Tuesday, August 31, 2010

April 28, 1932


Paramount Studios Plan Suit As Result Of Dispute Over New Film

Hollywood, Calif., April 28 (AP)
Officials of the Paramount Studios said to-day they would file within the next few days a damage suit for $100,000 against its leading director and actress, Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich.

Both von Sternberg and Miss Dietrich are under suspension by the studio for failing to produce a story provided them by the studio, the director objecting to the story as “unsuitable” and Miss Dietrich siding with him in his contention.

The legal department of the studio, officials said, is preparing the suit, which will seek recompense for the delay and expense entailed by the director’s and star’s insurgency.

Von Sternberg is now in New York having left Hollywood last Saturday in the face of a studio ultimatum to proceed with production of the story provided him. His pay, as well as that of Miss Dietrich, has been stopped, and their future status with the film industry was a matter of conjecture to-day.

While Paramount Studios was having its difficulties, Warner Brothers-First National Studios continued their suspension of James Cagney, red-haired star. Cagney has demanded a $2400 increase in salary despite the fact he was signed at $1600 a week on a long-term contract. The studio said his demands were “out of reason” and suspended him.


New York, April 28 (AP)
Josef von Sternberg, Hollywood’s striking film director, was a bit contemptuous to-day about the report that Paramount Studios had started preparations for a $100,000 damage suit against him.

“One hundred thousand dollars, is that all?” the director asked.

“I valued myself higher than that. I think they are trying to humiliate me by asking for so little.”


Sternberg Says Marlene Dietrich Not To Be Ordered About; Other Jobs Open

New York, April 27 (AP)
Marlene Dietrich, German movie actress, “certainly is not going to be ordered about like a soldier in the army,” Josef von Sternberg, suspended Paramount director, declared this afternoon.

Neither is Von Sternberg, he implied.

As for what happened in Hollywood to cause the rebellion and so result in Sternberg and Miss Dietrich temporarily being among the unemployed, he explained succinctly:

“The story of Blonde Venus (the Dietrich film he was directing) was my own. The treatment was mine too. They didn’t like the treatment and made another; I didn’t like that. They ordered me to direct a treatment I didn’t like, and I wouldn’t.

Simple, isn’t it?”

Miss Dietrich sided with Von Sternberg and, when Richard Wallace was appointed substitute director, she didn’t show up for work in Hollywood yesterday.

As for contracts purported to enjoin the director from directing and the actress from acting for anybody else, he said:

“Yes, they threaten eternal excommunication, or something like that, if we go elsewhere. But I don’t think they can prevent it. And I don’t anticipate either of us will have any trouble.

At the Paramount offices, it was said that unless Von Sternberg made a move to confer with officials, there would be no development here. The problem is up to B. P. Schulberg, Paramount’s director in Hollywood. Meanwhile, salaries are not being paid.

Von Sternberg said he would be here a day or two to visit his parents on Long Island, and then would return to Hollywood “to play some golf.”

He expects to go back to work soon, he said.

A reference to damage suits brought last year by Von Sternberg’s divorced wife, Mrs. Ziga von Sternberg, naming Miss Dietrich defendant and charging libel and alienation of affections, he waved aside.

“Domestic difficulties? I haven’t any,” he said. “I was just a passive party to all that, you know.”


Los Angeles, April 28 (AP)
After testifying that his wife, Mrs. Gladys Frazin Banks, actress, had formed a habit of disappearing for a day or more without explanation, Monty Banks, film actor, was granted a divorce today by Superior Judge Lester W. Roth.

Banks, who charged Mrs. Banks with cruelty, cited her disappearance from his home April 7 as one of the many acts of alleged cruelty.

“We looked everywhere but could not find her,” Banks testified. “We finally located her, five days later, at a friend’s home. Many times she was intoxicated when she returned home from one of her disappearances.”


Seattle, Wash., April 28 (UP)
Reports that she would marry Georges Carpentier, boxer and actor, were denied here to-day by Lita Grey Chaplin, who said she was too busy in vaudeville to think about marrying any one.

The actress said she was not worried about Chaplin’s illness at Singapore, because she understood it was not serious.


Wife of William Powell to Resume Film Work

Hollywood, Calif., April 27 (AP)
Seriously ill for the last two weeks as the result of a nervous breakdown, Carole Lombard, screen actress and wife of William Powell, actor, was reported out of danger today.

Announcement she had passed the crisis in her illness was the first news given the public that she had been ill.

Miss Lombard denied she was having differences with Paramount studio over her next picture. She said the story provided for her, “Hot Saturday,” was being altered to conform with her wishes.


Hollywood, Calif., April 27
Warner Brothers-First National Studios announced today Richard Barthelmess has signed a new two-year contract calling for a 33 1/3 per cent cut in salary, although his actual earning power will not be decreased.

Barthelmess, a star nearly as long as any celebrity in Hollywood, formerly made two pictures a year receiving $150,000 for each picture. In the future, he will be paid $100,000 a picture, but he will make three pictures annually.

In announcing the contract, the studio said the actor was “one of the first in Hollywood to realize studio revenues had been affected by economic conditions and volunteered to reframe his contract to meet present-day emergencies.


Reno, Nev., April 28
Will Rogers and Ben Lyon, motion picture stars, will be among the passengers of a fleet of 15 airplanes to visit Reno Saturday, May 28, officials of the Reno Chamber of Commerce advised yesterday.

The squadron will make a country-wide tour, advertising the Olympic games at Los Angeles, and the visitors in their stop here will be guests at a luncheon.


Hollywood, Cal., April 28 (AP)
Absent from the screen for more than nine months, Clara Bow has signed a contract with the Fox film corporation for six months with a renewal option for a long-term contract.

Originally scheduled to re-enter films via the smaller, independent companies, Miss Bow was successful in obtaining the Fox contract which will pay her between $125,000 and $150,000 for each picture.

The red-headed actress has been in retirement since she left the screen about nine months ago after a breakdown, which followed a host of other troubles. Breaking off her film career at Paramount Studio, Miss Bow went to the Nevada ranch of Rex Bell, cowboy actor, for a long rest. They were married soon afterward.


Actor Painfully Cut In Accident

Donald Cook, film actor, is confined to his home as the result of injuries received when his auto crashed into a parked car. The esrstwhile leading man was painfully cut about the head.


Talkie Is Favorite With Miss Stanwyck

Hollywood, April 28 (AP)
Barbara Stanwyck claims no “sixth sense,” but declares she can predict whether or not a new picture of hers is to be good or not after she has worked in it three days.

A recent film in which she starred she has never seen and does not intend to see, even though she made personal appearances with it for six weeks.

“Why should I see it? After three days on the set I knew it was a mistake,” she says. “How? Just a feeling. You can sense it in the way the director works, in the attitude of the other members of the cast, of your own reactions.”

Miss Stanwyck is exceptionally critical of her own pictures. “Forbidden,” a generally popular film, she liked “only in parts,” but “So Big” is one of her favorites.


But is June Clyde laughing?

As one of 100 applicants for the lead part of a new picture not long ago, she was rejected by screen tester Thornton Freeland. And then, less than six months later, she got him for a husband! So now June, who is only 22, is doing fine in films.

Is she laughing!

From Luella O. Parsons:

Los Angeles, April 28
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio yesterday welcomed Marion Davies. She returned home after a vacation, ready to talk business on “Good Time Girl.” It’s a comedy, of course, and it seems fitting that Robert Montgomery should play the lead opposite her. Bob is an expert when it comes to playing these comedy parts.

Anita Loos has written the dialogue for Frances Marion’s story and it has moments that are as humorous as “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The story might easily have been called “Two Blondes,” since two chorus girls are the central figures.

Someone asked Marion who ought to play the other girl. “Justine Johnston” was the answer, for it was Justine Johnston who was in the Ziegfeld chorus with Marion when they were struggling young actresses. Justine, however, has gone in for research work at Columbia University and has put the stage behind her.

Evalyn Knapp, the girl who broke her back and was out of pictures for some months, has obtained her release from First National. She said adieu to Warners one day and signed the next to play opposite John Breedon at Paramount.

That excellent comic, both off and on the screen, James Gleason, is on the Paramount lot. He is playing a part in George Bancroft’s “Challenger.”

Janet Gaynor and Charlie Farrell are back on the Fox lot after each having had a between-picture vacation. They had tests made and story conferences for “The First Year,’ their next picture, which goes into production next week.

Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random:

Hoot Gibson getting hundreds of reservations from the film crowd for his rodeo next week, one group taking a bus to drive there. Sally Eilers, home from New York, getting ready to help Hoot with his yearly event.

Joan Bennett and Ben Lyon studying dialog for their picture at Joan and Gene Markey’s dinner party. Alan Crosland, director of this Fox opera, a guest at the Markey’s. His wife, Natalie Moorhead, in pale blue.

Richard Barthelmess and Mike Curtiz getting together on the First National lot for Dick’s next.

Adolphe Menjou mentally saying a few things when he had to ride a horse on the Fox lot.

George Raft and a few friends trying all the rides at Ocean Park.


By Chester B. Bahn
Grant Withers, once a picture comer, is leading an orchestra on a dance hall tour this summer.

The Marx’s “Horse Feathers” has stopped production due to Chico’s injuries in an automobile accident.

Not to be outdone by M-G-M’s Garbo publicity, Paramount is going in for some Dietrich tantrums – all in good fun, you may be assured.

Buddy Rogers is reported weary of New York and revues and is anxious to return to the Coast. It may be that he regrets being so hasty when Paramount ordered a salary cut or no new contract.

Florence Britton gets a good role in “Merrily We Go to Hell” supporting Fredric March and Sylvia Sidney.

“Good Earth,” as dramatized by Owen Davis and Son Donald from Pearl S. Buck’s novel, may be produced by the Theater Guild with M-G-M financial backing; the talkie rights would be a factor in the matter, of course.

Speaking of the Theater Guild and M-G-M, the studio again is negotiating with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne; the stars, however, are insistent upon the right to dictate story selection.

Billy West (remember him?) attempting a come-back in Chic Sales’ “Competition.”

Brian Aherne, legit actor, has rejected an M-G-M offer.

“Trick for Trick,” written by Shirley Warde, former stock actress, and Vivian Crosby and Harry Gribble, will be filmed by Fox; the studio paid $20,000 for the film rights… which is $6000 more than the rights to “Grand Hotel” cost M-G-M, if you’re interested.

Laurel and Hardy want $10,000 a week for personal appearances abroad this summer… Oh well, there’s no harm in wanting.

M-G-M will loan Margaret Perry to Radio to play opposite Joel McCrea in “The Most Dangerous Game.”

Genevieve Tobin goes to Columbia for the lead in “Hollywood Speaks.”

Warners have given Lee Tracy a term contract.

An old-timer who was the idol of feminine movie fans comes triumphantly back to the screen in “The Greeks Had a Word for Them,” Samuel Goldwyn’s United Artists production of Zoe Adkins comedy. He is Phillips Smalley, whose name the elder generation will at once recognize.

One of the infrequent cases of a film character actually impersonating a living character is embodied in Ralph Bellamy’s role in “Young America.” The actor plays the part of Judge Blake of the Juvenile Court, and models his portrayal on the characteristics and mannerisms of the real Judge Blake who presides over the Los Angeles Juvenile Court. Officials, serving as technical advisors on the picture, said the impersonation is remarkable.

Richard Arlen will make no more Westerns; his new Paramount contract guarantees that he shall not be cast in “horse op’rys.” Arlen, currently appearing in “Sky Bride,” has been loaned by his studio to Warners for “Tiger Shark” starring Edward G. Robinson. Warners are paying considerably more than the contract salary, and Dick will collect the difference as a bonus from Paramount.

1 comment:

A said...

Fascinating post. Great job!