Wednesday, August 4, 2010

April 25, 1932


Actress and Fourth Industry Fight “Battle of Century”

By Chester B. Bahn - April 25, 1932
Although you may look in vain for a mention of the fact in the display copy prepared by Harry F. Shaw for Loew’s current show, one of the concluding rounds in what I like to consider Hollywood’s own “Battle of the Century” is being fought on the stage this week.

The principals in this unheralded bout are Miss Alice White, who weighed in at 90 pounds, and the more corpulent Fourth Industry of Elder Will Hays.

No world’s champion belt, diamond studded, but something which she deems more valuable still is the prize for which Miss White contends. In a word, it is vindication.

Months ago, the Fourth Industry, through the medium of her own studio, told the petite blonde who had climbed the financial ladder from the $35 a week rundle to that tagged $2000, “You’re through here, here’s your make-up box and don’t slam the studio gate.”

Why? Well, that wasn’t exactly clear. I mean the real reason.

For purposes of publication it was more than merely hinted Miss White’s screen vogue was over; her fan clientele allegedly had deserted. There is, of course, a different explanation to be found somewhere in Hollywood.

Perhaps Alice was too frank; there are those in Hollywood who “can’t take it.” Or maybe someone thought $2000 a week was too much for a young woman who had been a script girl at $35.

At any rate, Miss White walked the plank and the Fourth Industry assumed that was that.

Only it wasn’t. The uncomplimentary gossip which resulted rankled, did more, burned until Alice determined to be “hot from Hollywood” via a transcontinental personal appearance tour. It was her way of challenging the industry to a grudge fight – filmdom’s unadvertised but none the less real “Battle of the Century.”

One of the concluding rounds, as I have said, is taking place on the stage this week, and if you don’t think the Industry is taking a swell licking, you don’t know show business.

Indeed, no less than three of the boys in the Industry’s corner are for tossing in a sponge in the guise of a contract, but Alice insists the fight must go the scheduled full number of rounds.

That means three more weeks of trouping for the actress, with the remaining rounds set for Akron, Youngstown and Cincinnati. Then, with the assured decision and vindication, Miss White will return to Hollywood and talk business with one of the three interested studios.

But – and on this point Miss White is emphatic – her starring days are over; only the security that is a featured player’s will content her.

Alice, you see, has lived and learned.


By Richard C. Wilson
Hollywood, Cal., April 25 (UP)

A new fad has hit Hollywood’s movie colony.

The latest vogue of the film celebrities promises to keep that venerable old bird – Dr. Stork – hovering over this vicinity for some time. The most recent announcement, that of Helen Twelvetrees, one of the screen’s prettiest stars, will bring the bird of a visit in October.

Hollywood, to the observer, is just one fad after another. Most of the fads are started by popular screen stars. Just who popularized the current “blessed event” vogue was a subject for debate around the studios today.

The “baby fad” first attracted attention among the movie folk several months ago when Wallace Beery let his fondness for children be known by adopting a small boy.

Neil Hamilton adopted a youngster. Pickfair, the magnificent estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, became accustomed to the patter of small feet when Mary and Doug took Lottie Pickford’s children to raise.

There was a time when actresses of the screen shunned public mention of their children. It was believed that movie fans preferred not to know that their favorite vampire was the mother of a husky young son or daughter.

That theory has been dispelled. The anticipated “blessed events” are heralded months in advance. One wag of the studios has suggested organization of a club to be known as the Boasting Brotherhood of Proud Papas.

The pretty daughter of Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon, now almost a year old, is almost as popular as her well known parents. She frequently accompanies her mother on shopping trips.

Diminutive Bessie Love, wife of William Hawks, Los Angeles broker, specially posed for newspaper photographers the other day with her seven week old daughter.

John Miljan, a recent arrival to the film colony, became the happy father of a son last week and his friends say the buttons on his vest won’t stand the strain much longer.

Sue Carol is expected here in a few days to await the stork’s arrival, and her actor-husband, Nick Stuart, is receiving the congratulations of his friends.

Mary Astor has temporarily abandoned the screen to go with her husband, Dr. Franklin Thorpe, to Honolulu to await a “blessed event” in August.

Dolores Costello and John Barrymore, already proud parents of a daughter, have let it be know the stork is expected at their home again this year.


Hollywood, April 25
Although James Dunn received two fractured ribs in the studio boxing scene with Tom Moore, professional boxer, production on “Society Girl” will not be delayed. Dunn expects to be back on the job in about 10 days.


Donald Cook, former stock favorite, and now a Hollywood featured player, recently moved into a very secluded house – at the suggestion of his neighbors.

You see, Don plays an accordion and sometimes chooses rather late hours for this pastime. Those in the neighborhood who didn’t snore loudly enough to drown out the accordion objected and suggested to Don that he move. He did – into a house where he has no neighbors.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Edmund Goulding has got himself talked about these last few weeks in New York and other places. Critics in the big town handed him words of praise for his direction of “Grand Hotel.” His next picture, “Good-Time Girl,” is, therefore, of great interest.

Perhaps you won’t recognize this as the chorus girl story written for Marion Davies by Frances Marion. Many changes have come to Marion’s story since it was first conceived. Sprightly, gifted Anita Loos has written the dialog and Marion herself contributed some excellent episodes herself from her own experiences.

There is plenty of comedy, plenty of it, and when it is completed, it should be a chorus girl yarn that is different. We really have never had a good chorus girl picture.

One of the most popular radio numbers to-day is “Myrt And Marg,” and it is attracting wide attention. There is something fascinating about backstage life if it is done convincingly.

That little salary discussion between Genevieve Tobin and Universal is still in the air, so to speak. Meanwhile, Miss Tobin, who distinguished herself as a comedienne in “One Hour With You,” isn’t sitting home knitting. She is listening to offers and today she put her name on a Columbia contract to play the lead in “Hollywood Speaks,” with Eddie Buzzell directing.

That energetic young man Harry Cohn wanted a big name for this picture, for which he has great hopes. Madge Evans, originally sought for the part, has not yet signed her new contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer so she is not available.

Noo Yawk is a grand place to go to in any event. That is what Clarence Brown thought when he decided to take his vacation there, and incidentally to see a few shows and have a good time on the strength of that new contract he just signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clarence will take with him a print of “Letty Lynton,” Joan Crawford’s latest picture, and there is a chance he may go to Europe before he comes back to Hollywood to make his next picture.

Speaking of Joan Crawford, she slipped into town quietly a day or so ago. So eager was she to keep the news of her return quiet that she made an appointment to meet Lewis Milestone in Jim’s Beauty Parlor. In the booth Joan and Milly talked over “Rain” and made plans to film it.

Joan leaves shortly for Catalina, where outdoor scenes will be filmed.

Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random:

A.E. Matthews, English actor, and Lionel Atwill, who also hails from Dear Old England, talking about the traditions of the theater at the Lionel Barrymore dinner.

John Barrymore looking incredibly young and as happy as a school boy, at Mrs. Lionel’s farewell party, with his wife. A group of young women whose names I won’t tell, cornering Lionel and asking him about Greta Garbo.

Kay Francis in brown lace with low back, arriving after dinner with Kenneth McKenna. The Edmund Gouldings and the David Selznicks also coming on from another dinner party.

Lilyan Tashman, wearing a new ruby ring and ruby and diamond bracelet, in an ivory satin made very low. Mrs. Sartoris, her house guest, and Alice Glazer in an intense game of backgammon. William Haines escorting Alice to dinner. Tom Douglas, young and blond, paying attention to Mrs. Sartoris.


Jill Esmond will be seen with Irene Dunne in “Thirteen Women.” Irene, incidentally, is currently seen in “Symphony of Six Million.”

Sally Blane, in “X Marks the Spot,” is a sister of Loretta Young and Pollyann Young, both screen players.

She was born in Salida, Col., and educated at the Ramona convent in Alhambra, Cal. She entered the movies through Wesley Ruggles who saw her in a restaurant and engaged her for a part.

Her first appearances were in the “Collegiate” series for Universal.

At last, after many years of waiting, Harold Lloyd is going to Europe. He plans to leave shortly after the Olympic games to gather first-hand knowledge on the advisability of filming part of his next picture over there.

Lionel Barrymore and Phillips Holmes, preparing to rehearse a scene in “Broken Lullaby” at the Paramount Hollywood studios, looked up as director Ernst Lubitsch brought a couple of men to their table on a German restaurant set.

“These are the waiters; they bring you beer and take your order,” explained Lubitsch.

“Haven’t I met you gentlemen before?” Holmes asked the rotund pair.

When the actors laughed and spoke, Holmes recognized them as Harry Schultz, who dragged him into the courtroom, handcuffed, to be tried for murder in “An American Tragedy,” and Russ Powell, the coroner in Paramount’s picturization of the Dreiser novel.


It takes a lot of sand to wear this costume, which is ninety per cent cellophane. The other ten per cent is bathing suit. It’s the newest fad at Malibu Beach, play-spot of the Hollywood film colony.

June Clyde is shown in a cellophane wrapper keeping her schoolgirl complexion nice and fresh. Under the cellophane, so they say, the skin receives all benefits of ultra-violet sun rays producing tan without sunburn. Save the surface and you save all.


Amanda said...

Good gravy! I find it difficult to believe that that cellophane treatment works. Imagine how damaging that could be on the skin. Yikes!

billy said...

Wallace Beery, a fondness for children? lol. Edmund Goulding sure did like Good-Time Girls! thanks

GAH1965 said...

Billy - have you seen this blurb about Beery posted in IMDB? Makes me wish I knew more about his personal life.

"In December of 1939, right after divorcing his second wife, Beery adopted a seven-month-old girl, Phyllis Anne, as a single father. There was never any mention of the baby after that, including in his obituary."

Amanda - I think there's a very good reason why we're no longer wrapping ourselves in cellophane at the beach!