Monday, November 30, 2020

Virginia Mayo 100 -- November 30, 2020

Remarkably beautiful actress Virginia Mayo was born 100 years ago today, on 30-November-1920. Sam Goldwyn signed her to a contract and put her in a number of musicals with Danny Kaye. She was very with dramatic roles in The Best Years of Our Lives and White Heat

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Busby Berkeley 125 -- November 29, 2020

Today would have been the 125th birthday of director and choreographer Busy Berkeley. I love his musicals.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Coming: The Tame Cat -- November 28, 2020


Motion Picture News, 20-November-1920

I don't know what it is about, but I like the image. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Billy West -- Sweethearts -- November 27, 2020


Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

Billy West had closely imitated Charlie Chaplin in a long series of comedies for different studios. By the time he was working for the Joan Film Sales Company, he had moved on to other characters. I don't know who created the images for these trade ads, but I like them. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 -- November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm grateful for health and life, my family, and my coworkers.

The photograph shows musical comedy star Janis Paige returning from hunting a turkey. Janis Paige appeared in many movies and television shows, but is most famous for appearing in the original production of The Pajama Game on Broadway.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Noel Neill 100 -- November 25, 2020

Actress Noel Neill was born 100 years ago today, on 25-November-1920.  All the people who met her said she was very good to her fans.  After a career as a movie actress and popular pinup model, she played Lois Lane in two Superman movie serials and in the pioneering television series after the first season.  Kirk Alyn played Superman in the movie serials and George Reeves played him in the television series.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Master Pictures in Color -- November 24, 2020


Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

Prizma was an early subtractive color process. Here it is offered to be used in main titles and intertitles of films that were otherwise in black and white. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Son of Tarzan -- November 23, 2020


Motion Picture News, 13-November-1920

The movie serial Son of Tarzan was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' book Korak, Son of Tarzan. P Dempsey Tabler played Tarzan. Hawaiian actor Kamuela C Searle, a veteran of World War One, played the grown-up Korak. There is an urban legend about an accident which occurred on the set. I may post about it later. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Goldie Hawn 75 -- November 21, 2020

Actress and comedian Goldie Hawn was born 75 years ago today, on 21-November-1945. I remember when Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In started in 1967 or 1968 that I thought Goldie was cute, but Judy Carne was my favorite. 

She has had a long and mostly successful film career. I love Foul Play even though I don't care for Chevy Chase. She won an Oscar for Cactus Flower.

Ralph Meeker 100 -- November 21, 2020

 Tough guy actor Ralph Meeker was born 100 years ago today, on 21-November-1920. He is best known for playing Mickey Spillane's private eye Mike Hammer in Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly. He was also in Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory and Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gene Tierney 100 -- November 19. 2020

Beautiful actress Gene Tierney was born 100 years today, on 19-November-1920. I try to watch Laura,  directed by Otto Preminger and written by Ring Lardner, Jr, whenever it shows on Turner Classic Movies. I love The Ghost and Mrs Muir. She developed bipolar disorder and received more than 20 shock treatments. She later campaigned against shock treatments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fantômas, 1920 -- November 17, 2020


Motion Picture News, 13-November-1920

Before I saw this trade ad, I did not remember that Fox had produced an American version of Fantomas in 1920. Its 20 episodes contained few things that resembled the original French version. 

Moving Picture World, 04-July-1912

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Coliseum Theatre, San Francisco -- November 15, 2020


Motion Picture News, 13-November-1920

The Coliseum Theatre, on Clement Street in my old neighborhood, the Richmond District of San Francisco, was open from 1918 to 1989, with a couple of interruptions. The Reid Brothers designed it. Now the Coliseum has a Walgreen's on the ground floor and condominiums upstairs. I saw Jaws there, and a bunch of other movies. I always thought the theater was dark and gloomy.

I took the photo below in 2016. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Jack Elam 100 -- November 13, 2020

Character actor and frequent portrayer of bad guys Jack Elam was born 100 years ago today, on 13-November-1920. He served in the Navy during World War Two. His deviated eye proved to be a trademark. I enjoyed just about everything I saw him in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang -- November 11, 2020

Happy Veterans Day, everyone. In I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, Paul Muni played James Allen, who was an NCO in the AEF during World War One. When he returned to his civilian life, he was unhappy with his dull office job. He wanted to become an engineer, but wound up taking jobs as an unskilled laborer. An acquaintance forced James to take part in a robbery, and James was sentenced to prison for it. He escapes from the chain gang, but is betrayed and tricked into surrendering himself. he winds up back on the chain gang. He escapes again.

If you have never seen the movie, be sure to watch until the end. 

The film was based on an autobiographical book by Robert Elliot Burns. Paul Muni consulted with Burns while preparing to play the part, 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Von Stroheim Again! -- November 9, 2020


Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

Erich von Stroheim made controversial movies. The third movie that he directed was Foolish Wives for Universal. Universal publicized the cost of the elaborate sets built for the movie. This added to von Stroheim's reputation for obsession with details and extravagance. 

Motion Picture News, 13-November-1920

"2 1/2 Times as Much" must refer to the budget. 

Motion Picture News, 20-November-1920

"Here in a small part of Universal City, California you see a large part of Monte Carlo, Monaco."

Motion Picture News, 20-November-1920

"Costly Sets for Stroheim/'Foolish Wives' to Cost More Than Any Previous Universal." 

Motion Picture News, 27-November-1920

"Massive Villa Set in Stroheim Special."

Motion Picture News, 13-November-1920

Meanwhile, The Devil's Passkey, von Stroheim's second directorial effort, was in release. "Better than Blind Husbands," the first movie that he directed. 

Motion Picture News, 20-November-1920

"Carl Laemmle presents Von Stroheim's Master Picture."

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Alex Trebek, RIP -- November 8, 2020

Alex Trebek, the host of the only game show I watch, Jeopardy, has died. My sympathy to his family.  He handled answers and contestants smoothly, and I don't remember him mispronouncing anything. 

I take the Jeopardy test every time it comes up. I was called in for an audition once. Last time I took it, they said they would get back to me in two weeks. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Testing Block -- November 7, 2020


William S Hart was an experienced stage actor who was fascinated with the American west. He often played what became known as the Good-Bad Man. He starred in The Testing Block with Eva Novak. Lambert Hillyer directed. I like the portrait of Hart in this trade ad. I wouldn't mess with him. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Life of the Party -- November 5, 2020


Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

The Life of the Party was the ironic title of Roscoe Arbuckle's second feature film released by Paramount. It was based on a story by Kentucky writer Irvin S Cobb. 

Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

Determined to get their money's worth out of Roscoe, Paramount had him working on two features at the same time, Brewster's Millions and The Dollar-A-Year Man. Joseph Henabery, who played Abraham Lincoln in The Birth of a Nation, directed Brewster's Millions and James Cruze, who later directed The Covered Wagon, directed The Dollar-A-Year Man. Both films are lost. 

Motion Picture News, 06-November-1920

Apparently rolling in dough, Roscoe owned four cars, worth a total of $42,000.  

Washington Evening Star, 06-October-1920

 For comparison, Ford was selling a Model T touring car for $440.