Thursday, March 31, 2022

Marie Prevost -- Delightful, Demure, Décolleté -- March 31, 2022

Moving Picture Weekly, 11-March-1922

Beautiful Marie Prevost, born in Canada, started her film career in the Teens as one of Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties. In the early Twenties, she made a series of light comedies for Universal.

Moving Picture Weekly, 18-March-1922

Silver Screen, 30-March-1922

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Academy Awards 2022 -- March 30, 2022

So Saturday night we decided to watch CODA on Apple TV+. Sunday night, it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. We enjoyed the movie, although the family's isolation seemed to be exaggerated.

The thing that people are still talking about took place earlier. Chris Rock was on stage to present the Best Documentary Feature award. Jada Pinkett Smith sat in the front row with her husband Will Smith. Her head was shaved because of alopecia. Rock made a stupid joke about her hair, and Will Smith climbed on stage and slapped him across the face. At first, I thought it was a gag, but the sound quickly cut out while Rock said something un-airable, and then the screen went black while Smith cursed at him. It seemed incredible that Will Smith received a standing ovation when he received the Best Actor award later on. I had mixed feelings. I like that Smith stood up for his wife, but violence is the wrong response. We later learned that someone from the Academy asked Smith to leave and he refused. Smith eventually apologized to Rock. The Academy is looking at ways to punish him. I suspect there will be a suspension. 

This mess took away from the film that won Best Documentary Feature, Questlove's Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. I want to see it, but we do not have the Hulu streaming service.

The Only Up-To-Date Colored Theater in Annapolis -- March 30, 2022

Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette, 21-March-1922

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. 100 years ago this month, his film The Symbol of the Unconquered was playing at the Star Theater in Annapolis, Maryland.

Richmond Planet, 04-March-1922

Major WBF Crowell, Roanoke representative of the Micheaux Corporation, left for New York to appear in and co-direct a new project called The Dungeon. I can't find the Major's name anywhere in the credits and the movie is assumed to be lost.

Wichita Beacon, 17-March-1922

We have seen a reference to the Afro-American Film Exhibitors Company's production Lure of a Woman. I do not know if they produced another film.

Moving Picture World, 18-March-1922

Meanwhile a group of investors in New Orleans planned to produce "features of five-foot length intended to be shown in colored theaters." I suspect they meant five-reeel.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Movie Serials -- The Thrill-A-Minute Stunt-King -- March 29, 2022

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Charles Hutchison wrote, directed, acted and performed stunts in many Pathé serials (Pathéserials).

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

Eddie Polo was a popular serial star. He started out as a trapeze artist in a circus. He appeared in many serials in the US and then went to Germany, where he starred in action films. He later worked as a makeup artist. I like the picture of the pirate.

Monday, March 28, 2022

The Isle of Zorda/Mathias Sandorf -- March 28, 2022

Moving Picture World, 18-March-1922

In 1922, in the United States, Pathé released The Isle of Zorda, a French movie made in 1921. It was billed as a Pathépicture (To go along with Pathécomedies and Pathéserials). The French title was Mathias Sandorf, and the film was based on Jules Verne's novel of the same name. That is a book I have never read, but it sounds as if it is a revenge story like The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas père. 

The movie looks exciting. Henri Fescourt directed and Romuald Joubé played the title character.

Moving Picture World, 18-March-1922

Motion Picture News, 04-March-1922

Georges Lampin directed another version in 1963. Louis Jourdan played Mathias Sandorf.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

They Went Wild Over Baby Peggy -- March 27, 2022

Moving Picture Weekly, 11-March-1922

Baby Peggy had grown to become Century's biggest comedy star, even surpassing her old comrade Brownie the Century Wonder Dog. This ad touts her role in a feature film, an adaption of Booth Tarkington's book Penrod. Wesley Barry played Penrod and Baby Peggy, billed as Peggy Jane, played Peggy Rensdale.

Motion Picture News, 21-January-1922

Baby Peggy and Wesley "Freckles" Barry in the feature film Penrod, directed by Mickey Neilan.

Exhibitors Herald, 25-March-1922

"Century Comedies Rock the Earth With Laughter." Century Comedies' four series starred Lee Moran, Harry Sweet, Baby Peggy and Brownie the Century Wonder-Dog.

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

Century President Julius Stern, Carl Laemmle's brother-in-law, returned from a trip to the East to find everyone hard at work under the supervision of his brother, Abe Stern.

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

Meanwhile Moran's erstwhile parter Eddie Lyons was making comedies for Arrow.

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

This ad for Educational Pictures Week featured a list of 43 Christie Comedies and a large photo of producer Al Christie.

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

"All Christie Comedies Available" for Educational Pictures Week.

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Neal Burns was one of Christie's comic leading men.

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Bobby Vernon started as a juvenile comedian at Keystone, where he starred in several popular comedies with Gloria Swanson. "The dog's name is Blanco because there is a blank space where his brains ought to be. That is harsh.

Exhibitors Herald, 04-March-1922

Al Christie had a company up in the Sierras, in Truckee. They reported that several film crews were at work in the area. 

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

Educational, which specialized in short subjects, released several series of comedies: "Lloyd Hamilton in Mermaid Comedies," "Bobby Vernon in Christie Comedies," "Johnny Hines in Torchy Comedies," and "Neal Burns in Christie Comedies." This ad also mentions "The Battle of Jutland" and a new series of "Wilderness Tales."

Lloyd Hamilton, who had been the Ham of Ham and Bud, starred in a series of Mermaid Comedies distributed by Educational Comedies. Most of them were destroyed in a vault fire.

Exhibitors Herald, 04-March-1922

Exhibitors Herald, 04-March-1922

Exhibitors Herald, 11-March-1922

Exhibitors Herald, 18-March-1922

Harry Cohn, his brother Jack and Joe Brandt provided the initials for C.B.C. Film Sales Corp. The Hallroom Boys Comedies were a long running series of short comedies, based on a comic strip by Harold MacGill.

Moving Picture World, 18-March-1922

Mario Bianchi was born in Cesena in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. He emigrated to the US in 1914. He adopted the name Monty Banks and appeared in many short comedies. He later appeared in features known for daring stunt work.

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Uncle Dan Mason, who played the Skipper in a series of short comedies based on Fontaine Fox's comic panel The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains, met Sunny Jim Rolph, the mayor of San Francisco. Some of the movies were shot down the Peninsula in San Mateo.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- March 26, 2022

Exhibitors Herald, 25-March-1922

Eille Norwood played Sherlock Holmes and Hubert Willis played Dr John Watson in a series of short films and features made between 1921 and 1923 by Stoll Pictures. The producers replaced Hubert Willis in the last film, a feature based on The Sign of Four.

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, made a speaking tour of America.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Elton John 75 -- March 25, 2022

Happy 75th birthday to Elton John, singer, composer and really good piano player. I always enjoyed his music when it played on KFRC, especially "Rocket Man." I admired his keyboard playing, and that he wore hats, caps and glasses. Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote a long string of hit songs. 

"Bennie and the Jets" got stuck in my head recently. 

A lot of his music turns up in movie soundtracks. 

He has raised a pot of money for AIDS-related charities. 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Including Anti-Fascist Features -- March 24, 2022

Movie Makers, April, 1943
Brandon Films billed itseld as "The Key Source of Movies to Help Win the War." "Including Anti-Fascist Features" -- I'm in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Frank Capra -- Fultah Fisher's Boarding House -- March 23, 2022

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Frank Capra had virtually no experience in movies when he talked his way into a job directing a short film for a new company founded in San Francisco. Walter Montague, an old actor and theatrical manager, had a dream. He wanted to make short films based on famous poems. His first project was an adaption of Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding-House." The movie, which survives, is pretty good for a first effort. Montague and Capra made three other movies in the series:
"The Village Blacksmith" -- a famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Looking Glass" -- a not-so famous poem by F. B. Lowe
"The Barefoot Boy" -- a famous poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

The other films probably no longer exist.

Salt Lake Telegram, 27-March-1922

Walter Montague performed in vaudeville and wrote scripts for other acts. He died in 1925. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Every Day Will Be Pay Day When You Play Charlie Chaplin -- March 22, 2022

Moving Picture World, 18-March-1922

Chaplin was pushing to fulfill his First National contract so he could begin producing for United Artists. I like this image from "Pay Day," which would prove to be Chaplin's last two reel film.

Great Falls Tribune, 18-March-1922

The image in this ad must have been based on the photo in the previous ad for "Pay Day."

Moving Picture World, 11-March-1922

Exhibitors Herald, 18-March-1922

First National advertised "Pay Day" on the cover of The Exhibitor's Herald

New Ulm Review, 22-March-1922

Chaplin's previous short film, "The Idle Class," was still in release. 

Moving Picture World, 04-March-1922

A theater owner in Nova Scotia assembled this curious vehicle to advertise a showing of "The Idle Class."

Exhibitors Herald, 25-March-1922

Chaplin did not object when Billy West imitated him, but he sued an actor named Charles Amador, who used the name Charlie Aplin and made movies that closely imitated Chaplin's. 

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

Billy West had already given up his Chaplin imitation and was making comedies using his own character.