Monday, September 15, 2014

A Trip Thru Barbarous Mexico -- September 15, 2014

Moving Picture World, 13-March-1913

The Mexican Revolution was a hot subject for US films.  Here we have an ad for Barbarous Mexico, a five reel feature.  The title gives an idea of the feeling many people in the US had towards Mexico and its people.  "A Five Reel Production Featuring the Peasant Revolution." 

"Madero versus Diaz."  Francisco Madero, a democrat who fought for social justice, was a leader of the revolution, who was elected President after hated dictator Porfirio Diaz resigned and fled in 1911.  In February, 1913, General Victoriano Huerta led a military coup.  Madero was deposed and then assassinated.  I think I remember more than one movie where the characters would say Huerta's name then spit.  The only movie I could find in a quick Google search was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  I believe there are others. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Clayton Moore 100 -- September 14, 2014

Actor Claytom Moore was born 100 years ago today, on 14-September-1914.  He performed in the circus, served as a model, In the late 1930s, he began appearing in movies.  During World War II, he served in the US Army Air Force, making training films. 

Moore starred in some features at Republic Studios and some serials, including Perils of Nyoka with Kay Aldridge, The Crimson Ghost with Linda Stirling, Adventures of Frank and Jesse James, as Jesse James, with Noell Neill, and Ghost of Zorro.

The Lone Ranger. created by writer Fran Striker, had appeared on radio since 1933 and had been the lead character in two Republic serials in 1938 and 1939.  In 1949, Striker was looking for someone to play the Long Ranger on a television series.  Trendle picked Moore to play the Lone Ranger, allegedly after seeing him in Ghost of Zorro. Moore modeled his voice on the voice of Brace Beemer who had played the role on the radio for several years. 

The series, which also featured Jay Silverheels as Tonto, was a success, but Moore got fired after the second season.  Moore returned for the fourth season and stayed till production stopped. 

New property owner Jack Wrather made two theatrical features with Moore and Silverheels, The Lone Ranger in 1956 and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold in 1958.

Clayton Moore spent the rest of his life, with a short exception, making personal appearances as the Lone Ranger.  He always tried to behave in a way that would be a good example to young people.  He always wore his mask in public.   

In 1981, Jack Wrather made a movie called The Legend of the Lone Ranger, and sued to prevent Moore from portraying the Lone Ranger.  Moore started wearing sunglasses and countersued, winning the right to appear as the Lone Ranger.  The movie was a bomb, and the negative publicity from picking on a national icon made things worse. 

Clayton Moore died in 1999.

Stan Freberg produced the commercial in the 1960s.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Renfax Musical Motion Pictures -- September 13, 2014

Moving Picture World, 12-Septebmer-1914

The Renfax Film Company made one of the many early attempts at producing motion pictures with synchronized sound.  I haven't found many details yet, but they seem to have sold a device that would synchronize a motion picture projector with a phonograph.  I know from experience that this is very hard to do.  "Weekly rentals less than cost of single singer." 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Majestic Motion Picture Company -- September 12, 2014

Moving Picture World, November 21, 1914.

After finishing Birth of a Nation, DW Griffith and his stock company moved on to the Majestic Motion Picture Company, where he directed and produced shorts and short features for Mutual release.  This ad features his leading ladies, Blanche Sweet, Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish, "Who appear Exclusively in Majestic Releases and 'Griffith' Specials." 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Matty in Pictures -- September 11, 2014

Moving Picture World, 26-September-1914

Christy Mathewson was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. He won three games for the New York Giants in the 1905 World Series. He was widely considered the best human being in baseball. He served in the army during the First World War and was exposed to gas during a training exercise and developed tuberculosis. This led to his early death at the age of 45. He was a member of the first class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1914, Mathewson signed with Universal to do a series of movies.

I don't know how many got produced, and I doubt any still survive.

This item talks about his appearance in "Love and Baseball."  "Christy Mathewson has acquired more fame in the baseball world than any other player; he has established a reputation as the greatest pitcher the world has ever produced."


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Robert Wise 100 -- September 10, 2014

Happy 100th birthday to director Robert Wise.  I remember when he gave many interviews about working with Orson Welles on Citizen Kane.  He worked closely with producer Val Lewton at RKO.

One of my favorite Robert Wise movies is Somebody Up There Likes Me, where Paul Newman played Rocky Graziano:
I don't care much for science fiction, but The Day the Earth Stood Still is a favorite. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Broncho Billy -- September 9, 2014

Motography, 15-August-1914

"'Broncho Billy' In his wonderful western photoplays is drawing crowds everywhere.  His friends are millions and world wide.

"G.M. Anderson

"Is featured every Saturday in a 'Broncho Billy' release."

Essanay had studios in Chicago and Niles, California. 

Moving Picture World, 13-April-1912