Thursday, January 31, 2019

Jackie Robinson 100 -- January 31, 2019
Jackie Robinson would have been 100 years old today.  He starred in many sports at UCLA.  He received a commission in the Army during World War Two.  Refusing to move to the back of the bus, he faced a court-martial for insubordination.  He was acquitted and spent the rest of his service coaching Army athletics.

After the war, Robinson joined the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro American League.  Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey signed him to play for the Montreal Royals in 1946.  Rickey had been looking for a player to break the baseball color line, which had been in effect since the late Nineteenth Century.  Robinson agreed to turn the other cheek when racists on and off the field taunted him. In 1947, Robinson came out of spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In 1950,. Robinson played himself in The Jackie Robinson Story.  Ruby Dee played his wife Rachel.
I remember a 1990 television movie called The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson.  I couldn't find any photos.  Andre Braugher played Robinson.

In 2013, Chadwick Boseman played Robinson in 42.  Ruby Dee played his mother.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Dick Miller, RIP -- January 30, 2019
Actor Dick Miller, who appeared in about 100 movies, many produced by Roger Corman, has died.
He played Walter Paisley in Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood.  Miller played characters named Walter Paisley several more times.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Paramount-Arbuckle Comedies -- January 29, 2019

Moving Picture World, 04-January-1919
Roscoe Arbuckle's new studio on Alessandro Street.

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
"Camping Out" was one of the movies that Roscoe Arbuckle and his nephew Al St John made while their friend Buster Keaton was in the US Army.  Chester Conklin and Louise Fazenda starred in Mack Sennett's "The Village Chestnut."

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"This is not to say that 'Camping Out' is not amusing, but ranks far below other vehicles for Fatty's laughable psychology."

Moving Picture World, 18-January-1919
This ad promises more Paramount-Arbuckle comedies.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
Roscoe's dog Luke appeared in many of Roscoe's movies.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"Love" would be another movie without Buster Keaton.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Honorary "Colonel" Mary Pickford -- January 27, 2019

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
The 143rd Field Artillery was part of the 40th Division, known as the Sunshine Division. Mary Pickford served as their "godmother." Buster Keaton was a member of the Sunshine Division's 159th Infantry Regiment.

This shoulder patch was worn by a member of the Sunshine Division during World War II. The name "Sunshine Division" refers to the division's original home in sunny Southern California. The 159th Infantry Regiment of the California National Guard has been inactive since 2000. The 40th Infantry Division is still active as part of the California National Guard.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Michel Legrand, RIP -- January 28, 2019
I was sorry to hear of the passing of composer, pianist and arranger Michel Legrand.
He scored many movies.  I love his score for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Ask the Man Who Shows Harold Lloyd -- January 25, 2019

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
100 years ago this month, trade ads described Harold Lloyd's movies as "the best one reel comedies made."

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"Ask the man who shows them!"

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
Snub's soles carry insurance advertising.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919

"Harold Lloyd Is Making Distinctive Comedies

"THE bookings of the Harold Lloyd comedies have shown such an unusual increase during- the last few months and exhibitor comment has been so favorable that Pathe Exchange, in preparation for a country-wide drive in a promotion of these one-reel features, has started, through its thirty odd branches, a comprehensive census as to the number of theatres at which the comedies are booked on standing orders, the estimated number of days that comedies are shown in specified territories, the number of persons who see them, and all individual, newspaper and exhibitor comment that can be collected.

"The aim also is to secure as much helpful criticism as possible to show which particular staple features are most admired in the comedies, whether they be the 'work of individual players or the method of handling situations. The most frank criticism will be invited to aid in the further improvement of what Vice President Paul Brunet considers to be one of the exceptionally good things of the year. For, he declares, the Rolin Film Company, in fashioning the comedies featuring Harold Lloyd, with Bebe Daniels and "Snub" Pollard, has contributed an entirely new comedy spirit, an evolution from the broad, coarse and oftentimes messy slapstick pioneer work.

"Harold Lloyd is twenty-five years old and Pawnee County, Neb., claims him as one of her famous favorite sons. Harold Roach, president and general director, personally supervises the making of the comedies and he is especially proud of the fact that he personally selected and trained the members of the company.

"Harold Lloyd's work with the Edison Company was in light comedy parts. His next picture engagement was with the Keystone Film Company, playing leads. Then Roach engaged him. In common with practically all motion picture stars of this age, Mr. Lloyd is a proficient athlete, his principal accomplishments being riding, swimming, fencing and boxing. Mr. Lloyd is also a tumbler of no mean ability.

"Bebe Daniels was born of theatrical parents, in Dallas, Texas, January 14, 1901. She started on road with her father's company when only ten weeks old, as the baby in "Jane." At three she played her first speaking part in "The Confederate Spy," in a part especially written for her. At four she was the youngest Shakespearean actress in America, playing Duke of Yorke in "Richard III" on tour throughout the United States.

"Harry Pollard was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1893, and reached the stage by way of a church choir of St. John's Church, Melbourne. The manager of a minstrel show engaged him and he toured New Zealand for fifteen months. In 1907 he was routed through South Africa with Hall's Juvenile Opera Company and later, with the Pollard Opera Company, played in Australia, China, Japan, Honolulu, the Philippines, Canada and all through the United States. "

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ernie Kovacs 100 -- January 23, 2019
When I was a kid I had heard of Ernie Kovacs' work on television, but I had only seen his movies like North to Alaska and Bell, Book and Candle.  I don't think I saw any of his television work until the 1980s when kinescopes and video tapes became available for viewing. I liked his use of music and sketches with limited talking.

Monday, January 21, 2019

This Rolling Stone Will Gather No Loss -- January 21, 2019

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
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. We haven't seen him since August. Production has moved from King-Bee to the Bull's Eye studio.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"Pay Day at Bull's-Eye Studio."  Director Charles Parrott later became famous as comedian Charley Chase.  I don't know if Nat Spitzer is the same guy who later produced the famous exploitation film Ingagi.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
Sol Lesser worked in Hollywood for many years as an independent producer.  He sold the Billy West comedies on the states rights basis.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Charles Chaplin Received $250 for a Kiss -- January 19, 2019

Battleboro Daily Reformer, January 9, 1919
100 years ago this month, in January, 1919, Chaplin's second release through First National, "Shoulder Arms," was still doing good business. I like this image.

Pensacola Journal, January 11, 1919
The same image appeared in an ad for a bill featuring Chaplin in "Shoulder Arms" and operatic tenor Enrico Caruso in My Cousin.  How is that for two cultural icons of the Twentieth Century?

Moving Picture World, 18-January-1919
Lady Stewart-McKenzie may have been married to James Stewart-Mackenzie, who was made 1st Baron Seaforth in 1921. She paid Charlie $250 for a kiss, which he donated to the Red Cross.

Moving Picture World, 18-January-1919

Newlyweds Charlie Chaplin and Mildred Harris hosted Charlie's half brother Syd and his wife for Christmas.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"The world having seen Chaplin, he will now see the world."  I think he finally left for Europe in 1921.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919

A large display to promote "Shoulder Arms."  Read the text in the box.

Moving Picture World, 04-January-1919
Pat Sullivan's studio released a second animated Chaplin film, ""Over the Rhine With Charlie." Otto Messmer did most of the work.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Tom Mix, Star -- January 17, 2019

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919

100 years ago this month, star Tom Mix dines with Fox Film Corporation executives.

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
Exclusive Features was rereleasing Tom's short films made by the Selig Polyscope Company.

Moving Picture World, 18-January-1919
Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
"Pals in Blue" (1915) and "Shooting Up the Movies" (1916) were Selig productions.  "Chips of the Flying Blue" may be the Selig film "Chip of the Flying U" (1914).  Tom later  appeared in a feature called Pals in Blue (1925) for Fox.

Moving Picture World, 04-January-1919
In competition, Fox was reediting Tom Mix's earliest Fox films and rereleasing them as comedies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Carol Channing, RIP -- January 16, 2019
I was sad to learn that Carol Channing had died.  She was born in Seattle but came to San Francisco as a baby and grew up here.  She was always the center of attention.  Herb Caen wrote about her frequently.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New Moving Picture Hall -- January 15, 2019

Moving Picture World, 18-January-1919
"New Moving Picture Hall Being Built by the American Red Cross Military Hospital No. 5, at Auteuil, France to Give Entertainment to America Soldiers While Awaiting Demobilization."

Monday, January 14, 2019

United Artists Association Formed -- January 14, 2019

Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
100 years ago today (or tomorrow), a group of major Hollywood stars and the best-known director, Mary Pickford, William S Hart, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and DW Griffith, met and agreed to form United Artists.  Hollywood production companies had been trying to pay them less money and the artists wanted to eliminate the middlemen.

Washington Herald, 16-January-1919

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Robert Stack 100 -- January 13, 2019
Actor Robert Stack was born 100 years ago today, on 13-January-1919.  He served in the US Navy during World War Two.

I didn't see The Untouchables when it was first on, but my mother says that when I was due to be born, there was two-part episode.  She hoped she wouldn't have to miss the second episode.

Later I enjoyed reruns of the show.

I loved his appearance as Captain Kramer in Airplane!  "Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked... in the head... with an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does. It never happens. Sorry, Ted, that's a dumb question... skip that. "

Friday, January 11, 2019

8 Rounds of Furious Action -- January 11, 2019

Boxoffice, 26-June-1937
On 22-June-1937, at Comiskey Park, Chicago, James J Braddock lost the heavyweight title to Joe Louis.

Boxoffice, 26-June-1937

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Why We Need to Keep Searching for Lost Silent Films -- January 10, 2018

Bisbee, Arizona Daily Review, 24-December-1916
Congratulations to Fritzi, the host of Movies, Silently, who has published an article in Smithsonian Magazine's website about the need to continue to search for films thought to be lost.  Fritzi makes good arguments that should help people who are not movie crazy to understand the issues.

Why We Need to Keep Searching for Lost Silent Films

Sherlock Holmes starring William Gillette was thought to be lost for many years and is now available on Blu-Ray.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Two Million American Soldiers are Still in Europe -- Jamuary 9, 2018

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
The United States joined the First World War in April, 1917. Learning from the British, the United States put its propaganda efforts into the hands of one organization, the Committee on Public Information, also called the Creel Committee, after its chairman, George Creel. The Creel Committee produced the "Official War Review," a series of weekly one-reelers about war subjects. 100 years ago this month, World War One had ended, but many American soldiers remained in Europe until 1919. "Two million American soldiers are still in Europe: The motion picture camera is recording their doings in occupied Germany."

Moving Picture World, 04-January-1919
The committee also produced a series of five two reelers, each "showing a single phase of the war."  I would like to see "Wings of Victory."

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
The committee produced a feature, Under Four Flags, which told the story of how four allied nations, Italy, the UK, France and the US fought the war.  The committee left out little Serbia and Russia, which had made a separate peace.

Moving Picture World, 11-January-1919
Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919
Moving Picture World, 25-January-1919