Wednesday, January 19, 2011

May 3, 1932


Red-haired Actress Is Fourth Artist in Insurgent Ranks

Hollywood, Cal., May 3 (AP)
The ranks of indigent motion picture artists to-day included Nancy Carroll, red-haired actress. The nature of Miss Carroll’s differences with Paramount Studios was not disclosed, although she has been off salary from the studio for several weeks as a result of disagreements.

Miss Carroll is the latest of four film artists at odds with their employers.

Marlene Dietrich, James Cagney and Josef Von Sternberg previously announced severance of relations with their studios.

Von Sternberg, returning to Hollywood from New York last night, said he would never again direct a picture for Paramount. The director and Miss Dietrich were suspended by the studio for failure to produce a story provided them. They said they considered the story “unsuitable.”

“I am quite positive I will not direct again for Paramount and that Miss Dietrich will not appear in another picture for the company,” said Von Sternberg.

Miss Dietrich met Von Sternberg at the railroad station and left with him in his automobile. She refused to make a statement, allowing the director to talk for both of them. Von Sternberg said he had several offers for his services, but that “there are several legal aspects to be gone over before I will accept any of them.”

Cagney, star of Warner Brothers-First National studios, said he would leave for New York within the next few days, quitting his film career for the study of medicine. He had been holding out for a $2400 weekly increase in salary, although his contract already called for $1600 weekly. The studio suspended him when he refused to work.

Miss Carroll, in private life Mrs. Bolton Mallory, was reported to be en route to Hollywood from New York to discuss her differences with Paramount.


Hollywood, May 3 (UP)
Doug Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Hollywood’s most famous couple, will be reunited in San Francisco Thursday when Fairbanks and his company return from Papeete, in the South Sea Islands.

Miss Pickford is due here from New York Wednesday and will go to San Francisco to meet her husband.

The Fairbanks party sailed February 17 for Papeete. Included in the party are William Farnum, Maria Alba, Ed Sutherland, director, and several technicians and business representatives.


New York, May 3 (INS)
Roscoe (“Fatty”) Arbuckle, rotund comedian, who formerly thrilled world-wide audiences by his clowning antics for the silent screen, to-day prepared to achieve a comeback.

Arbuckle, with his fiancée, slender titian-haired Addie McPhail, will open in a vaudeville engagement in New York Friday night. If it is successful, he hopes to appear again in the movies.


London, May 3 (UP)
Louis Mercanton, film director, died to-day. He directed “Mothers of France,” said to have been the first foreign film exhibited in the United States.

Film and stage stars who worked under Mercanton’s direction include Sarah Bernhardt, Constance Talmadge, Betty Balfour, Gaby Deslys, Fay Compton and Ivor Novello.


Hollywood, May 3
General reduction of stars’ salaries among other companies as well as its own is expected by Warner Brothers as a result of the voluntary cut taken by Richard Barthelmess. They rely on the influence of his example in recognizing present economic conditions and will suggest cuts to players.

Under his former contract, Barthelmess received $150,000 each for two pictures yearly. Under the new two-year agreement he will receive $100,000 each for three pictures yearly, which is practically a 33 1-3 per cent cut.


Los Angeles, May 3 (UP)
The case of Duncan Renaldo, motion picture actor, charged with making a false affidavit to obtain a passport, was continued today until the September calendar of the United States District Court.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Unrelenting in his fight with the New York censor board, Howard Hughes tells me he is going to battle and battle to a finish for the release of “Scarface.”

“It did a grand business in Los Angeles,” he told me, “and I didn’t hear people criticize it, did you? We didn’t show gangsters in any glorified light.”

All of this brings back the performance of Paul Muni in “Scarface.”

Winfield Sheehan brought Muni out here two years ago, and I looked at marvelous tests and prophesied a future for him. Fox apparently didn’t give him the right stories, and he went back to New York.

Now he is coming out again, and watch what he will do. He has been signed to play the lead in “Lawyer Man” for First National. The story is by Mark S. Potkin.

You couldn’t expect anybody on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot to verify anything the day before the opening of “Grand Hotel.”

Ethel Barrymore is due here June 1. A long time ago we printed a story that Ethel would appear with her brothers, Lionel and John Barrymore, in a production to be selected by M-G-M or perhaps Radio. There seems to be an exchange of Barrymores between these two companies.

Saturday we heard in a New York wire that the picture will be made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but as I said you just couldn’t verify anything after all the excitement of the premier of “Grand Hotel.” Nobody was in his office, and those who were didn’t want to talk about anything but the opening.

Chatter in Hollywood:

Marlene Dietrich, slender, wearing black and on the arm of her husband attracting as much attention as any star at the “Grand Hotel” opening. She looked happy and seemed unruffled by all the publicity she has received on her broken contract.

“Every time my husband comes here he arrives just when we are having trouble,” she said. “I am glad to be here to help her, “ he answered. He is a good looking young German and he seems devoted to Marlene. When he reached here for the first time, Mrs. Von Sternberg was trying to involve Marlene in her domestic troubles. Now it’s the contract.

John Barrymore, at the last minute, got stage fright and did not attend the premier of “Grand Hotel.” His wife, Dolores Costello, however, soon to become a mother, slipped into the theater to see what everyone says is John’s most charming role. Later I saw her having supper quietly with a couple of friends at the Roosevelt hotel.

Hoot Gibson fortified himself against this recent, uncertain California weather.

Last year his rodeo was spoiled by a downpour and he lost thousands of dollars. This year he didn’t take a chance. He took out an insurance policy with Harvey Priester, local insurance man, which calls for a return of the money invested in case of rain during the hours of nine and three in the afternoon of the day of the rodeo.

All the lads who play in westerns were at the rodeo. Wonder if Ken Maynard was there? His next picture is “Hell-Fire Austin.” If Mr. Maynard was there he didn’t fly. He signed for eight pictures and while he is making them his contract says he must not do any traveling by airplane. The leading lady scheduled to play opposite him is Ivy Merton, erstwhile stage actress.

Snapshots of Hollywood:
Marion Davies, home again after a vacation in the country, held an open house. Gertrude Michael of the New York stage, a guest, had just had a test made for an important role.

Gary Cooper in a very English tweed suit, just back from South Africa, told us all about that fascinating country. Randolph Scott, supposed to look like Gary, was also a guest at Marion’s.

Eileen Percy, still very tanned, Constance Talmadge Netcher in white pajamas trimmed in chinchilla, Bebe Daniels, Ben Lyon, Frances Marion, Charles Lederer, Howard Hughes and others dined at Marion’s house.

From Wood Soanes:

Down in Hollywood there is another hub-bub over the walk-out of Josef Von Sternberg and the refusal of Marlene Dietrich to work under a substitute director.

From this distance it looks like a grand publicity scheme, but of course it may be a repetition of the old “Wolf, Wolf” fable. Every time there is a contract to be renewed or a picture to be released, the press agents make a special effort to land copy on the front pages.

If it be a legitimate quarrel, however, I am inclined to side with Von Sternberg and Miss Dietrich and applaud them for their effort to improve the picture product. They accepted a story only to have it returned, after another executive conference, with changes they believed were detrimental.

Robert Montgomery has been given a new contract by M-G-M. His picture “But the Flesh is Weak” will be followed by “Letty Lynton,” in which he appears with Joan Crawford. Montgomery made his picture debut in “So This Is College.”

Clarence Brown, who directed “Letty Lynton,” was also given a new contract just after he received a special transport license from the government. He celebrated both items with a flying trip east where he will buy a new plane and then make a brief tour of Europe.


By Chester B. Bahn

Louise Fazenda is working in Universal’s “Tonight’s the Night.”

Helen Coburn of the Theater Guild has been signed for M-G-M films.

William Faulkner, author of “Sanctuary,” has been signed to write M-G-M originals, dialog and adaptations.

Paramount has kissed Nancy Carroll goodbye.

Peggy Shannon and Allen Davis (friend husband) are maintaining separate ménages.

Watch for a film merger with William Fox back in harness.

Doug Fairbanks docks in Frisco Thursday and Mary Pickford will be there to greet him.

M-G-M is bidding for the film rights to “Dancing Lady” by James Warner Bellah.

Leslie Banks, signed by Radio, will make his film bow via Columbia, being loaned for the “heavy” role in “The Bitter Tea of General Yen.” Herbert Brenon will direct and the femme leads will be Anna May Wong and Connie Cummings.

George Brent will be Opposite Loretta Young in “They Call It Sin.”

The Barrymore threesome talkie probably will be under the M-G-M banner.

Joan Blondell, Bette Davis and Ann Dvorak will have the leads in “Three On a Match.”

From Robert Grandon:

Oodles and oodles of real romance of the studio...

A fact which was brought to my attention the other noon as we met for luncheon at the Brown Derby. The romance of Leslie Fenton and Ann Dvorak, with the attendant breach-of-promise action, started the conversation.

“Do you know,” somebody said, “Their romance was one of holidays. They were introduced on New Year’s Eve. Next they met on the set on St. Valentine’s Day. Then they flew to Yuma and wed on St. Patrick’s Day.”

“Yes, and don’t forget that their love affair started when they were screen lovers, as have so many other romances,” was the retort.

Which is quite true. John Barrymore fell in love with Dolores Costello when they played in “The Sea Beast.”

It was after William Powell and Carole Lombard were together in “Man of the World” that she decided she loved him.

When “The Virtuous Sin” was being done Kay Francis said “yes” to Kenneth McKenna.

And Harold Lloyd fell for Mildred Davis when she played his leads.

Joan Crawford and Doug (Junior) Fairbanks middle-aisled in the studio and went right on to the church. The picture was “Our Modern Maidens.”

Sally Eilers galloped like all fury through westerns until Hoot Gibson caught up with her and took her away to his ranch.

Jimmy Dunn announced his engagement after “Dance Team.” It was June Knight whom he had met when she doubled in some of the scenes.

Donald Dilaway and Dorothy Jordan have been pairing it since in “Min and Bill.” And Wesley Ruggles wed Arline Judge after directing her in a picture.

And there are several other romances budding in a like way, though they may fall and wither before too long.They are too incipient, as yet, to report .


Marian Marsh in “Under Eighteen” is the feature attraction at the Lyric Theater for Tuesday and Wednesday. Miss Marsh portrays a poor girl who tries with misguided enthusiasm to lift herself into the society of the rich. Others in the cast are Regis Toomey, Warren William, Anita Page, Emma Dunn and Joyce Compton.


Nancy Carroll’s new picture, “Personal Maid” from the novel by Grace Perkins, is the attraction at the National Theater for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Glimpses of high life behind doors of Park Avenue are shown in the film. It is a modern story of a maid who finds that money doesn’t bring happiness but whose cleverness, wit, beauty and brains create a sensation in society’s foremost family.

George Fawcett and Nancy Carroll’s sister, Terry Carroll, are included in the cast. A comedy, “The Girl in the Tonneau,” and a travel talk will be shown.


VP81955 said...

Interesting potential alternate universe there. Paul Muni in "Lawyer Man" (not William Powell)? Constance Cummings and Anna May Wong in "The Bitter Tea Of General Yen" (not Barbara Stanwyck and Toshia Mori)? Hmmm.

A said...

Really wish Fatty's comeback would have worked out. An underrated comedian

GAH1965 said...

VP - I would love to see General Yen with the alternate casting. It's not my favorite role for Stanwyck, so I'd be curious to know what Cummings would have been like, and of course Anna May Wong is great in everything she appeared in.

Paul Muni in "Lawyer Man" is really hard to picture. Either it would have been a very different picture, or else Muni was going to be groomed for types of roles so different from those he actually ended up playing.

Like you, some of my favorite parts of this blog involve the "alternate universe" casting choices that we learn about. Learning the title changes that films went through, and which were released to the press, also fascinates me as well.

Amanda - I wish Arbuckle's comeback would have happened too. It would have been nice if the Hal Roach studios had been able to star him. I could see him making some great shorts with someone like Thelma Todd at this time, too.