Sunday, January 29, 2012


Star Plays His Records on the Set All Day Long

A one-minute vignette of Joan Crawford who has the title role in “Letty Lynton”:

Born in San Antonio, Tex., golden brown hair… Blue eyes large and round…

Worked in department store… Then danced in chorus…

Has figure of a goddess… walks pigeon-toed… is strong in her likes and dislikes…

Always goes up to strange babies and talks to them… Goes to beach daily for sun tan…

Is critical of own work but sensitive to criticism… Has long mahogany colored nails… Favorite color all shades of blue…

Gets that way too sometimes…

Favorite singer Bing Crosby… Has all his records and plays them on the set all day…

Always adored Barbara La Marr but never knew her…

Never sits idle and makes hook rugs incessantly… Loves tennis and backgammon but hates bridge…

Has every dress made tighter… dislikes cheap jewelry and affected people… Loves dramatic roles best… Is petrified at own previews… Loves her home and changes furniture annually… Has pajamas by the hundreds…

Hates to be waited on by servants… has five… Is petrified at making personal appearances… Gets fan mail by the thousands… Loves to sit for photographs… Usually destroys most all…

Loves ice tea, tomato soup and corn flakes… Practices singing daily… Always loses her gloves…

People always try to sell her things… Pronounces been, “bean”… says thank you eternally… Drives a sharp bargain in business… Has enthusiasm of child… Hates to make plans;

Fears disappointments… Afraid of the dark.


By Dan Thomas
Hollywood, May 7

A girl who isn't afraid of losing her place in the movies!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is quite a statement – one that can be said of few in pictures, regardless of sex.

Consider for a moment what happens to a girl when she enters pictures. To begin with, if she is at all successful, she earns far more money than she ever could as a stenographer, bookkeeper or whatnot. She leads an exciting life. Result – after a taste of such a life she just can't go back to an ordinary dull existence and the thought is not a pleasant one.

After Year's Success

Cecilia Parker is one who is different. After a year of success – she has a contract and plays featured roles – Cecilia says:

“If anything should happen to make me drop out of pictures right now, I feel as though I would be much ahead of the game for the experience I've had,” the young actress told me. “Of course I hope to be able to carry on for some years yet. But there is no telling when one's picture life will come to an end. And when mine comes I won't cry – I will be glad to have had a taste of it.

Would Seek Office Job

“The first thing I would do if I were forced out of pictures would be to look for a job in an office. I believe that the poise and experience I have acquired in pictures would be of help to me in getting such a job, too. Poise is just as important in an office as anywhere else, although most girls don't seem to consider it so.

“Or I might get married. I expect to do that anyway when the right man comes along.”

Let's hope that Miss Parker's views on her screen career won't change. Our observation has been that actors and actresses die very hard and are miserable once their popularity starts to wane. To take Cecilia's attitude means pleasant years ahead.


Loretta Young, who will be seen next Tuesday in “Play Girl,” a Warner Brothers and Vitaphone production, has for four years worked steadily going from one play to another, and portraying a variety of characters which ranged from the pampered daughter of the rich to gangster's moll and Chinese flapper.

But in “Play Girl,” she portrays the mother of a baby for the first time.

It might not have seemed strange if Loretta had rebelled at the part, but she loves it. “I have always been unusually fond of babies,” she says. “When I was a child playing with dolls, they were always baby dolls. When I cut paper dolls, those too were small children, and they were usually from the colored advertisments of some popular magazine. Cute babies. Fat healthy babies. I loved them all, and pasted their pictures into a large, loose-leaf scrap book. I still cherish it and even today, when I see some extraordinarily appealing baby picture in a magazine, I cut it out and add it to my collection.”

The baby in “Play Girl” for which Loretta Young and Norman Foster act as parents is a tiny one, but gives every evidence of becoming a bouncing child.

Loretta, so the baby's mother said, handled it expertly.

Others in the cast of “Play Girl” are Winnie Lightner, Guy Kibbee, Noel Madison, Dorothy Burgess, Mae Madison, Nadine Dore, Aileen Carlisle and James Ellison. The director is Ray Enright.


Mrs. Clark Gable Almost Trampled On By Girls

By Dan Thomas
Hollywood (NEA)

Goings on about town: The premier of “Grand Hotel”... and why not with so many stars in the picture... Garbo, Joan Crawford, the Barrymore brothers, Wally Beery, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt...

Garbo and John Barrymore the only ones of the cast not present... Garbo never shows in public... and John had to go fishing... at least that's what Will Rogers said.

Rogers acted as master of ceremonies... thereby insuring success for that portion of the evening... he had one good crack... “Louis B. Mayer is a very close friend of President Hoover's – in fact, a few months ago he was about the only friend Hoover had.”

Plenty Of Big Lights

Just before the show went on it was announced that Garbo would appear in person to take a bow after the picture... and then Wally Beery came on garbed in a burlesque dress... it was very bad... the entire audience started to walk out on the stunt.

Never since the opening of “Hell's Angels” have I seen so many of those big lights in front of a theater... dozens of them... and what a list of who's who in the audience... Everyone in town who could scrape up a dress suit and the price of admission attended... of course young Doug was there with Joan Crawford... and making no attempt to conceal his pride in her...

Edmund Goulding and his wife also present... what a job of directing he did on the picture... he'll be writing his own ticket for a long time as a result of it.

Stars, More Stars

Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg, coming in late...

dozens of girls almost trampling on Mrs. Clark Gable in their frantic efforts to get Clark's autograph...

Jack Oakie doing his best to protect his mother from the crowd...

Karen Morley, all dressed in white, with Billy Bakewell... and pretty Gene Stratton looking almost like a painting in her black gown,

Constance and Joan Bennett, with their husbands, together as usual...

Jean Harlow, with the famous platinum tresses now red, causing everyone to look twice before recognizing her...

Bob Montgomery doing a stag act with Reginald Denny and Elliott Nugent and their wives... Mrs. Bob is in New York...

Dick and Jobyna Arlen wondering if football tactics might be of some use... Larry Olivier and Jill Esmond following right behind them.

Marlene With Hubby

Seldom have I seen so many men with their own wives... Marlene Dietrich with her husband... Al Scott wishing Colleen Moore was with him... but she's just a poor little working girl in the theater across the street these days...

everyone trying to get across the street to the Roosevelt at the same time after the show... and finding the exits too small... but arriving eventually... to stay as long as Harry Halstead and his gang can be persuaded to keep the music going.


At the opening in Los Angeles Friday night, April twenty-ninth, of the amazing picture “Grand Hotel,” Mr. Will Rogers, with his accustomed cleverness and verbal gracefulness, mentioned the actors in the play, one after another, and mentioned the director and the many whose names were on the program and some who were not.

All of these good people so complimented arose and bowed and basked in the spotlight and received the kindly plaudits of the audience.

One young man with a fine sensitive face and the fire of genius in his eyes, sat quietly unnoticed and unheralded throughout the entire evening.

And he was the one person who was mainly responsible for the marvelous success which everybody was enjoying on this wonderful occasion.

The actors were notable. No one denies them the credit which is their due, but if this or that actor had not played his part, some other actor would have been found to play it equally well.

Moreover, remarkably able as the director was and the scenario writer, too, still if these competent people had been absent, some other competent people could have been discovered to take their places.

But who can find another Irving Thalberg, the brilliant creative mind back of this great picture and so many other of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s splendid productions?

Perhaps only those who work with him fully appreciate what the genius of Irving Thalberg meant to “Grand Hotel” and what it means to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer institution and to the whole moving picture industry.

Mr. Thalberg has the admirable modesty of genuine merit, but next time we hope that this modesty will not prevent SOME mention and SOME spotlight and SOME proper recognition of the man who is the most interesting and the most significant figure on all such occasions.


Screen spectacle which passed out with the coming of the talkies may be seen in all its glory with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's return showing of “Ben-Hur,” conceded to be the most spectacular film in the world.

The picture, in which Ramon Novarro plays his greatest role, is now augmented with sound effects and will be shown at the Orpheum theater for two days, starting Tuesday.

“Ben-Hur” was directed by Fred Niblo, and the history of its three years in the making both in Italy and California, at a cost of four million dollars, is a real life odyssey of enterprise and adventuring, culminating with the completion of the gigantic Antioch circus and race course and the filming of the great chariot race between the Jew, Ben-Hur, and the Roman, Messala.

Increases Realism

The addition of sound makes the spectacular nature of these gigantic scenes even more vivid and impressive for in the chariot scenes the audience is now able to hear the thrilling cheers of the spectators. The effect of sound is again made apparent in the terrific sea battle in which the shouts of the wounded make for an alarming realism.

General Lew Wallace wrote “Ben-Hur” half a century ago and its success as a novel was followed in 1899 by its dramatization. The stage spectacle has since become known as the most widely produced offering in the world and the fact that no year goes by without a production of the spectacular Wallace drama in some country or other has given it the title of the world's most immortal story.

Among scenes which current talkies cannot duplicate are those of the Wise Men and the Star of Bethlehem, Jerusalem under Roman occupation, the amazing sea battle between Greeks and Romans, the brilliant chariot race, the hero's assembling of his Galillean legions, the finding of his mother and sister in the valley of the lepers and the miraculous healing wrought by the Divine Power. Many of the scenes are done in color.


Amanda said...

What fun bits of info about the lovely Joan Crawford.

GAH1965 said...

I wonder if she and Bing Crosby ever became friends, or moved in the same circle.

VKMfanHuey said...

...I picked up on the tennis 'like'... hmmm...wonder if she and Ginger ever met on the court...

Great stuff, as usual '65 !!!

You could form all this stuff into a wickedawesome book! but heck, I guess that's more or less what a blog is, right?



daveplomin said...

Parts of Ben Hur were shot in color?! How did I miss that? Too bad those segments are probably lost forever...