Monday, August 21, 2017

The Scream of the Screen -- August 21, 2017

Moving Picture World, 11-August-1917

Billy West closely imitated Charlie Chaplin in a long series of comedies for different studios.While Chaplin was making the excellent Mutual comedies, West was making imitations of Chaplin's Essanay comedies.

Moving Picture World, 18-August-1917

With the US in World War One, the draft was a hot subject.

Moving Picture World, 18-August-1917
"The star, Billy West, in that short time has acheived a degree of popularity that is nothing less than remarkable in one so new to the glories of the screen." 

Moving Picture World, 18-August-1917
 Billy West and his costar Ethlyn Gibson, were both arrested by the Jacksonville, Florida police for speeding. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis, RIP -- August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis has died.  When I was a little kid, he was very popular.  When I got old enough to go to movies, he was laughed at, but not in a good way.  I saw many of his movies with Dean Martin on television.  I thought their comedy was undisciplined.  I preferred Chaplin and Keaton.

Then I saw The Nutty Professor on television.  I love it.  There was a shot where Professor Kelp was lying on the floor and the camera pulled back and I could see his white socks.  It broke my heart.

After that, I knew that Jerry Lewis was a great director.  I found The Total Film-Maker at the Main Library.  Video assist sounded like a wonderful idea, especially for a person who directed himself.  He talk film courses at USC. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas studied with him.

I tried to watch the telethon a couple of times.  I couldn't stand it.

The last new thing I saw him in was an episode of Law and Order

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Luke's Wild Women -- August 19, 2017

Moving Picture World, 25-August-1917
Rolin was a company founded by Hal Roach and Dan Linthicum. Harold Lloyd was their first comedy star. Bebe Daniels was their cute leading lady and Snub Pollard was Snub Pollard.  By mid-1917, the Lonesome Luke series was a big hit.  It had moved from one-reelers to two-reelers.

"Luke's Wild Women" sounds interesting.  "Besides the fun that is in every scene the cast contains the usual Rolin beauty congress."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Pictureview With Charles Chaplin -- August 17, 2017

Photoplay, March, 1917
This item is not from 100 years ago this month, but it is fun. 

Moving Picture World, 04-August-1917
Big Eric Campbell was Chaplin's villain most of his Essanay and Mutual comedies.  I had not heard this story about his wife and daughter.  Eric Campbell died in an auto accident in September. 

Moving Picture World, 04-August-1917
Chaplin had just signed a million dollar contract with First National.  They expected the first picture in December. 

Moving Picture World, 11-August-1917
Chaplin was still working on his last Mutual film, "The Adventurer." 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mrs Castle and Company at Sarnac Lake -- August 15, 2017

Moving Picture World, 18-August-1917

Irene Castle had become famous, with her husband Vernon, as a ballroom dancer.  He left the act in early 1916 to return to his native Britain, where he joined the Royal Flying Corps.  He was a successful pilot, earning the Croix de Guerre.  He was sent to Canada and then the United States to train new pilots.  He died in a flying accident in 1918.

 Sarnac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, was a popular location in early movies. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Famous Fights -- August 13, 2017

Movie Makers, April, 1943
Mogulls Film Library offered many silent or sound films for  home viewing.  These included a series of films of famous fights.  Dempsey-Willard would be the 04-July-1919 fight in Toledo, Ohio where Jack Dempsey took the heavyweight title from Jess Willard.  Willard could not come out for the fourth round.  Louis vs Galento would be the 28-June-1939 fight where champ Joe Louis defended his title against Two Ton Tony Galento.  Louis won by a TKO in the fourth.  Nova vs Baer was one of two fights between Lou Nova and former heavyweight champ Max Baer.  Nova won both fights, in 1939 and 1941 by TKO.  Braddock vs Louis was the 22-June-1937 fight where James J Braddock lost the heavyweight title to Joe Louis.  Baer vs Galento could have been the 1940 fight against Max Baer or the 1941 fight against his brother Buddy Baer.  Galento lost both. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Anerican Troops Landing in France -- August 11, 2017

Moving Picture World, 25-August-2017
America had declared war on Germany in April, 1917.  By August, American soldiers were landing in France.  This was a popular topic. 

Moving Picture World, 25-August-2017
The US government's Liberty Loan issued bonds that the public could buy to help pay for the war effort.  Movie theaters did much to promote the program. 

Moving Picture World, 18-August-2017
Moving Picture World, 25-August-2017
War movies like "The Tanks at the Battle of the Ancre," which we read about last month, were hot subjects.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Glen Campbell, RIP -- August 10, 2017
Glen Campbell died.  I remember his television show when I was a kid.  My dad liked country and western, and Glen Campbell often turned up on the radio.  I have several of his songs that get stuck in my head.  I later learned that he had been a member of the Wrecking Crew, which backed nearly everything recorded in Southern California. 

Some years ago, he announced that he had Alzheimer's disease and would do a final tour.  This helped people to be more aware of the disease.

He was good in True Grit with John Wayne.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Man Who Took a Chance -- August 9, 2017

Moving Picture World, 17-February-1917
I like the design of the ads for Bluebird Photoplays. Note the radiator grille of the racing car.  The Man Who Took a Chance starred Franklyn Farnum. 

Moving Picture World, 17-February-1917
"...the story need not be taken seriously." 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Robert Hardy, RIP -- August 8, 2017

I was sad to learn of the death of actor Robert Hardy.  Whether he played good guys or bad guys, he always had a twinkle in his eye.  I first saw him as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Small
He seemed to have fun playing Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson. 

He appeared in several of the Harry Potter movies. 

He was an expert on the English longbow. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Battle of Guadalcanal -- August 7, 2017
Seventy-five years ago today, on 07-August-1942, American Marines landed on Guadalcanal, an  island in the Solomons.  Japanese naval troops had occupied the island to block communications between the United States and Australia.  The Marines quickly captured an airfield which the Japanese had been building.  The fight for the island lasted six months in miserable conditions.

The movie Guadalcanal Diary was made and released the next year. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Robert Mitchum 100 -- August 6, 2017
Robert Mitchum, a pioneering joker, smoker and midnight toker, was born 100 years ago today, on 06-August-1917.  Although he always said he hated acting, he managed to give many great performances in many great films. 

After a wild youth and some factory work, he started out playing bad guys in Hopalong Cassidy movies.  After he appeared in Thirty Second Over Tokyo, directed Mervyn LeRoy persuaded RKO to sign Mitchum to a long-term contract.
Mitchum's first big hit was William Wellman's The Story of G.I. Joe, made while on load to United Artists.  The movie is the story of Ernie Pyle, a war correspondent who paid attention to the infantrymen.  I cry every time I see the death of Captain Bill Walker, played by Mitchum.
 Robert Mitchum as Captain Walker and Burgess Meredith as Ernie Pyle.
After The Story of G.I. Joe, RKO starred Mitchum in a series of B Westerns adapted from Zane Grey stories.
He appeared in many film noirs.  Out of the Past is one of the best. 

In 1948, Mitchum was busted for for possession of marijuana.  This would have ruined some peoples' careers, but it fit right in with his image.
Mitchum played an evil man in The Night of the Hunter with Lillian Gish and Shelley Winters.  It was the only movie that Charles Laughton directed.  I don't know why he never got another chance.
Mitchum was even scarier in Cape Fear
One of my favorites among Mitchum's later movies is Farewell, My Lovely, where he played Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe.  It was a faithful adaption with beautiful period settings.  And it had Charlotte Rampling.
Robert Mitchum as Phillip Marlowe and Charlotte Rampling as Helen Grayle. 

A few years later, Mitchum played Phillip Marlowe in The Big Sleep.  It was horrible.  It was set in modern times in Britain. 

I remember when he died 20 years ago.  A lot of people were surprised that he lived that long. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Straight Shooting -- August 5, 2017

Moving Picture World, 11-August-1917

Director John Ford's first feature film was Straight Shooting, starring Harry Carey.  It was released 100 years ago this month. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Grauman's Chinese -- Humphrey Bogart -- August 3, 2017

In July, 2012 we paid a return visit to Hollywood and Grauman's Chinese Theater.  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.
Humphrey Bogart left his hand and  foot prints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 21(?)-August-1946. "Sid, may you never die till I kill you."  I love The Maltese Falcon and Dark Passage.

Motion Picture Daily, 09-October-1941

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Get 'em Young -- August 1, 2017

Film Daily, 06-October-1926
Harry Myers starred in "Get 'em Young," a 1926 Hal Roach short with Eugenia Gilbert and Stan Laurel.  Myers is best remembered today as the drunken millionaire in Chaplin's City Lights.  Before this movie, he had starred with his wife Rosemary Theby in a series of comedies. 

A note at the bottom of this ad says that it is a cornerblock provided to theaters to use in newspaper advertising.