Thursday, March 11, 2010

April 18, 1932


New York, April 18 (AP)
Olive Borden, returning to the stage in a vaudeville act tonight, indicated today that her action marks a friendly separation between her husband, Theodore Stewart, and herself.

“Ted wanted me to quit the stage, but I simply can not do it,” the actress said. “I have been in the profession quite a while, and I love it. We could not agree on the subject, so we decided the only thing to do was to separate.”

Stewart, an investment broker, is on the Pacific Coast.


Los Angeles, April 18
A summons to appear in court and explain why he is alleged to be $1,250 behind in his alimony payments to Mrs. Helen Gibson, was served today on Hoot Gibson, film cowboy. Mrs. Gibson said she is destitute and has not received the $230 monthly alimony awarded her when she divorced Gibson.


Los Angeles, April 18 (AP)
Jack Noonan, brother of Sally O’Neill and Molly O’Day, film actresses, was arraigned in municipal court today on a charge of escaping from a county road camp last November.


Five Year Plan Serves as Inspiration for New Talkie

By Chester B. Bahn

Last minute Rialto news –

Wally Beery and Clark Gable are going Russian; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will co-star them in an untitled Russian picture stating in a fortnight, with George Hill at the megaphone. The story, it is said, was suggested by the Five-Year Plan of the Soviets.

Lee Tracy will replace James Cagney in “Blessed Event,” if the latter persists in his “strike” for another salary increase.

The Claudette Colbert-Clive Brook talkie thus far known as “Bride of the Enemy,” becomes “The Woman of Flame.”

“Shanghai Express,” Marlene Dietrich’s starring vehicle, was largely filmed on locations at San Bernardino and Chatsworth, California. Few pictures have used as many or more varied types as extras, more than a thousand persons having been used in some of the scenes. More than 15,000 people watched the action on some of the days work was in progress.

Knocked out by Tom Moore in a fight scene for “Society Girl,” James Dunn is in the hospital for repairs.

Some of the lighter moments in “Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” Ruth Chatterton’s starring picture, are provided by Harold Minjir, former New York stage actor, who was seen in “The Beloved Bachelor” and “Monkey Business.” He plays the part of Paul Lukas’ secretary in this picture.

No gangster subjects treated seriously will be included in the Fox program for 1932-33.

Long rehearsals, usually necessary before a talking picture goes into production, was dispensed with entirely in the case of “Tonight or Never.” This was possible because most of the members of the cast, with the exception of the star, Gloria Swanson, had already played their roles in the New York stage production.

From Luella O. Parsons:

You will see David Selznick making pictures this year in his own way. “Symphony of Six Million” and “States Attorney” rated him that privilege from the bosses in New York and now David was put at the head of Radio; young, full of ideas, but for the first time completely on his own. Had he made two flops instead of two successes perhaps he would not have been permitted all this lee-way.

But – he has thus far proceeded carefully, buying stories for the most part from recognized authors. Crossroads, Martin Flavin’s novel and play of flaming youth, is his latest buy.

Pretty little Arlene Judge and Eric Linden, associated in other Radio pictures, will be co-featured. Don’t put the name Crossroads down in your book. The title will be changed to “Fraternity House.”

“Blessed Event” won’t be held up five minutes by Warner Brothers for James Cagney. He has had his big chance to take it or leave it and, having decided to stay in New York and pout, Jack Oakie has been borrowed from Paramount to take his place. What a chance for Oakie, who will be featured, to benefit from all the publicity given the play.

Production starts Thursday with Mary Brian in the chief femme role.

Lee Tracy, who was under consideration for the Cagney role, is needed in another Warner opus.

It’s a promising year for little Mary Brian, who returns from a successful vaudeville tour with a grand array of movie jobs waiting for her.

Possibly if Astrid Allwyn hadn’t arrived on the wave of the Garbo popularity she would have been more in the foreground than she is today. She arrived in Hollywood three years ago, just when the Garbo vogue was at its height, and she has remained, playing small parts in many pictures.

No Swedish actress, curiously enough, has benefitted from Garbo’s success. Although Swedish by ancestry, Miss Allwyn was not born in Sweden. She is an American, having first seen the light of day in Springfield, Massachusetts.

I. E. Chadwick, independent producer, believes that he can now build her into a star without mentioning the Garbo angle. He has bought Charles A. Logue’s story, “Smart Sister,” which will go into production with Richard Boleslavsky directing. In case it means anything to you, “Smart Sister” will be made at the Monogram studios and it will be presented by Trem Carr.

Chatter in Hollywood:

Helen Twelvetrees will shortly test the oft tried experiment of whether motherhood helps or hinders a young actress’s career. The long-legged bird, we hear, is flapping his wings over the Jack Woody’s home. That means that little Twelvetrees will retire until the birth of her baby. In most cases motherhood has only interrupted temporarily a screen star’s career.

Garbo has confided to one of her friends she is not leaving pictures through any dissatisfaction with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. She wants to travel and play. She was never outside of Sweden for more than a few days when she was in Europe, and she longs to visit Paris. She believes she can live there without being stared at and treated as a curiosity.

Note of Optimism:

Mary Pickford writing that she had to stand in line at the Paramount Theater in New York. Jack Warner, looking as if his European trip agreed with him, is home again. Also Mrs. Jack and Margaret Ettinger.

Marion Burns, widely touted beauty, reaches Hollywood this week.


Fantastic Film Has Logical, If Fabulous Story, With Very Capable Acting Cast

By Wood Soanes
The movies have neglected the children so long in their output that it was as startling as it was deafening to have the air rent at the Fox theater with Juvenile huzzahs as the herd of elephants started to aid the heroic ape-man, Tarzan, at the Saturday premier.

Time was when the” chase sequence” in every melodramatic picture was a signal for juvenile uproar, whether it was the good old leathernecks landing, the cavalry mounting their steeds, the tanks going into action, the pardon getting under way, or the hero breaking his chains and starting a footrace.

Parlor drama has rather edged this old formula off the platform, however, except in rare instances and “Tarzan the Ape Man” is an outstanding example. It has not one chase episode but a dozen and it abounds in thrilling sequences, contains a sufficient modicum of human nature, a dash of romance and an occasional comedy chapter.

W. S. Van Dyke has really accomplished an excellent job in translating these Edgar Rice Burroughs stories into a workmanlike film. It is fantastic, of course, and it was made for the most part on the lots in Hollywood, but it rarely gets out of focus and remains as logical a fable as the author intended it to be.

“Tarzan the Ape Man,” as prepared for the screen, is the story of an ivory hunting adventure participated in by an old hunter, his young partner and his attractive young daughter, who imposes herself on the party. In the jungle they cross paths with a white man who has been reared by the apes but who is civilized enough to be a gentleman if necessary.

Tarzan is attracted by the girl’s beauty and annoyed by the bullets of her male escort, so in an opportune moment, he seizes her and carries her off to the tree tops. After several days of this life, she develops an affection for her captor and he begins to comprehend enough to be willing to return her to her people.

And then after a fond and affectionate farewell, the white hunters find that they need Tarzan much more than he needs them. They are captured by a vicious tribe of pygmies and face certain death when Tarzan, aided by a monkey who has most of the comedy in the picture, calls upon his faithful elephant herd to get busy in a big way.

There are times when “Tarzan” threatens to go in a little too heavily for the new horror school of melodrama, but in the main it is an exciting melodrama with a synthetic jungle atmosphere that appears authentic, a variety of dramatic scenes and a well-sustained story. The acting cast is limited in size and well chosen.

Johnny Weismuller, the swimmer, makes his movie bow as Tarzan and both looks and acts the part of the handsome wild man, also doing a bit of swimming in addition to his tree top acrobatics; Maureen O’Sullivan is attractive bait for the taming of the man-simian; and C. Aubrey Smith and Neil Hamilton comfort themselves competently as the explorers.

The short subjects are varied, including a travelogue, a comedy and the usual cartoon, as well as the news reel.


KC said...

I didn't know Cagney was the original choice for Blessed Event! That would have been interesting. I think Lee Tracy was slightly more suited to the role, but I would have loved Cagney as well.

Tom said...

I love that picture of Claudette!

A said...

Great post! I love how you find such fascinating tidbits.

GAH1965 said...

Blessed Event is one of my favorite movies of 1932, perhaps my absolute favorite. While I think Lee Tracy is perfect in it, young James Cagney would have been interesting to see as well. Jack Oackie, however, would not have worked for me.

Tom - I love that Colbert picture too. It's from 1934, but I thought it was too good to pass up posting.

Thanks Amanda, I always appreciate your comments. The research is half the fun of the blog for me. I love when I come across some long-forgotten gem that might amuse people today.