Jefferson City Post-Tribune from Jefferson City, Missouri on December 22, 1929 · Page 38
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Jefferson City Post-Tribune from Jefferson City, Missouri · Page 38

Jefferson City, Missouri
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 22, 1929
Page 38
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FCC "Peanuts" is her nickname . . . but ihe big electric lights of 1930 will spell it M-A-R-I-O-N B-Y^R-O-N. By DAN THOMAS rocketed Kay Johnson into flmdorn's stellar spaces . , . and she's bound ,to be one of I930's (well) fixed stars. Ann Harding's screen fame started'. with "Paris Bound" ... 'but .seems destined to .travel further than that next year. E VERY year some particular feature of this movie business comes in for an extraordinary amount of atlenlion. For the last two years the talkies have held the spotlight without much competi- ..- f ''°.n- In 1928 Hollywood's conversation generally concerned the^prospect of talking pictures. The film village was emphatic .in its opinions on this subject. 'The vast majority declared without reservation that they were just a fad and never could survive. The minority held out .·that speaking-films, were here to stay. And, as usual, the minority 'seems.".to,have been, right. Throughout 1929 the big feature of the celluloid business ·has been:the development of new and improved methods of putting dialogue,- songs and music into pictures. By now everyone has agreed Tnin."tiTc -nquawkies" are here to stay and the chief--interest of everyone in Hollywood centers in their improvement.- But the big^thing during 1 930 will be the new faces. Of course, each 'succeeding year since ihe first motion picture was made"has^brought new personalities to the screen. But never before have there been so many new slars as will appear in 1930. The reason is obvious. Hollywood producers have invaded-Broadway and lured most of its celebrities westward by promises of fame and fortune. The majority of ihese people have trekked lo ihe Pacific coast during ihe past 1 2 months but so far they are practically unknown to the movie public. During 1930 many of them will take Irieir places alongside of the present-day film favorites. Olhers, failing, will return to their Manhatlan haunts where, of course, they may resume being highly successful in the flesh-and- blood types of entertainment. Then, -too., there are. others who will break into electric lights next-year. :They. are the ones who are beginning to move -up after.:.struggling along in pictures, for anywhere from one : to .^five'.-years; And there are a few old-time favorites Avho'-have: literally been dragged from their cinema graves to' once-again fake their places as popular star?. For these "comebacks" the talkies can be thanked. Without them practically all of our old-time stars who had started sinking would have kept right on going down. F lRST.let's.have a;loojc at the old-timers who are rallying for a strong "comeback," since they are the ones with whom you are acquainted. A great deal of credjt is due these persons ; as it is many times harder to come back after once having arrived and then slipped than it is to arrive the frst time. . Foicmost -among these is Gloria Swanson. There was a time not so many years ago when the glorious Gloria was by far the. biggest feminine attraction in cinemaland. Her start was slow and she often faced discouragements, particularly" on that day- when Cecil B. DeMille told her that no girl with a nose like hers could ever be successful on the silver screen. Perhaps, however, that was just ihe impetus she ' needed because right then and there she resolved to show the great director lhat he was wrong. Nobody has to be told that she succeeded and today her nose is almost as famous as Charlie Chaplin's mustache--but in a different way. Miss Swanson made her greatest mislake when she left Paramount and a salary of $15,000 weekly to produce her own pictures. That was ihe beginning of her downfall. Gloria proved that 'as a producer she was merely a good actress. Her pictures were bad and her fans started falling off rapidly. "Sadie Thompson," which was made early in 1928, did much to restore her popularity. "Queen Kelly" was to have completed the job. But trouble with her director, Erich von Slroheim, coupled with the strong influx of the talkies, finally resulted in tbat film being shelved before its completion. Then she rnide "The Trespasser," an all-talking feature which had a highly successful premiere during the latter months of 1929. This picture, in which Gloria proves superb as a real living actress, should agajn reslore her to the pedestal of popularity. Her singing ilself is worthy of considerable mention. It is so good that you may think a double had been used. But the writer saw Swanson actually do the vocal work herself, so the catty surmises can be forgotten. · A NOTHER "comeback" which is practically on a par jT\. v '~''h that of Miss Swanson is the one which lias been staged by Belly Compson. A year ago Betly could scarcely talk herself into a job anywhere except along Pov- erty Row. Today directors are begging her to work in their pictures and she has enough jobs ahead of her to keep her busy day-and night for the next year or more. Ths change started'with a series of good talkies headed by "The Barker" and "Docks of New York." Then she absolutely walked away with Warner Brothers' gigantic coknvfilm, "On With the Show," and was recently starred in "Street Girl" by RKO. When William Fox .released Olive Borden two. years ago all Hollywood said she was through. At the Fox studio Olive had gained the reputation' of being temperamental and other studios hesitated lo employ.her. When she soldier-beautiful home in ESeverly.Hills, moviana's "cats" remarked, "The car will go Jiext." But the car didn't go and ·neither did the chauffeur. Business, apparently, was about as usual. Olive wasn't as broke as people-thought. She and her" mother established themselves in. an equally luxurious but smaller home jn Hollywood and kept right on living in the manner to which they had become accustomed. Occasionally she was seen working at some of the smaller studios, but the intervals between even these jobs often were far too long for comforl. Last spring when the RKO organi?alion came into being OHve was signed to make four pictures this year. Three of them, "Half Marriage," "Tanned Legs" and "Dance Hall," already have been completed and in addition the actress has made several pictures for First National. Now she once more is as popular as she was in her old days at Fox and it's largely because she has a}l the requisites for success before the microphones as well as the cameras. I T SEEMS lhat those who are staging "comebacks" are all women with the exception of Conway Tearlc and Harry Langdon, who now seem on ihe ^oad to renewed cinema fame. Tearle was completely out of things for some two years or more but he is again beginning to take his place among the leaders. His work in "Gold Diggers of Broadway" gave him a good start and there doesn't seem lo be anything lhat will stop him now. Langdon's absence from the screen has not been for such a long period, but he was slipping fast for fully a year and a half before ihe termination of his contract with First National. Harry's mistake was in Irying to be a second Charlie Chaplin. He wanled Jo do everything himself and wouldn't take advice from anyone. ' Now he is under contract to Hal Roach, who is trying to build him up again--this time as a talking picture comedian. Getting back to the feminine group again, there is Bessie Love, whose return lo popularity has been almost phenomenal. If anyone was ever through in pictures, it was that good lill]e trouper. Then she was cast in "Broadway Melody," in which she was a sensation. Now Bes$ie is one of the top- notchers again. And she is a cinch 10 be one of the bright lights of 1930. Lila Lee is another actress of former years whose name is again beginning to shine in. electric lights. However, Lila is one who never slipped. She retired of her own free will when she was at her height shortly after she married James Kirkwood, But she almost had lo start all over again just the same. Columbia University's Mary ' Doran . . . g 0 t. a diplorna from i before joining the "class" of .Hollywood. j~ER first picture when she returned to the screen was with Texas Guinan in "Night, Club." Following that she played opposite Richard Barthelmess in "Drag." And since then she hasn't ^had .a moment lo herself, going Jrom one pjcture.right into another- ' ' . ' Just before the talkies 'took possession of the celluloid industry Zazu ' Pitts became discouraged. Instead of forging ahead jobs were becoming less and less frequent. j O she finally decided to return to her first love, the slage. Little did she dream thai that'was the' very move which would make her in great demand for the articulate film. But it did. Up to the past few months producers have been, going crazy over stage folk. They have been .signed by ihe.scores for no reason other than that they were working on the stage. Mow these same producers are beginning lo realize lhat some of their best talent always has been right here amongst their own players. Zazu, for instance, was brought back. Her vi St iL a ii t W NT tne come ^' ro ' e ln "Twin Beds," slarring Jack wjulhall. Now other producers are seeking her services and by next year she will have reached the same position she held once before. · u' 11 ?! n ° W / or l ' 1e sta ^ e S an 8- There are more of them in Hollywood than have ever been divorced. The manner in which they tore across the country from New York resembled the famous gold rush of 1849. Each and every one of the hundreds who came, came to answer the call of cinema gold. The 80 years separating the two gold rushes have made a vast difference, however. The forty-niners made their way slowiy in covered wagons, on horseback and afoot, while the Broadway celebrities traveled in luxury aboard the fastest trains and in gigantic passenger airplanes. LI^L ° f , l t i c . s t a sc players arrived here in time lo become established during the past 12 months. Many more of them will enjoy their first taste of screen popularity during 1930, A MONG the most important of the feminine stars from f\ TM c f tege is Marilyn Miller, who was bought to Hol- '^^[Ity fy' st National to star in the audible screen, version or ^ally, one of her outstanding stage successes. The diminutive dancer scored such a hit in this fimvlhat she was immediately signed for a second production, which is yet Jo be decided upon. In all probability, however, 'it' will be another musical comedy. Chester Morris, who started the whole film world talking about him because of his outslandjftg RerfonnaBte in "Alibi," Winsome June, Clyde . .. . has hit the highway to fame after Working oh a '"Side Street." is certain to be one'of the major attractions in the industry, next year.. Since "Alibi," Morris has appeared in "Woman- trap," -"Playing Around" and "Second Choice" and he has been equally good in all of them. . " At the present time Charles Bickford has only. one-pic to his credit. .^But ihe work this red-headed in "Dynamite" was sufficient to assure him of a ipsey" f u m t in cinemaland. There is nothing of the sheik about Charley. He is; just a .typical rugged American youth of : the type" that is rapidly replacing the overly handsome heroes. .Added to his other qualifications is his exceptionally good voice--and he can act. . Kay Johnson, another discovery of Cecil B. DeMille's who was brought out here for "Dynamite," should find just, as much success in the screen world as she did on the st^ge. And that's saying something when- you consider that she played leading roles in shows such as "The Beggar on Horseback, The Little Accident" and "All Dressed Up." Miss Johnson gave as fine a piece of dramatic, acting in "Dynamite' , as has been seen around'Hollywood for some time. Maurice Chevalier came from Paris to take a flier in American films. And his 6000-mile jaunt so fir has proved very much worth while. He brings an entirely new personality into motion pictures-^--a personality which the public has accepted Jn a big way. Chevalier's first picture, "Innocents of Paris." was a huge success and his second'one, "The Love Parade," just released, is jusi about the most perfect speak- ·ing film yet made. Before coming here Chevalier, who started life as a carpenter's apprentice, was the idol of the Paris theatrical world. U NT 1L a very few months ago Hal Skelly was one.of the comic luminaries of Broadway. He played featured roles in "So Long Letty" and "Betty Lee" and was then starred in "Burlesque," which ran for more'than-a. year in New York.. Consequently it %vas only natural th^t when Paramount decided to put "Burlesque" on the screen aa *"^hc Doiice of Life," Skelly should be signed for Mb original role. Since then he has appeared in three oilier pi^R - -ductions and within another year should be onfc of the- leading box office attractions in this business. ' ' Few persons have had such auspicious starts in this film racket as Ina Claire. Shortly before her first picture, "The Awful Truth," was released, Mjst Claire up and married John GJfcert, Nafi»a}ly all tig flappers -in the country " - · - - Stt N EXT -* the revolution in Hollywood I _ : . - ' . ·. .-.W : ' ; ' · . - ' . ' . : '-\ . . : £ ' ; : - ' ; . . ;;;?··"'"' . ,-" J |Vds brought hack' to p6^Ailarity |ome of the old silent favorites were gradually slibfiiiis into C_7 . . . . . . . · · J. . . . · - - ' . - · · ·.. .-Jl - . . · . " · ' *i'. · - ' · - · · - , . 'lipivibii, the sqiialkies aire also naking reputations for coterie f talented boys»and girls whose isfe to fame has been Sensational . v ^W\ . S -- 'V'^^X / ' ^ V K f ^ X X *· - - . A,. '*.""'··-. ,'"'·'*'? /' *- 4fr-/ !-"f,*'l'^«-" ~ .' T~ » "k ? ! : · ' "'.. "' f ', -.' r * t ' ' \ '·*·. i. "' ',''' "", "· '' ' -. "J ../ *- /K r^.v,^ .-..v "" 5 '/ - ', »' * v .* ^ww, * '~ «,V * ; -' - , ^ ' ,H '*HX',V V £- ~^V- · : v ; -;:;-§w?tm-'-:i CosJi-Ain'l'He^Handsome Chester'Morris . . a big hit with a ftetfecl "Alibi" and earned more laureh for' "PIaying^ Around." Fetching Fifi Dorsay.. . . '-spells "It" with two capital ejjes. : - ;X" \ . -i -HL'-," , sd; to iee l 'what kind of a girl John had picked so the ic^ure made lots of money. - - itSit.-.wasn't only her marriage which made' the actress nraediate success. Her work had just "as much to do -Proof of that is that no sooner was that production r.lejed than Palhe signed Miss Claire for'-'several more ynn- Harding demonstrated with her first picture that she .inj unusual. personality for articulate films. And since icfivs'personalities 'always have been at a'premium fbljywbod, Ann has been lost to the stage forever-^-or asjt'for a good many years. Ann's reputation first shot rardjvvhen she played the title role in "The, Trial of 7 Dugan" in New York. Her screen fame started with I'/is-jBound," but there's no limit to where it may go. j/hatever he does, John McCormack is bound to be a I-'shot." Consequently he will rank among the movie |s!rs|riext year as a result of his still untitled feature which Ij,-...Been completed. Many persons will see and 'hear I lofed .singer for the first time in this picture and he may I'ji more of them. That depends upon how well satisfied I with his first effort. As yet'he \vill make no predic- Ir' about the future. I'FI DORS AY,' whose butstandjng' ; appeal Jjes in a pair of'^yes that words just can't describe, is a cinch to be a p*Kular film actress next year- The young.French , ss VMsbeeh'playing on the stage in this country for last 'four years and she wasn't very excited about a Jiita'career when she was first signed for "They Had to ·jParis.":. Things have changed now. Fifi wants to. be a J itar and she is using every bit of talent she possesses lo live this ambition. - . . . ' . ' l'ln'e_3.\v.6rld's youngest prima donna is Bernice Claire's sole I ijtqj.fame at the present lime. But^it won't be for long. I i-'sne'wa'a small girl Bernice has .been vocally inclined | every effort has been made to develop her talent. She ·«£light opera in New York and. then vmderstudied the -in^lhe original Broadway company of "The. Desert '' .--*"·:,·""·'·. - - ' ' " " eraice had several opportunities to go before audiences [us'role and whileI so doing attracted the attention of a \-. National executive who immediately signed her"on a * -term contract. Her first role after arriving in hearts-village was ihe lead in "No, No, Nanette." Follow! lhat she' played opposite Alexander Gray in "Spring 1 lere." . larjorie White is another little girl who is due to receive ^eat big hand when her pictures are released. , She is le'2£frl.'tnn, being only 4 feet \Q]/z inches tall. Marjorie _ ^ftlrns so far, haying appeared in "The New _,,_-,... Jjc . and now she is ready to return to the film d again. Her second assignment was with Janet Gaynor Sunny Side Up. ' LCK OAKIE'S forthcoming popularity might be traced I indirectly to a New York social event some yeajs ago. I It'was here lhat he met May Leslie who engaged him !ay- : W'the.Junior League Charity show in 1919. H e . kuluLMcConnell, noted Broadway comedienne, in this ' f an«ff Immediately teamed wjlli her for many produc- | ·jftTM n ? A " A r, lisl 4-, 9nd Model?." "The Passing ShoW" -Peggy Arm-. Then he decided -that he would Ijke I Jfe:a-fjing at pictures so he came west. ' . 'Sjye's, first job Was in "Finders Keepers," a Laura La 1 ··""-·ijlrn. Since then h e ' h a s appeared in "The'Wild ."Closft Harmony," "Sweetie," "Sheet fftl" *-* Talented Sally Eilcrs. -. Sonic become stars by accident, others plan it , fot longer than you'd lhiitl( by /oo/ffrig at her. and Sally has been planning las Fairbanks and Mary 'Pickford to play an important role in their first co-starring production, "Taming of the Shrew." That picture proved that Dorothy had a perfect talking-film personality and she was given a longrterrn.cbntract by M.G-M, being assigned the feminine lead -opposite Ramon No varro in "Devil May Care" for her first picture. Dorothy's beauty i»n't anything to brag about but she has everything else in such abundance that one doesn't notice that. She certainly will be a "big shot" for the next 12 months and probably for a whole lot longer. ; . Ex-Gob Charles King . i . lacks the typical screen personality, but he's due for a big year. leveral other productions.- A short time ago he was placed under long-term contract by the RKO studio and giver, the leading "role in "Hit the Deck," which has not yet been released. There is no. doubt but what this film will place Oakie well up on the celluloid roster for 1930. , Charles King has turned out to be one of those mysteries .of moviedom. Nobody seems able to say definitely why he is a big hit but he is just the same--'and he wijl be next year too. Charley has been a fixture on the stage ever since 1909 except for the time spent in the navy during the World War. He attained stardom in this country and in England just prior to the war. Immediately "after he was mustered out of service he went with the Ziegfeld Follies and later appeared at the Winter Garden in N e w York ' . . . Since then Charlie has played in one success after another. It was ju»t after he completed his Philadelphia appearance ir» "Present Arms" with Lew Fields that Metro-Gold wyn-M ay er signed him for the lead in "Broadway Melody," one of the biggest talking picture attractions of the past year.' It was that film ^that "made" King as far as filmdom is concerned- He was outacted by bpth Bessie Love and Anita Page but still was good enough to get a long-term contract and is now-being starred by M-G-M- Charjey has a very/good voice but lacks the usual screen- personality---which perhaps is the reason for his success, ' N amateur performance of "Little Women" launched Catherine Dale Owen on a career which is to make her a prominent figure on the silver screen n«xt year, Miss Owen,. who was reputed to be the most beautiful blond on Broadway, has spent quite a'few years on the stage. Her first film engagement was in "Forbidden Women" ai the old Cecil B. in 1927. But she returned to the stage immediately after its completion. Last summer she again returned to Hollywood to play opposite John Gilbert in "OJympia." And now she is going to stay, her work .in "Olyrnpia" having won her a long-term contract In addition to her beauly, Miss Owen is gifted with a fine soprano Voice--a great asset in these audible films. A charming personality plus a Tennessee accent are rapidly pushing Dorojhy Jordan forward in the picture world., Dorothy is one of the scores of .players brought to.Hollywood-from New York by the Fox studios and she is one of' the -very few who are remaining. . After playing on Bro'adway-lor several years she came to the movie capital 16 appear in "Black Magic" for Fox. Luckily for her, Fox did not ren^w her contract after that picture a* a ftee lancer she was imjnadiauly engaged by.Doug- every girl in America ai- ready is a staunch supporter of Rudy Vallee as a result 'of his phonograph records and radio entertainments. That in itself is sufficient to assure his success .in pictures. The unequaled popularity of the .'.late" Rudolph Valentino is proof of that. It was these same women who . made Valentino the' outstanding idol of cinema; history. ValleeY Jwt picture is "The Vagabond Lover." a musical comedy production made by the RKO studios. As soon as that was completed he returned to New York with his Connecticut Yankees. But there is no doubt but what he will return again. · If his picture is given half the reception it is expected to receive he won't be able to afford to stay in New York -- there will be too much mone'y awaiting him out here. Four of movjedom's young actresses who are destined to taste considerable 'success during 1930 are difficult to classify since their success will be due in equal portions to their stage and screen training. They are Nancy Carroll,^ Marion Byron, Mary Doran and June Clyde. By winning a talent contest staged in New York, Nancy Carroll was launched upon her slage career in 1 922. The following year she; and her sister got jobs in the chorus of the' "Passing Show of 1923." For three weeks Nancy worked as a chorine and was then given the feminine lead in ihe show. It was about two years ago that Nancy, playing the role of Roxie Hart in the Los Angeles company of "Chicago" first attracted the attention of film producers. After the close of this show she played opposite Tom Mix in a western and was then signed to a long-term contract by Paramount. "Abie's Irish Rose" was the first film really to bring Tvliss Carroll before the movie public. Since (hen she has played in quite a number of films and has made good to such an extent that she is to be starred next year. Comedian Jack Oa/fi'c's forthcoming popularity dates back to a New Yor/f social event of several years ago . . . but he u)asn'l wearing this costume. M ARION BYRON'S start in the show world came · several years ago when she secured a job in the chorus of "The Music Box Revue." Several other shows followed that one and then Marion, belter known around Hollywood as "Peanuts," decided that there was a better future in motion pictures. Her start in this new field was made as Buster Keaton's leading lady in "Steamboat Bill Jr." Then she was given a contract by Hal Roach and featured in a number of his comedies. At (he termination of that contract Mis* Byron decided lo free lance. She has played featured roles in six films during the last nine months. P'ARION is just about ihe smallest girl in the film colony and as such she lias crcaled quite a demand for herself. -She will go big next year. It was \vhilc attending Columbia University that Mary Doran decided upon..a stage career. Hence her schooling came lo an abrupt end. Being gifled with an exceptional voice and an ability lo dance, she had little difficulty getting a fairly good role in Bell Baker's show, "Betsy," during its New York run. Following ihis Flo Ziegfeld signed her for a specially number in "Rio Rita." Jusl when ihe young girl seemed lo be set for a musical comedy career, her family moved to Hollywood arid she came with them. Arriving here she secured the leading feminine role in a small independent picture. Then David Belasco called her to New York lo play the feminine lead in "Saturday's Children." ., ' It was after'this show closed that Miss Doran got her first real chance on the screen in the form of an important role in "Half a Bride." Two other pictures followed and.then M-G-M signed her to a-long-term contract and gave her a good part in "Broadway Melody." Since then she has been kept busy every minute and next year should see her doing some big things. T HE only acting experience June Clyde had was in ; motion picture theater prologues in which she usually did a song and dance specialty number. This was the work which brought her lo the attention of RKO executives 'and she was given a small bit in'"Side Street." She made good in that production, got a long-term contract and was given ihe ingenue lead in "Tanned Legs." That is the history of her entire career lo dale but she possesses all of the qualities necessary for a brilliant future. And now for those who have come ahead solely through hard work before the movie cameras. There are not so many of these for next year as there have been in the past lor the \ simple reason lhat most of the opportunities have been handed to those who have come from the stage. For some reason-^still unexplained--rfiim producers palled themselves on their backs every lime they lured anyone from the New York stage. And producers like the feeling of those pats. Some of these people 1 have made good, of course. With so many, of them coming west, some had to make good. The only man to rise from the film ranks to almost cer- lain stardom for 1930 ia John Boles. Much of John's success might well be attributed lo his far-sightedness. While working as a Jcading man in "We Americans" and "The Last Warning" before the talkies gained their present prominence, John spent a good deal of lime cultivating his voice. He seemed lo know what ihe future held for actors. As a result he was given ihe leading role in "The Desert Song." This was followed by "Song of the Wesl." Then came "Rio Rita" and with it real success. He has just completed "La Marseillaise," in which he was co-starred with Laura LaPlanle and Universal plans lo slar him in a series of romantic singing roles next year. I N LOOKING over ihe younger players who started slowly but arc now coming forward by leaps and bounds Sally Eilers musl not be overlooked. Sally got her start on the old Mack Sennelt lot, training sctiooi for many of ihe biggest stars, about two years ago. Aflcr leaving Sennelt, Miss Eilcrs was idle for quite a while. Then the "breaks" started coming her way. She made "Half Marriage," "A Sailor's Holiday" and "She Couldn't Say No" in rapid succession. Mary Nolan's first American picture work was with the Duncan sislers in "Topsy and Eva," but when the picture was released she discovered lhat every bit of her work had been cut out. Prior to that lime she had been starred in a number of German films. Her second job in this country was in "Sorrell and Son," ihe film which really gave her her start. When Constance Bennelt gave an outstanding perform- 1ncc as the flapper daughter in "Cylherea" a few years agft a brilliant fulure was predicted {or her. Then, after making "My Son" and "Sally, Irene and Mary," she retired trpm the screen lo marry Phil Plant, prominent young millionaire. A few weeks ago she secured her divorce from Plant in Paris and is now embarking upon a new career before the cameras and microphones. Constance already has completed three pictures, "Rich People," "This Thing Called Love" and "The Son of *e Gods." All of them will be released soon and as a result Constance vvill undoubtedly find herself in great demand for some time to come. .(Copyright, 1929, By EveryWcek Magazine--Printed In tT. 3, A.)

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