Saturday, February 11, 2012


May 8, 1932

Universal’s Iceland Production – Jack Holt in “The Thirteenth Man”

Dr. Arnold Franck and the Universal expedition which is to make “Iceberg” in Greenland this Summer are on the high seas bound for Germany.

In Hamburg the company will be joined by Leni Riefenstahl of the German screen, who will be the heroine of “Iceberg.” The party then shoves off for Compenhagen, and so, about the end of May, to Greenland.

European actors who are also expert mountain climbers and the ice enthusiasts will also join the company before it leaves for Germany.

Filming “Iceberg” will require six months of the Arctic's long days and two months of long nights.

“Iceberg” will relate the story of white men and women stranded in the barren wastes of the frozen area. Dr. Franck is an old hand at making Alpine films, “Storms Over Mont Blanc” being his most familiar picture on this side of the water.

A schooner nosing mysteriously about in tropical waters will provide the setting for Jack Holt's next venture into two-fisted melodrama in the great outdoors. Columbia is preparing to make the film, which has the title of “The Thirteenth Man.”

Henry B. Walthall, whose Little Colonel in “The Birth of a Nation,” may still be recalled, has been engaged by First National. The veteran actor will appear with Richard Barthelmess in “The Cabin in the Cotton,” Henry Harrison Kroll's novel of the deep South, which Paul Green adapted for the screen.

Mr. Walthall was a star back in the old Griffith days when a lad named Barthelmess broke into pictures. Their joint appearance will mark the first time the two have played together since those days.

Bing Crosby's first feature-length film in the series he is to make for Paramount will be, not inappropriately, about the radio – an adaptation of “Wild Waves,” William Ford Manley's satiric picture of the goings-on in a broadcasting studio.

Burns and Allen, the popular vaudeville and radio team, will be in the film.

Production on “Wild Waves” has been postponed until the beginning of June, which will give Mr. Crosby an opportunity to finish his round of theatrical appearances in New England and Chicago.

The production of “Horse Feathers,” the new Marx Brothers frolic, is temporarily stalled while Chico, the loudest of the brothers, recovers from a fractured knee-cap. Chico was hurt in an automobile accident three weeks ago, and has now left the hospital.

It will be several weeks yet before the production can resume and the three other members of the clan are enjoying vacations in the meantime.

William Wyler and a number of the company making “Tom Brown of Culver” left Universal City for Culver, Ind., where they are now engaged in making scenes of that military prep school.

The picture, both in its studio and location phases, is enjoying the cooperation of the school authorities, and Colonel Robert Rossow, commandent of cadets is acting as technical advisor.

Included in the company of actors who made the trip are Tom Brown, who has the title role; Slim Summerville, H. B. Warner, Eugene Pallette, Ben Alexander and Richard Cromwell.

The most interesting feature of the cross-country expedition was Universal’s famous camera crane, built originally to obtain unusual angle shots for the production of “Broadway,” which was loaded on a flat car and taken along. The massive instrument, mounted on its own auto truck chassis, is capable of elevating camera, camera men and director to a height of fifty feet.

Ben Turpin is coming back to the screen. The celebrated strabismic comedian has joined up with Paramount to appear in a comedy, which is soon to be produced with Jack Oakie and W. C. Fields in leading roles.

Except for a brief appearance as the cross-eyed lackey in “The Love Parade” a couple of years ago and another in “Cracked Nuts,” Mr. Turpin has been missing – and missed – from the scene.

Constance Bennett will begin work in a few days on “The Higher Ups” in which she will appear as a gallant daughter of wealth who gets mixed up in a scandal in high society. Neil Hamilton will have the lead opposite her.

James Gleason, who has not found much time for the stage since Hollywood took him and his colorful slang under her capacious wing, is now located with Paramount for a role in George Bancroft's “The Challenger.”

The Gleason family seems to get along well with the films. Lucille Webster Gleason recently appeared in “Girls About Town,” and Russell Gleason, their son, has a part in “The Strange Case of Clara Deane.”

Appearing opposite Mr. Bancroft in “The Challenger” is Wynne Gibson.

Metro has acquired the motion picture rights to “The Devil Passes,” the play by Benn W. Levy.

William Faulkner, the widely discussed author of “Sanctuary” and “As I Lay Dying,” has been engaged for motion-picture work by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Under the terms of the agreement the novelist will write originals for the screen as well as adaptations and dialogue. Whether he will adapt any of his own novels for the company is a matter of doubt.

“They Call It Sin,” adapted from a novel by Alberta Steadman Egan, will be produced by First National with Loretta Young and George Brent in the leading roles when Miss Young finishes work on “Life Begins.”

The two have already made a picture together, “Week-end Marriage,” which is scheduled for a June release.

The Warners have assembled a cast to support Barbara Stanwyck in “The Mud Lark,” and the film version of Arthur Stringer's novel will soon be entering production.

Snub Pollard, the mustachioed comedian of dozens and dozens of the old silent funny pictures, will have a part. There are, in addition, David Landau, Leila Bennett, George Brent and Hardie Albright.

Henry Armetta, whose face is probably more familiar to cinema audiences than his name, has been rushed into the cast of Edward G. Robinson's “Tiger Shark.”

Mr. Armetta is the apoplectic man who gave the M. G. M. pictures some of their most hilarious moments last year. Being a free agent, he has let himself out to Warners for this film.

Two of the principal roles in “Tiger Shark” are being interpreted by Richard Arlen and Zita Johann.

Miss Johann, whose interests hitherto have been mainly theatrical, was in D. W. Griffith's “The Struggle” last Fall.

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