Monday, December 22, 2014

Mae Murray Season's Greetings -- December 22, 2014

Variety, 30-December-1925

Actress and dancer Mae Murray wished season's greetings to "My Friends All Over the World."  Before she became a movie star, she had been a headliner in the Ziegfeld Follies.  Murray is most famous today for starring in Erich von Stroheim's The Merry Widow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Best Specimen of Virile Characterization Ever Put on a Screen -- December 21, 2014

Motography, 07-November-1914

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.

Motography, 14-November-1914
Their first feature was an adaption of Salomy Jane by Bret Harte.  "There is not a dull moment in its entire six reels."  I agree. 

Motography, 28-November-1914

Salomy Jane did well at the Portola Theater in San Francisco.  "Strictly High Class." 

Motography, 28-November-1914
ALCO did a bad job of distributing the films of the CMPC.  I believe ALCO went bankrupt soon after. 

Moving Picture World, 26-December-1914

This ad announces that the next CMPC production, an adaption of Alice Hegan Rice's Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch would be release in January by Lewis J Selznick's World Film Corporation. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Majestic and Komic Guide for Exhibitors -- December 20, 2014

Moving Picture World, 05-December-1914

After leaving the Biograph, DW Griffith formed Reliance-Majestic with Harry Aiken. Griffith brought along most of his Biograph stock company, including Mae Marsh, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish and Miriam Cooper.  I read Miriam Cooper's autobiography, Dark Lady of the Silents; My Life in Early Hollywood

Moving Picture World, 19-December-1914
Mary Alden played Austin Stoneman's mulatto mistress in Birth of a Nation

Moving Picture World, 26-December-1914
I don't like that photo of Dorothy Gish. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

News of the Week 19-December-1914 -- December 19, 2014

The 19-December-1914 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"King George en route to open Parliament.   Copyrighted 1914 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The opening of Parliament used to take place in November or December.  The monarch or a representative gives a speech.  King George V opened Parliament on 11-November-1914. 

"Steamer 'Hanalei' wrecked off San Francisco.  Copyrighted 1914 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The steam schooner SS Hanalei, en route from Eureka to San Francisco, ran aground on Duxbury Reef near Bolinas on a foggy day, 23-November-1914.  23 passengers and crewmen died. 

"The 'Old Guard,' New York's veteran battalion.  Copyrighted 1914 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The Old Guard of the City of New York is a ceremonial battalion which was formed in 1824. 

"King Albert and President Poincaré at Furnes, Belgium.  Copyrighted 1914 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Albert, King of the Belgians refused to surrender even after the Germans had overrun most of his country.  Albert and French President Raymond Poincaré reviewed the troops in Furnes on 02-November-1914. 

"U. S. troops from Vera Cruz land at Galveston, Texas.  Copyrighted 1914 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The United States invaded and occupied the port of Vera Cruz, Mexico because of the Tampico Affair. 

"Richard Croker and his bride, who was an Indian princess.  Copyrighted 1914 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Croker had been the boss of Tammany Hall.  He was 71 and his second wife, Beulah Benson Edmondson, was about 30.  She was allegedly a member of the Cherokee tribe. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grauman's Chinese -- Norma Talmadge -- December 18, 2014

I recently finished my series of photos taken at Grauman's Chinese. I started it on my other blog in 2009-2010, then picked it up again after a visit in 2012 ( I moved it here when I started this blog in 2014, and finished it in September, 2014. In October, 2014, I thought I would start rerunning the series, adding photos of the people honored in the forecourt.

Sid Grauman was a San Francisco showman who came to Los Angeles and built three major houses, the Million Dollar, the Egyptian, and the Chinese. The theater has hosted many film premieres, but is most famous for the hand and footprints (and hoofprints and nose prints and other types of prints) in the forecourt.

Some accounts say that Norma Talmadge started the tradition of leaving hand and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood when she accidentally stepped in wet cement. Her current set of footprints is dated 18-May-1927, while those of Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks, a partner in the theater, are dated April, 1927. DSCN4151.
Norma Talmadge was a popular actress who is not well remembered today. She was mean to her brother-in-law, Buster Keaton.

I took this photo on 18-July-2009.
Joseph M Schenck was her husband. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Clutching Hand -- December 17, 2014

Motography, 26-December-1914

The Perils of Pauline was a big hit in 1914. The 20 chapter serial was not the first movie serial, but it was one of the big ones. It starred Pearl White, the first serial queen. The Eclectic Film Company distributed Pathé movies in the United States. The film exists only in a mutilated form, based on a copy exported to France. The subtitles had been translated into French, then translated back into English. Be sure to click on this image from the last episode to see a larger version.  Note the dog. 

Motography, 05-December-1914

Pathé announced that they would "release another serial with substantially the same cast, but showing adventures of a different sort."

Moving Picture World, 19-December-1914
"The biggest and best serial yet" starred Pearl White as the alliterative heroine Elaine and Arnold Daly as the scientific detective Craig Kennedy.  Arthur B Reeve wrote 26 novels and many short stories about Kennedy.  Elaine and Kennedy were looking for the man who killed her father, a disguised villain known as The Clutching Hand. 

Moving Picture World, 26-December-1914
The villain's name often appeared as large or larger than the name of the movie.  I like the image. 

Moving Picture World, 26-December-1914
The all star cast appears on the left-hand page.  Author Reeve and director Leopold Wharton appear on the right. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tom Mix Dares Perils and an Audible Mackinaw -- December 16, 2014

Moving Picture World, 07-June-1919

Tom Mix was the biggest cowboy star in silent movies. He and his horse Tony had many adventures in Fox films. The caption makes fun of Tom's sweater.  I say you'd have to be confident in your masculinity to wear it.