Saturday, May 30, 2009

Movie Go Round

By Luella O. Parsons
Hollywood Calif., March 27


The breach of promise suit filed by Gladys Feldman against Leslie Fenton is probably the most surprising news of the week. Breach of promise suits have sort of gone out of style and it is not often that the modern girl resorts to that method to show her broken heart. The girl in question is exceedingly pretty. She looks like Estelle Taylor, has the same dark eyes and hair and the same exotic beauty. At least that is the description given me and I was interested because Ann Dvorak is such a sweet girl and it seems such a pity that the days that should be the happiest of her life should be filled with this unpleasantness and worry.


It’s almost impossible to film a war picture in a neutral vein. Several of the film companies had elaborate plans to make Japanese-Chinese war pictures and they discovered that a mere narrative of the war held no dramatic interest. There had to be action and suspense and you cannot picture that without giving one side or the other the best of the situation. For that reason several of the companies have called off all productions on Japanese-Chinese pictures. There are too many Chinese in this country and too many Japanese who go to motion pictures to make such pictures advisable or profitable.


If P. T. Barnum were alive he’d probably try to run a contest on Greta Garbos. I had no idea and I’m sure you haven’t any idea of the number of girls throughout the country who think they resemble the Swedish star.

Some of them look as much like Greta Garbo as Flora Finch looks like Mary Pickford. We have had pictures of tall girls, small girls, blondes, brunettes and redheads. We also had letters from all over the country. Each one of the girls begged for a chance to play opposite Clark Gable in “China Seas.” Hope dies hard and there are still girls throughout the country who feel there is a place for them in Hollywood.


Robert Young’s first appearance on the stage didn’t presage any glorious future. He was one of a group at the Pasadena players who had a single line to speak. He determined to make that line so impressive that everyone would say “Ah, another Edwin Booth in our midst.” When his turn came he shouted so loudly that everybody else on the stage forgot his line and turned to look at the shouter. Mr. Young can laugh at that experience today but it was a tender subject with him at the time. His future is bright now and he is on the upward grade, so much so that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is giving him every chance.


They thought they had a first class mystery on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot last week. But alas, it was solved almost immediately. Joan Crawford’s bungalow on stage six disappeared. It couldn’t be found anywhere. Bungalows cannot walk away, neither are they small enough to hide, so where it had gone nobody knew. Just when everyone was getting ready to call out the fire department, the police department, the Pinkerton detective agency, the Burns detective agency and a few more, a terrified maid appeared on the scene. She had been sitting in the bungalow when all of a sudden she felt herself going down, down to the basement. It seems somebody pressed the wrong button and the bungalow was carried to the basement with Miss Crawford’s maid inside.


An interesting short is now being made by Ralph B. Staub in Hollywood. He is calling it “Memory Lane” and stars who have passed on are featured. Rudolph Valentino, Louis Wolheim, Mabel Normand, Rudolph Schildkraut, Robert Ames, Robert Williams, Alma Rubens, Lya de Putti, Tom Santchi, Milton Sills, Wally Reid, Barbara La Marr, Larry Semon, Otto Matieson, Dustin Farnum, Lon Chaney and others.

The opening speech is made by Hobart Bosworth and continues through the entire picture. Columbia will release it as a special screen snapshot and there is no doubt it will be popular for it is a nice tribute to those who have passed on and whose memory is still green.


By Luella O. Parsons
Hollywood, March 26

Paris dressmakers are credited with creating style vogues. Paris hairdressers set the pace for milady’s coiffure, Eugene O’Neill for introspective drama, but it’s the motion picture patrons who are responsible for the vogue in motion pictures. Someone once said that every good picture starts a vogue.

“The Big Parade” was responsible for an avalanche of war dramas. “Little Caesar” brought a deluge of gangster melodramas in its trail. When those gangster dramas were still bringing in plenty of money, Universal stepped out with “Dracula.” The tide changed and in an incredibly short time there were dozens of these thrillers. “The Shanghai Express” was the first of the Japanese-Chinese war dramas, but it won’t be the last.

Up to the time Norma Shearer starred in “Divorcee,” the heroines were as spotless as the driven snow. “Divorcee” was a sensational success and every company in the business started buying sophisticated modern plays and books.


Sex and problem plays were in full swing when demure Janet Gaynor in “Daddy Long Legs” changed the current again. Sweet comedy-drama with a love interest seemed to once more please the motion picture patrons. The public showed an impatience with too highly sophisticated dramas.

Vogues have never lasted long because so many inferior imitations have followed successes. You can have too much of anything. Most of us are fond of strawberry shortcake and fried chicken, but if we had them day after day we would call loudly for apple pie and beefsteak. Once a vogue is done it’s as dead as yesterday’s newspapers.

Theda Bara was the original vamp. She beaded her eyelashes with heavy mascara and she became the obvious screen homewrecker. All such old-time melodramas as “The Fool” featured her. Other companies tried to get a vamp that looked as much like Miss Bara as possible.

If the Fox company hadn’t surfeited its patrons with so many Bara dramas I doubt if her vogue would have ended so suddenly. But what with Fox turning out a Bara picture every few weeks and other companies making similar dramas, the dear public grew weary of vamps and wicked ways.


Costume plays died the same sad death. Betty Blythe in her Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra trappings did a good business for a short time. Douglas Fairbanks, who enjoys donning doublet and hose more than anyone I know, couldn’t interest the fans in a costume picture after he had made three or four. Exhibitors learned that the very name, costume picture, was enough to keep the fans out of the theaters.

I used to think when certain old favorite classics were ignored it was because the producers didn’t want to spend the money to make elaborate costume pictures. Then I talked with the owner of a chain of important theaters and he told me that he wouldn’t book a picture that he knew was a costume play because his patrons wouldn’t come into his theater. I knew then that the producers didn’t dare make a costume picture.

Perhaps some day Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will star Greta Garbo and Clark Gable in a costume drama and the jinx will be broken. A good picture nine times out of ten starts the vogue.

Washington stories are an exception. The presidential election and the seething political turmoil of the moment are responsible for the coming political pictures. Four companies at this writing, are preparing scenarios that deal with the political and social phases in Washington life.

When these Washington films hit the screen all about the same time, and there is a race on to see which will be finished first, what will be the next vogue? What will follow war dramas, gangster stories, Chinese plays, sex and problem plays, thrillers and Washington stories?

Well, if we could tell, we would be a prophet in our own home town.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

March 27, 1932


‘Why Should We Dream of Roses and Honeysuckle?’ Asks Director

By H. Allen Smith
New York, March 26

Present day tendencies to delete sex and gang warfare from motion pictures were discussed today by Ernst Lubitsch, Hollywood director, just before he headed for the coast “to rest up from my five week vacation.”

“The most dramatic conflicts in life are the conflicts of sex,” the little black haired man said. “The conflict of man against woman and woman against man has provided high drama throughout the ages. Why should we close our eyes and dream of roses and honeysuckle?”

“And as for gangster pictures. Yes, maybe it is not nice to have such things. But don’t we have gangsters? If we had no gangsters, we would have no gangster pictures. If we had not sex, we would have no sex pictures.”


Lubitsch is extremely high strung, with black hair slicked across his head and darting black eyes. He has been five weeks in New York attending parties by the dozen, riding the subways, catching up on the new plays and generally enjoying himself.
“But it is not a vacation – New York,” he explained. I have to go back to Hollywood to rest.”

Lubitsch naturally takes issue with those persons who deny that the talkies are art.
“Certainly the talkies are art! We can do things on the screen that they cannot do on the stage. We can express reality more than the stage. On the screen we can magnify a little bit of life – something that seems insignificant – and make it tremendously important. A finger. A hand. The movement of a finger or the movement of a hand. The twinkle of an eye. Those things are missing on the stage, and so many, many other details.


“I think the story in a movie is insignificant. It is how the story is told. The bare fact that a man dies isn't startling. Men die every day. It is how he dies. That is important. In the screen we can show how he dies.

“The sex, the gangsters, the drabness of many lives, these can be presented now. It used to be different. I remember seeing a silent film in the early days where the poor girl refused to marry a rich man because he was something of a villain. Not today! If the poor girl refused to marry into riches now, they would stone her. The crowds would go away muttering that she was a sap. “

Lubitsch said Greta Garbo was no mystery. “She is a real Swede,” he said, “and I have known many Swedes. They are shy, afraid to meet people. It is natural for them to keep in the background. But Garbo – she has a fine sense of humor. She is pleasant company, once you get to know her. That is the problem.


Mexico City, March 26 (INS)
John Barrymore plans to return to the stage shortly, Richard Bennett, the stage and screen actor, revealed here today. Bennett said Barrymore would first reappear on Broadway, and then tour the country in the title role of Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

“Winner Take All” has been substituted for “The Main Event” as the title of James Cagney’s next starring picture for Warner Bros., which started production last week at the company’s Burbank studios. The picture is based on a story by Gerard Beaumont, “One Thirty Three at Three,” dealing with the prize ring. Marion Nixon is Cagney’s leading woman, and the cast also includes Dickie Moore, Guy Kibbee, Virginia Bruce, and the well known colored actor and composer, Clarence Muse, author of “Sleepy Time Down South.” The production is being directed by Roy Del Ruth.


Fay Wray is back, after a long absence from the screen, playing the lead in “Nikki,” the New York stage play written by her husband, John Monk Saunders. This young lady, termed one of the ten real beauties in Hollywood, recently finished “Stowaway” for Universal, in which she has the featured feminine lead.


Honolulu, T. H.
A primitive Hawaiian village of thatched huts, including all its inhabitants – grown-ups, goats, babies and birds, passed into the hands of the RKO-Radio Pictures’ production unit here making location scenes for “The Bird of Paradise,” starring Dolores Del Rio.

A single contract made with the village headman – as shrewd and wise a bargain as Director King Vidor ever met – turned the native hamlet over unconditionally for the exotic mating dance scenes which will highlight this spectacular film dramatization of the stage classic by Richard Walton Tully.

Miss Del Rio and forty brown-skinned maids participated in the dance to the red glare of torches, the barbaric staccato of tom-toms, and the shrieks of the girls as they were being carried off in marriage.

Filmed with startling realism, the scene was not a rehearsed affair staged for the movie-makers, but an event of great social importance to the Hawaiians. If the film company had not made it worthwhile to advance the date of the ceremony, the village council would have staged it at the regular seasonal period a month later.


Lois Wilson is at last in a western part, and here’s hoping she doesn’t meet the fate of “Law and Order.” She played in that but the part was left on the cutting room floor. At the last moment, Lois was cast in “Death Valley Town,” in support of Tom Mix. Others in the cast are Fred Kohler, Forest Stanley, Willard Robertson and Edith Fellows. “Death Valley Town” went into production at Universal City on Monday under the direction of Al Rogell


Motion pictures demand that the actor take the bitter with the sweet – long hours and hard work are offset by interesting location trips frequently, which lessen the grind of work.

Roland Young goes all the way to London to make a picture this month, sailing from New York about the twenty-third. He will visit his family in England, where he was born and reared, and return for film work in Hollywood sometime in June.

James Gleason will be sent to New York soon for part of “Madison Square,” and Mrs. Gleason will accompany him. They will be there for a month and will be able to see the new shows, etc.

Ken Maynard is leaving at once for a trip to Mexico City, hunting a picture locale for his first Tiffany production under their new contract.

Dolores Del Rio and Joel McCrea recently returned from Honolulu where they went on location for R. K. O.

Tom Brown and James Gleason had a week in Agua Caliente this month, with the “Information Kid” company.

Lillian Bond has had several offers for picture work in England since leaving First National, if she cares to go.

Donald Cook’s parents live in Honolulu, and he is hoping for a picture assignment which will send him there.


That there is a good deal of humor in politics, except for the defeated candidate – and then it’s a joke on him – is proved by the action of the RKO-Radio Pictures Studio in announcing the forthcoming production of “Hell Bent for Election.” The election story is good-natured fun and will poke the merry finger of satire at the political maze through the person of Edna May Oliver. Helping her will be an all-star cast. The studio emphasizes the fact that it will give Miss Oliver, literally, truly and in-fact, an all-star cast recruited from the best comedy kings and queens of Hollywood.


The completed roster of players for “Street of Women,” which entered production late last week, at First National studios on the West Coast, now reads as follows, according to latest advices from Hollywood:
Natalie, Kay Francis; Link, Roland Young; Doris, Gloria Stuart (replacing Marian Marsh, who is ill); Larry, Allan Dinehart; Lois, Marjorie Gateson; Clarke, Allen Vincent; and Maid, Louise Beavers. Production supervisor for the film is Hal Wallis and Archie Mayo will direct.

Allen Vincent, named above for the role of Clarke, is a juvenile with a considerable Broadway reputation. He was seen on the stage in “The Vinegar Tree,” with Mary Boland.


The showing of the widely heralded RKO Pathe human interest drama, “Young Brides,” which is scheduled for showing at the RKO Majestic starting Thursday, will be given an appropriate opening with a real life wedding on the stage at the 9 o’clock performance.

Co-operating merchants and the Majestic will be the donors of gifts to the couple chosen to be married, which will include the license, the ring, the wedding clothing worn, a honeymoon trip by airplane, hotel accommodations and other gifts.

In the leading roles of the picture “Young Brides” will be seen Helen Twelvetrees, Eric Linden, Arline Judge, Cliff Edwards, Roscoe Ates and Polly Walters.


Winnie Lightner, who comes to the Rialto theatre Tuesday next in “Gold Dust Gertie,” Warner Bros. uproarious comedy, which also features Olsen and Johnson, has something to say in praise of the latest beauty baths.

Anna Held rates credit for inventing the milk bath. Several actresses have taken credit for the champagne bath, designed for other purposes than beauty, and one famous movie star once advocated a buttermilk bath for the skin you love to touch – but take it from Winnie the fish bath tops them all!

You take this bath in a boat, entirely surrounded by fish of every sort and condition. I am just recovering from the effects of two days spent in taking such a bath. Clad only in a bathing suit and a pair of duck trousers, without even stockings to keep the fish off my legs, endured the rigors of deep sea fish bathing with only Olsen and Johnson, as companions in my misery.


Adolphe Menjou had to work hard to keep from being outshone by his fellow players in “The Great Lover,” which will be shown Friday at the State theatre.

For Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gathered together a group of unusually prominent players for their film version of the celebrated New York stage success, even going so far as to borrow Irene Dunne from another studio because she seemed the ideal type for the feminine lead opposite Menjou. Miss Dunne recently received critical acclaim for her work in “Cimarron.”

The other principal feminine player is the tempestuous Russian actress, Baclanova, back in films after a long vaudeville tour. Baclanova’s last notable picture appearances were in “Docks of New York,” “Avalanche,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Forgotten Faces.”


An auspicious event of the 1932 screen season is the opening today at the Majestic theatre of “Arsene Lupin,” featuring John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore in the first joint appearance of the celebrated stars in a motion picture. Karen Morely, John Miljan and Tully Marshall have important supporting roles in the production, which was directed by Jack Conway, who last scored with “Paid.”

The well-known mystery stories of Maurice Le Blanc which idealize the debonair French thief Arsene Lupin, supplied the motivation for the first appearance together of the two Barrymore brothers, although the picture is more directly based on the Paris stage success on which Le Blanc collaborated with Francis de Croisset.


A treat is in store for moviegoers starting Monday at the Empire theater, for “The Big Parade,” King Vidor’s masterpiece, has been reissued by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with sound effects and will be shown at this theater for three days.

Time has not lessened the effectiveness of this picture.

Sound has also been employed to advantage in the scenes in which the hysterical fever over the populace is at its height at the beginning of the war with its parades, flag-waving, good-byes to the enlisted men and other manifestations of the patriotic fervor. Again the sound of the moving trucks and marching men adds thrills to the stirring sequence in which Renee Adoree as the French girl looks for John Gilbert as the regiment moves to the front, finds him at the last minute and sinks to the roadside clutching the old shoe which he has thrown her.


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had an eye on the box office when they handed Clark Gable the choice assignment opposite Greta Garbo in “Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise,” which is one of the feature picture attractions on the Strand theater program starting Sunday.

The picture is one of Garbo’s best in talkies. Modernized, the David Graham Phillips novel makes splendid material for Garbo and as her leading man Gable is more than amply romantic.

Robert Z. Leonard, who makes his first appearance as a director with Garbo in this new production, has been careful to keep the story moving. There is very little of the sitting down and talking-things-over footage in this film. Leonard has employed his camera to every advantage and given his picture a splendid screen presentation that adds vastly to its dramatic qualities.


In the supreme performance of a brilliant career, Norma Talmadge, United Artists star, makes the glamorous, haunting personality of “DuBarry, Woman of Passion,” which comes to the Palace theater Thursday, step alive from the shadows of the past to again enchant mankind.

She gives piquancy and charm to the lovely milliner who brought a nation to her feet, ruled a king, and lavished the gold of the country for her whims until the red shadow of revolution swept her to disaster. Splendid support is given by Conrad Nagel, as her soldier-lover and William Farnum, as the king who tempted her with riches and power.


Taking the audience behind the scenes in a large national broadcasting studio to find romance and drama, William Haines and Madge Evans work out the plot of “Are You Listening?” current feature at the Aztec theater.

The film is based on the serialization of J. P. McEvoy’s radio romance by the same title. A large cast including Anita Page, Karen Morely, Joan Marsh, Wallace Ford, Neil Hamilton and Jean Hersholt enact the leading roles. This is Haines’ second straight dramatic part for the screen, his first being in “The New Adventures of Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford,” the performance which won him a new long-term contract.

Three sisters, Laura (Madge Evans), Sally (Anita Page) and Honey (Joan Marsh), come from a small town to the bright lights of Broadway. Laura and Honey go to work at a large national broadcasting studio as singers. Sally takes the easiest way and becomes a Broadway playwright. Laura falls in love with the continuity writer for the station (William Haines) although he is married to a nagging wife (Karen Morley) who refuses to give him up. In despair Laura attempts suicide. In a moment of frenzy, the man shoots his wife. Dragged into scandal and misery, the two lovers fight their way out their difficulties after many dramatic scenes.

A short subject program selected for its variety includes an Oswald rabbit cartoon, a color novelty, “Dream World” and a two-reel comedy, “Keep Laughing.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

March 26, 1932


San Francisco, March 24 (UP)
Demands of Mrs. Joseph von Sternberg, wife of the film director, that Marlene Dietrich, screen star, publish certain letters before Mrs. Von Sternberg would consent to withdraw two suits she filed against the star, was complied with, in effect, here to-day, when legal advertising columns of the San Francisco News carried the letters.

Mrs. Von Sternberg sued Miss Dietrich last fall, charging alienation of her husband’s affections, and libel. The actions were the outgrowth of a purported interview allegedly quoting Miss Dietrich, in the Neues Wiener Journal, at Budapest.

The news printed three letters under the title “Legal Notices.” The first, bearing Miss Dietrich’s signature, said in part:

“Dear Mrs. Von Sternberg:”

“I am sure the enclosed copy of a letter which I have received from Dr. Sandor Incze, editor of the Szinhazi Elet and author of the syndicated article which appeared in the Neues Wiener Journal will convince you that we both have been imposed upon and subjected to a publicity which was as cruel and needless as it was deplorable to both of us.


“This letter, you will note, specifically admits and confesses the element of fabrication with regard to all misstatements incorporated in the alleged interview, which forms the basis of one of your suits against me. These misstatements, I beg you to recall, I emphatically denied and charged as gross fabrication because:
“No movement was ever launched to boycott me or my pictures by you with whom my relations were entirely friendly up to the time of your instituting these two legal actions against me.

“No report was circulated by you that I was divorcing my husband, Herr Sieber.

“No statement was made by me that Mr. Von Sternberg was divorcing you because of me, or that he would have divorced you if he had ever met me.

“No statement was made by me that there were serious differences between you and Mr. Von Sternberg, nor did I say that he related the story of his divorce to me or that I was in possession of information not generally known regarding your marital affairs.


“I reiterate my complete denial. I can only again assert that these fabrications and misstatements deliberately incorporated in the alleged interview to injure your reputation and mine, could not possibly have any foundation in fact.

“I trust you will accept this communication as final evidence of my good faith in this matter and realize that the fabrications and misstatements contained in the alleged interview were beyond my control.

“Very truly yours,
Marlene Dietrich”

The second letter was from Incze to Miss Dietrich admitting falsity of the interview which appeared in the Neues Wiener Journal.

The third letter, signed by Mrs. Von Sternberg and addressed to Miss Dietrich said:

“Dear Mrs. Marlene Dietrich:

“I hereby acknowledge receipt of your communication of February 3, 1932, enclosing a copy of a letter from Dr. Sando Incze, editor of the Szinhazi Etet, wherein the element of fabrication is admitted and confessed with regard to the syndicated article published in the Neues Wiener Journal of December 9, 1930.


“I have noted your specific denials of all the misstatements in the interview with you, misstatements which formed the basis for my legal actions for libel instituted against you.

“I wish you to know that Dr. Incze’s letter is acceptable to me. It demonstrates to my satisfaction his desire to vindicate me as well as yourself and is most welcome proof of your charge of deliberate and calculated misquotations.

“I beg to advise you that I have accordingly this day directed my attorney to dismiss all litigation against you.

“It is my earnest desire that this letter will convince you of my reciprocal good faith and that its publication simultaneously with yours to me will end at once and for always the unfortunate publicity to which both of us have been subjected.

“Yours very truly,


Lawyer Declares Mutual Agreement Will Block Court Action in Reno

Los Angeles, March 26 (UP)
Legal difficulties may complicate the divorce plans of Ann Harding, film star, and Harry Bannister, her husband, in the opinion of S. S. Hahn, prominent attorney and divorce authority.

Hahn, in a signed newspaper article, said it was contrary to public policy, as interpreted by the statutes, for persons to agree mutually to obtain a divorce.
The “friendly plan” of Miss Harding and Bannister would not be sanctioned by law, he asserted.

The couple agreed to obtain a divorce, they said in statements, because Bannister lost his identity in the fame of his wife.

Reno, Nev., March 26 (UP)
Harry Bannister, husband of Ann Harding, actress, who is here admittedly to obtain a divorce, was not concerned today over the statement of S. S. Hahn, Los Angeles attorney, that on the basis of their statements neither Bannister nor Miss Harding is entitled to a decree.

“Since I have not retained Mr. Hahn or anyone else for my counsel, and am not an attorney myself, I hardly feel I can comment on his remarks,” he said.
The “real story” of their separation has been told, Bannister asserted. He said he had not determined on what grounds to seek a decree. In Reno he planned to devote himself to outdoor life.

Hahn’s statement questioning the divorce was based on the fact that the law does not recognize mutual consent.


Walter Huston Accepts Challenge Of Pastor To Discuss Prohibition

Los Angeles, March 25 (UP)
Aimee Semple McPherson-Hutton, evangelist who supports the cause of prohibition, will face Walter Huston, motion picture actor, in a debate at Angelus Temple Monday night.

“Resolved: That Prohibition Is A Success” will be the topic, with Mrs. Hutton arguing the affirmative and Huston attempting to prove that prohibition “Is a complete failure.”

The debate will be a result of the furor which followed the appearance of the motion picture, “The Wet Parade,” based upon Upton Sinclair’s novel. Mrs. Hutton, figuring that something should be done about the matter, issued a general challenge, offering to debate anybody on the subject of prohibition.

Huston accepted the challenge to-day.

Sinclair will act as chairman during the arguments, with Isador Dockweiller, prominent Democrat, Anita Loos, writer, and Hedda Hopper, film actress, as judges. Mayor Porter, a confirmed dry, will be time keeper.


Los Angeles, Mar. 26 (UP)
Duncan Renaldo, screen actor, was sought to-day by Merced County officers for assertedly failing to pay a traffic fine after being granted time to do so.

Renaldo, arrested at Atwater in the middle of January for reckless driving and cited to appear before Justice of the Peace W. H. Osborne, failed to appear but telephoned Osborne that he was financially unable to go to Atwater and asked the judge to set his fine by telephone.
Osborne fined him $30 and Renaldo demurred, declaring that he had only $15 and begged that he be permitted to pay the fine on the installment plan, $15 then and $15 more in a month’s time.

The second installment of the fine was due toward the end of February, and when Renaldo failed to pay it, Osborne asked the sheriff’s office in Merced to take such action as would oblige the actor to keep his agreement.


Los Angeles, March 26 (AP)
Mack Sennett, who started many a motion picture star of today on the road to fame as a bathing girl in his pie-heaving comedies, has become a citizen of the United States. The comedy producer took the oath of citizenship in federal court yesterday. He was born Michael Sinnott in Canada in 1880, but had his name legally changed to Mack Sennett after coming to Hollywood.


Orchestra Leader and Indian Film Actress Back in Chicago After Honeymoon

Chicago, March 26
Wayne King, orchestra leader well known to radio fans, and his bride, the former Dorothy Janis, screen actress, are home from their honeymoon in Wisconsin.

They were married here recently following a romance which began in Hollywood three years ago when Miss Janis, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, arrived at the movie capital from Texas to assume her first screen role. During recent months the romance kept telegraph and telephone wires between Chicago and Hollywood busy – until Miss Janis came here for the wedding.

Friends say King’s arrangement of the song “Indian Love Call” had something to do with the success of his suit.

From Luella O. Parsons:

There is a new girl in Hollywood. Her name is Jeanne Woolins but you must call her Jeanne Sorel, that’s her new name. I don’t suppose anyone gave Cecile Sorel, the great French actress, a thought when she was renamed? Miss Wollins is a Russian beauty, born in Alexandria, Egypt, and she has already gotten herself a job.

She was discovered by Samuel Goldwyn when she appeared at the Capitol Theater in New York and signed on a contract. She hadn’t been here a day before she was borrowed by Columbia for a part in “Faith,” the Giannini bank epic, now being made at the studio.

I haven’t seen Miss Woolins, but she is said to have plenty of allure. She must have something to get a job without ever having played a part in a Hollywood picture.

Some way when we think of the girls who have worked for years and learned their art, it seems all wrong to bring a stranger in and try to make a star of her overnight.

Aimee Semple McPherson has challenged Walter Huston to a debate on temperance. Mrs. McPherson to take the side of prohibition and Huston to talk for the good old days before bootleggers became the Mussolinis of our country. Huston, you see, is the leading figure in “The Wet Parade.”

Furthermore, he is a man of intelligence. What he would have to say would be intensely interesting. As for Aimee, well, she is always colorful, always interesting and she has a following that nothing changes.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is all keen and set to have Aimee debate with Walter. First there was talk of having the discussion in the Shrine Auditorium, but Aimee favors the Four Square Temple, and it will sure be a sell-out.

Chatter in Hollywood:

No commuting for Janet Gaynor while she is making “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” She has moved in from the beach, and has taken an apartment in town.

Ruth Chatterton is the only one I know who lives on the lot while she is working.

Roscoe Arbuckle is taking himself to St. Louis to open at the Fox theater there, where he will be master of ceremonies. If he is anywhere near as funny as he was at the opening of the Bohemian club, he ought to go over big.

Leo Diegel is back in town. He has been talking golf to the four Marx brothers. Maybe he can tell them about golf, but they can tell him about bridge and how.

Leo Carrillo has arranged to tour the public houses. Amazing how many vaudeville acts with star personalities are being added to get folks into the theaters. In some cases it works, in some it doesn’t.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Marilyn Miller is off to Palm Springs for Easter.

Lila Lee and George Hill were dining together tete a tete.

Greta Garbo’s reported determination to return to Sweden in June is still the most discussed subject in Hollywood.

The Irving Thalbergs are entertaining a party of twenty at the Mayfair. Duke Ellington’s band is promised to be an added attraction there.

Ronald Colman, who wields a mean tennis racket, is getting plenty of practice with Clive Brook, another tennis champion. Both of them are at Arrowhead Springs.


Dorothy Mackaill goes to England for three pictures. Roland Young will go there for one. The British producers are trying to be serious about giving Hollywood some competition this time, but we’ve heard that before and it just never worked out.


Four-year-old Cora Sue Collins can’t exactly be called a “cry-baby,” but she can shed tears at will. And largely because it’s no trick for her to cry, Cora Sue has made an auspicious start on a film career that promises to bring her prominent parts in movies made in the next few years, they say down in Hollywood.
Cora Sue is a na├»ve little miss with brown eyes and curls. She was one of the principals in “The Unexpected Father,” and now, because of her ability to cry when she wants to, she has a part in “The Strange Case of Clara Deane.”

But the road to a movie career hasn’t been smooth for Cora Sue and her mother, Mrs. Clyde Collins. They were residents of Clarksburg, W. Va., until a few months ago. The neighbors all said Cora Sue should be in the movies. The Collins family had had financial reverses, however, and getting to Hollywood was a problem. But Mrs. Collins was undaunted, and she managed to get enough money together for railroad fare, with a little left over. The mother, Cora Sue and Cora’s ten year old sister, Madge, set out for Hollywood.

But more trouble awaited. The girls became ill and were in bed for a month. Mrs. Collins sold hosiery and her husband sent what money he could spare to tide them over.

Then came good luck. A woman who admired Cora Sue on the street the first day after she recovered from her illness proved to be a friend of an agent who arranged for the test which got Cora Sue her first job.

Mrs. Collins has faith in Cora’s ability and thinks some day she will be a “great big star.” As she says: “I may be wrong, but I think Cora Sue is different.”


Quitting momentarily Hollywood life, Mary Pickford stepped into a new atmosphere the other day when she unexpectedly dropped into New York and took up temporary residence in a suite at the Sherry Netherlands hotel. There she will round out the details for her next picture, such as completion of the story, selection of a leading man and other incidentals.


Peggy Shannon, the Arkansas girl who was introduced to pictures as Clara Bow’s successor – and always chafed under the designation – is making a new start at Fox, playing opposite James Dunn in “Society Girl.” They have no Clara there to hold up to Peggy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

March 25, 1932


‘Mr. Ann Harding” to Bring Suit

Hollywood, Mar. 25 (INS)
Harry Bannister, $75,000-a-year actor, who tired of being known as “Mr. Ann Harding,” to-day planned to establish a residence at Reno, Nev., to divorce Miss Harding, the wealthy film actress.

The couple separated and announced that Bannister, the actor, was losing his identity under the radiance of Miss Harding’s career as a film actress.

With a property settlement effected, it was known that Miss Harding would retain custody of their daughter, Jane, who will be 4 years old in June. Bannister, however, will be given full privileges of visiting the child any time he desires.

Bannister, missing from the palatial estate he and Miss Harding occupied atop the Hollywood Hills, to-day was believed en-route to Reno.


Hollywood recalled that Jamie Del Rio, tiring of being known as “Mr. Dolores Del Rio,” deserted his beautiful actress wife and died in Europe. Dolores is now Mrs. Cedric Gibbons.

Nancy Carroll and James Kirkland, a newspaper man, were happy before she attained stardom, after which they were divorced and she married Bolton Mallory.

Ina Claire and Jack Gilbert parted when Miss Claire became a star wider known than Gilbert.

Friends of Miss Harding and Bannister to-day hoped he would attain great success on the New York stage and become reconciled with Miss Harding, who now commands her own salary in motion pictures.


Los Angeles, Mar. 25 (AP)
Caught in an equinoctial storm, the yacht Invader, carrying Douglas Fairbanks, motion picture actor, and other member of his company to location in the South Seas, narrowly escaped foundering on uncharted coral reefs off Tahiti, the United Artists studio was informed by radio today.

While the yacht was rounding a peninsula en route to Moorea from Papeete for the first distant location work, the storm first broke in a tropical squall which developed cloudburst proportions.

The yacht floundered helplessly, radio advices said, with Fairbanks, Edward Sutherland and William Farnum augmenting the crew to keep the vessel from the rocks. Maria Alba, picked by Fairbanks to accompany him to film tropical motion pictures, was also aboard the craft.

Capt. John Haga, commander of the Invader, finally brought the yacht into open water.


Beverly Hills, March 25 (UP)
Jeanette MacDonald, motion picture actress, had an extra pair of shoes today, but she can’t wear them. They were left behind when a burglar, frightened from her home, dived head first through a window and escaped. Nothing was taken.

From Luella O. Parsons:

It looks very much as if Greta Garbo’s annual threat, “I go back to Sweden,” is serious this time. Greta’s contract is up June 1 and she hasn’t indicated in any way that she intends to re-sign. A friend who is very close to her says Miss Garbo has made all the money she needs and she wants to go back to Sweden and live.

To me this is the most dramatic story of any year of any studio. The breathless anxiety with which any big studio like Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is hanging on the Swedish actress’ decision of whether she remains or whether she returns to her native land is amazing. Five years ago no one knew Greta Garbo. Today she is the biggest name in the entire picture business and that means both male and female.

Greta doesn’t give a hang for publicity. She isn’t interested in being the greatest star in the world. All she wants is a nice little farm in Sweden and a place to which she can retire. M-G-M will give her almost anything she wants if she will sign, but up to now, as I said, she shows no inclination to remain in this country and in the movies.

Whenever you read that a Sylvia Sidney story has been purchased, you know Paramount has studied its picture possibilities from all angles. Miss Sidney is one of the Paramount stars who is never carelessly cast.

One of the latest purchases for her is Goldmans, a novel by Siegfried Siwertz. The story is that of a department store with the fair Sylvia as a salesgirl. Long time since we have had a “working goil” tale of this kind. But it’s like one of the thirteen original plots, always good for a return engagement.

The doctors soon wont’ have a secret left, what with all of these pictures being made showing scientific researches and the pathological conditions of unfortunates. “The Illustrious Corpse,” now being made by Tiffany, specializes in a man without a memory. Lucien Littlefield plays this role. Warner Brothers has “Dr. X,” a horror thriller, and I am told there is enough horror to give any one who likes pictures of this kind a real thrill.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Roland Young is saying au revoir to Hollywood and leaving for a trip to Europe. He returns in July after making a picture abroad.

Sydney Fox is still “keeping company” with Jean Negulesco, dining at the Gotham.

Phillips Holmes is still buying Florence Rice’s luncheons. This romance seems more serious than any of his previous affairs of the heart. He has just signed a new contract with Paramount.

From Wood Soanes:

The movies are growing older, it would seem, and no longer can we honestly refer to them as being in their swaddling clothes – a matter that removes at least one alibi from the list for eccentric productions.

In the current issue of “The Review of Reviews” is an account of Will Hays’ 10 years as czar; and if that were not enough the Paramount studios have sent a screed discussing Hollywood’s theatrical families. Of course they are not traditional families of the theater, but there is some point to the story nevertheless.

“The Barrymores, Costellos, Bennetts and Colliers,” write Dave Keene, are only a few. Although Ethel, Lionel and John are still a tradition, most famous of the ‘like father’ groups in Hollywood today are the Bennetts and the Morrises. Richard Bennett has just become a Paramount player. His daughters, Constance and Joan are stars and Barbara acts occasionally between being Mrs. Morton (Crooner) Downey.

Chester Morris now leads his family, although his father, William, acts in films as does his sister, Willy, and brother, Adrian. His mother was a stage star.

Then there are the many Quillens and the Gleasons. Russell Gleason, now with Wynne Gibson in “Clara Deane” is the third generation of a thespian family.

Perhaps you didn’t know it but all of the following film famous are of theatrical families: Four Marx Brothers, Phillips Holmes, Jackie and Robert Coogan, Clive Brook, William Boyd, Eugene Pallette, Lupe Velez, Lily Damita, Buster Keaton, Bebe Daniels, Kay Francis and Marilyn Miller. And more obvious, those famous juniors – Douglas Fairbanks, William Collier, Noah Beery, and Francis X. Bushman.

Yes, and don’t you forget, Creighton Chaney and Ethel Barrymore’s offspring!

“Shanghai Interlude” is to be Universal’s bid for a successful Chinese war story to rival “What Price Glory” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The story is the work of Wellesley Wong, who was born in China, educted in London and is under contract in Hollywood. Anna May Wong may be in the picture.

Noel Coward has arrived in Hollywood for some story conferences in regard to three stories he sold at prices advertised anywhere from $200,000 to $2,000,000. Two of the plays are “Cavalcade” and “Bitter Sweet.” The third is to be selected.

“Blessed Event,” a current Broadway drama harpooning the Broadway columnists in general and Walter Winchell in particular, has been purchased by Warner’s for the uses of James Cagney. The price is given as $66,000, bids having been made by Paramount, for Jack Oakie; Universal, for Lew Ayres and Fox for James Dunn.

Paramount is also dickering with Bing Crosby, the crooner, for the chief role in the radio drama, “Wild Waves” by William Ford Manley, which has been acquired for screen production.