Monday, August 9, 2010

April 27, 1932


Two of Movies Best Money Makers Facing Loss of Contracts

Hollywood, Cal., April 27 (AP)
Officials of two film studios girded their loins to-day for a court battle to get a decision in the clash of artistic temperament with studio executive authority.

Meanwhile, Marlene Dietrich, blonde German-born film star, and James Cagney, another screen star, were under suspension by their studios.

Miss Dietrich was suspended last night by the Paramount Studios because she refused to appear for work under a director other than Josef von Sternberg.

Von Sternberg last Saturday left Hollywood in a huff, declaring he considered the story provided for his next production unsuitable. He is now en route to New York, and is under suspension by Paramount Studios too.

Refuses To Appear

Miss Dietrich, siding in with the director, refused to appear at the studio where a substitute director, Richard Wallace, was to direct her. Her suspension followed.

The studio intimated to-day it would carry to the courts the fight for the authority to dictate to screen artists what pictures they are to appear in or direct.

The salaries of both Miss Dietrich and Von Sternberg were ordered stopped by the studio pending the outcome of the controversy.

Demands Increase

Cagney was suspended by the Warner Brothers-First National Studios yesterday after he had demanded a $2400 weekly increase in pay. He had been signed under a long term contract at $1600 weekly.

The actor refused to appear at a premier showing of his most recent picture, scheduled for to-morrow night. He said he would leave Hollywood within a few days on a motor trip through the Canadian Rockies and later, perhaps, make a trip to Europe.

Cagney said unless his salary demands are heeded by the studio he will quit motion pictures and enter Columbia University to study medicine. His two brothers are physicians, he said.

Procedure Undecided

No indication was given by the two studios what action they will take against the three artists under suspension, whether it will seek to have the contracts broken or if they will seek to have the agreements remain in force.

If the contracts are found legal and the studio is given the right to dictate to its artists and should the artists refuse to appear, they would be barred from other studios, according to an agreement made between leading producers of the film colony. The agreement is to the effect no studio will employ anyone who has broken his contract until the term of employment specified in it has run its course.


Hollywood, Cal., April 27 (UP)
Seriously ill for the past two weeks as the result of a nervous breakdown, Carole Lombard, screen actress and wife of William Powell, actor, was reported out of danger to-day. Announcement that she had passed the crisis in her illness was the first word given the public that she had been ill.


Norma Talmadge, American screen star, who stated several days ago that when she obtains a divorce from Joseph M. Schenck, her film-producer husband, it will be in Reno, is now in Paris and has decided not to get a divorce at all, according to dispatches from Paris.

“You can say I have changed my mind about the divorce,” she said.

“I have talked to Mr. Schenck and decided that getting a divorce is too much trouble. So there will be no divorce.”

Miss Talmadge said she would remain in Europe for five or six months.


Hollywood, April 27 (UP)
Gary Cooper returned to Hollywood today bringing with him a cargo of 60 mounted wild game species and a live baby chimpanzee, trophies of a hunting trip in Africa.


John Miljan, Myrna Loy and J. P. McGowan hold the championships for being the most prolific actor, actress and director respectively over the last five years. Their scores, compiled from Film Daily Year Book records, cover only feature pictures on which they were given screen credit.

Miljan has 55 pictures to his credit, an average of 11 annually for the five year period covered. Miss Loy, currently seen in “Vanity Fair,” is down for 45, an average of 9 yearly. McGowan, specializing in Westerns, not only directed 54 features but also appeared in 45 of them.

Only 20 players receiving screen credit appeared in an average of six or more features a year over the last five years.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Los Angeles, April 27
Joseph Schenck will have to find another Elizabeth Barrett for “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” Katharine Cornell has definitely made up her mind not to play the part in the screen version that she created so successfully on the stage.

A telegram was sent yesterday to Schenck in which Miss Cornell thanked him for his patience in waiting so long for her decision, but stated she would rather continue on the stage in the same play. Schenck’s agreement is such that if he doesn’t produce the play for United Artists himself it will revert to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He bought it with that understanding.

The Fox “gang” has been looking to see Clara Bow on the lot. I think I can say with truth that Clara will not start to make a picture until she has reduced. Sam Rork is sending a trainer to her Nevada ranch to get her back to the slender Clara of two years ago.

I won’t be difficult for her to reduce once she makes up her mind. It’s only the first few days that are difficult. Clara, thin again, will probably do “Call Her Savage” by Tiffany Thayer. That is the story that both Sam Rork and Richard Rowland have agreed upon, providing there is not too much money involved in its purchase.

It’s something to write a story and something else again to sell it. Clara Beranger and Forrest Halsey have authored many a yarn together and, curiously enough, they have never missed a sale since they collaborated.

Canal Boy is their latest joint effort. B. P. Schulberg bought it as soon as it was finished and he says it looks like a “natural” for Sylvia Sidney and Gary Cooper.

B. P. has had phones ringing , personal calls and telegrams on the Dietrich-Von Sternberg battle, published first in this column. He says it isn’t often any company will spend five weeks beyond schedule to be sure a story is right, and that’s what he did with “Blonde Venus.”

My two good friends, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, adopt a daughter in their next picture. I don’t know whether these two comics mean as much to you as they do to me, but every time I hear there is a Laurel and Hardy comedy being shown I put on the last year’s coat and bonnet and take myself to the theater.

Hal Roach tells me that these two consistently retain a great batting average at all the box offices.

I was particularly interested to hear that Anita Louise will play the lead in the next Laurel and Hardy comedy, an overseas picture where they fall heir to the daughter of a buddy. Hal Roach is one of the most interesting of the comedy producers. He sticks exclusively to comedy and does a mighty good job of it.

Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random:

Lilyan Tashman walking into the Brown Derby with one of those new saucer hats and giving the natives a treat.

Chico Marx, home from the hospital but still confined to the house.

Sally Eilers returned home with a whole trunk full of New York clothes.

Kay Francis getting a preview call the same night she was giving a party for fifty people. She went to the preview and let her husband, Kenneth McKenna, receive her guests. The guests admiring some excellent portraits of famous people done by Kenneth’s father.

Tallulah Bankhead taking another three months’ lease on William Haines’ house.


Eddie Cantor’s “Kid from Spain” will be sans Technicolor to save $225,000.

Connie Bennett’s next for Warners will be “Two Against the World.”

Clarence Brown’s directorial contract will be extended two years by M-G-M.

Nina Cox Putnam has sold a third story to Universal. Called “Auto Camp” it will serve Slim Summerville and Zasu Pitts.

Howard Phillips, after a year on the Fox payroll, has been set adrift.

Jeanette MacDonald is expected to desert Paramount to play the feminine lead in “Bitter Sweet” for Fox.

Paul Lukas’ first starring vehicle at Universal will be Louis Bromfield’s “No. 55”.

Madge Evans and M-G-M have kissed and made up, but it will cost the studio $250 more a week.

Two youngsters of little previous screen fame are given their first featured roles in “Young America,” Frank Borzage’s latest production. Tommy Conlon and Raymond Borzage, the latter a nephew of the director, share leading honors with Spencer Tracy, Doris Kenyon, Ralph Bellamy and Beryl Mercer in this new picture of modern home life.


A said...

Great post! I can totally sympathize with Carole Lombard, poor dear.

Francy said...

Great post. It was interesting to read about Carole Lombard and Clara Bow.

Clarissa said...

Haha, birthdays needn't to make older, but soap does!

Great pleasure to read though!!


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