Saturday, February 18, 2012


May 8, 1932
The motion picture rights to “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” have gone to Joseph M. Schenck and his Art Cinema Corporation after what was characterized as spirited bidding.

Katharine Cornell, who has appeared in Rudolf Besier’s play nearly 500 times on and off Broadway, will be headed with her company next week for engagements in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Lest Miss Cornell’s proximity to the Hollywood scene give rise to the not unnatural suspicion that she plans to enact her Elizabeth Barrett Browning for the cameras, her representative wants it known that she has no such thoughts.

There have been the usual importunities, but Miss Cornell is quite firm about her decision to remain in the theater.

As for the play, it will be converted to the uses of the cinema by Lewis Milestone, as producer for Mr. Schenck, and will be included in next season’s United Artists program. The release date is scheduled for February, 1933.

Anna May Wong, the lovely Chinese girl who returned to the American screen last year, has been engaged by Columbia for one of the leads in the appropriately Oriental “Bitter Tea of General Yen.”

Herbert Brenon will direct the film from Grace Zaring Stone’s novel.

Miss Wong was in the recent “Shanghai Express” and before that in “Daughter of the Dragon,” both for Paramount.

Ben Hecht, who has his moods when it comes to writing for the films, has turned around after his recent disagreements with Samuel Goldwyn and prepared a story for Joseph M. Schenck.

Garnished with music and dialogue by Irving Caesar, the narrative will serve as a film for Al Jolson, who is now in Hollywood and ready to start work.

The title to begin with was “Happy-Go-Lucky,” but a wire from the Coast last week announced that this had been changed to “Heart of New York,” There will be still another change when United Artists recalls that the Warners used that title two or three months ago on the last Smith and Dale feature.

As for the peripatetic Mr. Jolson, that illustrious mammy-singer plans to make two pictures for Mr. Schenck and then embark on a European concert tour.

Mr. Jolson announced upon his arrival in Hollywood that he had “quit the stage for good.”

Tala Birell, Universal’s new leading lady from the other side of the water, is to be presented next in a Hobart Henly production entitled “Broken Dreams of Hollywood.”

Nearly all of the major companies seem to have a behind-the-scenes romance tucked away on their schedules someplace. Miss Birell's first picture, “The Doomed Battalion,” is playing an extended run in Washington.

Mary Pickford, who has been in New York since Douglas Fairbanks went away on his South Seas adventure, returned to Hollywood last night to meet the homecoming warrior of the cameras.

Her cinematic plans have had to be postponed because of Frances Marion's illness. Miss Marion was to have come on to New York and work out the star's new story with her.

Universal has arranged for the manufacture of a series of twenty-six short subjects which will present some of the popular radio features of the day under the blanket title of “Down Memory Lane.”

Louis Sobol and Nick Kenny will share the master-of-ceremonies burden between them.

The list of participants includes Kate Smith, the Street Singer, the Rise of the Goldbergs, Major Stoopnagle and Bud, Texas Guinan, the Boswell Sisters, Morton Downey, Art Jarrett and Sisters of the Skillet.

The series will be made in New York.


KC said...

"appropriately Oriental"? What a strange phrase. I guess it fit the times though. Wouldn't want Anna May in a less that "appropriately Oriental" flick!

GAH1965 said...

I had the exact same thought KC, which is why I went out of my way to find that "appropriately Oriental" picture of her to emphasize their point.