Friday, June 30, 2017

Lena Horne and Susan Hayward 100 -- June 30, 2017

Lena Horne was a dancer, a singer, a Cotton Club vet, a civil rights pioneer and a classy lady.She was born 100 years ago today, on 30-June-1917.

Actress Susan Hayward was born on the same day as Lena Horne.  She was in some good movies like I'll Cry Tomorrow and I Want to Live.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

JH Steward's Magic and Dissolving View Lanterns and Slides -- June 29, 2017

Magic Lantern Manual, William Isaac Chadwick, 1878

Before motion pictures, magic lanterns were popular sources of entertainment.  A magic lantern is a projector which can display translucent images.  Projectionists created elaborate shows that often told stories and featured elaborate effects like dissolves and the Phantasmagoria, which used scary images. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sweetgrass Theater -- June 27, 2017

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917
"Operators who kick about the size, or lack of it, in their operating rooms, will do well to examine the Sweetgrass Variety. It is in plain view, immediately over the foyer hall, which we see. We peered in
through an open place in the window screen and glimpsed a muslin sheet hanging limply down, ragged at its edges, lonesome and alone near the rear end of the room. With just a little labor, and even less expense, this uninviting outfit could be transformed into a really passable little theatre of the storeroom type. The "operating room" appeared to be about four feet square."

"Just what they had in the way of a projector I don't know, but it probably was a rather small coffee mill, or maybe a good-sized pencil sharpener. I believe this outfit, as a whole, is just about the very
worst I ever saw. Admission to this Temple of Pleasure, according to the legend scrawled on cardboard over the "box office" window, is 25 cents per adult."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Billy West -- Funniest Man on Earth -- June 25, 2017

Moving Picture World, 30-June-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, 02-June-1917
Director Arvid E Gillstrom later directed talkies with Harry Langdon.

Moving Picture World, 02-June-1917
The story mentions his life in the theater but not his Chaplin imitation.

Moving Picture World, 02-June-1917
Oliver Hardy was a supporting player.

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917

The image from "Dough-Nuts" reminds me of Chaplin in the Keystone "Dough and Dynamite."

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917
In this scene from "Cupid's Rival," Leo White plays a French count, as he did in several Chaplin films.

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
"a machine gun series of laughs" -- shows the influence of World War One.

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917
"Cupid's Rival" is available on more than one DVD.  It is funny, but not as well-paced as a Chaplin film.

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917
In "The Villain," Billy West would play the villain.

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917

"Mr. Howell declares Far Eastern audiences will simply 'eat them up.'"

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917
There was a lawsuit when Billy West moved from his previous company to King Bee.  This article also mentions that the production company moved from Jacksonville, Florida to Flushing, New York.

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917

Billy West would play a millionaire in "The Millionaire."  I begin to detect a pattern.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard and Luke Lloyd -- June 23, 2017

Moving Picture World, 02-June-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.  I don't think I have seen a reference to "Luke Lloyd" before. 

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
Harold Lloyd doesn't look quite so much like Chaplin in this image. 

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
Bud Jamison supported Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Harry Langdon, Charley Chase and the Three Stooges. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Million for Chaplin -- June 21, 2017

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917

I love this ad for Chaplin's "The Immigrant," which is one of my favorite Mutual two-reelers.

Exhibitors Herald, 30-June-1917
The image of Chaplin and leading lady Edna Purviance also appears in this triptych.

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917
"Quality has ever been a predominant feature of these productions and will be still more noticeable in the forthcoming releases." I first read "ever" as "never." 

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917
Mutual was trying to negotiate a new contract with Chaplin.  A report said they offered him a million dollars to produce only eight, instead of twelve pictures.

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
Chaplin preferred simple titles like "The Immigrant" to "Roaring Lions and Wedding Bells" and "Huns and Hyphens."

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
 "With its completion it has been christened by Chaplin himself, and the suspense of some millions of Chaplin fans has been relieved." 

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917
"... Chaplin's originality is unlimited ..."

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917
"The Immigrant' cost more to produce than any previous Chaplin comedy, there being a larger company employed and a far wider range of location." 

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917
The British Grand Fleet would view the whole Chaplin Mutual canon. 

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917
"All during the piece Charlie is pulling Chaplinesque business which cannot be adequately described."

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917
Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin became great friends while selling Liberty Bonds to promote the war effort.  They later became three of the four founding members of United Artists. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Stephen Furst, RIP -- June 20, 2017

Stephen Furst died far too young from complications of diabetes.  When I saw Animal House, I could identify with Flounder.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mrs Castle Working in a Five Reeler -- June 19, 2017

Moving Picture World, 02-June-1917

After she finished the serial Patria, Pathé promoted star Irene Castle as a Pathé Gold Rooster Star, like "Pearl White, Baby Marie Osborne, Gladys Hulette, Mollie King, Frederick Warde and Florence La Badie. 

Moving Picture World, 02-June-1917
Her next movie would be feature about the Secret Service. 

Moving Picture World, 09-June-1917
Gold Rooster plays would not only feature big stars like Irene Castle, but also the works of great writers like AH Woods.  I have never heard of him. 

Moving Picture World, 16-June-1917
"Irene Castle is unquestionably the best known woman in America." 

Moving Picture World, 23-June-1917
"Big names draw big business!"  This ad features Irene Castle and Pearl White. 

Moving Picture World, 30-June-1917
This two-page spread boosts films with Irene Castle, Florence La Badie and Gladys Hulette. 

This article talks about Irene Castle's second picture, but doesn't seem to mention the title, which must not yet have been determined. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Leonard-Tendler Fight Pictures -- June 17, 2017

Film Daily, 26-July-1923

Lightweight Benny Leonard, often called the Ghetto Wizard because of his Jewish descent, is regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time.  He won the lightweight title from Britain's Freddie Welsh in 1917 and held it until he retired after this fight, his second against Lew Tendler, on 24-July-1923.  "Shown now at the following leading theaters in New York."  At this time fight films could not be distributed to other states. 

Leonard won a unanimous decision in 15 rounds at Yankee Stadium. 

He came out retirement in 1932, fought once and lost. 

Tendler was a southpaw who was good, but never won a title.

Washington Times, 27-July-1922
Here are Leonard and Tendler before their previous fight on 27-July-1922.  I suspect the photo is a cut and paste job.  Note that Tendler is wearing gloves and Leonard is not. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Monterey Pop, 50 Years -- June 16, 2017
50 years ago today, on 16-June-1967, the three day Monterey International Pop Music Festival began.  It featured nationally-known acts like Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, the Who and Simon and Garfunkel, but was mainly staged to introduce San Francisco bands to the world.  Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead made an impression.  Documentarian DA Pennebaker filmed the event. Monterey Pop was released the next year.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lash LaRue 100 -- June 15, 2017
Lash LaRue, who parlayed a resemblance to Humphrey Bogart and a modicum of skill with a bullwhip into a short career as a western star and a much longer career as a person who made personal appearances, was born 100 years ago today, on 15-June-1917.  His sidekick was Al "Fuzzy" St John, Roscoe Arbuckle's nephew. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flag Day, 2017 -- June 14, 2017
Happy Flag Day, everyone.  Dancer Ann Miller poses with a flag.