Saturday, April 30, 2022

Arbuckle Acquitted -- April 30, 2022

Moving Picture World, 22-April-1922

100 years ago this month, the second trial of Roscoe Arbuckle for the death of Virginia Rappe ended with a mistrial, not an acquittal as the title of this post and article suggest. The defense proved that several vital items of evidence had been faked, and they put the victim on trial, with testimony about her alcoholism and promiscuity.

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

Recently crowned chairman of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Will Hays, declared that showing of any of Arbuckle's films was suspended.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Movie Serials -- The Leap That Will Startle the World -- April 29, 2022

Moving Picture World, 08-April-1922

Charles Hutchison wrote, directed, acted and performed stunts in many Pathé serials (Pathéserials). "At a speed of 50 miles per hour he jumps his motorcycle from a ferryslip to the ferryboat yards away." This reminds me of an old San Francisco story whose punchline was "Yumpin' yimeny, what a yump."

Moving Picture World, 22-April-1922

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

Looks exciting.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

"Polo's First Independent Serial!" 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.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

This serial must have a good-sized costume budget.

Moving Picture World, 08-April-1922

Moving Picture Weekly, 01-April-1922

Harry Myers, who had recently starred in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, played the lead in Universal's serial adaption of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Noble Johnson played Man Friday.

Moving Picture Weekly, 08-April-1922

Note that the cast included Spottiswoode Aitken. I have always liked his name. 

Moving Picture Weekly, 15-April-1922

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

Universal's Perils of the Yukon starred Big Bill Desmond. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Baby Peggy -- The Youngest Star -- April 28, 2022

Moving Picture Weekly, 15-April-1922

Baby Peggy Montgomery graced the cover of the 15-April-1922 Moving Picture Weekly. She had grown to become Century's biggest comedy star, even surpassing her old comrade Brownie the Century Wonder Dog. Universal released Century Comedies. 

Moving Picture Weekly, 29-April-1922

Century's four units produced a total of "52 Knockouts a Year!"

Moving Picture Weekly, 08-April-1922

Moving Picture Weekly, 22-April-1922

Moving Picture Weekly, 29-April-1922

In addition to Century Comedies, Universal also released comedies with orangutan Joe Martin.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

Fox released Fox Sunshine Comedies, a series starring Al St John and Mutt and Jeff animated movies. 

Moving Picture World, 08-April-1922

Fox released a series of comedies starring acrobatic Lupino Lane.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-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, 08-April-1922

C.B.C. also released Sunbeam Comedies, starring Billy West, who had started as a Chaplin imitator but later developed his own character. 

Moving Picture World, 22-April-1922

  But C.B.C. also advertised Sunrise Comedies that starred Billy West. I will have to look into this.
Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

Pioneering comedy producer Mack Sennett produced many shorts starring Australian Billy Bevan.

Moving Picture World, 15-April-1922

Handsome Ben Turpin was Sennett's biggest remaining comic.
Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

The Christie Film Company was a major producer of short comedies from 1911 to 1933. Al Christie was the director and Charles Christie ran the business. The Christies featured situation comedy more than the slapstick favored by Mack Sennett and Hal Roach.

Moving Picture World, 08-April-1922

Educational released Mermaid Comedies with Lloyd Hamilton, Jimmie Adams and Lige Conley. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Jack Klugman 100 -- April 27, 2022

Actor Jack Klugman was born 100 years ago today, on 27-April-1922. I used to watch The Odd Couple, where he played Oscar Madison, with Tony Randall as Felix Unger. Klugman served in the US Army during World War Two.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Rin-Tin the Dog Hero -- April 26, 2022

Moving Picture World, 15-April-1922

Rin-Tin-Tin was the biggest dog star of all. Lee Duncan, an American soldier who loved dogs, found Rinty and his sister with their dying mother in a damaged German kennel. Duncan tried to bring the puppies to America, but the female died. Duncan trained Rinty and got him into the movies, where he showed great natural talent. 

The Man from Hell's River was Rinty's first movie. Note that he is billed as "Rin-Tin the Dog Hero." Irving Cummings directed.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Sherlock Holmes -- Who Gets to Distribute the Films? -- April 25, 2022

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

Educational announced that it would distribute the series of short films produced in the UK by Stoll Pictures.

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

The Alexander Film Corporation, which had previously announced that it would distribute the Eille Norwood films in the United States, sued Stoll.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Low Cost Movies You Can Own -- April 24, 2022

Boston Globe, 28-December-1943

For many years, Castle Films and Official Films were the two big distributors of home movies. This ad from the Boston Globe shows that Castle Films were widely available in the Boston area.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Support the People of Ukraine -- April 23, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. In the old days, I might have thought all this talk of Russian atrocities was propaganda, but we see so many photos and videos that I have to believe them.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Frank Capra -- Pathe Said to Have Made Fine Production of Kipling Story -- April 21, 2022

Moving Picture World, 08-April-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. 

I remember reading about the movie in Capra's autobiography, The Name Above the Title, and thinking that I will never get to see it. I recently found it on YouTube.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

Moving Picture World, 15-April-1922

Moving Picture World, 08-April-1922

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Keaton Romps Home While the Feature Also Ran -- April 20, 2022

Motion Picture News, 29-April-1922

Big Joe Roberts poses with Buster in a scene from "My Wife's Relations."

Moving Picture World, 29-April-1922

Moving Picture World, 15-April-1922

"The Boat," one of Keaton's all-time best, made a big hit at San Francisco's California Theater.

Motion Picture News, 08-January-1921

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Crowds Packed Broadway House to Capacity All Last Week to See Charles Chaplin -- April 19, 2022

Moving Picture World, 22-April-1922

Chaplin's "Pay Day" was packing them in at Manhattan's Strand Theater. Holding a short over for a second week was not common.

Rock Island Argus, 19-April-1922

"Pay Day" means a Gay Day." 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Johnnies On the Spot, Slightly Bent But Never Broke -- April 18, 2022

New York Clipper, 28-August-1906

Today is the 116th anniversary of San Francisco's 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

The Miles Brothers, pioneering San Francisco producers and distributors, offered films of San Francisco before the earthquake, including their famous film known as "A Trip Down Market Street." 

The "Panoramic View of Newspaper Square at Kearny and Market Streets" mentions "Lotta Fountain" and the "Sutter Street Turntable."  This was actually the Geary Street, Park and Ocean turntable.  The intersection was called Newspaper Square because the offices of the Chronicle, the Examiner and the Call were on three of the corners. 

Be sure to click on the images for a larger version. 

San Francisco Call-Chronicle-Examiner, 19-April-1906


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter, 2022 -- April 17, 2022

Moving Picture World, 23-May-1914

Happy Easter, everyone. Here is a Bunny for Easter. John Bunny was a popular performer in early Vitagraph comedies like "A Cure for Pokeritis" (1912), "Hearts and Diamonds" (1914) and "The Pickwick Papers" (1913). He was born to play Mr Pickwick. Bunny died in 1915 and the world mourned. A detail from a Vitagraph ad in the 23-May-1914 Moving Picture World.  Be sure to click on the image to see the larger version.  Note his tooth.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 75 -- April 16, 2022

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, athlete, activist and actor, was born 75 years ago today, on 16-April-1947. I vaguely remember watching basketball games on television with my dad and hearing the name Lew Alcindor. I had never heard the name "Alcindor" and wondered where it came from. I remember watching him when he played for the Bucks and the Lakers. He studied Jeet Kune Do with Bruce Lee. I remember when he converted to Islam. It was not as controversial as Muhammad Ali.

I loved the way he played the co-pilot in the Zucker Brothers' Airplane!.