both off and on the screen, James Gleason, is on the Paramount lot. He is playing a part in George Bancroft’s “Challenger.”
Janet Gaynor and Charlie Farrell are back on the Fox lot after each having had a between-picture vacation. They had tests made and story conferences for “The First Year,’ their next picture, which goes into production next week.
Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random:
Hoot Gibson getting hundreds of reservations from the film crowd for his rodeo next week, one group taking a bus to drive there. Sally Eilers, home from New York, getting ready to help Hoot with his yearly event.
Joan Bennett and Ben Lyon studying dialog for their picture at Joan and Gene Markey’s dinner party. Alan Crosland, director of this Fox opera, a guest at the Markey’s. His wife, Natalie Moorhead, in pale blue.
Richard Barthelmess and Mike Curtiz getting together on the First National lot for Dick’s next.
Adolphe Menjou mentally saying a few things when he had to ride a horse on the Fox lot.
George Raft and a few friends trying all the rides at Ocean Park.
LAST MINUTE RIALTO NEWS –
By Chester B. Bahn
Grant Withers, once a picture comer, is leading an orchestra on a dance hall tour this summer.
The Marx’s “Horse Feathers” has stopped production due to Chico’s injuries in an automobile accident.
Not to be outdone by M-G-M’s Garbo publicity, Paramount is going in for some Dietrich tantrums – all in good fun, you may be assured.
Buddy Rogers is reported weary of New York and revues and is anxious to return to the Coast. It may be that he regrets being so hasty when Paramount ordered a salary cut or no new contract.
Florence Britton gets a good role in “Merrily We Go to Hell” supporting Fredric March and Sylvia Sidney.
“Good Earth,” as dramatized by Owen Davis and Son Donald from Pearl S. Buck’s novel, may be produced by the Theater Guild with M-G-M financial backing; the talkie rights would be a factor in the matter, of course.
Speaking of the Theater Guild and M-G-M, the studio again is negotiating with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne; the stars, however, are insistent upon the right to dictate story selection.
Billy West (remember him?) attempting a come-back in Chic Sales’ “Competition.”
Brian Aherne, legit actor, has rejected an M-G-M offer.
“Trick for Trick,” written by Shirley Warde, former stock actress, and Vivian Crosby and Harry Gribble, will be filmed by Fox; the studio paid $20,000 for the film rights… which is $6000 more than the rights to “Grand Hotel” cost M-G-M, if you’re interested.
Laurel and Hardy want $10,000 a week for personal appearances abroad this summer… Oh well, there’s no harm in wanting.
M-G-M will loan Margaret Perry to Radio to play opposite Joel McCrea in “The Most Dangerous Game.”
Genevieve Tobin goes to Columbia for the lead in “Hollywood Speaks.”
Warners have given Lee Tracy a term contract.
An old-timer who was the idol of feminine movie fans comes triumphantly back to the screen in “The Greeks Had a Word for Them,” Samuel Goldwyn’s United Artists production of Zoe Adkins comedy. He is Phillips Smalley, whose name the elder generation will at once recognize.
One of the infrequent cases of a film character actually impersonating a living character is embodied in Ralph Bellamy’s role in “Young America.” The actor plays the part of Judge Blake of the Juvenile Court, and models his portrayal on the characteristics and mannerisms of the real Judge Blake who presides over the Los Angeles Juvenile Court. Officials, serving as technical advisors on the picture, said the impersonation is remarkable.
Richard Arlen will make no more Westerns; his new Paramount contract guarantees that he shall not be cast in “horse op’rys.” Arlen, currently appearing in “Sky Bride,” has been loaned by his studio to Warners for “Tiger Shark” starring Edward G. Robinson. Warners are paying considerably more than the contract salary, and Dick will collect the difference as a bonus from Paramount.
Monday, August 9, 2010
CAGNEY, DIETRICH SUSPENDED BY FILM STUDIOS
Two of Movies Best Money Makers Facing Loss of Contracts
Hollywood, Cal., April 27 (AP)
Officials of two film studios girded their loins to-day for a court battle to get a decision in the clash of artistic temperament with studio executive authority.
Meanwhile, Marlene Dietrich, blonde German-born film star, and James Cagney, another screen star, were under suspension by their studios.
Miss Dietrich was suspended last night by the Paramount Studios because she refused to appear for work under a director other than Josef von Sternberg.
Von Sternberg last Saturday left Hollywood in a huff, declaring he considered the story provided for his next production unsuitable. He is now en route to New York, and is under suspension by Paramount Studios too.
Refuses To Appear
Miss Dietrich, siding in with the director, refused to appear at the studio where a substitute director, Richard Wallace, was to direct her. Her suspension followed.
The studio intimated to-day it would carry to the courts the fight for the authority to dictate to screen artists what pictures they are to appear in or direct.
The salaries of both Miss Dietrich and Von Sternberg were ordered stopped by the studio pending the outcome of the controversy.
Cagney was suspended by the Warner Brothers-First National Studios yesterday after he had demanded a $2400 weekly increase in pay. He had been signed under a long term contract at $1600 weekly.
The actor refused to appear at a premier showing of his most recent picture, scheduled for to-morrow night. He said he would leave Hollywood within a few days on a motor trip through the Canadian Rockies and later, perhaps, make a trip to Europe.
Cagney said unless his salary demands are heeded by the studio he will quit motion pictures and enter Columbia University to study medicine. His two brothers are physicians, he said.
No indication was given by the two studios what action they will take against the three artists under suspension, whether it will seek to have the contracts broken or if they will seek to have the agreements remain in force.
If the contracts are found legal and the studio is given the right to dictate to its artists and should the artists refuse to appear, they would be barred from other studios, according to an agreement made between leading producers of the film colony. The agreement is to the effect no studio will employ anyone who has broken his contract until the term of employment specified in it has run its course.
OUT OF DANGER
Hollywood, Cal., April 27 (UP)
Seriously ill for the past two weeks as the result of a nervous breakdown, Carole Lombard, screen actress and wife of William Powell, actor, was reported out of danger to-day. Announcement that she had passed the crisis in her illness was the first word given the public that she had been ill.
NORMA TALMADGE TO STAY MARRIED
Norma Talmadge, American screen star, who stated several days ago that when she obtains a divorce from Joseph M. Schenck, her film-producer husband, it will be in Reno, is now in Paris and has decided not to get a divorce at all, according to dispatches from Paris.
“You can say I have changed my mind about the divorce,” she said.
“I have talked to Mr. Schenck and decided that getting a divorce is too much trouble. So there will be no divorce.”
Miss Talmadge said she would remain in Europe for five or six months.
GARY COOPER BRINGS TROPHIES OF HUNT
Hollywood, April 27 (UP)
Gary Cooper returned to Hollywood today bringing with him a cargo of 60 mounted wild game species and a live baby chimpanzee, trophies of a hunting trip in Africa.
John Miljan, Myrna Loy and J. P. McGowan hold the championships for being the most prolific actor, actress and director respectively over the last five years. Their scores, compiled from Film Daily Year Book records, cover only feature pictures on which they were given screen credit.
Miljan has 55 pictures to his credit, an average of 11 annually for the five year period covered. Miss Loy, currently seen in “Vanity Fair,” is down for 45, an average of 9 yearly. McGowan, specializing in Westerns, not only directed 54 features but also appeared in 45 of them.
Only 20 players receiving screen credit appeared in an average of six or more features a year over the last five years.
From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, April 27
Joseph Schenck will have to find another Elizabeth Barrett for “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” Katharine Cornell has definitely made up her mind not to play the part in the screen version that she created so successfully on the stage.
A telegram was sent yesterday to Schenck in which Miss Cornell thanked him for his patience in waiting so long for her decision, but stated she would rather continue on the stage in the same play. Schenck’s agreement is such that if he doesn’t produce the play for United Artists himself it will revert to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He bought it with that understanding.
The Fox “gang” has been looking to see Clara Bow on the lot. I think I can say with truth that Clara will not start to make a picture until she has reduced. Sam Rork is sending a trainer to her Nevada ranch to get her back to the slender Clara of two years ago.
I won’t be difficult for her to reduce once she makes up her mind. It’s only the first few days that are difficult. Clara, thin again, will probably do “Call Her Savage” by Tiffany Thayer. That is the story that both Sam Rork and Richard Rowland have agreed upon, providing there is not too much money involved in its purchase.
It’s something to write a story and something else again to sell it. Clara Beranger and Forrest Halsey have authored many a yarn together and, curiously enough, they have never missed a sale since they collaborated.
Canal Boy is their latest joint effort. B. P. Schulberg bought it as soon as it was finished and he says it looks like a “natural” for Sylvia Sidney and Gary Cooper.
B. P. has had phones ringing , personal calls and telegrams on the Dietrich-Von Sternberg battle, published first in this column. He says it isn’t often any company will spend five weeks beyond schedule to be sure a story is right, and that’s what he did with “Blonde Venus.”
My two good friends, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, adopt a daughter in their next picture. I don’t know whether these two comics mean as much to you as they do to me, but every time I hear there is a Laurel and Hardy comedy being shown I put on the last year’s coat and bonnet and take myself to the theater.
Hal Roach tells me that these two consistently retain a great batting average at all the box offices.
I was particularly interested to hear that Anita Louise will play the lead in the next Laurel and Hardy comedy, an overseas picture where they fall heir to the daughter of a buddy. Hal Roach is one of the most interesting of the comedy producers. He sticks exclusively to comedy and does a mighty good job of it.
Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random:
Lilyan Tashman walking into the Brown Derby with one of those new saucer hats and giving the natives a treat.
Chico Marx, home from the hospital but still confined to the house.
Sally Eilers returned home with a whole trunk full of New York clothes.
Kay Francis getting a preview call the same night she was giving a party for fifty people. She went to the preview and let her husband, Kenneth McKenna, receive her guests. The guests admiring some excellent portraits of famous people done by Kenneth’s father.
Tallulah Bankhead taking another three months’ lease on William Haines’ house.
LAST MINUTE RIALTO NEWS –
Eddie Cantor’s “Kid from Spain” will be sans Technicolor to save $225,000.
Connie Bennett’s next for Warners will be “Two Against the World.”
Clarence Brown’s directorial contract will be extended two years by M-G-M.
Nina Cox Putnam has sold a third story to Universal. Called “Auto Camp” it will serve Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts.
Howard Phillips, after a year on the Fox payroll, has been set adrift.
Jeanette MacDonald is expected to desert Paramount to play the feminine lead in “Bitter Sweet” for Fox.
Paul Lukas’ first starring vehicle at Universal will be Louis Bromfield’s “No. 55”.
Madge Evans and M-G-M have kissed and made up, but it will cost the studio $250 more a week.
Two youngsters of little previous screen fame are given their first featured roles in “Young America,” Frank Borzage’s latest production. Tommy Conlon and Raymond Borzage, the latter a nephew of the director, share leading honors with Spencer Tracy, Doris Kenyon, Ralph Bellamy and Beryl Mercer in this new picture of modern home life.
Friday, August 6, 2010
CAGNEY WILL QUIT MOVIES, BE A PHYSICIAN
Row Over Salary Is Cause of His Decision
Hollywood, April 26 (UP)
An unsuccessful fight for a higher salary, added to his interest in medicine, has resulted in James Cagney, one of the fastest rising stars in motion pictures, to announce that he’s through with films.
Cagney, portrayer of “hard-boiled” parts, wants to become a physician.
He dreamed of a medical career while boxing, driving taxis, “hopping bells” in hotels, breaking into stock companies and becoming a film star. Now that he has some money saved and has been refused the salary he thinks he deserves, he figures he might as well begin studying toward a medical career.
Cagney jumped to instant success in “The Public Enemy,” a gangster film. His salary of $450 a week was raised, but when he watched the fan mail pour in after “Taxi” and appearing in other pictures, he figured he should receive just as much as William Powell, Ruth Chatterton and Edward G. Robinson, who are expected to have contracts calling for salaries of $7000 weekly.
Statistics showed he was second in popularity to Maurice Chevalier.
For weeks he wrangled with executives of Warner Brothers studio, without being awarded the increase he sought. Rather than back down on his demands, he decided to quit.
ZASU PITTS GIVEN DIVORCE DECREE
Los Angeles, April 26 (AP)
A divorce from Thomas S. Gallery, sportsman and assistant manager of the Hollywood American Legion boxing stadium, whom she charged with desertion, was granted to-day to Zasu Pitts, film actress, by Superior Judge Lester Roth.
A property settlement in which Miss Pitts was given the Los Angeles residence and custody of their child, Ann, 9, and an adopted child, Mike Gallery, 9, son of the late Barbara La Marr, film actress, had been effected out of court.
MARLENE, VON STERNBERG BALK AT CHOICE OF STORY
Hollywood, April 26 (INS0
Hollywood waited to-day to see if Marlene Dietrich, German film actress, would accede to the wishes of the Paramount Studio and film a picture without Josef von Sternberg as director.
Von Sternberg went “off pay” when he failed to appear to direct Miss Dietrich yesterday in a picture chosen by the studio and which he did not approve. He was reported en route to New York.
Miss Dietrich appeared at the studio, but did not go to work.
The director, Richard Wallace, who was assigned to replace von Sternberg, will be ready to “shoot” within four days.
Miss Dietrich has indicated she would not appear in the new picture and her attorney said she had not been formally notified of the company’s ultimatum.
“We shall sue Josef von Sternberg immediately to the full extent of our right in law and equity,” declared B. P. Schulberg, managing director of production for Paramount. “We have had the test forced upon us to determine whether employees drawing large sums weekly are in fact employees, or can do as they please.”
“If Miss Dietrigh likewise refuses to proceed under our instructions and allow Wallace to direct the new picture, we shall take all legal stops to protect our full rights.”
Von Sternberg walked off the lot in dissatisfaction over the story assigned to Miss Dietrich after one he had originated had been rejected by the studio.
OIL DEAL COSTS ACTRESS $500
Los Angeles, April 26
It’s no joke to lose $500 in times like these, even to Polly Moran, screen comedienne.
So the actress asserted when she appealed to the district attorney’s office to find a man whom she gave $500 for an asserted interest in an oil lease and the promise that he would establish the Polly Moran Oil Company.
Miss Moran says all the man did was take her money, and she didn’t think that was at all funny.
CHAPLIN DUE TO LEAVE HOSPITAL
Singapore, April 26 (UP)
Charles Chaplin, confined to hospital here by an attack of dengue fever, expected to be discharged today and to continue his tour of the Far East at the end of the week. He arrived here from Java with his brother, Sid Chaplin.
From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, April 26
The millionaire boy producer (Howard Hughes) is getting ready to make another “Hell’s Angels” only “this one,” says Howard with a smile, “won’t cost $3,000,000.” “It will be just as good, too,” he told me, “but you have to learn by experience.”
The second war number will be called “Zeppelin B-27” and Howard Hawks, who did such a notable job in “Scarface,” will direct it. All the characters will be German and the story will deal with German Zeppelins during the war.
I saw Howard just after he had had a look at “Scarface” at the midnight performance at the Paramount Theater. “How much did you cut from it?” I asked him. “We didn’t cut the version shown here at all,” he told me, “but we did add a few more scenes.”
Oh, dear, I get so confused hearing of all of these new girls in the movies. My dictionary only used to have the names of Gloria Swanson, Marion Davies, Norma Talmadge, Norma Shearer, Mary Pickford and the established stars.
Every day now someone hands me a new prospect. Polly Walters has just been passed on as playing an important role in “Is My Face Red?” “Don’t you know her?” I was asked. I had to confess my ignorance. She is the girl who played the telephone operator in “Five Star Final” and she did so well Radio bought her contract from Warners.
From Wood Soanes:
While the battle forces are being arrayed by the small independent chains who seem determined to make a “case” of the recent M-G-M method of distributing “Emma,” that organization has decided to road-show “Grand Hotel,” which won’t suit the down-town houses in the least.
The smaller houses were annoyed because “Emma” was almost sure-fire but, as in the case here, the larger houses were permitted to have exclusive rights. Now “Grand Hotel” having established itself with something of a smash in New York, is to be released not to the motion picture theaters but the legitimate.
This marks the first time since “Ben Hur” and “The Big Parade” that a production will have been presented in a hundred principal cities as a legitimate attraction, and the first time, so the M-G-M publicity bureau says, that any picture will be presented in “two-a-day” showing on so large a scale.
The first release was at the Astor in New York; the second is to be on April 29 at Grauman’s Chinese theater. After that a general release will be made.
The press department estimates that it will be almost a year before it is seen in any regular film houses. Just what the effects of this decision will be remains to be seen.
Of course, “Grand Hotel,” with an all-star cast and an expensive production may be able to stand up nicely under a two-dollar scale. M-G-M will soon know the answer.
EXITS AND ENTRANCES
John Barrymore, who does the Baron in “Grand Hotel,” is to play Somerset Maugham’s “Moon and Sixpence” for his second picture at Radio. Then he returns to M-G-M to resume his contract. Radio is about ready to release “State’s Attorney.”
Mae Marsh has been given a new one-picture contract by Fox and will be seen as “Aunt Jane” in “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” When “Over the Hill” was emerging from production, Fox was enthusiastic about Miss Marsh, but the box office returns were chastening.
Adolph Menjou has also been signed by Fox to play opposite Joan Marsh in “Fancy Free.” Neil Hamilton, who just finished “The Woman in Room 13” with Elissa Landi, goes to Constance Bennett to appear in “The Truth About Hollywood.
Newly arrived in Hollywood is Charles Laughton, leading character actor of London, who is to appear with Tallulah Bankhead and Gary Cooper. Until five years ago he was a hotel keeper; in his first six months on the stage he had six flops; and then, overnight, as the saying goes, he became famous.
Ernest Hemingway’s new novel, “The Sun Also Rises,” has been purchased by Radio for a stipulated sum of $16,000. It is designed for Constance Bennett, who may have Leslie Howard and Roland Young in her support.
There is talk that Gary Cooper may go to Columbia if Paramount doesn’t meet his salary ideas.
Johnny Mack Brown, once a screen star in the making, went to work at Monogram, an independent firm, the other day in a small role.