Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rough House Rosie -- January 28, 2015

www.listal.com
Red haired Clara Bow was probably the most popular silent actress after Mary Pickford.  Rough House Rosie was a hit, in more than one sense of the word, in 1927, but is now lost.  A trailer survives. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Greatest and Most Beatuful Artist Now Appearing In Motion Pictures -- January 27, 2015

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915

George Middleton, a San Francisco automobile dealer, married the beautiful and celebrated prima donna (that's how she was billed), musical comedy actress Beatriz Michelena in San Francisco in 1907. She left the stage for a while, then returned in 1910. In 1912, Middleton, son of a famous family in the lumber business, founded the California Motion Picture Company in San Rafael, north of San Francisco. At first he made promotional films for his auto business, but in 1914 he began to produce dramatic features starring his wife. Salomy Jane still survives and is very impressive. Most of the CMPC movies were destroyed in a fire.
By the time of the ad above, the CMPC had moved its distribution from Alco, which was in financial trouble, to Lewis J Selznick's World Film Corporation.  This ad touts Michelena's portrayals of Salomy Jane, Mignon and Lovey Mary in Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915
Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch was based on a popular novel by Alice Hegan Rice.  It has been filmed at least four times.  WC Fields appeared in the 1934 Paramount production. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
Lewis J Selznick's World Film Corporation handled an ambitious number of movies.  This ad has the CMPC productions of Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch and Mignon, along with a feature starring Clara Kimball Young, "The Most Popular Star in Pictures." 

Moving Picture World 04-July-1914
The World Film logo featured an elephant. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
Here is a closer view of the Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch section of the ad. "A complete circus was used in one of the scenes of this great production."

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
And here is a closer view of the Mignon section.  Mignon was a popular opera by Ambroise Thomas.  Here the diva poses with a rabbit. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
"The role of Lovey Mary is taken by Beatriz Michelena, the beautiful California opera star...The beauty and intelligence of Beatriz Michelena in the role of Lovey Mary make her very acceptable."

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
This week's World Film Corporation ad still had the Clara Kimball Young film and Mignon, and adds a movie starring Lillian Russell, who had been a famous actress 20 years before. 

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
This week's Mignon section does not have Michelena or the rabbit. 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
"The Most Artistic Work Ever Seen on the Screen." 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
Here is a detailed view of Michelena and the rabbit.  I like the CMPC logo with the California Grizzly. 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
This week's World Film Corporation ad still had Mignon and the Lillian Russell movie, along with Money, a United Keanograph production.  I like the name United Keanograph. 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
This week's Mignon section has Michelena and the rabbit, but the rabbit does not look well. 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
"The beautiful leading woman intelligently blocks out the part rather than distills its essence for us."

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
\"America's most beautiful prima donna in a film dramatization of a world famous grand opera."  It must be nice when one's spouse owns the production company. 


Monday, January 26, 2015

Jim's Love for Zudora is Evident -- January 26, 2015

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
Thanhouser's serial The Million Dollar Mystery had been a roaring success.  In 1914, it stopped at chapter 22, promising that chapter 23 would be released at a later date.  Fans were invited to submit a solution to the mystery.  The person whose suggestion would be used to make chapter 23 would receive a $10,000 prize.  This article shows actors Sidney Bracy, Marguerite Snow and Flo La Badie, the star of the serial, sitting in a room piled with mail.  It says they had picked the winner, but his or her name would not be disclosed until the chapter was released in February. 

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915
"Most Successful Photoplay Ever Staged!"  Thanhouser's next serial, Zudora, was not as much of a success.  "Watch for sensational developments in the new episodes of 'Zudora.'  The early episodes of this wonderful photoplay are constructed to lead up to some of the most remarkable pieces of acting in the history of motion pictures."  Does this sound like an excuse for starting slowly? 

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915
  This item claims that Thanhouser insured leading lady Marguerite Snow after an auto accident. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915

I like the design of this ad. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915

The manager of the Casino Theater in Des Moines, Iowa used this gentleman to advertise Zudora.  The crystal ball is an empty fish bowl. 


Motography, 09-January-1915
"Jim, disguised as Hassam Ali, photographs Chang." 

Motography, 09-January-1915
"Chang hypnotizes Zudora." 

Motography, 09-January-1915
"Jim's love for Zudora is evident." 

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
"In episode No. 8 James Cruze is transformed into the dashing and inspiring hero that made him famous in 'The Million Dollar Mystery.'"  Was this an effort to revive audience interest by making it more like the successful Million Dollar Mystery?

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
People like cat pictures ;0)

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
"One of the features of 'Zudora' is the attention given to the furnishings of Hassam's home.  Certainly there is no material which in richness seems so strongly to appeal to the camera as teakwood." 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
I like Zudora's expression.  "Thrills, Thrills, THRILLS."

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
They lost one of the Persian cats.  "Director Hansel fails to see anything funny about it." 

Motography, 23-January-1915
"Zudora returns the visit of 'the woman of mystery.'"

Motography, 23-January-1915
"Jim, disguised as Hassam Ali, meets Madame Duval." 

Motography, 23-January-1915
"Zudora learns where the little heiress is held prisoner." 

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
"James Cruze -- The Hero!"  Not only is James Cruze now the hero, but Sidney Bracy and Frank Farrington, who were in The Million Dollar Mystery.  Have joined the cast.  I get the feeling that Thanhouser was trying to recapture the elements that made the old serial a success. 

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
The dollar amount could have been exaggerated. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Reynaud's Optical Theater -- January 25, 2015


Artist and inventor Charles-Émile Reynaud created the Praxinoscope and later in 1888 the Théâtre Optique, which presented hand-drawn moving pictures using perforated film. This item from Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography, edited by Albert Allis Hopkins, describes the Théâtre Optique. After movies came to dominate the world of entertainment, Reynaud, in despair, threw most of his equipment and movies into the Seine. 

REYNAUD'S OPTICAL THEATER.

Up to the time of the invention of this theater, the apparatus that produced the synthesis of the successive phases of an action were limited to reproduction upon a very small scale, which can only be enjoyed by a limited group. The object of the optical theater was to provide an apparatus for the reproduction of a series of actions upon a considerable scale. The continuity of the image obtained by the praxiuoscope, invented in 1877 by M. Reynaud, had not up to this time been realized by any projecting apparatus. The effect is produced by using a crystalloid band upon which the images are painted as represented at A in our engraving. The operator can revolve it in one direction or the other by means of two reels. The images pass before the lantern, B, and are projected by the aid of the objective, C, upon an inclined mirror, M, which projects them upon the transparent screen, E. Another projection lantern, B, causes the appearance on the screen of the scene, amid which appear the characters, which change their posture according as the painted band, A, is revolved by the operator.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Now Booking the Only Official Pictures Dempsey-Tunney -- January 24, 2015

Film Daily, 06-October-1926
Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler, defended his title against former Light Heavyweight champ Gene Tunney, the Fighting Marine, on 23-September-1926 in Philadelphia.  Tunney was the underdog, but Dempsey, who had not fought in three years, lost a unanimous decision in ten rounds.  This was a big upset.  After the fight, Dempsey told his wife, actress Estelle Taylor, "Honey, I forgot to duck." 

We recently saw an ad for the "Gross Misrepresentation" distributed by Pathé:
http://bigvriotsquad.blogspot.com/2014/11/this-special-shows-all-law-allows.html
This two-reeler, authorized by promoter Tex Rickard, purports to be "An Excellent Two-Reeler Showing All Their Activities Before and After the Battle -- See the Men Between Each Round"  It does not show the actual fight because the interstate transportation of fight films was illegal from 1912 until 1940. 

Dempsey and Tunney fought again in 1927.  More on that later. 

Dempsey and Tunney later became friends.  When Gene's son John Tunney ran for the US Senate in California, against tap dancer George Murphy, Dempsey campaigned for him. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

News of the Week January 23, 1915 -- January 23, 2015


The 23-January-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Lighthouse at Scarborough, England, bombarded by German fleet.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  On 16-December-1914, the German battlecruiser squadron, commanded by Admiral Franz Hipper, shelled British port cities including Scarborough, North Yorkshire.  The raid killed 137 people, including many women and children.  These raids on undefended towns allowed British propagandists to give Hipper the nickname "The Baby Killer." 

"Start of Bronx Cross Country run with hundred of entries.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  I haven't been able to find anything about this race. 


"The $300,000 fire at the terminal station, Camden, N. J.  Copyright, 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  On 03-January-1915, the ferry terminal of the Reading Company, a major railroad, caught fire and burned.  More than 100 firefighters were injured. 

"Firing French 155 millimeter gun at the front in Belgium.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe Daily News."  This is probably a de Bange.  Early in the war, the French had a shortage of field guns larger than the famous 75.  This is the first Pathé newsreel we have seen. 


"Rescuing the injured in the recent New York subway fire.  Copyright, 1915. Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  On 05-January-1915, an electrical fire at West 55th and Broadway spread smoke through the IRT subway. 

"Barney Oldfield ready to start race against Bob Burman at Los Angeles.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe Daily News." Barney Oldfield was a pioneering race car driver.  Bob Burman died in a 1916 race. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Essanay Announces It Has Secured Charles Chaplin -- 22-January-2015

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915
"You Know What Charles Chaplin Means to Your Box Office!"  You will notice that Essanay always refers to him as Charles Chaplin. 

Be sure to click on all the images to see larger versions. 

December, 1914 and January, 1915 were busy times for Charlie Chaplin.  He made his last movies for Keystone, he signed a large contract with Essanay, he went to Chicago, he made his first movie for Essanay, and he returned to California. 

Motography, 02-January-1915
The New York Motion Picture Company, parent of Keystone, said Keystone would carry on without Chaplin.  "...three new recruits have already been signed at the coast studio, it is not decided just which one of them will be given the stellar comedienne (sic - JT) role."  I don't know much about "Dutch" Ward, but I know that he did not hit the big time with Keystone.  I have seen Billy Walsh mentioned in Variety.  Keystone had a comedian named Harry Gribbon.  I don't know Samuel Gribbons.  "The return of a former Keystone funny man is under consideration."  I wonder if that was Ford Sterling. 

Moving Picture World, 02-January-1915
Chaplin, along with Mabel Normand and Roscoe Arbuckle, is described as a Mutual-Keystone star.  They all attended the San Francisco Screen Club Ball. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915

"First release dates Will be announced soon." 


Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
"Essanay Now Tops List of Photoplay Producers."  "Best Known Actors and Actresses Seen; Anderson, Bushman, and Chaplin Lead." 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
I like the photo.  "It is probable that Mr. Chaplin is the first to successfully adapt pantomime to the uses of the motion picture."  It says he was already working at Essanay's Studio in Niles, California, but that does not sound correct. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
"Charles Chaplin closed his engagement with Mack Sennett and has gone up the coast to work for the S. & A. under G. M. Anderson, who came to town and closed a contract with the little comedian."  This item also implies that Chaplin would be working in Niles, California right away. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915
"Our Burg," a column of items about events in Chicago mentions that "Charley" Chaplin had arrived that week and says facetiously that the Essanay studio floor was being reinforced "preparatory for some of Charley's strenuous stuff."  The bottom item mentions that Broncho Billy Anderson spent Christmas in Chicago. 

Moving Picture World, 09-January-1915

Chaplin's only feature for Keystone, Tillie's Punctured Romance, was still in release.  Poor Mabel Normand had her "d" cut off.  That happened a lot.  Read the November 14 review here:
http://bigvriotsquad.blogspot.com/2014/11/tillies-punctured-romance-november-17.html

Seattle Star, 23-January-1915

Seattle's Clean, Well Ventilated, Comfortable Class "A" Theatre (good name) featured Chaplin and Mabel Normand in an excellent Keystone two reeler, "Caught in a Cabaret."   

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
"Millions Laugh With Charles Chaplin." 

Moving Picture World, 16-January-1915
"Harry Chaplin"? 

Motography, 16-January-1915

Clarence J Caine's article "Charles Chaplin in a Serious Mood" says that Chaplin "arrived in Chicago the latter part of last week, in company with 'Broncho Billy' Anderson and will remain at the Essanay studios in that city indefinitely, producing his inimitable farce comedies which have proved such a drawing card for exhibitors in all parts of the world." 

"'Do you know to what extent the popularity of your comedies has reached?' I queried.

"'No,' he frankly replied, 'but I have been told that they are quite amusing.  I often wonder if the people sitting in a theater realize the immense amount of thought we put into our efforts or the depth of screen psychology'"

Caine refers to him as "Charlie." 

Seattle Star, 23-January-1915
Seattle's Clean Comfy Cozy Class "A" Theatre featured Chaplin and Roscoe Arbuckle in an excellent Keystone two reeler, "The Rounders,"  with "Mrs. Ed Stoudt at Piano." 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
"Essanay is now offering to exhibitors three of the greatest stars the photoplay world has ever seen -- the "A.B.C." of drama and comedy -- Mr. G.M. Anderson Mr. Francis X. Bushman and Mr. Charles Chaplin." 

Moving Picture World, 23-January-1915
Broncho Billy Anderson, who got around a lot, was in New York City.  "Asked as to the acquisition by his company of Charles Chaplin, the comedian, he said that the newcomer would work in Chicago under the guidance of Director Robin.  Mr. Robin has for five years been with Mr. Anderson in the west."  I don't know who director Robin was. 

Motography, 23-January-1915

Here is Essanay's "big three," Francis X Bushman, Charles Chaplin and Broncho Billy Anderson. 

Motography, 23-January-1915
While they were in Chicago for the holidays, Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin danced the "Broncho Billy" waltz, while wearing their movie makeup.  "The dance was originated by Mr. Anderson and is one of the weirdest and funniest stunts on or off the stage."  I'll bet.

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
Essanay's list of "Greatest Screen Stars" included leading man Francis X Bushman, Wallace Beery in drag as Swedish maid "Sweedie," Broncho Billy Anderson, leading lady Beverly Bayne, Margaret Joslyn, who appeared in the Snakeville comedies and leading lady Ruth Stonehouse. 

Moving Picture World, 30-January-1915
This full-page Essanay ad says that Chaplin's first comedy for the company "His New Job" (good title) will be released February 1st.  "'It is the best I ever did,' says Chaplin." 

Motography, 30-January-1915
This item mentions that Chaplin and his comedy company left Chicago for Niles.  "It was at first planned to have the comedian work in the Chicago studio, but on account of the lack of available exterior locations the climatic conditions, it was thought best to return to the West."  It mentions that Ben Turpin and Leo White, who would become a Chaplin regular, were going along. 

Motography, 30-January-1915
Another edition of "Our Burg" says that Chaplin has shaken the dust of Chicago from this feet and headed back to sunny California.