JOAN CRAWFORD EXTORTION PLOT PROVES TO BE SCARE
Hollywood, Calif., May 7
Joan Crawford, celebrated screen star, was greatly relieved to-day to learn that she had not been a victim of an extortion plot.
After questioning a mysterious eastern youth who had sought an appointment with the screen star, police announced he had been released when they had determined there had been no attempt on his part to extort money from Miss Crawford.
Advised of this fact, Miss Crawford determined to drop the case.
POLA NEGRI SAYS SHE WILL WED IN SUMMER
Cleveland, O., May 7 (UP)
Pola Negri, film star, confirmed reports upon arrival in Cleveland today for a vaudeville engagement, that she will be married either in July or August.
She declined to reveal her prospective husband's name although she declared he was an American and had been married before.
NANCY CARROLL AND STUDIO SETTLE ROW
Hollywood, Calif., May 7 (INS)
Although unconfirmed by the Paramount studio today, friends of Nancy Carroll, film actress, said she had patched up her differences with Paramount and would receive a salary of $1000 a week without bonuses hitherto given her.
The studio also was said to have promised her better stories.
ANN HARDING LEAVES RENO
Reno, Nev., May 7 (INS)
Within 24 hours after she had arrived in Reno by airplane, Ann Harding, blonde screen star, was zooming back to Hollywood today with Reno’s “friendliest” divorce decree.
Two hours after her “love” divorce decree had been granted from Harry Bannister, her actor husband, Miss Harding, after bidding her erstwhile husband an affectionate farewell, sped away in her trim green speed monoplane in which she had made the journey here from Hollywood.
For several minutes before her plane left, Miss Harding and Bannister walked about the airport holding hands and seemingly loath to part. Finally, after an affectionate embrace, she started her journey back to filmland where her meteoric rise in pictures wrecked their “ideal marriage.”
ETHEL CLAYTON PLEA FAILS
Los Angeles Judge Rules She Must Accept Divorce Decree
Los Angeles, May 7 (AP)
Ethel Clayton, film actress, must accept the divorce decree awarded her from Ian Keith, actor, even if she does not want it.
Miss Clayton, to whom the decree was granted some time ago, later decided she did not want it. She said she wanted separate maintenance only until she received $4500 under a property settlement and petitioned to set aside the decree.
Superior Judge Dudley Valentine yesterday ordered the divorce decree regularly docketed in the County Clerk's office. Attorneys for Mr. Keith had requested the action.
MARY ASTOR SAILS FOR SOUTH SEAS
Los Angeles, May 7 (AP)
Bearing Mary Astor, film actress and her husband, Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, Hollywood physician, the 35-foot yacht Henrietta sailed today for a cruise of the South Seas.
Prior to its return in August, the yacht will be put in a Honolulu Harbor for the birth of an infant to the couple.
SENNETT DROPS DIRECTION OF CHARLES MACK FEATURE
Hollywood, May 7
Mack Sennett has withdrawn from direction of the Charles Mack feature, which was a Moran and Mack picture until Moran dropped out of the cast. He will engage a director and be content with supervision.
NILS ASTHER GETS PASSPORT, RETURNS
Tijuana, Mexico, May 7 (INS)
Nils Asther, Swedish motion picture actor, has returned to Hollywood today after being detained in Mexico for 10 days because of failure to bring his American passport with him, officials announced. The passport was sent him from Hollywood and Asther left at once. He passed the time fishing in Ensenada.
DOLORES DEL RIO RETURNS TUES.
After an absence of two years, owing to illness, Dolores Del Rio returns triumphantly to the screen in a glamorous role. The star makes her belated celluloid appearance in RKO-Radio Pictures' “Girl of the Rio.”
Featured with her is Leo Carillo, rapidly becoming an outstanding screen star.
Miss Del Rio's appearance is a fortuitous one in that she selected a story which affords in plot structure, atmosphere and treatment a fit setting for her talents as an actress.
She plays the role of “The Dove,” who is forced by circumstances to dance and sing in a riotous cafe just across the border from the United States.
DOROTHY JORDAN DEVELOPS INTO CAPABLE ACTRESS
Evolves from “Just a Sweet Little Southern Girl”
The evolution of Dorothy Jordan from “Just a Sweet Little Southern Girl” into a young lady beginning to show talent as an actress has required about three years of hard and steady work.
She went to Hollywood originally under contract to Fox, which then was signing all the promising stage people it found as well as many who showed little promise. After a brief trial, Dorothy was judged to be of the latter group and was released.
Her uncertainty and humiliation were relieved by a self-sought role in “The Taming of the Shrew,” and after her first picture with Ramon Novarro at M-G-M she was placed under contract – still a sweet little Southern girl.
Since then, Fox, the studio that turned her down, has been borrowing her, notably for “Young Sinners” and more for “Down to Earth” with Will Rogers.
In the interim Dorothy, as sweet as ever but less naïve, has begun to develop as an actress. She considers one of her best roles that of "The Roadhouse Murder.”
STEAKS HOLD GERMAN MOVIE STAR IN U. S.
New York, May 7 (AP)
Dita Parlo, German movie star, likes to watch Americans eat steaks. And she likes the steaks, too, especially the New York night club thick kind.
She mimicked the method today, with vigorous motions of teeth and hands.
She likes them so well, she confided, she deliberately missed three Bremen-bound liners and began giving this city as her permanent address.
JOAN BENNETT WANTS MILLIONS
No greater tribute can be paid to the romantic theme of “She Wanted a Millionaire,” the Fox photoplay which marks the first screen appearance of 1932 of Joan Bennett, than the fact that five members of its cast were caught in the web of cupid during the making of the picture.
In the picture, Miss Bennett marries James Kirkwood and as the film ends she is shown preparing to marry her co-star Spencer Tracy. At the same time that she was portraying these screen romances Miss Bennett was enacting a real life romance and before completion of the picture she announced her engagement to Gene Markey, the writer.
James Kirkwood, too, had an affair of the heart and returned to the studio one day with a new bride, Miss Beatrice Powers, the young woman you will see in the beauty contest sequence of the picture as Miss Germany.
IT TOOK FILMS TO MAKE HERBERT A TRAMP
“The movies made a tramp of me!”
Hugh Herbert is not the only actor singing that song – only he means it differently.
Since Hugh deserted his typewriter for the grease paint at RKO Radio Pictures' studio he has played a tramp in five different productions – beginning with the railroad hobo in “Danger Lights.”
In “The Lost Squadron,” he shares hobo honors with Richard Dix and Joel McCrea. They play three returned aviators who “ride the rods” to Hollywood and become stunt flyers.
HIS ENNUI MADE COOK AN ACTOR
Sheer ennui made an actor of Donald Cook, former stock favorite, now seen in “The Trial of Vivienne Ware.”
He might have been a banker. In Portland, Ore., his home town, he started out as a clerk in his uncle's bank, doing the jobs most young bank clerks do. It bored him, irritated him besides because he felt that no matter what he accomplished, it would be attributed to his relationship to the head of the bank.
One day he left, bound for New York. It took him three years to get there. En route he worked at whatever he could find. He got jobs in stockyards, in lumber camps, in a business college, sold vacuum cleaners and mincemeat and other commodities, and all the time got nearer his goal.
In Kansas City, working by day, he played parts in community theater at night. A year later he was on Broadway, and his troubles were over. He has been “at liberty” rarely since.
About two years ago he came to Hollywood, partly to visit relatives on the coast, principally at the call of romance. His marriage to Frances Beranger, step-daughter of William DeMille lasted briefly. “We didn't hit it off” is his only comment.
GEORGE BARBIER IS AGAIN CAST WITH MAURICE CHEVALIER
George Barbier, jolly king of “The Smiling Lieutenant,” is a member of the cast of a Maurice Chevalier starring picture for the third time in his brief film career. He was one of the first actors to be assigned a featured part in “One Hour With You,” when casting staff made their selections.
It was in Chevalier's “The Big Pond” that Barbier made his film debut while working on the Broadway stage.
Since signing a picture contract following his appearance in “The Smiling Lieutenant,” Barbier has appeared in five Hollywood productions: “Twenty Four Hours,” “Girl About Town,” “Touchdown,” “No One Man,” and “Intimate,” all within four months.
His rapidly increasing list of films gives promise of a screen record comparable to that he held on the stage in playing more than 750 roles.
“One Hour With You” also has Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin, Charlie Ruggles and Roland Young predominantly cast.
ZITA JOHANN, HUNGARIAN BEAUTY, MAKES FILL DEBUT IN “STRUGGLE”
Actress Was Theater Guild Leading Lady When Only 19
Zita Johann, who makes her cinema debut in D. W. Griffith's “The Struggle” was born in Hungary, but came to the United States as a child of nine. Her father was an officer in the Hungarian Hussars, and in her childhood was stationed at the sizeable city of Temesvar, in the should of Hungary.
At 19, she became one of several leading women to Basil Sidney in the first road tour repertory company the Theater Guild sent out. Only a brief experience in stock had preceded this. George Bernard Shaw's “The Devil's Disciple,” Leonid Andreyev's “He Who Gets Slapped” and Ibsen's “Peer Gynt” were included in the repertoire.
Followed a succession of stock engagements, interspersed with metropolitan and road engagements. Nineteen twenty-seven brought a long road tour in “The Cradle Song,” the play from the Spanish, which Eva Le Gallienne had produced with her Civic Repertory Company in New York.
In the fall of 1928 she appeared in a play of Tennessee rural life called “Rope.” Then came her selection by Arthur Hopkins to create the heroine in Sophie Treadwell's “Machinal.”
This play had its New York premier early in September, 1928. The critics proclaimed her a new-found genius of tragedy. Then the films beckoned. The young actress went to Hollywood – there to remain for six months without playing a part or making even one scene. She returned to New York and was playing in “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” when signed by Griffith.
PARAMOUNT HAS 'MIRACLE MAN'S' TALKIE VERSION
Only Half of Principals in Silent Film Are Remembered
Only half of the six leading players in the silent production of “The Miracle Man” 13 years ago are remembered by the general public today.
It is easily remembered that Betty Compson, Thomas Meighan and Lon Chaney worked in the original film, for they soon rose to stardom as the result of their marvelous portrayals.
Today, in the Paramount's talking version those parts go to Sylvia Sidney, as the girl crook, Chester Morris as the leader of the group and John Wray as the Frog, a fake cripple.
In the original film, Frankie Lee appeared as the crippled boy; Joseph Dowling as the patriarch and Monte Dumont as the pickpocket, parts which are now played respectively by Robert Coogan, Hobart Bosworth and Ned Sparks.
Of the original sextet, Miss Compson and Meighan are still film favorites, Chaney and Dowling are dead, Dumont plays character roles under the name John Dumont and Frankie Lee, grown up, no longer acts.
George Loane Tucker, director of the silent film, is dead.
Others who worked under Tucker's guidance in 1919 included W. Lawson Butt, Elinor Fair, F. A. Turner and Lucille Hutton. Their places in the new version are filled by Lloyd Hughes, Virginia Bruce, Frank Darien and Florine McKinney.
Boris Karloff also has a role in the Paramount's film, but who first created the part for the screen is unknown today.
GRAND HOTEL BOASTS FIVE STARS
“Grand Hotel,” Metro-Goldwyn’s most ostentatious production, is playing at the State theater this week, in the first road show engagement since the inception of talking pictures. Two shows daily are being presented, with all seats reserved.
“Grand Hotel” boasts probably the most imposing cast that has yet appeared in any single photoplay.
The five most prominent roles in the new film are played by Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore.
Miss Garbo, now working in “As You Desire Me” at Culver City, plays Grusinskaya, the dancer. John Barrymore is the baron with whom she falls in love, and Wallace Beery has the role of Preysing, a German financial speculator. Miss Crawford plays Flaemmchen, a stenographer, and Lionel Barrymore has the much-discussed role of Kringelein.
Other roles are filled by Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, Purnell Pratt, Rafaelo Ottiano, Tully Marshall, Frank Conroy, Edwin Maxwell, Ruth Selwyn, and Kathryn Crawford.
In cinematic form, “Grand Hotel” was made under the direction of Edmund Goulding.
GANG PICTURE COMING FRIDAY
Howard Hughes has a bodyguard, an ex-Texas ranger, since the threat of gangland was directed at him during the filming of “Scarface.”
The fact is now revealed for the first time. One of his friends in Houston let the “beans out of the bag” last week in that city to a newspaper reporter there. It will be recalled that newspapers over the country several months ago carried stories about the message of one of Al Capone’s emissaries to the young producer, saying that the “big boy” wanted to see the picture before it was released.
“He can just put his money down on the line at the box office,” Hughes officially answered the man.
Throughout the filming of the gangland story, which makes no secret about being based on the life of Al Capone, two gangsters were seen around the studio. It was this which caused the bodyguard for young Hughes to be rushed to the coast. He insisted upon a Texas man, as a precaution against any possible connection with the underworld gang whose threat hung over his head.
Hughes is now reported to be somewhere between Bermuda and Texas, his Texas ranger bodyguard with him.
For awhile, he has left the litigation involving the release of “Scarface” behind him, and is preparing to return to Hollywood, defying the wishes of the censor board of the state of New York to change the final scenes in the picture before it can be released in that state. Hughes is going to release it, and fight the censor boards through injunctions in every town in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, in which it plays.
Scarface will be played at the Empire theater starting Friday, in the original version as produced by Hughes. It has just finished an engagement in New Orleans, in the original version, where reports say it has broken the records established by “Hell’s Angels.”
Hughes himself describes the picture as “a gang picture to end gang pictures.”
RADIO TRICKS SHOWN IN FILM
Mysteries of radio sound effects and the modus operandi of storms, bridge crashes, racing horses and other incidentals to broadcasted drama prove excellent comedy material for “Are You Listening?” an unusual picture laid in the atmosphere of a national broadcasting station. The film is based on the widely-read J. P. McEvoy radio story.
The “applause machine” with which handclaps are manufactured to create applause in the right spots in the broadcasts of musical numbers, the “thunder chute” in which cannonballs are rolled down a wooden frame to reproduce the roar of a storm, the “wind whistle” with which artificial gales are created – are all worked by actual radio broadcast experts in order to make the scenes as authentic as possible.
Some of their secrets are peculiar, as, for instance, the crashing of timbers, which is reproduced by breaking matches two inches from the microphone.
TWO PICTURES, VAUDEVILLE AT STRAND
Janet Gaynor, whose latest production, “Delicious,” comes to the Strand theater Sunday for three days, proves again that she is the exception to the “luxury and wealth” rule of the movies. In this picture, in which she is co-starred with Charles Farrell, she is again most appealing as the pathetic little figure surrounded by poverty and squalor through which her innate goodness and charm shine brightest.
The story of “Delicious” is consistent with this characteristic of Miss Gaynor except that her occupation is a little more than ordinarily unusual. She is, of all professions, a marmalade girl. Or was, before embarking in the steerage of a giant liner to sail for America to find a home with an uncle in Idaho.
Buck Jones, popular screen star, is the hero of the outdoor drama, “Ridin’ for Justice,” which is the second feature attraction on this program.
“Ridin’ for Justice” was directed by D. Ross Lederman.
Five acts of vaudeville headed by Bob (“Speed”) Myers as master of ceremonies, completes the bill.
CHIC SALE FILM RETURNS THURSDAY TO PALACE THEATER
“The Expert,” which comes to the Palace theater Thursday, presents in the leading roles two actors who were hits in “The Star Witness” – Charles (“Chic”) Sale and diminutive Dickie Moore.
Edna Ferber, author of the story, expressed great satisfaction with the choice of the team of Sale and Moore as the inseparable pals of the heartwarming drama. The lovable, if opinionated, old man who finds himself out of place in the city home of his married son and the waif who finds himself out of place everywhere constitute the roles played by Chic and Dickie respectively.
Lois Wilson, Earle Foxe, Noel Francis and Elizabeth Patterson are seen in the large cast.
THE BIG TIMER AT EMPIRE WEDNESDAY
A very human story of youth, its ambitions and disillusionments, its set-backs and come-backs is told in “The Big Timer,” the picture coming to the Empire theater Wednesday for a three-day engagement. It reaches greatness through its simplicity, sincerity and understanding.
Ben Lyon portrays the character of Cooky Bradford with a vitality and sympathy that make you like him even when he is being his dumbest, for, though Cooky is a wise guy, hi isn’t as smart as the girl who stands back of him.
Eddie Buzzell, directing his first feature, has made a very real picture. Thelma Todd is alluring as the Park avenue siren and various other colorful characters are cleverly interpolated.
LEW AYRES COMING TO MAJESTIC SOON
Lew Ayres will soon be welcomed back to the RKO-Majestic theater as co-star with Mae Clarke in “Night World,” hailed as an intimate expose of the “café racket” and the little-known but exciting activities of the people who live by it.
Supporting roles are enacted by Boris Karloff, Dorothy Revier, Dorothy Peterson, Hedda Hopper and Clarence Muse.
HARRY CAREY IN PLAZA PICTURE
Harry Carey will be back in the saddle at the Plaza theater again Sunday for a two-day stay in town in the role of a U. S. Cavalry officer in “Cavalier of the West,” the first feature production he has made since his return from Africa, where he went to play the starring part in “Trader Horn.”
“Cavalier of the West” is the first of a series of eight romantic melodramas that Carey will make for Weiss Brothers Artclass Pictures corporation. “Roped” is the second.
Lew Cody, veteran star of the screen, heads the cast of Tiffany Productions’ newspaper drama, “X Marks the Spot,” scheduled to show at the Plaza theater Sunday and Monday.
The producers have assembled a strong supporting cast with a comparative screen newcomer, Wallace Ford, in the principle supporting role.
Sally Blane has the leading feminine role, while the dependable Fred Kohler, for years under contract to Paramount, is the heavy spot.
MURDER MYSTERY COMING TO MAJESTIC NEXT SATURDAY
A murder that shocked the nation, “The Famous Ferguson Case,” is the new First National feature picture coming to the Majestic theater Saturday for a four-day engagement. It will get a peep into the real world behind the scenes of newspaper making, such as has never before been granted to the army of newspaper readers.
Joan Blondell plays the central role in “The Famous Ferguson Case,” She is assigned to write “sob stuff” for her sheet about the dreadful affair at Cornwall when the wealthy banker, Mr. Ferguson of New York, was found murdered under circumstances which point the finger of suspicion directly at Mrs. Ferguson and her close friend, Judd Brooks.
YOUNG, LILY IN RKO COMEDY
The comedy romance of a “just pretend” bride and her bachelor groom on a “make believe” honeymoon, “This Is the Night,” is featured this week at the RKO-Majestic theater.
Featured in the role of the synthetic bride is Lily Damita. She is ably supported by a cast that includes Charlie Ruggles, Roland Young, Thelma Todd and Cary Grant, a new and handsome screen hero.
In “The Is the Night,” Lily Damita is a beautiful but “broke” French actress who is engaged by Charlie Ruggles to pose as the wife of Roland Young, who has been caught in a gay mood with Thelma Todd, the wife of Cary Grant. Ruggles reasons that Grant’s suspicions will be allayed when he sees Young is very attentive to his own wife.
Complications arise when Young and Lily Damita are forced to join Grant and his wife on a vacation trip to Venice. Hilarious comedy situations arise as the synthetic bride and groom share the same sleeping compartments and later when they share the same hotel suite.
Thelma Todd becomes almost uncontrollably jealous when she observes that not only her bachelor friend, Roland Young, is falling in love with Lily Damita, but her husband and Charlie Ruggles, too. These complications resolve in a cyclone of farcial predicaments that end merrily.
The “Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth, heads the program of short film features in the first of his series of sport reel titles, “Slide, Babe, Slide.”
Other short subjects are the Frank McHugh newspaper comedy, “Extra- Extra,” and the RKO-Pathe News.