Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Ghost of Rosy Taylor -- July 31, 2018

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
Mary Miles Minter was a young, beautiful actress who took many parts that could have been played by Mary Pickford.  She was very popular, but she got tangled up in the case of the murder of director William Desmond Taylor, which quickly ended her career.

When I read Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By, one story that struck me was the chapter about director Edward Sloman.  Brownlow said that The Ghost of Rosy Taylor was one of the few movies directed by Sloman that was available to screen.  He tried to contact Sloman, but found that he was too old and ill to talk.

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
I later learned that the movie was co-directed by Henry King.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Roscoe Arbuckle and Players Are Working Day and Night -- July 29,. 2018

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Roscoe Arbuckle appears with his friends and partners, Buster Keaton and Al St John in "Good Night Nurse."

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Roscoe spends the first reel trying to get home in a rainstorm.  In the second reel, he gets sick, so his wife sends him to a sanitorium with lots of pretty nurses.

Motion Picture News, 06-July-1918
This exhibitor is not amused.

Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918
Roscoe spent part of the movie in drag.

Motion Picture News, 13-July-1918
Just as WH Productions was rereleasing Charlie Chaplin's Keystones, they also rereleased Roscoe's Keystones.  That is a terrible picture of Roscoe.

Motion Picture News, 27-July-1918
The Bee-Hive Exchange, which also released Billy West's imitation Chaplin comedies, rereleased Roscoe's one-reelers.

Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918
Roscoe and his team had to rush through shooting "The Cook" because Buster had been drafted.

Motion Picture News, 27-July-1918
Comique planned to release ten comedies for the next season.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Sinking of the Lusitania -- July 27, 2018

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
100 years ago this month, in July, 1918, Jewel Productions, a subsidiary of Universal, released Winsor McCay's animated documentary, "The Sinking of the Lusitania."

After a year of war, Germany was not in a good position. The British had established a fairly tight blockade of imports, and the army had failed to take Paris and had settled into static positions on the Western Front. In order to disrupt vital shipping to Britain, Germany had decided to adopt a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. U-Boats would no longer warn civilian vessels before sinking them. On 07-May-1915, U-20 torpedoed and sank RMS Lusitania near the coast of Ireland. A number of Americans died and this nearly drove the country into the war on the side of the Allies, Britain, France and Russia. Germany promised to stop unrestricted submarine warfare and America stayed out until they resumed it again.

Lusitania carried 1,962 passengers. 1,191 died. 128 of the dead were Americans.

Pioneering animator Winsor McCay devoted his own time and money to make a film of the sinking.  This was his first animated movie to use the cel method which is still used today for hand-drawn animation.  Despite the time saved with cels, the movie took nearly two years to complete.

It is an effective piece of anti-German propaganda.

Moving Picture World, 27-July-1918

Motion Picture News, 06-July-1918
"One would never imagine that the time would come when the more serious things in life would be told most realistically by animated cartoon drawings."


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An Ebony Comedy Hit -- July 25, 2018

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
The Ebony Film Corporation was based in Chicago. It was managed by whites, but had two black executives, the Pollard Brothers, Luther and Harry. Luther directed and Harry served as a talent scout and agent. The company tried to avoid obnoxious stereotypes, but picked up some older films from another company that didn't care and wound up ruining its reputation.

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
"...the next series of Ebony comedies will be a departure from the usual custom of production, inasmuch as the five comedies will be enacted by a mixed cast of white and negro comedians, the negro humor still predominating."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Fox-Lehrman Sunshine Comedy Girls -- July 23, 2018

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Henry (Pathé) Lehrman started out at Biograph, then went to Keystone with Mack Sennett, then left Sennett to found L-KO (Lehrman Knock-Out) Komedies. He left L-KO to produce Sunshine Comedies for Fox. Sunshine Comedies frequently featured pretty girls and lions. Many of the films were lost in a big fire at Fox.

Moving Picture World, 06-July-1918
"Wild Women and Tame Lions."

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Edward Herrmann 100 -- July 21, 2018

www.listal.com
Actor Edward Herrmann was born 100 years ago today, on 21-July-1918.  He was most famous for playing FDR. He narrated many Ken Burns documentaries. He was good at playing old-fashioned East coast patricians.

www.listal.com
Edward Herrmann as Franklin D Roosevelt and Jane Alexander as Eleanor Roosevelt in Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.

www.listal.com
Edward Herrmann played William Randolph Hearst in The Cat's Meow.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Billy West in His Latest Fun-Maker -- July 19, 2018

Motion Picture News, 06-July-1918
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. When Chaplin moved on to First National distribution, Billy West was still making comedies for King-Bee. King-Bee comedies were distributed by the Bee Hive Exchange.  Great name.

Motion Picture News, 13-July-1918
Oliver Hardy supported Billy in "Straight and Narrow."

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Best All-Round Company Making Comedies at Present -- July 17, 2018

Moving Picture World, 27-July-1918
In this Pathé ad, Harold Lloyd poses as a lifeguard, while his leading lady, Bebe Daniels, peers around a corner.

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
"Rolin studios do not expect to take a vacation, but will keep the respective noses of Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels and Harry Pollard to the studio grindstone."  The same month, Vitagraph had announced that its Big V comedy unit would work through the summer (http://bigvriotsquad.blogspot.com/2018/07/big-v-comedies-ignore-hot-weather-july.html).

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
"The best all-round company making comedies at present."

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Charlie Chaplin Has His Picture Taken -- July 15, 2018

Cine Mundial, July, 1918
The North American Film Service was releasing movies by both Charlie Chaplin and Chaplin imitator Billy West (http://bigvriotsquad.blogspot.com/search/label/Billy%20West) in Spanish-language markets.  I like the figures of Chaplin playing around his name.

Moving Picture World, 06-July-1918
Essanay was rereleasing individual Chaplin movies, along with the Snakeville Comedies, which are not nearly as funny.

Film Daily, 14-July-1918
Essanay was also releasing Chase Me Charlie, a feature compiled in Britain from several of Chaplin's Essanay shorts.

Moving Picture World, 06-July-1918
"...with an hour of continuous fun."

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
"Keep Up The Nation's Morale!"

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
Chaplin's initial release for First National, "A Dog's Life," set a record in New York.

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Chaplin was working on his next film, "Shoulder Arms," a service comedy, with the help of Corporal OW De Varila, "who fired the first shot in France for the United States artillery..."

Moving Picture World, 13-July-1918
Chaplin had a visit from Polish-American pianist Leopold Godowsky.  He received a lot of visitors.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bastille Day, 2017 -- July 14, 2017

www.listal.com
In honor of Bastille Day, here is Claudette Colbert, who made her career in America but was born in France. She played many great parts, including Cleopatra in Cecil B DeMille's movie.

www..listal.com
www.listal.com
She did not want to appear in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night because he had directed her first movie, a flop called For the Love of Mike.


www.listal.com
I'm a great fan of Preston Sturges' The Palm Beach Story.

www.listal.com

Ingmar Bergman 100 -- July 14, 2018

www.lucywho.com
Director Ingmar Bergman was born 100 years ago today, on 14-July-1918. Back in the 1970's, when I went to a lot of foreign films and revivals at the Lumiere, the Bridge, the Surf, the Golden Gateway, the Parkside, and many other houses in and around San Francisco, I didn't see many films by Ingmar Bergman. Perhaps I had bad timing, or perhaps Bergman was considered old fashioned.

Thinking about the Bergman movies that I have seen, Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, Smiles of a Summer Night and others, I can't say that I have always enjoyed them, in the sense that they gave me pleasure, but I have always learned things about people and cinema. The happiest moment I can remember was in The Magic Flute, with the throwaway shot of the dragon walking down the hall backstage.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Tom Mix, In Photoplays Produced by William Fox -- July 13, 2018

Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918
100 years ago this month, Tom Mix was very popular "In Photoplays Produced by William Fox."

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Cowboy's from Mix's company shot up a large portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm, when it was no longer needed by another production.  \

Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918
Mix and director Lynn Reynolds had trouble getting horses to jump off of a bridge.  I wonder why.

Motion Picture News, 20-July-1918
Tom Mix was known for doing his own stunts.  Leading lady Kathlyn Connors got to do some of her own, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Piper's Opera House -- July 11, 2018

Moving Picture Weekly, 20-July-1918
Piper's Opera House is a famous theater in Virginia City, Nevada. The third version of the opera house was built in 1878. The first two versions burned. Many famous performers including Lily Langtry and Al Jolson played Piper's. Daniel Connor started showing movies there in 1910.  It still stands on B Street.  I took the photo below in July, 2011.