Friday, December 1, 2023

Larry Semon at Truart -- December 1, 2023

Motion Picture News, 15-December-1923

Larry Semon had just reached the end of his long association with the Vitagraph. After a vacation in New York, he went west to Truart, his new studio to begin his first feature film. The first five-reel production, The Girl in the Limousine, based on a popular play, was not released until June 1924.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Martha Mansfield 100 Years -- November 30, 2023

Actress Martha Mansfield had a tragically short career. She appeared in Max Linder's Essanay films. Her best remembered, perhaps her only, remembered movie is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with John Barrymore. On 09-September-1923, she was working on The Warrens of Virginia, directed by Elmer Clifton. Her hoop-skirted Civil War era costume caught fire, perhaps on a discarded match, and she was burned severely. She died the next day. The film was completed but is now considered lost.

Motion Picture Magazine, July, 1922

Fall River Evening Herald, 30-November-1923

She was really 24 years old. There is some conflict about whether the accident occurred on the set or in her automobile.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Greatest Advertised Baby in the World! -- November 29, 2023

Film Daily, 18-November-1923

Baby Peggy made the jump from short comedies for Century to feature-length films for Universal. 

Film Daily, 01-November-1923

I find this image to be creepy.

Film Daily, 04-November-1923

"Oooh Golly!"

Film Daily, 17-November-1923

I find this image to be creepy, too.

Motion Picture News, 24-November-1923

Century carried on, releasing one short comedy a week. "Comedies with a box-office kick!"

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

Century signed five-year old Dawn O'Day for a new series of comedies. Ten years later, after starring in an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, she changed her name to Anne Shirley.  

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Buddy Messinger was another child actor starring in a series of Century Comedies. Albert Herman directed "A Regular Boy." Note the chef in blackface. 

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Albert Herman also directed "Bringing Up Buddy". 

Motion Picture News, 10-November-1923

"A Corn Fed Sleuth" starred Jack Earle and Roscoe Karns. Albert Herman directed.

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

"One Exciting Day" starred Jack Earle and Billy Engle. Guess who directed. 

Motion Picture News, 24-November-1923

Pal the Dog was the star of "Down to the Ship to See" (heck of a title, making fun of Down to the Sea in Ships). Pal was supported by Roscoe Karns and the Century Follies Girls. Albert Herman directed. He must have been a busy guy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Gloria Grahame 100 -- November 28, 2023

Gloria Grahame was uniquely beautiful. I love her voice. I think I first noticed her in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Pearl White Starts First Paris Production -- November 27, 2023

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

In Paris, Pearl White started work on her last film, a feature called Terreur (or The Perils of Paris). Edward José directed.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Samuel Goldwyn Allowed Use of Name -- November 26, 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Samuel Goldwyn was born in Warsaw, which was then part of the Russian Empire, in 1879 or 1882. When he came to the US in 1899, he was called Samuel Goldfish. He worked in the glove industry, eventually becoming a successful salesman. In 1913, he joined with Jesse Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, and Arthur Friend to found the Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company. In 1916, the Lasky Company merged with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Film Company to form the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation. Goldfish was chairman of the board, but, later in 1916, he resigned after repeatedly clashing with Adolph Zukor, he resigned. Goldfish joined with brothers Edgar and Archie Selwyn to form Goldwyn Pictures. Goldfish liked the name Goldwyn, so he changed his last name in 1918. In 1924, Goldwyn Pictures merged into the Metro Company. Goldwyn left before the merger and formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions.

The original Goldwyn Company sued to prevent Goldwyn from using his name on the new company. He eventually prevailed in court and went on to a long career as an independent producer.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Two Gun Louis Jordan -- November 25, 2023

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Louis Jordan, not the French guy, is one of my favorite singers. Look-Out Sister was a western set on a modern-day dude ranch. Bud Pollard directed; he directed several race films. 

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Louis Jordan and the Three Stooges on the same bill. I would have been there.

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Terra Haute Tribune, 23-November-1948

Go Down Death was a successful 1944 race film with a religious theme. Spencer Williams directed and starred. 

Terra Haute Tribune, 21-November-1948

Go Down Death took its title from a poem by James Weldon Johnson. The Organ Committee of the Second Baptist Church of Terra Haute sponsored the showings to raise money. The congregation is still active. I wonder if they still have the same organ.

I couldn't find anything useful about race films in November 1923.