Wednesday, December 8, 2010

May 1, 1932


Los Angeles, April 30 (AP)
Blonde Daisy De Voe, former secretary to Clara Bow, film actress, who was convicted of charges of grand theft from her employer, must serve the remaining 12 months of an 18 month county jail sentence, conditional to five years probation.

The district court of appeal today denied Miss De Voe a new trial of the charge. Her attorney, however, said he would file a motion for a re-hearing.


Now that “A Successful Calamity” has been completed, George Arliss has decided to start from Hollywood for Europe at an early date, to remain abroad for the spring and summer, returning to California and the Warner Bros. Studios for the resumption of his picture work next fall.

This decision is a change of plan on Mr. Arliss’ part, as he had expected to make another film in Hollywood before going overseas for his annual vacation. According to advices from the West Coast, Mr. Arliss declares that in all probability he will not return to the stage for at least two years. “I have a number of interesting proposals to consider, “ said the actor, “but it seems scarcely worth while to try a stage production when three or four months of my next two seasons are already occupied by motion picture engagements.”

Mr. and Mrs. Arliss will spend about two weeks in New York before sailing for France, where they will remain until June, at which time they will cross the Channel to England, to spend the summer at their home in St. Margaret’s Bay, Kent.

In “A Successful Calamity,” which will probably have its world premiere in New York next month, Mr. Arliss is supported by a large cast including Mary Astor, Evalyn Knapp, Grant Mitchell, David Torrence, William Janney, Hardie Albright, Hale Hamilton, Fortunie Bonanova, Richard Tucker and Barbara Leonard.


Actor Played With Ethel Barrymore in “Royal Fandango”

Spencer Tracy, who returns to the sound-screen in “Young America,” was born in Milwaukee on April 5, 1900. He learned his A-B-C’s in the public schools of that city and then went to Marquette University to discover the “hows, whys and whens” of medicine.

Half way though college he suddenly decided he wanted to be an actor, shut his textbook with a bang, grabbed his hat and boarded the first train for New York. There he studied dramatic art, joined a stock company, played in Theater Guild productions and got his first break with Ethel Barrymore in “The Royal Fandango.”

When that show finally closed he hopped to Cincinnati for a season of stock with Stuart Walker. Then back to New York for a three-year contract and diversified roles with George M. Cohan.

While he thought at the time he was making strides along the path to fame, he now realizes that he was only toddling and learning to walk. Bigger things were yet to come. The first was his role in “The Last Mile,” which won him acclaim on Broadway and a contract with Fox Films.


Myrna Loy was a commercial artist when “discovered” as a screen possibility by Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Valentino. Since then she has vamped her way to success and a contract.


Nils Asther will have the leading male role in “Letty Lynton,” Joan Crawford’s next starring picture for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Clarence Brown, who recently directed “Emma,” will direct the new film.


Dorothy Jordan wears costumes dating way back before the war on into modern times in “The Wet Parade” in which she is appearing at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. She “grows up” from a little girl by the use of her costumes alone, without any recourse to makeup.


Noah Beery, Jr., making his film debut in “Heroes of the West,” a Universal picture, will not follow in the footsteps of his “villainous” dad, but will assume the character of a frontier youth seeing adventure.


Gardening is the main interest of H. B. Warner, famous English film actor, when not engaged in making pictures, and he has won many prizes at flower shows with his rare and exotic entries, which have been developed in the hothouses at his Beverly Hills estate.


Stockholm, April 30 (AP)
Einar Widebaeck, owner of a suburban barber shop, declined a Stockholm movie house’s offer to tell about his employment of Greta Garbo to the first night audience of one of her films.

Greta started to earn her living by lathering customers in Widebaeck’s shop.
Like the movie star, Widebaeck has prospered; like her, too, he is reticent about the days she spent in his shop.


“Grand Hotel,” with its multiplicity of stars, cost Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $970,000 to make, and it is expected to gross approximately $2,000,000; the net profit thus will be slightly more than a million.

But before you call “Grand Hotel” an example of smart showmanship, give heed to the fact that in the same production period M-G-M might have made at least three other features with Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Wallace Beery had not their services been drafted for what originally was announced as a Greta Garbo starring film.

Fifty thousand British film fans, replying to a questionnaire, have “elected” Ronald Colman, Englishman, and Norma Shearer, native of Canada, as their favorite cinema players.

The poll, the first taken in four years, has these runners-up, in order of their popularity:

Women – Constance Bennett, Marie Dressler, Ruth Chatterton, Janet Gaynor, Greta Garbo.

Men – Clive Brook, George Arliss, Robert Montgomery, Maurice Chevalier, John Boles.

The stellar turnover in four years is indicated by the absence in 1932 of these names from the first 30:

Dolores del Rio, Betty Balfour, Clara Bow, Vilma Banky, John Gilbert, Harold Lloyd, Norma Talmadge and Laura La Plante.


By Luella O. Parsons
Hollywood Calif., April 30

The report current in Hollywood is that B. P. Schulberg purposely precipitated the battle between Marlene Dietrich-Josef Von Sternberg and Paramount.

His reason for so doing is thought to be because he felt that Miss Dietrich would be much better with another director, that she would be less an automaton and would be much more natural and easy on the screen.

Anyway, it’s interesting conjecture although we can hardly believe Mr. Schulberg would deliberately hold up production to get Miss Dietrich to make a picture with another director. Yet B. P. may have had just that idea in his mind.


Will the Dempseys kiss and make up? A group of newspaper folk, discussing the matter, were agreed that it was more than likely that a reconciliation would take place. No two people could have had as emotional an outburst at the time of the separation if they had not been interested in each other. It’s only when love is dead and cold that a divorce is sought quietly without a few things said on each side. Jack and Estelle had dinner at Stare’s café one night last week and a little later appeared at the frolics. No less than 10 people called to tell this writer the news for said one “if they do make up it’s front page copy.”


They are putting down a red velvet carpet for Richard Barthelmess at Warner Brothers and turning over all the best facilities of the studio for him.

Dick is in pretty right now because he voluntarily offered to take a cut in salary when he heard that conditions were not what they were last year. His cut is equivalent to the price of one picture, in other words he gives Warner Brothers three pictures for the price of two.

If other stars would do as Dick has done it might save embarrassment all around. Who knows where the ax will fall and where it won’t fall? Drastic changes are being made in all the studios and salaries are being cut.


The red buckram lampshades and the simple prints chosen by Constance Bennett for her Malibu house promise to make her beach house outstanding. William Haines, who is one swell interior decorator when he isn’t acting, has been in daily conference with Connie over her new house. She is determined to keep the furnishings simple and inexpensive and for that reason has chosen charming prints, beautiful in their simplicity.

The Malibu season has opened with a vengeance. Shutters are open and furniture is being put in place. Wynne Gibson has rented a beach house 10 miles north of Malibu. She is using unpainted furniture and her friends say it is effective.


The Jigsaw puzzle companies must sell a lot of their product right in Hollywood. This town is that interested in putting the intricate bits of these puzzles together. I have watched Marion Davies try piece by piece to find a part of a garden flower or a bit of a lady’s gown or part of the stone steps of a medieval castle and she never rests until she succeeds.

Vivienne Osborne Is another jigsaw puzzle fan. Bess Meredyth, Louis B. Mayer, and Sylvia Thalberg are others who find this the greatest diversion in the world.

Believe me, you have to have steady nerves and be able to concentrate to fit these hundreds of small pieces.


Just who first started Greta Garbo on the big mystery act has often been a matter of conjecture. One of the magazine writers, Gladys Hall, says that Lon Chaney told her before he died that he had advised Miss Garbo to live in seclusion and to refuse to be on public parade.

“I have never gone in for big premiers,” he told her, “nor have I ever been seen at café openings.” Miss Garbo, up to that time, saw every interviewer and was just a good-natured girl from Sweden. She used to laugh and be one of the most friendly of the foreign players – but that was before she became famous.


Adrienne Ames’ millionaire husband came out here to take her back to New York. She was perfectly willing to go and had packed her trunks and was bidding Hollywood a temporary adieu when she was summoned to make a test for Richard Barthelmess’ picture, “Cabin in the Cotton.” She has been under contract to Paramount and has made excellent strides in the year she has been here.

Nancy Carroll’s red head is very apt to be missing from the screen at Paramount. She is having troubles, I am told, and her option has not yet been taken up.

Junior Laemmle celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday Thursday at Universal City. His chief diversion was having a birthday luncheon with the executives.


Clarissa said...

I said it somewhere else, you must have an awful lot of patience, because your time is creeping so very slowly. In order to reach the year 1939, you're probably supposed to grow as old as Methuselah ... :)

You said, you would be preparing 1933. So, are you now going to speed up your calendar? You see, I have a calendar - months are changing weekly. And now I have to follow it, whether I like it or not.

I already figured out, 1936 will start in June 2011 ...

Very happy to read your 30s stuff again and ...

... P.S.: I learned something on Wallace Beery from you several weeks ago. And so I was able to write this in my DINNER AT EIGHT article:

"The film could have turned out even nastier, if Wallace Beery would’ve appeared as dame once more. Well, thanks God he didn’t! But yet he’s playing the worst egg – Harlow’s husband of course – and they’re fighting one another like cat and dog all the time."

Well, that Beery once shocked in women's gown, I learned from you. In 1935 I'll be able to use this knowledge again - for Broadway Melody of 1936: It contains a little joke, referring to Beery's presentation in 1932. So that's the funny way the old man gets tacked on my blog now ...

GAH1965 said...

I do have patience, but it's a labor of love and I don't pressure myself. Most of the part that requires patience actually occurs behind the scenes. I read 9 daily newspapers to pull together the information that goes into the blog. I scan each of them cover to cover, so it's pretty time consuming. However, while I of course love finding the Hollywood info the most, right now I'm also very wrapped up in the details of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping as well as the Winnie Ruth Judd murder trial, both of which are at their height right now (now, being April-May '32.) So while it may seem that the snails-pace of progress moving through the year is what demands patience, for me it's actually the time spent reading 9 papers, all for the same day, all carrying basically the same general news items.

When I said I was preparing 1933, that referred to the movies that I'm watching. For some background, in 1995 I suffered a back injury that left me housebound for several weeks. In that time, I decided to watch every movie from 1929 & 1930 that I could get my hands on. Happily, at the time, I lived near Eddie Brandt's Saturday Matinee in North Hollywood, so even though this was pre-TCM days, I was able to rent and watch many, many vintage films not otherwise available. Watching them all ultimately extended well beyond the period of my injury.

After a gap of about five years, I decided to do the same for 1931. Again, I spent a couple of years watching all I could get hold of.

In about 2006, I started on 1932. At this point, I've seen just over 200 films released in '32 and have pretty much exhausted what I can readily get hold of. It was in the midst of watching these that I started this blog, because I wanted to immerse myself in the era for context. Concurrently, I started building my library of films released in 1933 so I would have them at the ready when I was ready to start viewing.

There's no rush on my part. I'm not working toward any kind of goal. I just really enjoy this period in filmmaking and movie stardom, enjoy being a bit of an "expert" in it, and so I watch at a very leisurely pace, which is why it can take a few years to cover a year.

When I started the blog, I thought I would have more time to devote to it, but as with so many people in this economic downturn, my life (particularly my work life) has become much more demanding and stressful than it was prior, so I'm usually too wiped out in the evenings now to do the research that it requires. And I really don't want to sacrifice any more movie-watching than I already am, as well.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and I'm particularly glad that it provides useful information. That's my main reason for resurrecting all these news stories. I take every bit of information with a grain of salt and willingly accept the outright lies and errors on the original journalists part because it still gives an insight into what info the public was being fed about Hollywood at this time.

Needless to say, your comments are very, very appreciated given the work that goes into creating each entry.

A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A said...

Great post! Love the pole.

Marion Davies love of puzzles must have been well known since it is referenced in Citizen Kane.

A said...

I meant poll not pole

diane said...

As far as I'm concerned you
can stay in 1932 forever.
I find myself really getting
into the year and excited to
read what film that "new fellow"
Tracy is going to make next!!

diane said...

As far as I'm concerned you
can stay in 1932 forever.
I find myself really getting
into the year and excited to
read what film that "new fellow"
Tracy is going to make next!!

GAH1965 said...

I certainly hope this Tracy fellow makes good, especially considering James Cagney is up and quitting us to become a doctor after such a promising start in pictures.