Thursday, February 5, 2009


New York, March 14, 1932

Ronald Colman stole into Hollywood by the back door last week, coming from Shanghai with so little warning that Goldwyn’s New York office was taken by surprise. He has been away for three months and has had a close-up view of the Sino-Japanese trouble with his friend, Richard Barthelmess. Now he is all ready to begin rehearsals for “The Brothers Karamazov,” in which he will appear as the elder brother, Dmitri. This will be Samuel Goldwyn’s first production of the new season, and Mr. Goldwyn is en route from Havana to be on hand when the cameras start grinding.

The most unusual title of the week is Robert E. Burns’s “I am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang,” which Warner Brothers have purchased for screening.

R.K.O.’s “Symphony of Six Million” which is all about this particular big city, is finished and awaiting release. Irene Dunne and Ricardo Cortez are the leading players. The story was written by Fannie Hurst, with its ultimate production on the screen in mind.

“The Strange Case of Clara Deane” is the new title for Paramount’s film version of Arthur M. Brilant’s play, “Clara Deane.” Featuring Wynne Gibson in the title role, the cast includes Pat O’Brien, Frances Dee, Dudley Digges, Russell Gleason and George Barbier.

S.J. Perelman, the humorist, has moved his typewriter from the Paramount lot to that of RKO, for one picture. He has written the story in collaboration with Ralph Murphy, who will be co-director. “Hell Bent for Election,” which has a topical flavor, is the title, and Edna May Oliver will head the cast.

“Bachelor’s Affairs” has been chosen as the definite title for Warner Baxter’s latest Fox picture, which he has just completed at Movietone City. The film is a screen version of Mildred Cram’s novel “Scotch Valley.” Marion Nixon has the feminine lead.

David Manners and Marian Marsh will be seen together in “Competition,” which is from a story by Carl Erickson. Mr. Manners has been transferred to the cast of “Competition” from that of “Week-End Marriage,” in which he was to have played with Loretta Young.

Warren William has been named to play the lead in “The Dark Horse” which William Powell vacated for the spot opposite Kay Francis in “The Jewel Robbery.”

Bette Davis will have the chief feminine role when that drama of national politics goes into production late this month. Frank McHugh is another addition to the cast. Courtenay Terrett and Joseph Jackson have written the screen play, basing it on the work of an anonymous writer.

“Blessed Event,” the comedy relating the adventures of a Broadway columnist, will appear in motion-picture form when Warner Brothers get around to it. The company bought the play by Manuel Seff and Forrest Wilson last week for a sum that came to the fairly startling total of $66,000.

Arrangements have been made with James Gould Cozzens for the screening of his story, “S. S. San Pedro” by Universal. This is the sea yarn which won the $5000 Scribner short story prize and later, lengthened into a novel, was selected by the Book of the Month Club. The San Pedro is a queer tramp steamer, and a fatal personality strides its decks. The leading player will probably be Boris Karloff.

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