Saturday, June 30, 2018

Thaumatrope -- June 30, 2018

From The Story of the Motion Picture: 65 B.C. to 1920 A.D. by Ben Jehudah Lubschez.

IN 1825 there appeared in England a half-penny toy called the "Thaumatrope." The early forms of moving picture apparatus, whether the simplest toys or the more serious machines, always had high-sounding and classic names. The Thaumatrope was merely a card with the picture of one object, like a bird, printed on the face; and another object, like a cage, printed on the back. Thru the center of the card was a string by means of the ends of which, the card would be whirled end for end, bringing the pictures of the two objects before the eye in quick succession and furnishing, thru the persistence of each image, the illusion of a composite of both; When one picture is a bird and the other a cage, the bird seemingly enters the cage. This toy proved so popular that a warm controversy arose as to who was the inventor. A Doctor Paris and a Doctor Finton each claimed the credit, Dr. Finton's claims now being more generally recognized, having in fact been substantiated.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Fatty Arbuckle For the Blues -- June 29, 2018

Motion Picture News, 29-June-1918
Comique has finished its 11 movies for the 1917-1918 season.  Paramount announces that it will release 10 movies for the 1918-1919 season.  This is not a very good picture of Roscoe Arbuckle.

Moving Picture World, 08-June-1918
Roscoe took his team to Arrowhead Hot Springs, a popular resort in Southern California, to shoot some scenes for "Good Night, Nurse."

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918
Disregarding WC Fields' famous advice, "Never work with animals or children," Roscoe did a scene with a monkey on the streets of Arrowhead Springs.

Moving Picture World, 29-June-1918
An ad in the form of a medical prescription advises visiting the Grand Theater to see a Comique short and a feature with Pauline Frederick.

Motion Picture News, 29-June-1918
Just as WH Productions were rereleasing Chaplin's Keystone films, they also began to rerelease Roscoe's Keystones.  "Re-Edited -- Reconstructed -- Better Than Original."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Billy Minus Mustache -- June 27, 2018

Moving Picture World, 01-June-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 often came up with some interesting ads, but I couldn't find any from June, 1918.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
"Straight and Narrow" featured Oliver Hardy, future partner of Stan Laurel and Leo White, who had worked with Chaplin.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
Two fans of Billy West named their son after him.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
I like the reference below the item to a war-time Red Cross drive.

Moving Picture World, 08-June-1918
Billy West's new leading lady was Myrtle Lind. "Playmates" also featured "Director Charles Parrott (later known as Charley Chase), who makes his debut as an actor in King-Bee Comedies, portraying a dope fiend."

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918
Billy chose not to wear his Chaplin mustache for "Playmates," where he and Oliver Hardy played young children, in a large-scaled set, just as Hardy did in 1930 with Stan Laurel and without his mustache in "Brats."  King-Bee was making Billy West dolls that exhibitors could give away to their audiences.  I would like to see one of those.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
Charles Parrott, who later starred in comedies as Charlie Chase, and Billy West planned to cooperate on a musical.  Parrott would write the lyrics and West would compose the music.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
"Beauty in Distress" was to feature lots of pretty girls.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
This item describes the special set for "Playmates," which would make Billy West and Oliver Hardy look like small children.

Moving Picture World, 29-June-1918
In its first year, King-Bee produced a Billy West comedy every two weeks.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Lloyd Has Scorned a Slapstick Make-Up -- June 25, 2018

Film Daily, 22-June-1918
In this Pathé ad, Harold Lloyd sits with a copy of How to Box.  He appears to be biting on a coin to see if it is real.  The ad says that  his comedies played for 400 days at various big theaters in New York City.

Film Daily, 08-June-1918
"For some time now, since starting on the new comedies, Lloyd has scorned a slapstick make-up.  He has not grotesque stuff in his personal appearance at all; merely depending upon his cheery smile and a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles to get his effect."

Film Daily, 08-June-1918
"Snub Pollard is present but is given few opportunities."

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Triumphant Return of the World's Supreme Harlequin -- June 23, 2018

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918
Chaplin was doing big business with his first movie for First National release, "A Dog's Life."

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
"A Dog's Life" had been running at a Los Angeles theater for four weeks.  The owner had planned to run it for only two weeks.

Moving Picture World, 08-June-1918
Chaplin had toured the South selling Liberty Bonds to pay for the war.

Moving Picture World, 08-June-1918
A magazine circulated a story that Chaplin had sought an exemption from the draft.  "He has never claimed exemption nor has he sought it, and will willingly respond when called."  The governments of Great Britain and the US generally felt that his movies were more useful for keeping up morale than Charlie would have been as a soldier.

Moving Picture World, 29-June-1918
Chaplin was at work on his second comedy for First National release.  It may have been "Shoulder Arms."

Exhibitors' Herald, 29-June-1918

First National used "A Dog's Life" to help publicize Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan movie and The Fall of the Romanoffs, about the Russian Revolution.  Mme Petrova was a Russian actress who had fled the revolution.
Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
Meanwhile, WH Productions was rereleasing many of Chaplin's Keystone comedies, many with new names.

Moving Picture World, 01-June-1918
WH Productions was happy with the business generated by the Chaplin reissues.

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918
WH Productions put out elaborate posters and ads.  Don't look for "The Hula-Hula Dance" in Chaplin filmographies.  It started out as his last Keystone, "His Prehistoric Past."

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918

"We advertise the old titles, together with the new, so that Public will know how good they are!"

Moving Picture World, 15-June-1918

Essanay was pushing Chase Me Charlie, a feature compiled in Britain from several of Chaplin's Essanay shorts.

Moving Picture World, 22-June-1918
Essanay was also rereleasing individual Chaplin movies, along with the Snakeville Comedies, which are not nearly as funny.

Moving Picture News, 29-June-1918
Unlike WH Productions, Essanay kept the original titles.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Springtime Silent Movie Challenge: In the Beginning..., -- June 21, 2018

This post is part of the Springtime Silent Movie Challenge: In the Beginning..., hosted by Fritzi at Movies Silently. "Here’s the challenge. Before June 21, 2018, you will:
"Watch 5 movies made between 1906 and 1914
"Watch 5 movies made in 1905 or before
"Share your experience on your blog, on social media or here in the comments (I will set up a special post for the purpose to publish on June 21)"

I decided to concentrate on movies which were pioneering efforts.

Five Movies Made in 1905 or Before:

Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

Dickson Greeting (1891)

The Waterer Watered (1895)

The Fairy of the Cabbages (1896)

Between Calais and Dover (1897)

Five Movies Made Between 1906 and 1914:

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)

Fantasmagorie (1908)

The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

The Water Nymph (1912)

I am very happy that Fritzi encouraged us to watch early movies for this web challenge.  Of then ten movies I watched, I had seen nine before, but I enjoyed each one and learned new things about each one.  I enjoyed remembering where and when I had seen some of them for the first time and was happy to have a chance to write about that.  Thank you, Fritzi, for organizing this challenge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tom Mix in Ace High -- June 19, 2018

Seattle Star, 08-June-1918
100 years ago, in June, 1918, Tom Mix's Ace High was playing at Seattle's Mission Theater.  I like the simple design of the ad.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

California Theater, San Francisco -- June 17, 2018

Moving Picture World, 22-December-1917
San Francisco's California Theater, the third of that name, stood at Fourth Street and Market.  It was renamed the State in 1941, closed in 1954 and was torn down in 1961.

Moving Picture World, 22-December-1917
Moving Picture World, 22-December-1917