Saturday, February 29, 2020

Double Speed -- February 29, 2020

Moving Picture World, 14-February-1920 
Wallace Reid died tragically young on 18-January-1923.

Everything I have read about him says what a nice guy he was, and I don't think it was just people who were trying not to speak ill of the dead.

He worked for DW Griffith, having important parts in Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. He starred in many comedies, including several that involved auto racing.

He was injured in a train wreck and became addicted to morphine. This led to his early death.

I have enjoyed all of his movies that I have seen.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Billy West, the Funniest Man on the Continent -- February 27, 2020

Chickashaw Daily Express, 27-February-1920
Billy West closely imitated Charlie Chaplin in a long series of comedies for different studios.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Harvey Weinstein Convicted -- February 25, 2020
Powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted sex offender.  He was convicted of rape and criminal sexual assault.  At some point in his life, he must have decided that he needed power more than he needed to be a decent human being.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Baby Peggy, RIP -- February 24, 2020

Motion Picture Magazine, November, 1924
Child star Baby Peggy Montgomery died today at the age of 101. Her name was most recently Diana Serra Cary.  She may have been our only remaining silent movie star.  Her parents cleverly blew all the money that she had earned in movies.

She went on to live a productive life, writing for radio shows and later writing books.  I read her book The Hollywood Posse many years ago and did not realize the author's earlier identity.

We were lucky to have her for such a long time.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

I Am Stroheim -- February 23, 2020

Indiana Daily Times, 21-February-1920
Erich von Stroheim made controversial movies.  Blind Husbands is one of the few feature films that he directed that I have not seen.

Friday, February 21, 2020

In the Rip-Roaring Laugh Producer -- February 21, 2020

The Heppner, Oregon Gazette-Times, 12-February-1920
"The Great Fun Maker Fatty Arbuckle" and Buster Keaton appeared in "Goodnight Nurse" at the Star Theater in Heppner, Oregon.

Moving Picture World, 20-July-1918
Note that Buster Keaton is smiling.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Nothing Can Stop the Man Who Dares! -- February 19, 2020

Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram, 28-February-1920
100 years ago this month, Tom Mix was appearing in Rough Riding Romance at the Richmond Theatre in Richmond, Indiana.

Moving Picture World, 20-September-1919

Monday, February 17, 2020

Wilson or the Kaiser -- February 17, 2020

Moving Picture World, 07-December-1918

Happy Presidents' Day everyone.

The Great Victory, Wilson or the Kaiser? The Fall of the Hohenzollerns was the ungainly of a movie about World War One. It was anti-German propaganda produced during the war, but released after the Armistice.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Larry Semon -- The New King of Comedy -- February 15, 2020

El Paso Herald, February 28, 1920
This ad features a sinister image of Larry Semon.  At least they spelled his family name correctly.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Saint Valentine's Day, 2020 -- February 14, 2020
Happy Saint Valentine's Day, everyone.

Actress Anne Gwynne was famous for appearing in horror movies.  She poses with a Valentine heart formed from a V for Victory and the letter V in Morse Code.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Joys of Motoring Meant Nothing to Charlie Chaplin -- February 13, 2020

Memphis News Scimitar, 24-February-1920
Chaplin did not do as many auto-related gags as his contemporaries, but he included some in his First National two-reeler "A Day's Pleasure."

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Land of Opportunity -- February 12, 2020

Moving Picture World, 31-January-1920
Happy 211th birthday to Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president. Actor Ralph Ince, brother of producer-director-writer Thomas Ince, played Lincoln in a short film called "The Land of Opportunity."  I wonder what Americanization Productions were about.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

You Will Like Semon as Well as if Not Better Than Chaplin -- February 11, 2020

Bonners Ferry, Idaho Herald, 10-February-1920
Clara Kimball Young's feature Cheating Cheaters (heck of a title) got top billing, but Larry Semon got a photo.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Robert Conrad and Orson Bean, RIP -- February 9, 2020
I was sad to learn that actor Robert Conrad has died.  I think I saw every episode of Wild, Wild West in reruns.  Many of my friends were fans of that show and Black Sheep Squadron, although I didn't get to see much of that show.
I vaguely remember Orson Bean on To Tell the Truth, but more for his name than his appearance.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Gung Hay Fat Choy, 2017 -- February 8, 2020
In honor of the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, here is Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille. I enjoyed the movie, but as the grandson of a chef, I found the idea of a rat in the kitchen to be disturbing.

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is tonight. The parade has taken place since the 1860s.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Anita Stewart 125 -- February 7, 2020
Silent film star Anita Stewart was born 125 years ago today, on 07-February-1895.  She made many films for Vitagraph, often teamed with Earle Williams.

Butte Daily Post, 26-March-1917

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Kirk Douglas, RIP -- February 5, 2020

Actor Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103. He was passionate about his work and I have always admired him. 

He grew up poor, but wanted to be an actor after he recited a poem in kindergarten.  He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with Betty Joan Perske, who later became Lauren Bacall. She had a crush on him, but he probably felt that she was too young. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy and served until 1944, when he was discharged because of wounds.

Lauren Bacall helped him move from Broadway plays to the movies.

He made many good movies, including Out of the Past, In Harm's Way and Paths of Glory. In his own productions like Spartacus, he helped to break the Hollywood blacklist.  Dalton Trumbo received a credit under his own name.

 I took the photo of his hand and footprints at Grauman's Chinese in July, 2012.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Doctors say Beware of Colonnavirus -- February 3, 2020
The 2020 novel colonnavirus (provisionally named 2020-jCoV), informally known as the jerry colonnavirus, is a contagious virus that causes the infected person's eyes to bug out and mustache to grow uncontrollably. In time, the infected person develops an uncontrollable urge to harass Bob Hope.