Monday, January 24, 2011

May 4, 1932


New York, May 4
Nobody is going to “boop-a-doop” and make money out of it if Helen Kane, screen and stage star who rode to fame on a “boop,” can help it.

She has filed suit here for $250,000 damages against the Paramount-Publix corporation, Max Fleischer, cartoonist, and the Fleischer Studios, charging that they pirated her “boop-a-doop” in a series of animated cartoons called “Betty Boop Series.”

“Plaintiff,” declared a brief submitted to the supreme court, “originated and still uses a method of singing songs in a novel manner, consisting of the interpolation at frequent intervals of the sounds “boop-a-doop,” or “boop-boop-a-doop,” or similar combinations of such sounds, or simply, “boop” alone.”

The animated cartoons, Miss Kane charges, are an imitation of this legally described “novel manner” of singing and she wants damages and an injunction.


Divorced Actress Adopts Baby Boy

Chicago, May 4 (AP)
Miriam Hopkins, film actress, adopted a baby boy in Chicago Wednesday and left this city in a huff because press and public were too curious.

Officials of the Cradle society, orphanage in Evanston, said they did not expect Miss Hopkins to take the child from the home for several days. The child’s last name is Wilson, a woman attendant said, but further information was not forthcoming.

“I hate all this publicity,” Miss Hopkins told reporters after a county judge had granted permission for the adoption. “I can’t give you any reason for it. It’s just a fact.” She later declared “I have nothing to say.”

The blonde actress revealed at the court hearing, however, that she has been divorced from Austin Parker, playwright. She claimed to be leaving for New York Wednesday, and the orphanage expected her to get the child on her way back to Hollywood.

In court she said she would rear the child as her own and had already set aside a trust fund for the boy.


Hollywood, Cal., May 4 (AP)
Hollywood today “dug in” to face a “three to five year struggle” which lies before the motion picture industry.

The screen will be lucky if it can adjust itself to new conditions within that time, Sidney R. Kent, new president of the Fox Film Corporation, last night told approximately four hundred members of the industry, at an “all-industry conference” sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Handing out the sackcloth and ashes of “cold, hard facts,” Kent advised all members of the business to don them and face the situation united.

“The industry is in a very serious condition,” he declared. “The next few months in my opinion will be the most critical months the industry has ever faced. Grosses are going down and we haven’t yet been able to cut expenses enough. We have got to strike a balance, on the work of executives as well as of stars and directors. The industry must get down to brass tacks.”

There must be a general concord on the matter of adjusted salaries, Kent emphasized, for the time has passed, he said, when the misfortune of one company is the good fortune of another. Those who refuse to accept a cut in salary may find themselves holding contracts that are worthless because the companies making them have passed into receivership, he warned.

“In my opinion,” he said, “a three to five year struggle lies ahead of the industry. I too would like to see a complete recovery by August 1, but I am not sure that would be best, for it is important that the industry come back right rather than it come back in three months with a half-cure.”

Kent blamed over-expansion in prosperous years as a cause of the picture business’ present difficulties, as well as problems arising from the introduction of sound into films such as limitation of the market.

“I am optimistic in a long-range viewpoint of the industry, for there is nothing in the world that can kill the motion picture business,” he declared.

J. L. Warner of Warner Brothers-First National, corroborated Kent’s statements regarding the crisis in the picture world, told of his own company’s being overburdened with theaters, and declares the acceptance of salary cuts essential to the survival of the industry.

The exhibitor’s viewpoint was presented by M. A. Lightman, Memphis, Tenn., president of the Motion Picture Theater Owners of America, who declared for “fewer pictures but good ones.” He advocated the closing of many theaters to solve the problem of over-seating, as well as the present need for the producers to meet the surplus theaters’ demand for product with quantity rather than quality.

Many pictures have been superb, he said, but a public weary “of just sound, or wisecracks, of sophisticated vulgarity” wants above all else sincerity – “not necessarily brutal naturalism but not sentimental trash. It wants human stories told sincerely and artistically, directed by strong forces that can feel and live the parts of all the characters and can thus inspire convincing interpretations.”

Lightman’s statement that “the belief that the public wants broad indecencies is a fallacy,” brought applause.


Richard Bennett, father of Joan and Constance Bennett, film stars, told charming Bette Davis that she was an exact cross between his two daughters.

So that’s why, maybe, Bette left Boston to enter films.


Hollywood, May 4 (UP)
Twenty Hollywood celebrities had an evening’s entertainment disrupted last night when Federal prohibition agents raided Tony Luci’s Night Club, one of the most exclusive in Hollywood. None of the guests was molested.

The establishment, in the heart of the film studio district, catered only to film celebrities.

The agents seized 500 bottles of choice wines and liquors and arrested two men and a woman on charges of violating the prohibition act.

From Luella O. Parsons:

My favorite boy friend, Jackie Cooper, writes to say that he is having a swell time on his vaudeville tour. “Chicago is a keen town,” writes Jackie. “I went to a play where they tell you about the moon and I saw it in a picture, too.”

Jackie says he is working hard but he misses Hollywood and “please,” he says “write me and tell me what is doing there.” He spells “Holly Wood” in two words with a capital H and a capital W. We miss him, too.

If Jackie hasn’t heard, I can tell him he is due to make a circus story with Wallace Beery. The name is “O’Shaughnessey’s Boy,” and Sam Wood will direct it. Wally sent him a message over the radio at the “Grand Hotel” opening.

One sure way to get in right with the movies seems to be to knock them often and to retell rumors that nine times out of ten are based on fiction.

Walter Winchell, whose radio talks roused great ire in Hollywood, has had nine offers to play in the movies. Winchell, who broadcast many rumors that were resented in film circles, is being sought after by the very people he publicized in this fashion.

Felix Young of Universal studios went to Santa Barbara to try to get Winchell to play a lead in a picture. Winchell is too smart to listen to any of these offers. He is smarter, it would seem to me, than the people who are making the offers.

Three cheers and a tiger for Colleen Moore! She had to prove to these screen producers that she is no amateur when it comes to movies. They were colder than the proverbial iceberg to Colleen after the advent of the talkies, but now they are all on her trail and want to sign her. “Church Mouse,” a stage play, did it.

Chatter in Hollywood:

Germany has been watching the Dietrich-Von Sternberg-Schulberg discussion with interest. It wouldn’t hurt the feeling of U. F. A. if Marlene didn’t make any more pictures in America, because they’d like to have her back.

She received a cable, I hear on excellent authority, asking her to return and assuring her of everything she wants in the way of story, cast and direction.

I asked Marlene if she were going back to Germany with her husband. She said no, she hadn’t made any such decision. But I shouldn’t be surprised if, after she talks over the matter with Josef Von Sternberg, she did return to make a picture.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Edgar Allen Woolf, the local Beau Brummel, illustrating what the well-dressed man wears at the opening of the play Ruth Chatterton directed. He was escorting Mrs. Jack Warner, wearing a New York creation of blue, and Mrs. Harry Rapf in white.

Ruth Chatterton slipping into a back seat with Laura Hope Crews to hear the last act of the English play. Ralph Forbes, one of the stars, bringing Ruth out on the stage in response to repeated calls.

John Gilbert host to ten people at the Mayfair Saturday night. Eric von Stroheim bringing thirty to the final dance of the season.

Maurice Chevalier, sunning himself on the beach with Marlene Dietrich and her husband.

Barbara Bebe Lyon calling on Maria Sieber. Marlene’s young daughter had the distinction of having Chevalier sing “One Hour With You” for her sole benefit. Irving Berlin, Jr., accompanied by his father and mother, who are also well known, called on Barbara. Irving Jr. was so indifferent to her charms she retaliated by pulling on his blonde curls.


“Song of Eagle” and “If I Had Million” Are Scheduled

By Chester B. Bahn
Following the example set by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with “Grand Hotel,” Paramount will produce two all-star features for its 1932-33 program.

The schedule, as it now stands, calls for a total of 45 features. Helen Hayes will appear in one, Maurice Chevalier in two, Harold Lloyd in one, and if the Marlene Dietrich controversy is adjusted, the German star will make three talkies.

“The Song of the Eagle” and “If I Had a Million” will be the all-star productions.

Present schedule calls for Miss Dietrich to appear in “Blonde Venus,” “Deep Night” and “Promised.” “Love Me Tonight” and “The Way to Love” are the Chevalier features. “Horse Feathers” and “Movie Crazy” are the titles for the Four Marx Brothers and Harold Lloyd comedies, respectively.

Titles for the remaining features are:

“The Mirrors of Washington,” “R U R,” “I Can’t Go Home,” “Blood and Sand,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Anything for Sale,” “Not Married,” “The Glass Key,” “The Phantom President,” “The Girl Without a Room,” “A Farewell to Arms,” “The West Pointer,” “Lives of a Bengal Lancer,” “Madison Square Garden,” “70,000 Witnesses,” “Dream Without Ending,” “Riddle Me This,” “The Big Broadcast,” “The Trouble With Women,” “The Song of Songs,” “Lone Cowboy,” “Hot Ice,” “Fires of Spring,” “The Sign of the Cross,” three outdoor specials, “Hot Saturday,” “No Bed of Her Own,” “The Island of Lost Souls,” “The Red Temptation,” “Pick-Up,” “Connecting Rooms,” “The Lusitania Secret.”

Universal’s schedule for the new film year calls for 26 features, including two co-starring Slim Summerville and ZaSu Pitts.

Other titles include “Counsellor at Law,” “Laughter in Hell,” “The Old Dark House” with Boris Karloff, “The Prison Doctor,” “Manna,” “Cagliosstro,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “The Flight Commander,” “Laughing Boy,” “Left Bank,” “The Invisible Man” and “Iceberg,”

Tabloid review of the split-week feature –

“Racing Youth” is the usual hoke mixture of race thrills and romance, scarcely convincing and certainly not for critical cinemagoers. Heart interest falls to Frank Albertson as a young mechanic and June Clyde as the masquerading auto factory heiress. Louise Fazenda and Slim Summerville supply the laughs.

Last minute Rialto news –

James Cagney has offered to make three talkies for Warner Brothers without salary if the studio will cancel his five-year contract; Warners has rejected the proposition...

Arthur Caesar may adapt “Once in a Lifetime” for Universal...

Helen Coburn, legit actress, has been signed by M-G-M...

Irv. Cummings will direct six more talkies for Columbia...

Paul Muni will star for Warners in “Lawyer Man.”

Norma Talmadge has gone abroad...

Al Jolson’s talkie will be “Heart of New York.”

Emil Jannings will do a stage play in London...

Mitzi Green will star in “Little Orphan Annie.”

Hank Mann joins Jack Oakie in that Olympic games comedy...

Bob Montgomery will be opposite Marion Davies in “Two Blondes.”

Casting assignments: Kent Taylor for “Forgotten Commandments,” Joseph Cawthorne for “Love Me Tonight,” Robert McWade for “The Sporting Widow.”

Will Rogers visits the Sahara Desert in his latest starring production, “Business and Pleasure.” The story has been adapted from the novel, “The Plutocrat,” by Booth Tarkington...

“The Roadhouse Murder” will introduce Bruce Cabot to cinemagoers. He’s a husky young giant from the West.

From Wood Soanes:

Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell started work this week on “The First Year” for Fox.

Fox, by the way, announces this picture as the last of the forty-eight scheduled for release during the theater season ending July 31. Seven other pictures, two for next season’s release, are now in the work.

The ones for next season are Elissa Landi’s “Burnt Offering” and Will Rogers’ “Down to Earth.”

Another item in the Fox bulletin that may please theatergoers is about the signing of Clara Bow to a contract calling for her return to the screen in Tiffany Thayer’s “Call Her Savage.” Production will start in a few weeks.

George Arliss’ next may be “The Rise and Fall of Rothschild” a story similar, in characterization at least, to his famous “Disraeli.”

Charlie Chaplin’s next is tentatively titled “The Jester” in which he plays a deaf and dumb circus performer.

Wallace Berry with a new contract in his pocket starts work on a Russian story with George Hill as director. It was Hill who handled Beery in “Hell Divers,” “The Big House,” “Min and Bill” and “The Secret Six.” Beery’s latest work is in “Grand Hotel.”


Renata said...

this is a beautiful, such a beautiful blog!

Renata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarissa said...

“The next few months in my opinion will be the most critical months the industry has ever faced."

Winter 1932/33 will be the toughest ever. Who can still afford to go to the movie houses? Jean Arthur tried to find a job as secretary in New York Town at that time. Most companies were broke - there wasn't any work. Although she was really trained and experienced in this kind of work, she couldn't find anything. Even railroad companies closed and public life was almost dead in many areas. Keeping the apartment and having it warm and to eat was hard enough.

VP81955 said...

Just used this as the basis for an entry -- thanks:

Will said...

thanks so much for this blog

GAH1965 said...

Thanks for continuing to check back in on it after such a long absence on my part.