Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 2, 1939 · Page 10
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 10

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, June 2, 1939
Page 10
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10- -PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1939 - ; : 1 j V! Latest News of the Stage and Screen Old Script Dusted Off For Big Hit 'It Can't Happen Here To Be Filmed at Last In New Dress. By Frederick C. Othman United Press Hollywood Correspondent. HOLLYWOOD, June 1.- What can happen to a movie before the actors even begin to smear their faces yellow frequently makes a story so fantastic the producers rub their eyes. So do the bankers who foot the bill. And when current history begins messing up the works, you can be pretty sure the result could have happened only here. That's a paradox because what we're discussing today Is the strange adventures of the script of "It Can't Happen Here." j When Sinclair Lewis wrote this Btory five years ago, about what might happen if a dictator took over the White House, it was the most sensational novel of the year. It became an equally important play in New York and in many another city, where WPA Thespians staged it It looked like a smash hit for the movies. The Drama Desk By Harold W. Cohen The trip back from Springfield, HI., after a iu Cay of Abraham Lincoln, was a relaxative of the nicest sort At the station, Miss Binnie Barnes, Mis3 Arleen Whelan, Mr. Cesar Romero and Mr. Eddie Collins wrote their right hands into partial paralysis signing more auto graphs for the thousands who had gathered at the station to see the visitors off. Miss Alice Brady wasn't feeling well and went immediately to her compartment Miss Barnes and Miss Whelan were particularly regular and as the special pulled out, a Springfield policeman ran-along side for a short distance, pulled two bullets from his belt and presented one to each of the girls as "a token of my affection." Believe it or not, the quotes are the cop's. In return, Miss Barnes called out her Hollywood phone and told the minion of the law to look her up if he ever got out that way. Incidentally, the phone number also founds its way quite mysteriously, too Into the notebook of a certain Pittsburg'h journalist It took four hours from Spring field to Chicago and few ever moved away from the dining-room. The drinks were on Twentieth Century-Fox. Your signature to the order was all the Pullman Company required. So naturally the air was constantly filled with shouts of "drink up, boys, this round's on me." Newspapermen are the dangd-est cut-ups. Half -Pint Cloivn A t Stanley Today Paid Lewis $75,000. So upon October 1, 1935, Metro Goldwyn-Mayer paid Lewis a re puted $75,000 caih for his story. Sidney Howard, the celebrated playwright was retained immedi ately to do the scenario. He came to Hollywood and labored on the script until January 15, 1936, at a salary which approached the astronomical. The studio chieftains were en thusiastic about the property. It looked like a little Lulu, to be turned into the kind of picture which makes lines two blocks long at the box office. Production was about to start when the Associa tlon of Motion Picture Producers (the Hays office) informed Nich olas M. Schenck, Metro president, that "It Can't Happen seemed to be against public policy. Hint Proves Effective. The Hays people didn't forbid fichenck to make the picture, but they said if he did show mob rule and overthrow of the government and maybe harm one or the other, r both of the political parties on the eve of a presidential election, he'd be doing it'on his own responsibility. Schenck shelved the acript, which by then had cost perhaps $150,000. Nobody complained much except Luclen Hubbard, the newspaper reporter, turned screen writer, turned picture producer. Hubbard thought the picture ought to be made and said so. He kept on saying so, as the years passed, and one dictator after another took over various nations in Europe. World affairs reached such a turn last winter that the Hays office relaxed its regulations against controversial pictures. The continental market was shot, anyway, and why not take a few pot-shots at the mighty men of Europe? That decision caused the Warner Brothers to rush in with 'Jieir "Confessions of a Nazi Spy." Ii also caused every other producing company here to prepare similar stories; at last count there were 41 euch films on the fire. History Revives Play. The new international situation gave Metro the opportunity to revive "It Can't." On January 6 of this year. Producer Hubbard pui.ed the script from the files, blew the dust off it and started to read it again. "And it wouldn't do at all," he said. "I'm not reflecting upon the original story by Lewis, nor upon the picturization by Howard. They both did excellent jobs, but five years ago the very idea of a dictator ruling America was startling enough. They didn't need anything else. "Now that idea's old stuff. Nobody believes the United States ever will have a dictator, but so much has been said about it before congressional committees, in the newspapers, and in public forums everywhere, that the original story looked like cold potatoes. "What had seemed startling then seemed commonplace now. So the studio dropped the idea again." Hubbard didn't He still thought the story was as much of a startler as ever, if it only had a new climax. So he rewrote tne whole business, showing a dictatorship in Washington and showing it being kicked out by disgruntled Americans as soon as they realized what had happened. Then he sold the story all over again to the powers-that-be and "It Can't Happen Here" went on the production schedule for the third and Hubbard hopes the final time. It's scheduled to reach the cameras June 5, with a cast still unselected, except for Lewis Stone, who plays the New England editor, central character of the original story. Upon reaching Chicago and discovering there that Mr. John Barry- more, for reasons which the Windy City press has been variously de scribing, would not be acting in My Dear Children again until at least next Monday night, Mr. Krug, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Buck Herzog of the Milwaukee "Sentinel" Mr. Monahan had left Springfield on an earlier train dropped in on Mr, Hal Halperin. Mr. Halperin is the head of "Variety's" Chicago office; he knows everybody out there worth knowing; he's a grand host and a fine friend and he won't take "no" for an answer. Mr. Halperin was tied up for the evening but insisted that one of his associates, Mr. Sam Ward, who was in Pittsburgh several months ago ahead of Bob Crosby's band, must take his three guests out to the Bon-Air Country Club, 25 miles distant, to have dinner and see the show with Tony Martin, Freddy Martin's orchestra and the dance team of Georges and Jain a. For a time, what with Mr. Ward displaying a positive nausea for "Stop" signs, it was doubtful if either he, the newspapermen or Mr. Ward's 1929 Chandler would ever reach Bon Air, but miracles still happen. Bon-Air is a beautiful spot that looks like a great summer resort, but the revue wouldn't go on there until 9:30, the bead-waiter said, and since the Pittsburgh train was leaving at 11, it would have been impossible to see a perform ance anyway. So a hasty soda-and at the bar (Mr. Herzog said it was the first time he had ever driven i U ' .3 i $ V BERT WHEKJLEK. The Broadway and Hollywood comedian turns up in person at the Stanley today, coming here direct from the coast where he has just finished "The Cowboy Quarterback" for Warner Brothers. On the stage bill with Wheeler will be Iris Wayne, Hank Ladd and France tta, Johnny Perkins and the Trado Twins. 50 miles for a drink) and thence back downtown to the Chez Paree, hoping against hope that both Mr Ward and his jallopy would stay with us until then. They did. , The Chez Paree has the biggest show in the Loop Lupe Velez, Harriet Hoctor, Romo Vincent (re member him at the Show Boat here?), the Sterner Sisters, Vin cent Lopez's band and, of course, Mr. Lopez's whacky jitterbug, Miss Betty Hutton. Ted Weber, the spot's press-agent, said Miss Velez was packing them in, and so she was, if Wednesday night's dinner crowd was any criterion. She was doing the same act the Mexican spitfire did at the Stanley some years ago and in "You Never Know" at the Nixon last season imitations of Dolores Del Rio, Katharine Hepburn, Gloria Swan son, et al. They're still devastating caricatures. Miss Doris Dudley, '-who has Iris Wayne to Replace Betty Bruce as Dancer Lovely Iris" Wayne of New York will replace Betty Bruce, stage star, as the featured dancer in the stage show opening today in the Stanley Theater. Bert Wheeler, screen actor, is in the show also. Miss Bruce, Stanley officials announced, will be detained- another month or so in New York because iThe Boys From Syracuse," in which she is appearing, will remain open. 'Mutiny' Back At the Warner Anne Shirley in 'Sorority House' Also on Bill. One of 1934's outstanding pic tures, "Mutiny On the Bounty," co-starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, has come back to town for a week's engagement at the Warner. Hailed generally upon its release as the tops in rousing adventure yarns, the film tells of the hair-raising mutiny aboard the ship Bounty captained by Mr. Laughton's by now historic Bligh and seconded by Mr. Gable's he roic Fletcher Christian. In addition to the two leading players, the cast also includes Franchot Tone, in perhaps his out standing screen characterization. The Warner is also showing a new picture, R-K-O's "Sorority House," which concerns Miss Anne Shirley's efforts to make a sorority and how she decides the girls are all snobs anyway following the mortification that comes when her father, a poor grocer, turns up at the house on pledge night. James Ellison, Barbara Read, J. .M. Keri-gan and Elizabeth Risdon are in the cast too. Starlets Pedal Laraine Day and Jo Ann Sayers, film actresses, made a tour of Long Beach on tandem bicycles yesterday, along with three of Laraine's former high school friends. Where to Go When to Go AI.VIN Cary Grant. Jeaa Arthur and Richard Barthelnwss In "Only Angel Hava Wlnga," Starts at 11:33, 2:09. 4:45. T:24 and 10. ART CINEMA "Night Must rail," and Walt Dlsnay's " Academy Award Revue." Complete shows at 11:30, 2:10, 4:50, 7:40. :23 and 10:10. CASINO "Red Hot and Brown." all-colored show, and movie shorts. Continuous from noon. rrtTON Tyrone Power, Alice Fays and Al Jolson In "Rose of Washington Square. " Starts at 11:19, 1:04, 2:49, 4:44. 6:39, 8:34 and 10:29. PENN Claudette Colbert and James Stewart In "It's a Wonderful World." Starts at 11:28, 1:37, 3:46, 5:55, 8:04 and 10:13. SENATOR t'Cowboy and the Ladv," and "Four Daughters." Complete shows at 10:36, 1:39, 4:51 and 8:18. STANLEY "Calling Dr. Kildaire," with Lew Ay res and Lionel Barrymore, and Bert Wheeler In person with Johnny f Perkins. Picture at 11:10, 1:50, 4:50, 7:40 and 10:40. Btage at 12:50, 3:50, 8:40 and 9:40. WARNER "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Sorority House." Complete shows at 11:07, 2:41, 6:15 and 9:49. Pines Opens Summer Season Tomorrow The summer dance season at the Pines' Sunken Gardens will open tomorrow, with Jimmy Living stone s band set for the first two weeks. L i v i ngstone j isn't unknown locally as a result of his network radio broad casts at Murray's in Westchester, L. L The orchestra f e a tures Nolan Canova and J. Livingstone. Frances Crawley and comes here direct from a run at the Riverview Club in Boston. taken Elaine Barrymore's role in "My Dear Children," was enjoying her ' vacation dancing with . Mr. Myron McCormick, a fine young actor (you saw him as Trock, the gangster, in "Winter-set" at the Nixon three seasons back), who is in Chicago making a government-backed slum-clearance picture for Pare Lorentz, producer of "The River." Miss Dudley, recalling the time last May when we were seat-partners on a plane trip to Hollywood, said she thought the Barrymore show would be playing Pittsburgh on its way to New York after the hoped-for summer-long run in Chicago. After Miss Dudley had gone back to, her own table, a Chicago re porter whispered that there were reports ttiat she had been receiving quite a few long-distance calls of late from Mr. Franchot Tone, in New York. Incidentally, the day in Chicago on the way to Springfield was also a pleasant one. Mr. Sam Stratton, company manager of "My Dear Children," who served "Angela Is 22" in a similar capacity earlier this year; Mr. Fred Spooner, the publicity man who was in Pitts burgh ahead of both ' Golden Boy and "Victoria Regina" and is now on his way to the coast to launch the new Helen Hayes-Herbert Mar shall show; Mr. Sam Weller, ex- plointing "One for the Money, and Miss Gertrude Bromberg, press agent for the Shuberts in Chicago, dined and wined the Pittsburgh delegation of Monahan, Krug and Cohen at the Pump Room of the Ambassador Hotel East The Pump Room, by the way, is the swankiest rendezvous in Chicago these days. There, Mr. Jerry Freshman, a genial host who directs sales promotion for the two Ambassadors as well as the Hotel Sherman, will point out the front table he had to reserve each night for Miss Gertrude Lawrence during her two long stays in Chicago this season, and he also proudly points to the soft lovely white decor of the room, the silk-stockinged and red frock coated waiters and the little colored coffee boy who walks about in green silk blouse and bloom era and white-feathered turban. For food the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding melt in your mouth and atmosphere, Mr, Freshman has a room Mr. Cohen will be seeing again and again, he (Mr. Cohen) hopes. Before train time, the Mr. Hal perin who has been mentioned before guided the local "unholy three" to a Chicago hot-spot called the 606 Club, which features a mile and half of strip-teasers and a lady named Dolly Sterling who sings songs that make even the S.T"ers themselves blush. The show, which also has a few good legitimate acts is merely undressed burlesque, if you can possibly imagine anything more undressed than burlesque it self, and the 606 is making a for tune. The entertainment was just like the old Academy, only more so, before law, order and License Commissioner Paul Moss came to New York, the latter with a spray of Flit aimed at the Alma Mater of Fannie Brice, Clark and McCul lough and hundreds of others. It was a great three days, cli- J r f ) J Sullavan and Boyer Get English Honors The British award most nearly approaching in importance the American Academy Awards for acting, is to be given to Margaret Sullavan for her role in "Three Comrades," and Charles Boyer for his performance in "Marie Walew-ska." The latter picture was the release title abroad for "Conquest" Tango Experts At Nixon Cafe f -fx felislililpiilllsi ?- t - " 1 , N - ' - "S , "' . ... 1: . x,-Ji W now M1, 1 PLAytNG" ROSE-'OP T0l$.K!SHTJUMI6AT9Pfct All Seals Reserved 4o? GILBERT vSULLI VAN'S 4 irlav IH TSCftNlCOLOn Kenny BaXer DoYhf Carte Chorus The Peripatetic Pianist I JOE REICHMM J I AND HIS ORCHESTRA ft 3 EVERBODYGgw0 pirns vE3;Af coupoh 1 lYXff 1l for dinner and supper dancing. Luncheon music daily (LDdD j Overlooking downtown Pittsburgh HOTEL East Liberty Show Grounds 5th & Penn Aves. 2 DAYS TWICE DAILY MON. rail TUES.ft JUNEg) JUNEifl) RESTYLED IN MAJESTIC IMMENSITY EARTH'S LARGEST TENT NOW 100 AIR CONDITIONED l Be ub UMAlKr. INew Spectacle Supreme "THE WORLD COMES TO THE WORLD'S FAIR"! Gigsntic Hotof TerrificNaw Sensations Never Before in America, and MIGHTIEST MUyTfTUPt Or CIRCUS CHWHPMWtS IH HISTORY TERRELL MCOCS attfinf 50 UONS ft TIGERS G1WC0 HEW NORSE FAM-GAflOWTUA tin GREAT "n Vtw in MAMMOTH NEW MENAGERIE TWICE DAILY 2:15 anal S:1B P.M. Boors Open 1 7 POPULAR PRICES TICKET SALE OPENS AT OlMBELS, SAT., JUNE 3 y 3 RAMOS AND NANETTE. Hailed as America's finest tango dancers, Ramos and Nanette have checked in at the Nixon Cafe for , ah indefinite stay. Al Marsico's - music, Eob Carter and Angelo Di Palma hold over from previous shows. maxed of course, by Twentieth Century-Fox's "Young Mr. Lincoln" hospitality in Springfield and of course, - Miss Barnes' telephone number. So what, so that Springfield policeman does top the Old Massa, by half a foot and 70 pounds! Two More Old Hits at Senator Two comparatively recent re-Issues opened a three-day engagement at the Senator yesterday. They are Samuel Goldwyn's The Cowboy and the Lady," which co-stars Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon, and "Four Daughters," which introduced John Garfield to the screen less than a year ago and also features the Lane Sisters, Priscilla, Rosemary ana ioia, Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn, Gail Page and May Robson. The double-bill will remain at the Senator through Saturday, with "Algiers," starring Hedy Lamarr and Charles Bcjyer, and Wallace Beery and Robert Taylor In "Stand Up and Fight" getting under way on Sunday. Mickey to Sing Mickey Rooney, who has played everything from Shakespeare down to slapstick comedy since he was knee-high to a turtle, finally has an assignment that is worrying him. He has to sing in "Babes in Arms!" mssiss ftu Ho BRrtti)... 40 SBSsJeffl - -"uivr it ar- " xia. "OKI VENUS i "ILU MAE LAME US YoetiM ..... ' IT S FAST Jans i. i - la- - I JOHNNY . mt itSl'f - mh -T . A.NCETTA .uir I ID O IRIS WAYNE LESTER SB" -SIX DEBUTANTES THE TRADO TWIN SHANGHAI WING T'tOOH A ri L 3 a. ltttH jf I -I m4 I I ft. 4 : 4 y m'KYM. k - I 11, STARTS TODAY AIR CONDITIONED ... 4 25HO 12:30 fax 77 ii BOTS, IF YOU wawT TO FORGET YOUR TROUBLES FOB AN HOUR RN & . . Laugh, shriek, roar, howl, but no politics! Positively no problems in this picture just HAPPINESS I If i v- : They will make the world shake - rttWM ma awa . . - av i" 'v r DXtilKE I. DO an imriTinmr mftrc-p rniirjr Screen Play by Ben Hecfal. Dirked by W .S ,VonDyfee , PdVced by Frank Davis . . - . f r -w,tn.ivn;K MIUKE 0 STARTS TODAY! SCIENTIFICALLY AIR CONDITIONED o io:jo a. M. t 12:30 P. M. i l rri j rm crm .nrvr HIL'JHl'.'J"W IUmll EXTRA! J"" "S.U .r mm OF time "DIXIE U. S. A." Th S.yH T''r .. etirt W "HOLLYWOOD KOBBIE i

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