Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, 2018 -- March 17, 2018

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone.

June Haver was a popular actress in the 1940's.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tom Mix Puts on Dress Suit -- March 15, 2018

Moving Picture World, 09-March-2018

Tom Mix, wearing some fancy duds, poses at the Fox studio with director Lynn Reynolds.  Reynold killed himself in 1927.  

Moving Picture World, 30-March-2018
In Western Blood, Tom Mix played a cowboy who went about his business in a dress suit.  Fish out of water stories like this made popular westerns.

Moving Picture World, 02-March-2018
Last month we saw an ad for Six Shooter Andy:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Booth Tarkington 150 -- March 14, 2018

Time, 31-December-1929
Indiana author Booth Tarkington was born 150 years ago, on 14-March-2018.  I don't think people read his stories and novels much today.  When I was a kid, the only thing I knew about him was that he wrote the novel that Orson Welles used as the basis for The Magnificent Ambersons.  I was already in college when I learned that F Scott Fitzgerald was a great admirer of Tarkington.  Inspired by this, I went to the Anza Branch Library and took out Penrod: His Complete Story, a collection of stories about a boy who grows up.

Seattle Star, 23-January-1915
Booth Tarkington and Harry Leon Wilson wrote a play called Cameo Kirby.  It has been filmed several times.  Dustin Farnum, who had played the role on stage, starred in the 1914 version.  John Gilbert played the part in a 1923 version directed by John Ford.  Irving Cummings directed a 1930 version which starred J Harold Murray.  I have never heard of him, either.

Motion Picture Magazine, February, 1922
As far as I can tell, 1922's Penrod, starring Wesley Barry and directed by Mickey Neilan, was the first movie based on a Penrod story.  Ben Alexander played Penrod in a 1923 adaption of Penrod and Sam, also directed by Mickey Neilan.  Ben Alexander played Jack Webb's first partner on the television version of Dragnet.

Billy Mauch played Penrod in three talkies, Penrod and Sam (1937), Penrod and His Twin Brother and Penrod's Double Trouble, both in 1938.
Monsieur Beaucaire was a play by by Booth Tarkington and Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland.  Rudolph Valentino and Bebe Daniels starred in a 1924 version.  Bob Hope and Joan Caulfield appeared in a 1946 adaption.
In 1942 Orson Welles based his second feature film on The Magnificent Ambersons, but the movie got butchered by the studio after he left for another project.  There was also a television adaption in 2002.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Cosmos Theater, Winner, SD -- March 13, 2018

Moving Picture World, 23-March-1918
I like the look of the New Cosmos Theater in Winner, SD.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fight Pictures Sent to Training Camp -- March 11, 2018

Moving Picture World, 02-March-1918
Willie Ritchie, a San Francisco native, had been world lightweight champ from 1912 to 1914.  After the United States entered the war, Ritchie trained soldiers to box at Camp Lewis, Washington.  The Miles Brothers, San Francisco movie producers, sent Ritchie fight films to use as part of his instructional program.

San Francisco Call, 23-November-1908

Friday, March 9, 2018

Mickey Spillane 100 -- March 9, 2018

Mystery novelist Mickey Spillane was born 100 years ago today, on 09-March-1918.  Before World War Two, he began writing for comic books.  Spillane served as a fighter pilot and trainer during the war.  After the war, his first novel, I, the Jury.  The novel and its main character, private detective Mike Hammer, became popular.  I never tried to read any of his books.
Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly is a great  movie with a unique ending.  I don't know how much it had to do with the book.
I saw some episodes of the television show with Stacy Keach.  He played the part well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Broncho Billy Revivified -- March 7, 2018

Moving Picture World, 16-March-1918
Gilbert M Anderson, Broncho Billy, was the first western star. With George K Spoor, he had founded Essanay (S and A). In 1918, Essanay began rereleasing his one-reel westerns.

Moving Picture World, 23-March-1918

Monday, March 5, 2018

Max Linder Coming Back to Us -- March 5, 2018

Moving Picture World, 23-March-1918
Max Linder was the biggest star in film comedy before Charlie Chaplin. Linder made hundreds of short films for Pathé. A report from the Germans indicated that he had been killed in the Battle of the Aisne. "There is the hope of his many friends that it may be a case of mistaken identity:"

Max later phoned from a hospital to report "that he had been only wounded, was recovering, and expected soon to return to the front."

In 1917, Max came to the US to make movies for Essanay:

The movies were not successful, and Max went back to France:

Max opened a movie theater in Paris, but fought depression.  This article says he was coming back to the US, but he didn't make another movie in the US until 1921.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Graumans Chinese -- Sophia Loren -- March 3, 2018

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.
Next door to last month's subject Marcello Mastroianni is his frequent co-star, Sophia Loren. She left her hand and footprints three years earlier, on 26-July-1962. Does "Solo per sempre" mean "Always alone"? I'm not sure why she would have put that.

When I was young, lots of people talked about Sophia Loren. She was a wonderful actress and a great beauty.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Cow's Kimono -- March 1, 2017

Film Daily, 26-June-1926
Glenn Tryon was a minor comedian who made many shorts for producer Hal Roach. "The Cow's Kimono" is a great title. And I like that cow.