Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon on April 18, 1936 · Page 12
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Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon · Page 12

Albany, Oregon
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 18, 1936
Page 12
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Page 12 article text (OCR)

Hollywood's Fencing -Masters Work Overtime Teaching Actors Ancient Art K7 They're shouting "En guarde" all over Hollywood these days, what with the sudden swing to costume films ana the demand for swordsmen who can handle a rapier without sticking themselves. Frank Cavens Is shown In the upper left photo giving a lesson to Basil Rathbone, who, as Tybalt In Romeo and Juliet, has plenty of fencing to do. Center photo shows Claude Rains as Don Luis In Anthony Adverse, going Into his stance. Right, Rathbone In Captain Blood, the film that started all the stabbing. ' Clang of Rapiers Resounds In Filmdom As Movies Hark Back To Days of Duels Errot Flynn's Sword Waving in "Captain Blood" Started Renaissance of, Villain-Puncturing Stories That Have Hollywood Fencing Masters in a Flurry By Donna Risher V H " . KY 1 FROM THE STUDIOS oauL I r' ' X4 ALONG JtHE BOULEVARD TWO years ago, two aspiring actors were living together on little or nothing a week. Fame came to one Robert Taylor but the other, Don Milo, THE gangsters are leaving Hollywood, and the I rat-tat-tat of their machine guns is being replaced by the swish of swords. remained in the small, bare room the two had shared together. Taylor, with his new found fame, could not forget. As soon as he became important with his company, he got Milo a job as his stand-in. Then he proceeded to teach his friend privately, all the things about acting he himself was being taught On every studio lot, prop men are filling their boxes with rapiers and on every stage fencing masters in leather jerkins are teaching actors, who find it difficult to identify one end of the sword from the other, how to thrust and parry and how to whack away at each other with abandon. Dueling has come back to the films and the Hays Purity Squad is tickled to death. Somehow it seems more noble, or at least more romantic (in the films), to rapiers revived great interest in the ancient sport. Immediately, along came "Anthony Adverse," with Claude Rains cutting holes in Louis Hay-ward's pants, and that, it seems, is but the beginning of what Frank McHugh calls "these doodles." For "Romeo and Juliet" is chock full of the sword-swishing battles. So is "Under Two Flags." In the former, the boys run their swords through each other with abandon. John Barrymore, the noblest duelist of them all,, succumbs from a deadly thrust in the streets of Verona. Then Leslie Howard, as Romeo, steps out and with his shining rapier avenges the death of his friend, John, by killing Basil Rathbone. And just to make it stick no pun Romeo, for the third time, rolls back his lace cuffs and goes after Ralph Forbes, pinning him flat against a wall You and Shakespeare need not be surprised to see a whole sound stage turned into a battlefield, for when Hollywood takes up dueling, it does so in a big way. ; To Fred Cavens, graduate of a famous Belgian for 1 i fencing school, goes the job of teaching these actors how to handle their swords intelligently. THIS new crop of players is not like the bunch ' back in the old days when Douglas Fairbanks was carving his' initials on the shirt fronts of his opponents with his trusty sword. Today, the modern boys must be taught to know the hilt from the blade, and Cavens is a busy as well as a patient man. He is encouraged in his job, however, by the knowledge that Shakespeare himself would have welcomed the movies as a medium for his sword fights. "The Old Fellow often mourned," said Cavens, ."the limitations of his own stage to show his battles. I only wish he could come back and visit Hollywood today to see these young, brave men battle." NOT long ago Taylor's influence got Milo a job in an important picture. Robert Taylor Donna Risher be killed by the sword than the machine gun. No doubt, it was "Captain Blood" that brought about the renaissance of the duel. The sight of Errol Flynn, in his skin-tight pants, and Basil Rathbone thrusting at each other with Not content with his Boy Scout deed, young Taylor then declared a holiday and took his friend with him on a vacation to Soboba Hot Springs, because he felt his pal of coffee-and-dbughnut days had earned a place in the sun. GRACE BRADLEY has asked for the famous dressing room on the Paramount lot which used to be occupied by Pola Negri,- Clara Bow and - On The Set Gail Gardner With Sylvia Sidney. It is the only dressing room complete with kitchen facilities. Grace says she is going to keep asking until she gets it, as she longs to make her own soup for lunch. . THE question, "What ever became of Vilma Banky?" was answered recently by the former Viennese star herself. She visited a set on which her husband, me with salted peanuts a new variety of murder. So far, I've had to eat 14 bags in succession." "Ah, no, Spence," spoke up a prop man with an injured look. "Only 13." The glass of water arrived. Spence drank eagerly. "Once more," Lang called. Tracy again went made camp for the night, Rainbow was supposed to wander off into a grove to find a small rabbit in a trap. As the dog freed it, he was supposed to give chase. THE scene was rehearsed three times, up to the point where the rabbit was released. Rainbow gave every evidence of being eager for the chase. Shooting began. Everything went fine up to the release of the rabbit, which unexpectedly bounced high into the air and landed almost on top of Rainbow. That worthy was so startled, so panic-stricken, that .she fled instead of the rabbit. Everybody watching the scene doubled up with laughter. Cordially yours, GAIL. Hollywood. DEAR FOLKS: I don't know whether you are a Spencer Tracy fan or not, but I do know he is one of the most interesting actors to watch while working. Spence is always in a good humor, and he doesn't care a hang how many visitors are on his set while ho goes through his scenes. The other day he and Sylvia Sidney were making a sequence in their latest picture, tentatively called "Mob Rule." Tho scene opened with Edward Ellis playing the sheriff. "Have some peanuts?" the sheriff asked, shoving a bowl of salted nuts across his desk. Tracy loaned forward and took a handful, popping them into his mouth with quick flips of his hand. "Now you're talking my language, sheriff. I've" The sentence ended in an explosive cough. Tracy's face reddened as he spat out the chewed remains. "Cut," ordered Director Fritz Lang. "Bring this peanut addict a glass of water, somebody." Tracy, coughing violently, pushed the bowl of nuts back across the table with a gesture of distrust. He looked over at the sidelines and said, "This 'guy' indicating Director Lang "is trying to kill Grace Bradley "a Frw "'S a scene. . La Roque then revealed he and Vilma would soon celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. "We had a great big church wedding and there was a lot written and said about it," said La Roque. "We were also aware of what the Hollywood pessimists said about such a marriage not lasting." "These last ten years," cut in Vilma, "have been the happiest of my life. That ought to answer." Whereupon, Herbert Marshall ordered a cake on the set and the cast took part in another cele- "Too Many -Parents" oration. MISCELLANY: Astrid Allwyn lunching at the Cafe de son, the dancer, as good as new after his operation, appearing on the boulevard in new Easter togs . . Shirley Temple running to capture her sheepdog, which scampered out of the studio grounds ... Patsy Kelly, daughter of a New York cop, walking on air because she has been sisrned bv Hal Roach to Hr fu 8 "I tried everything for constipation then I found the 3-minute way!" Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney through the business of eating peanuts with a relish. This time it was a "take" and Director Lang so notified his cameramen, but to Tracy he said: "Sorry, Spence, you didn't put enough gusto in that. Do it over." Tracy gave a long, agonizing look. Again he gobbled up the peanuts. "Sorry," called Lang. "You'll have to do that over. I just don't like the way you flip 'em." Whereupon, Sylvia came to Spencer's rescue. She signaled him that the scene had already been "printed," and that Director Lang was kidding him. Tracy walked out of camera range. "I'll get even," he grinned at Lang. "This picture isn't finished yet by a long shot." He then walked over and offered Rainbow, his dog. a helping of the nuts. And while Rainbow wa feasting, the cast had a good laugh over the dof. ho the cUy before had contributed the get Uwh the hooting began. V HilT1XIZ on location. I) Tc .dog were supposed to be traveling in i(M rf8)lsterross country. Whfcl) Tracy Astrid Allwyn reeling l"RV." lii't Urol easily? Then ay to yuurnall m million of other ooile have Mid: "I won't jul up a day Innttnr with the truM tnM romr from cotwlipntion. I'll take thrw mimjt off lontyhl and for thow thrcr minute I'll rhew KKK.N-A-MINT. the drlioiouK chewing-itum Inxativp." Not like jolting "AH-nt-once" cathartic, FKKN-A-M! NT work plctutantly and enily. There ore no cramping pnitM, no utipleitxnnt after-effects, nothing to caue n habit. Tnree minute of your time i a matl price to pay for urh iiv relief from constipation. And it' the idejtl lAti,vp for the entire family. FICEN-A-MINT the lliree-mimite w i only IV and Vjc a iMt ture productions as a comedienne instead of her usual screen shorts. ROVER JONES, rotund, bald-pated "Puck" of the film writers, has Hollywood biting its nails. He has threatened to publish the movie capital s o.West uvwspaper the impish tabloid Jones has been circulating among film folks for the las; Cfiur years. He calls it the "Wheeze," and prints it himself in his garage. It is circulated only among Jones' THREE MINUTES OF CHEWINC MIKE THE DIFFERENCE Oh-oo-oo-oo. it's atopped! And till, Le 9urpr-d? His new watch mtarf haw sorra connection a)ith nay . (yioe. but we han't t jr ft fWlia la on)of y o s PAGE FOl! o 0 0 O 0 0 8B

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