Monday, May 11, 2009

March 24, 1932


Wife of Von Sternberg, Movie Director, Insists on ‘Conditions,’ Says Lawyer

Hollywood, March 23 – (AP)
Milton Cohen, attorney for Mrs. Riza von Sternberg, said today that two damage suits filed in New York by his client against Marlene Dietrich, film actress, will not be dismissed until “certain conditions are met.” He would not give details.

One suit charges libel and the other alienation of affections of her husband, Josef von Sternberg, film director.

The Paramount studios, which holds Miss Dietrich’s contract, last night had announced the suits were dismissed. The studio said the “adjustment of the situation is the result of a letter from Dr. Sandor Incze, editor of the Budapest newspaper, Szinhazi Elet, in which he admits statements credited to Miss Dietrich in an article by him in the Neues Wiener Journal were entirely a fabrication and without foundation.”

The article by Dr. Incze was the basis for the libel suit.

The studio made public photostatic copies of letters exchanged between Mrs. Von Sternberg and Miss Dietrich regarding the Incze letter. Mrs. Von Sternberg, replying to Miss Dietrich’s letter which transmitted a copy of the Incze letter, said she had “this day directed my attorneys to dismiss all litigation against you.”

Mrs. Von Sternberg’s letter was dated February 3.

The Incze article, published December 9, 1930, quoted Miss Dietrich as saying Mrs. Von Sternberg had started efforts to have her pictures boycotted and that the director was divorcing Mrs. Von Sternberg because of Miss Dietrich.

Miss Dietrich, a native of Germany, has been starred in pictures which Von Sternberg directed.


Hollywood, March 24 (AP)
Three screen luminaries, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey and Dorothy Lee, are considering organizing a traveling musical. They plan to leave Los Angeles June 1, making one-night stands in the South and middle West on the way East.


Los Angeles, March 24 (UP)
Eight years after litigation began, the government today ordered Clara Kimball Young, former screen star, to pay $31,018 as her 1917 income tax and interest on the principal.


Hollywood, March 24 (AP)
Greta Garbo, who has often said she preferred Swedish farm life to living in the film capital, may return to Sweden. She has until June 1 to sign a renewal of her motion picture contract, but so far has given no indication that she plans doing so.


Los Angeles, March 24 (UP)
L. B. Lambert, Hollywood singing master, had a $20 judgment today against Raquel Torres, film actress, for three lessons which he claimed started her on her film career.

The judgment was entered by default when Miss Torres did not appear to contest the complaint. Miss Torres’ voice was improved by the lessons so that she got a studio contract, Lambert said, but contended afterward that he “couldn’t get in touch with her” to collect.

From Luella O. Parsons:

All of a sudden-like, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey have cancelled their world tour. The reason is simple. Columbia and the two ex-Radio comics got together. You make the picture and we furnish the release, is the plan.

Bert and Bob got their finances from somewhere, just where I don’t know. But, it’s sufficient to know that they have a bankroll that enables them to make three or four more pictures a year. Once made, Columbia exploits and distributes the comedy – and well, that’s all there is to the story.

The first Columbia, Woolsey and Wheeler comedy will be announced later – so far it’s only a contract.

Universal is setting great store by the idea of Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts in a comedy. There will be four comedies made with Miss Pitts and in two of these Slim will be the heavy romance opposite her.

Universal, in line with the other companies, has learned in these days it’s a good thing to make people laugh. Depressing plays and depressing pictures are not doing half as much business as the bright comedies.

Slim is pretty well set at Universal. He is also going to be in “Brown of Culver.” Every time they get a role that needs a little comedy relief, Universal pages their favorite comic.

Wallace Beery is going to make a picture and make it for nothing. He is the first of a group of the biggest stars in Hollywood to come forward and offer his services for a screen drama to be made for charity.

The Los Angeles Sanatorium where so many film personalities with tuberculosis are cared for is in need of $90,000 to lift the old bugaboo mortgage. What with the hard times and one thing or another it hasn’t been possible to raise that amount.

Phil Goldstone, young independent producer, has mapped out an ambitious plan to film a story called “Hollywood” in which all our celebrities take part.

Warner Brothers thought well enough of the Goldstone idea to offer to distribute the film. Expert cameramen, writers and technical experts will be invited to give their services free and when the picture is shown and the story is told there is little doubt it will do a tremendous business throughout the country.

Jackie Cooper is really going to open in vaudeville. He and his mother leave for the East the first week of April. Jackie will be gone eight weeks.

Maurice Chevalier rented a house in Beverly Hills until June so that looks as if he will be with us at least that long.

We refuse to be drawn into any further discussion about Marian Marsh. Life is too short to spend it in controversy. Too much has been said, so please let’s end the discussion.

Warner brothers’ plans for her seem sensible in that she is to be given roles that are entirely appropriate to her youth and beauty. Her next role will be “Competition” featuring Chic Sale. She and David Manners supply the young interest and Eric C. Kenton directs.

A fine little actress, Josephine Dunn, who hasn’t been getting the breaks she deserves, has been signed for the second lead in “New York Town.” Let’s hope this is just the beginning of more roles for Josephine, who can be depended upon to give a good performance.

Snapshots of Hollywood:
Wallace Beery was throwing caution to the wind and flirting openly with a blue-eyed sub-deb. She eyed him with round eyes and returned his smiles in brazen fashion. Later she was introduced to Eddie Cantor, Frank Joyce and Eddie Buzzell – her name, Barbara Bebe Lyon, and what dimples!

Loretta Young is saying goodbye to a bad case of the flu.

From Wood Soanes:

Speaking of problems of production, Robert Z. Leonard is having his difficulties in Hollywood where he is at work on Eugene O’Neill’s “Strange Interlude.”

As theatergoers will recall, the play represents not only what the characters say to one another but what they say to themselves. These spoken “asides” provided one of the chief technical problems of the screen which, for all they may say, is not always as pliable as the stage.

Various experiments were made with double-exposure, shadowy transparencies, and other camera tricks to obtain the spoken-thought effect. Finally, Leonard decided upon the “take and double take” method. By this device he hopes to preserve the O’Neill idea and still make his presentation understandable to the various classes to which the movie appeals.

By this arrangement the characters will be seen talking to one another speaking the lines supposed to be spoken. But at the same time their thoughts also will be spoken, in slightly different tones. While the “thoughts” are being transmitted, the lips of the players will remain motionless.

To do this Leonard first makes a “take” in which only the thoughts are recorded. The scene is then taken again with the players speaking their regular lines, the “thoughts” being played back and re-recorded to fit with the dialogue.

Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, Alexander Kirkland, Ralph Morgan and Henry B. Walthall will have the chief roles.

George Bancroft’s contract with Paramount comes up for further adjustment in May with nothing decided at present. Bancroft is said to be dickering with an English firm for one film and also mediating on a stage appearance.

Greta Garbo’s next ventures are to be re-makes of two Ibanez pictures she did as silents – “The Torrent” and “The Temptress.” The first was released in 1924, the last in 1926.

The depression is having one good effect at least – star comedians are doing more work. Harold Lloyd, who is now at work on one comedy, has bought the rights to “Whistling in the Dark,” a Broadway mystery.

Meantime, the Chaplins, Charlie and Sydney, are reported on their way to the Orient to look over the war zone. Chaplin has announced no plans for another picture, silent or otherwise.

Roscoe Arbuckle, who has been earning a living directing comedy shorts for Educational under the name of William B. Goodrich, made another attempted comeback in the theater, doing a week at the Pantages in Hollywood. The audience interest was reported as apathetic, but not antagonistic.


Will Rogers continues his triumphant career as America’s greatest talking screen comedian in his new Fox picture, “Business and Pleasure,” which has its premiere at the State theater this Friday.

Rogers has never been funnier than he is in this adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s “The Plutocrat.” He starts the picture with a laugh, and works up to a climax of hilarity. He is cast in the role of a Middle Western business man touring abroad for pleasure and business, takes some nifty cracks at the small army of snobs who think it is sophisticated to sneer at everything American when they are in Europe.

Joel McCrea, as the sophisticated playwright, undergoes a complete metamorphosis during the course of the picture, his sneers turn into vociferous cheers when he finally realizes the true worth of Earl Tinker, the character enacted by Rogers.

Jetta Goudal, Dorothy Peterson and Boris Karloff have important parts in “Business and Pleasure.” David Butler, who directed “Connecticut Yankee” for Rogers, also handled the direction of the new picture.

Adding to the comedy of “Business and Pleasure,” the State has booked the Our Gang kids in their new comedy, “Free Eats,” which introduces a new member of the frolicsome youngsters, Spanky, who hails from Dallas. Rudy Vallee and Betty Boop, the cartoon girl, appear together in “Know More College,” and Playground of the Mammals” is an interesting fishing novelty.


“Huckleberry Finn,” current National Theater attraction, brings Jackie Coogan back to the screen in the role of Tom Sawyer. Junior Durkin continues in his role of Huck. Mitzi Green coos as Becky Thatcher, and Jackie Searl makes more mischief as Sid, Tom’s annoying little brother.

Saturday will bring Leo Carillo and Slim Summerville in a thriller of the southwest, “Lasca of the Rio Grande,” also chapter one of a new serial, “The Vanishing Legion,” with Harry Carey, William Desmond, Frankie Darrow and the “king of wild horses,” Rex. All children under 12 years will be admitted free to the matinee.

No comments: