Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on April 24, 1932 · Page 35
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 35

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 24, 1932
Page 35
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STAGE, SCREEN Art, Music and Books ioist Year. No. 356 SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 1932 Free Tress Want Ads Bring Best Results Emotions Too Deep for Camera's Searching Eye Often Play Silent Parts PART FOUR Letters, Gardens, Fraternal mm Real Life Tragedies Inspire Screen Actors Subtle Touches of Art Born of Bitter Human Experiences Give Finish to Masterpieces of Pictureland By JAMES S. POOLER SOMETIMES THERE are stories behind the stories which flicker on the screen, in themselves they may have no cinemagraphlc value but they do lend those touches of realism deemed so necessary to the films today. Perhaps you remember that Jewish peddler of "Cimarron." It was a graphic portrayal by George E. Stone. In "The World and the Flesh" he may be found playing the part of an obsequious fellow whose destiny becomes entwined with that of a party of Russian aristocrats end who goes to his fate with them. It is a bit part which is endowed with effective portrayal by this versatile character player. , GHETTO, COURTS AND RED RUSSIA PICTURE BACKGROUNDS Tully's Story Lures Bickford to Contract Universal Lands Him for Three Pictures hi Year and Four Next, Beginning with 'Laughter in II ell By SCOOP CONLON HOLLYWOOD, April 21 FOR A LONG time Charles Bickford has held out against being starred by any one company in several pictures. He has preferred to free-lance and select his own roles. Finally, however, Uni vereal offered such inducements that even the fiery, redheaded Bickford couldn't resist the contract. "Laughter in Hell," a grim story of the prison camps from thj powerful pen of Jim Tully, was the greatest Inducement. Blckord Is to be starred in this story, which Is said to be the finest Tully has written. The author, who is a great friend of Bickford, begged him to do it. It was Tully's play "Outside Looking In" that first made Bickford But tnere is more 10 inose two parts than Just acting. They were rpal to Stone, who was born and lived in Lodz, Russian Poland, until he was 14 years old. Those early years left their mark. Stone admits that today "old fears" still assail him. "The things of childhood are particularly vivid. You would have to understand what the Jew's life in Russia was like In those days before the war to fully comprehend. I can still gee the unbelievably brutal sights of boyhood. Time refuses to even dim them. It was the fashion of the time for a certain group to go out, get drunk and fay, 'What shall we do for sport? Kill a few Jews?' Twice I was in the slreet, knocked down and lay quietly to Bee men murdered for pleasure. No one could forget those things and a still greater fear has made them more vivid." THE GREATER FEAR grew out of two returns to the scene of pogroms after he believed he had escaped from them. His father rame to America. Later his mother, three sisters and himself made two trips here to join him, but both times were sent back to Russia. Then his mother died. Again his father sent for him and his sisters. That was toward the close of the World War and they somehow escaped across the border into Germany. The four children penetrated through Germany to Hamburg and to Stone that hungry, tedious journey of those four children still is nightmare. Last year Stone received an sward from the Motion Picture Academy for playing in more hits than any other character uctor. Those two bits of the underling Jew were not acting, he says. Thoy were stark realism, his natural return to the fears that are deeply rooted In him. As further proof that Stone Is pot an Isolated example of stories within stories, there are those Russian extras in the same picture. Royalists, they fled to this Country during the Red revolution. Many of them drifted to Hollywood to seek the only kind of work they felt they could do. At first they refused to play the part of revolutionary characters, despite their need for money. They swallowed pride finally and agreed to play the Soviet folk in a derogatory manner. When the Russian National Anthem was sung, it proved a moment that Hollywood still talks about. Many of the loyal Royalists were in tears, but they sang the song lustily enough. Those are some of the things that come under the head of realism In the movies. APPARENTLY AMERICAN producers ate bringing about something which Is closely approaching the successful Continents system of no-stats. During the winter season Detroit era were treated to performances by the Abbey Players in which first one player had a leading part and the next night played only a walk-on part. The system resulted in unified and harmonious presentations. Now the movies have headed In the same direction not only through attempting to assemble casts with a star in every role but by having contract players perform walk-on parts. Although Irving Plchel had lending parts in "An American Tragedy" and "Two Kinds of Women" he only plaverl a brief but brilliant hit, that, of the Atheist, in "The Miracle Man." Alan Dlnehart, a former Eroadwayite, played headline roles In "The Trial of Vivianne Ware" and will have a hlg part in "Fancy Free." Between those parts, however, he played In several pictures sometimes only as an extra well toward the rear of the mob. After playing an important part In "Arsene Lupin," Karen Morley played a small bit. In "Are you Listening." Then Joan Marsh, fea- Chic Sale 'Razzed' Because, of 'Youth' Chic Sale came in for what commonly is known as "razzing" at a recent Hollywood premiere. He was called to the microphone in the lobby, introduced, and asked to fay a few words over the air, but his words were drowned out by a group of youngsters on the sidelines. The gist of their shouts was, "Hon't tell us that young guy is Chic Sale. Chic's an old geezer." Sans makeup, Chic appears to oe a dapper young man, even if all his screen roles have presented him ' a patriarch. Starlets Organized by Young Laemmle K Carl Laemmle, Jr., Universale t-yonr-old production chief, always believer in youth, is building a "Junior stock company" of budding f'arlcts at Universal City. Gloria s'uart, Onslow Steven.", Mickey Pooney, Noah Beery. Jr.. Diane f'uval, Andy Devine, Margaret Lindsay, Paul Kelly, William Daly, Arietta Duncan and Tom Brown re already enrolled. MAKES 23 CHANGES Irene Dunne, who plays the featured feminine role in the Unl-v"t-ni drama. "Back Street," has 23 r!i-neR of costume in the picture, '""ring the 32 years from 1900 to present day. Much of Miss Dunne's time "in the studio was consumed in changing gowns. tured in "Are You Listening," turned around and played an insignificant role in "Grand Hotel." Maureen O'Sullivan, a lead in "Tarzan," went from that part to play a brief scene in "Strange Interlude." Kathryn Crawford, who was high in the cast of "Flying High," may be glimpsed in the small part of a nurse in "The Wet Parade." It probably will result in better balanced pictures and eventually more versatile screen players. THERE 18 one great difference between the stage and the screen. When a bit of business goes wrong on the stage it is apparent to the entire audience, but when a scene goes wrong in the movies the audience never sees it. It, naturally, is cut from the film. But just because they are never glimpsed does not mean that the movie actors do not make the usual mistakes. In fact there are just as many if not more boners in the films. A typical one occurred during the filming of "Week End Marriage." A telephone was supposed to ring And Aline MacMahon answer it. The telephone failed to ring and the players ad libbed for a few minutes. Still the telephone failed to ring, and finally Miss MacMahon said, "I think the telephone buzzed. I'll answer it." That, everyone thought, saved the scene. She lifted the receiver and started her conversation, and right in the middle of it the off-stage mechanic woke up and started to ring the bell insistently. Another mistake which requires frequent retakes is the use of the player's own name. To inject realism Into "State's Attorney," real newspapermen and photographers were hired for a big scene. Everything went well and the scene was a success until the sound man walked over and complained that all the newspapermen had called Barrymore by his own name instead of "Cardigan," his name in the story. Even the director forgot Barrymore was someone else in the excitement Boris Karloff Adds 3 Inches to II eight Boris Karloff is growing up. Naturally 6 feet 2 inches tall, the Universal character actor added two inches to his height for the famous role of the monster in "Frankenstein." Now for the part of a sinister Welsh servant in "The Old Dark House," which Universal is filming from the Priestley novel, he adds another three inches, bringing him to 6 feet 7. He is wider, too, this time, has a broken neck and curly hair and in general is a pretty tough-looking customer. ADDS TO FAME IN NEW PART ;.. . .. Vv'' ... DORIS KENYON Well known to screen followers through many fine portrayals, Miss Kenyon once more registers tellingly in a leading role In that play of misunderstood youth, "Young America." Lowe's Vineyards Help His Contracts The reason that Edmund Lowe is getting along so well with producers these days may be because he is financially independent through possession of a business n,Mh hrlnira him sufficient Income so that he does not have to worry about movie salaries. Some years ago he bought a ranch In the Santa Cruz Mountains. A large portion of it was covered with vineyards. He paid no attention to them until the foreman nf h mnrh. had the crop gathered and shipped to mar ket. Lowe was gurprisea ai me ha rrelvpH from the vines planted years before by Mexican settlers, as tne grapes seemru 10 be in great demand in all parts of the country. Now whenever producers seek to press him too hard, Lowe threatens to return to his ranch with his nrifa T.IK'nn Tsshman. and live an the profits from the vineyards. 17 ; r - $4 All l : H .. U (Ms ' fi W 0 Ai 7 ! As the youth who answers the call of ambition, only to return at the end, disillusioned, to his own people on the lower east side, Ricardn Cortex draws the Kvmpathy of Anna Apel In "Symphony of Six Million." With Donald Cook as her protector, Joan Bennett (upper right) finds her peril as the heroine of "The Trial of VIvJ-enne Ware" considerably minimized. Few Stars Began With Urge to Act Men Film Players Drawn from Medicine, Law and Ranking LIKE MOST popular beliefs, the one that all film players started life with the overpowering urge to become actors, is wrong. A recent census of 21 male celebrities at the Fox studios shows that only 15 pe. cent of them entertained any early ambitions to become actors. Medicine and law seems to havo been the most popular goal of tries players in their early youth. GeorgT O'Brien, Thomas Meighan and Spencer Tracy were all destined for medical careers, as was John Boles. Paul Cavanagh, Ralph Morgan, Weldon Heyburn and Ferdinand Munier took their law degrees before giving a thought to the foot or Klieg lights. Both Cavanagh and Morgan actually practiced for some time prior to their stage debuts. Architecture claimed the first attention of Lionel Atwill and Raul Roullen. Warner Baxter was intended for the banking profession, Will Rogers started out to be a cow- puncher and James Dunn planned to follow his father in the brokerage business. Victor McLaglen started out to become a soldier and, like Rogers, achieved his ambition before turning to histrionics. Charles Farrell planned to enter the textile business, Allan Dlnehart studied mining engineering and Alexander Kirk- land showed promise as a painter before becoming an actor. Only three of those questioned, Ralph Bellamy, El Erendel and James Kirkwood, confessed to dramatic aspirations during their boy hood days. Brendei and Bellamy ran away from school to join the atrical companies and Kirkwood enrolled in a Shakespercan society wnen ne was lz. Reels of Dead Past Studied for New Film Producers of 'World and Flesh' Draw from Scenes of Thirty Years Ago NEWSREEL pictures of the amazing events which followed the assassination of Czar Nicholas, of Russia, were screened over and over again during production of "The World and the Flesh," in order that historic events might be accurately recreated. Four reels of actual scenes, filmed during those days of the Communist revolution, were projected on a screen so that the cast and the technicians might study and learn from them. Under instructions issued several years ago by B. P. Schulberg, managing director of production, many reels and clippings from issues of news and scenic films have been Indexed for reference in the studio's research department. Some footage, 30 years old, Is in the collection. The Russian footage shown was shot during the revolution and pictures soldiers, mobs, street scenes and fighting. The casting, wardrobe and architectural departments selected scenes which best gave them the information needed for bringing back the correct atmosphere of that time. Single frames of the scenes were enlarged into elght-by-ten photographs and distributed to the actors and the departments. Director's Daughter in Juvenile Revue Robert McGowan is one of the most noted directors of juvenile screen talent, having handled Hal Roach "Our Gang'' comedies for 11 years. Now his thirteen-year-old daughter, Helen, is seeking a stage career. She made her professional debut as a dancer en a Hollywood stage recently in a miniature ballet. m sjb mm mm mmmimmm j , w Roughneck and royalty find themselves mingling agreeably to both when George Bancroft, as a sailing vessel captain in "The World and the Flesh," falls in love with the Princess, who Is Miriam Hopkins. Lilian Bond Forgets Work and Gets Jobs 'Perfect Beauty' Finds That Studies Keep Her Out of Public Eye LILIAN BOND is called the "perfect subject" by Hollywood cameramen. They have yet to dis- cover an angle, costume or for that matter light which will prevent them from getting beautiful photographs o f her. Despite the fact that she is a boon to the hard-worked cameramen and directors admit she is a competent actress. Miss k Bond has been K slow in getting I prominent parts. Recently ' ' ' she decided that Lilian Bond the reason for the delayed career was because she was too intent upon becoming a good actress. When she was not studying music or dancing, sketching or practicing trying roles privately, she was at some other work designed to improve her talents as a thespian. The work, however, kept her at home. She was not in publlo life enough to attract the attention of directors, producers or casting heads. So Lilian dropped her books and lessons for awhile and went places. Apparently it was a clever move for she was chosen to play in a stage production in Hollywood. That won her more attention and comment and as a result she now has the leading part in two pictures, "The Trial of Vivienne Ware" and "Man About Town." Miss Bond is a British girl who started dancing when she was 14. Earl Carroll brought her to New York for the "Vanities." Then for two years she appec. :d in musical comedies, Including a long run in "Follow Through." Short-Reel Comedy Series Being Filmed Both James Gleason and Louise Fazenda have been signed by Universal to film special series of short-reel comedies. Gleason has already completed his first, and Miss Fazenda cancels a vaudeville tour to begin Immediately. Warren Doane. former general manager of Hal Roach Studios, is the supervisor. As a little Southern girl, Sidney Fox causes Warren William to mend his ways as a defender of underworld characters in "The Mouthpiece," but the gangsters finally make him pay dearly for this reformation with his life. Boles Will Satisfy His Desire to Sing John Boles is the perennial trou-bador. Since he has not been able to sing in his recent pictures, he makes a personal appearance tour each year, and sings to his heart's content. Having previously covered Eastern cities, Boles is leaving Hollywood this summer for a tour of principal theaters in the Middle West JOHNNY TO GO ESKIMO Now that Johnny Welssmuller, the champion swimmer, seems to have caught on in the pictures by his work in "Tarzan," the producers have found another story for him. This time Johnny will not be called upon to display his athletic build. He will be muffled In fur coats to play a part in a story set in the iand of the Eskimos. WINS FAVOR OF OF YOUNG KAISER IRENE ESSINGER As the heroine of the half legendary, half romantic Cinderella story of the daughter of a forester who meets and falls In love with the young kaiser who is hunting incognito. Miss Eisinger helps to make "Die Foersterchristl" one of the best foreign language Alms to reach Detroit Universal Boasts Big British Colony Baker's Dozen Hold Important Positions with Film Organization UNIVERSAL STUDIOS lay claim to having the largest English colony in Hollywood, with a baker's dozen of Britishers occupying important positions in the organization. The English influx began with Director James Whale, who is surrounded with other native Britishers in his latest picture, "The Old Dark House." These Include Boris Karloff, the star, and Lilian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Charles Laughton, Eva Moore, Brember Wills and Raymond Massey, members of the cast, as well as Benn W. Levy, who wrote the screen play. R. C. Sherriff, writer and producer of "Journey's End," came from London to write the screen version of "The Road Back," and John L. Balderston, adaptor and actor in both "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" on the stage, also joined the scenario staff, as did Gordon Won? Wellesley, Oxford graduate, who wrote "Shanghai Interlude," Lew Ayrea' latest picture. Margaret Llndsey, recently added to the studio stock company, made her success on the English stage, and lastly Henry MacRae, In charge of serial production, is a Britisher. Four More Minutes Involve Day's Work A full day's work In picture-making flashes before your eyes each four minutes while you are watching a picture. An exhaustive "heck of production schedules has disclosed that a day's work by the actors, technicians, extras and directors, results in an average of only enough film to run four minutes. Much time is lost on lots in rehearsing scenes, changing sets ind moving equipment It is a long nrocess and it requires between 20 md 25 days to complete a picture vhich will require only 90 minutes o flicker across the screen. USES 1,250 EXTRAS The extras, who always find Harold Lloyd's pictures to their liking, are grateful again. In one sequence of his picture. "Movie Crazy," he hired 1.250 of them. It is one of the largest "mobs" gathered in siime time and required most of the bit players in the colony. Many extras have left Hollywood due to failure to get work. famous on Broadway. UNIVERSAL was foxy enough, however, to hold "Laughter In Hell" out as the bait for a long-term contract. Bickford finally agreed to star in three pictures this year, and four next year, but he has the right to decide upon his stories and direction. This will be just the same as free-lancing as he retains his independence. He will not be forced to appear in stories that are unsuited to his talents. He will be privileged to make pictures for other companies. If Universal buys Jim Tully's "Circus Parade" from another company Bickford will be starred in this story, too. This new combination of atar and company should prove successful, as Bickford has made several fine pictures for Universal. "Hot News" is now one of the most popular attractions along Broadway and this was Blckford's best role of last season, until "Thunder Below," with Tallulah Bankhead, came along, brated big game hunter and explorer, returned from New York to enter the movies after a long absence, it was to be co-starred with the one and only Tallulah Bank-head in a story now called "The Devil and the Deep." It is an adventure story of love intrigue rising Girls Again Usurp Bright Film Lights Hollywood Decides Public Is Tired of Too Many War and Gangster Plays HOLLYWOOD at last has decided why the male stars took a dominating place in the screen firmament and women actors were neglected. It was the vogue for airplane, gangster and war stories. Now that these have started to fade, Hollywood believes women stars will return in glory and that the day of the matinee idols will ebb. Recently there has been a falling off in attendance at pictures featuring men. It is not that women do not find the Gables, Cagneys and Brents interesting, but are tired of too many of the blood and thunder pictures. As soon as Hollywood discovered, a long season ago, that the public wanted virile stuff on the screen, many men were elevated to stardom. To keep all these supplied with material there was considerable duplication in the favorite classes of stories. Thus, audiences more than had their fill of gangsters, aviators, reporters and soldiers as heroes. The pendulum has started to swing back, it is believed. Women, who shape family attendance at the pictures, began to yearn for a return of romance. They turned to the pictures In which the feminine appeal was strong. Now producers are " shopping busily for stories in which women stars can be featured. It will be more like normal times after the return is made, for both stage and screen always catered to the women. Musical shows are being purchased and written, because many of the new women players like Esther Howard have derided talents along those lines. "Mme. Butterfly" is being adapted as a vehicle for Jeanette MacDonald. Irene Dunn will be starred. DVORAK ALLURES IN 'SCAR FACE' ANN DVORAK As the idolized sister of Tonv Canimante. the ruth'eoo gang leader in Scarface." the personable Ann is the unwitting means of bringing to a violent end the career of the un - derworld king's dapper bodyguard. out of a submarine disaster. Marion Gerlng, whose handling of "Ladies of the Big House" won a directorial hit gets the job ot directing. Two of the biggest writ ing shots in pictures, Benn W. Levy, who wrote "Springtime for Henry," and Harry Hervey, who authored "Shanghai Express," are working on the adaptation. CONNIE BENNETT'S favorlt leading man is kept busy even when Connie is at another studio making pictures. Joel McCrea ia to be featured In two adventure yarns under the Radio banner, while Miss Bennett Is starring in a picture for the Warners. "The Eighth Wonder," the last mystery story written by the late Edgar Wallace, is in production. Joel'a next will be "The Most Dangerous Game." Fay Wray is playing opposite young McCrea in the Wallace opus, under direction of Merlon C, Cooper. - HEN CHICO MARX fell and W1 broke his leg the other three Marx boys found themselves out of a job temporarily. "Horaefeathers" has been postponed Indefinitely, although another week would have completed the opus. The Marxes plan to vacation Europe, minus Chico, but they will return to the Paramount studio to finish the comedy the minute Chlco's leg ie mended. REMEMBER when Jacqueline Logan was one of the brightest luminaries in movie town? One cannot fail to admire her courage. When the talkies ran her out she didn't bewail her hard luck. Instead she took herself off to London and made a real name for herself. Not only did she act, but she wrote and directed successfully. In fact, she became so popular in London that she could have stayed as long as she liked. But I have a faint simpleton that Jackie is coming back to make Hollywood eat Its words. She is starring in a new play based on the radio, called "Coast To Coast." It has opened in Boston, and there is a hint that the wise little Logan girl is taking this play as the first step in showing Hollywood its mistake. ANOTHER famous screen star who bit the dust overnight is Jack Gilbert. He has one more picture to make for MGM, however, and he is collecting that famous $10,000 a week salary. Incidentally, that contract was negotiated for him by Harry Edington, who manages Greta Garbo so marvelously. During the months that Jack has been neglected and forgotten he has acted like a sport. Bad stories brought about Gilbert's loss of popularity just as much as his bad recording voice. Since then Jack's voice has Improved and so has the sound equipment, so there is no reason why he cannot stage a comeback. He has a fortune now, and when he finishes the MGM contract he probably will sign with some other concern. Young for School, She's O. K. in Films Virginia Bruce, Denied Course in 'U,' Sets Fast Pace in Movies TOO YOUNG to proceed with her education, but not too youthful to get ahead with a motion picture career, was the paradoxical state of affairs In which Virginia Bruce found herself. Miss Bruce, arriv ing in Los Angeles with her parents. wno naa moved rrom Fargo. N. D., attempted to enroll In the University of California. "You're pretty young," she was advised, "and the semester has started. Why not wait until next year?" With full classrooms, the University finally disuaded her from starting at once. During the Idle weeks. Miss Bruce journeyed about and finally visited Hollywood. As a prank she decided to try for a job at the Paramount studios. At the moment the casting director was making a last-minute search for society types. Mis3 Bruce, when she recovered from her surprise, discovered she had played an extra part in Moran and Mack's picture, "Why Bring That Up?" Then she played a nilghtly larger part in "Woman Trap." and before many days passed was playing numerous roles. Recently she received her biggest boost, when MGM decided she was the only one who could play opposite Richard Arlen and Jack Oakie in "Sky Bride." and borrowed her from Paramount. POLA WRITING A BOOK Pola Negri Is vriting a novel. Each day when che finishes her vaudeville work she returns to her hotel and writes at least 20 pages of the book. She hopes to have it completed shortly. It is being written in Polish and when it is finished she will have it translated into English. . vi,, i. c: 4 " " Wheezer. the surDrisinir babv of ; Our Garg Comedies, Is going y j Universal. He will appear in ! James Gleason s new series of short i comedies which Warren Doane is ' producing for that company.

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