Sunday, January 29, 2023

Paddy Chayefsky 100 -- January 29, 2023

Paddy Chayefsky was born 100 years ago today, on 29-January-1923. He wrote plays, movies, novels and scripts for radio and television. He had a high batting average.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Genuine Edison Films -- January 28, 2023

The Phonoscope, January, 1923

125 years ago this month, the Edison Manufacturing Company offered films in 50, 100 and 150-foot lengths. Potential customers were warned that Edison intended to enforce its patents. "We are protected by broad U. S. patents and all films of other make are infringements."

Friday, January 27, 2023

William Gillette Personally Appearing in His Famous Success -- January 27, 2023

Washington Times, 28-January-1923

William Gillette played Sherlock Holmes more than 1300 times. He wrote the play. He retired several times, after long farewell tours, and then made triumphant returns. His last farewell tour ran from 1929 to 1932.

The following week the National Theater was going to present Lionel Atwill in The Comedian by Sasha Guitry. Atwill went on to become a popular character actor in talking films.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Baby Peggy and Big Peggy -- January 26, 2023

Los Angeles Evening Post-Record, 15-January-1923

Baby Peggy Montgomery was Century's biggest comedy star. She made a personal appearance to sell dolls made by a disabled artist, Peggy Wheeler. "Big Peggy" made and sold dollars so she could be independent. Her "dream is to be able to establish a 'Welcomeland' someday, where helpless young folks can become helpful again."

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Oscar Micheaux -- The Virgin of Seminole -- January 25, 2023

Vicksburg Evening Post, 22-January-1923

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. 100 years ago this month, his films The Symbol of the Unconquered and The Virgin of Seminole were showing on different nights at the Princess Theater in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The Mistress of the World was a 1919 German film.

Vicksburg Evening Post, 27-January-1923

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Sherlock Holmes -- Supported by Roland Young, Carol Dempster and An All Star Cast -- January 24, 2023

Alexandria Gazette, 18-January-1923

John Barrymore played Sherlock Holmes in a loose adaption of William Gillette's play. I didn't enjoy the movie much, but Barrymore certainly looked like Holmes. I like the illustration.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Randolph Scott 125 -- January 23, 2023

I was taken aback when I realized that I have not yet mentioned Randolph Scott in this blog. They didn't show many of his movies on tv when I was growing up, but I read about him in books and magazines. My daughter always quotes the scene from Blazing Saddles. Randolph Scott was born 125 years ago today, on 23-January-1898. Scott was a veteran of World War One. He was good in westerns and non-westerns.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Year of the Rabbit -- January 22, 2023

Moving Picture Weekly, 23-May-1914

In honor of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, here is John Bunny.

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 (on 21-September-1863) to play Mr Pickwick. Bunny died in 1915 and the world mourned.  Here is 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, January 21, 2023

Blackhawk Bulletin 258 -- Buster Keaton --January 21, 2023

Blackhawk Bulletin 258, December 1974

I was an avid reader of the Blackhawk Bulletin, even though I rarely had enough money to buy any movies from Blackhawk Films. I would like to have purchased these short comedies with Buster Keaton.

I was excited to learn that scans of many issues were available at the HMH Foundation Moving Image Archives at USC:
USC HMH Foundation Moving Image Archive » Blackhawk Films’ Catalogs (

Friday, January 20, 2023

Three Dimension Motion Pictures Produced by Means of the Teleview -- January 20, 2023

Motion Picture News, 18-November-1922

Way back when in October, before I took a break, I said I would post some more information about Harry K Fairall's 3-D movie system, which was the first successful system to show 3-D or stereoscopic movies. His only film, "The Power of Love," is probably lost. This article shows his viewing system, the Teleview. Two synchronized projectors alternated showing frames from each side. The Teleview was attached to viewers' seat. It included a rotating disc synchronized to the projectors, which showed each eye the alternating frames. The system was not all that successful, although the guy in the image looks happy.

Motion Picture News, 04-November-1922

While we are on the subject of technology, The Color Cinema Company announced that it would produce short comedies in color. The first would be called "Making Hubby Like It." I can't find anything about the company or a movie by that title.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Keaton Begins Big Pictures -- January 19, 2023

Ridgewood Herald-News, 11-January-1923

After completing his second season of short films, released through First National, Buster Keaton took a three-month vacation. On his return, he started working on a feature, which came to be released through Metro as The Three Ages.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Wallace Reid Succumbs in Fight Against Drugs -- January 18, 2023

Omaha Bee, 19-January-1923

Popular actor Wallace Reid died 100 years ago today on 18-January-1923. Back in 1919, Wally was riding a Southern Pacific train to Oregon to work on The Valley of the Giants, a feature film based on a Peter B Kyne story about lumberjacks. I have not been able to find any contemporary accounts, but sources say that the train had an accident and Wally injured his head. A doctor had to sew his scalp shut. Paramount wanted the movie to stay on schedule, so Wally received morphine to help him deal with the pain. Wally appeared in eight features in 1919, seven in 1920 and 1921 and eight in 1922. To keep up the grueling pace, studio doctors kept administering larger and larger doses of morphine. Wally appeared in eight features in 1919, seven in 1920 and 1921 and eight in 1922. To keep up the grueling pace, studio doctors kept administering larger and larger doses of morphine. Wallace Reid entered a sanitarium in an attempt to kick his drug habit. He died there on 18-January-1923.

His widow, Dorothy Davenport, became a director, screenwriter and crusader against hard drugs, who was usually billed as "Mrs Wallace Reid." A while back, I wrote an article about her career:
in Fight Against Drugs

Noted Movie Star Dies in
Hollywood Sanitarium --
Unconscious for Two
Days Before End.

Los Angeles. Jan. 18. -- Wallace Held, hero of romantic film plays, lost his life in fighting to overcome the drug habit, the end coming this afternoon at a sanitarium near Hollywood, where he had been under treatment for more than a month. He had been unconscious for nearly two days, during all of which time his wife, Dorothy Davenport, was at his bedside. The direct cause of the death, according to Mr Reid's physician, Dr. G. S. Herbert. was congestion of the lungs and kidneys, which resulted from the actor's collapse when he endeavored to break off the use of narcotics.

Reid, who was six feet tall, and whose normal weight was 185 pounds, lost 60 pounds before the end came. Up to about a week ago relatives said he was improving and would be able to resume work in the studio of the Famous Players Lasky corporation by July at the latest.

"I’m Winning Fight."

"I'm Winning the fight, mamma." was his invariable greeting to his wife when she called on him. Mrs. Reid said her husband contracted the drug habit during an illness nearly two years ago. He was working on a picture early in November when he suddenly collapsed. He was advised to take a long rest and started on a mountain trip with Mrs. Reid, Teddy Hayes, his trainer, and H. H. Muller. On his return to Los Angeles his condition showing no improvement, he went to the sanitarium.

Shortly before Christmas his family made public the cause of his breakdown. Mrs. Reid declaring she believed the information might aid in arousing the American people to the necessity of suppressing the narcotic traffic.

Reid was born in St. Louis in 1892 and educated in New York. His stage career began in vaudeville with his father in "The Girl and the Ranger" and later he entered the motion pictures in the early days of this industry, associating with Selig, Vitagraph and Universal.

Started as Utility Man.

His entrance was as a general utility man and he wrote, acted and directed. He was later employed by D. W. Griffith in the production of "The Birth of a Nation" and entered the Lasky employment in Geraldine Farrar's "Carmen."

His ascendancy in the motion pictures was then rapid and he became one of the best liked actors in Hollywood and New York.

Reid was remarkably versatile. He was a deep student and lover of books. He was deeply interested in chemistry and psychology and was an accomplished musician, the Violin and stringed instruments as well as the saxophone ranking among his favored interpretative instruments.

He was married to Dorothy Davenport. motion picture actress, whom he met years ago when she was starring at Universal City and he was an assistant director and utility man. They had one child and adopted a second.
Motion Picture News, 08-November-1913

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Gina Lollobrigida RIP -- January 17, 2023

Gina Lollobrigida died. I think she was the first actress I became aware of as a sex symbol. It was either her or Sophia Loren. I remember watching Trapeze and being impressed.

My wife's first comment was "I didn't know she was still alive." Neither did I.

Super Flappers! Running Wild With an Orgy of Gayety -- January 17, 2023

Birmingham Age-Herald, 14-January-1923

The Warner Brothers heavily promoted their adaption of F Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned. I need to read that again.

Marie Prevost played Gloria Gilbert and Kenneth Harlan played Anthony Patch. Prevost later married Harlan in real life.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Featuring Rin-Tin the Dog Hero -- January 16, 2023

Moscow, Idaho Daily Star-Mirror, 17-January-1923

Rin-Tin-Tin was the biggest dog star of all. During the last days of World War One, 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 wrote, directed and co-starred. I like the image of the dog.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Lewis Carroll 125 Years -- January 14, 2023

Lewis Carroll, who was born Charles Dodgson, died 125 years ago today, on 14-January-1898. His books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass were great influences on nonsense literature. He was also an avid amateur photographer

One or both of the books has been adapted into countless movies.

Friday, January 13, 2023

A Few Minutes With Jack Benny -- January 13, 2023

Des Moines Register, 14-January-1923

Jack Benny's film career did not start for a few more years, but in January 1923 audiences could see him performing in vaudeville at the Orpheum Theater in Des Moines. He played the violin and told jokes. At this point in his career, the amount of violin was going down and the number of jokes was going up.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Modern Advertising Display -- January 12, 2023

Motion Picture News, 13-January-1923

Broadway's Criterion Theater used an enormous electric sign to advertise When Knighthood Was in Flower with Marion Davies.

New York Herald, 11-November-1922

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Dare-Devil Speeder Buck Jones -- January 11, 2023

Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette, 21-January-1922

Buck Jones was Fox's second-string cowboy star, after Tom Mix.

Indianapolis Times, 06-January-1923
I like Hoot's suit. 

Motion Picture News, 06-January-1923

Leo Maloney starred in a series of short westerns.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Tom Mix -- The Star of all Western Stars -- January 10, 2023

Marion Star, 01-January-1923

Tom Mix starred in Tom Mix in Arabia, which was directed by Lynn Harding. The Marion, Ohio Star was owned and edited by Warren G Harding before he went into politics.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Harry Carey -- He Gives That Deft Touch of High Comedy -- January 9, 2023

Wilmington Evening Journal, 11-January-1923

Harry Carey was a pioneering cowboy star. Val Paul directed A Few Good Men. I like the title. "He gives that deft touch of high comedy that all theatergoers enjoy. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Larry Storch 100 -- January 8, 2023

Actor Larry Storch was born 100 years ago today, on 08-January-1923. He died just last July. F Troop was on when I was very young, but I remember it. Storch turned up in many television programs over the years. He was always funny.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

William S Hart -- Travelin' On -- January 7, 2023

Alaska Daily Empire, 13-January-1923

Juneau's Coliseum Theater featured William S Hart in Ridin' Along, a movie directed by Lambert Hillyer. "He had neither name nor friends. Knew no law but his big black guns. So he always kept travelin' on."

Friday, January 6, 2023

DW Griffith -- Let Katie Do It -- January 6, 2023

Americus Times-Recorder, 05-January-1923

Despite the claims of this ad, DW Griffith did not direct Let Katie Do It. Griffith co-wrote and produced it and brothers Chester and Sidney Franklin directed. This was a revival of a 1916 film

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Marion Davies -- The Most Amazingly Beautiful Picture Ever Screened -- January 5, 2023

Moscow, Idaho Daily Star-Mirror, 10-January-1923

When Knighthood Was in Flower was an 1898 novel written by Edwin Caskoden. His real name was Charles Major. The story was inspired by the life of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister. The book sold well. In 1901, Paul Kester adapted the story into a play which was also successful.

In 1922, William Randolph Hearst was looking for a suitably ostentatious project for his inamorata, Marion Davies. His production company, Cosmopolitan, hit upon When Knighthood Was in Flower. Director Robert Vignola used a virtually unlimited budget to create a huge movie. This full-page ad must have cost lots of money.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Harold Lloyd -- The Lad Who Makes the World Laugh! -- January 4, 2023

Casper Daily Tribune, 10-January-1923

I like the image of Harold Lloyd as Dr Jack examining the world. 

At the bottom:
Warning to Patrons! If your heart is wobbly, or you get high blood pressure from laughing, kindly consult your family physician after you see Harold Lloyd, the laughter specialist!

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

For Sale, Two Edison Kinetoscopes -- January 3, 2023

New York Clipper, 30-November-1895

Need two Edison Kinetoscopes, two storage batteries and four new films? Contact F Frauenfelter in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Larry Semon -- The Counter Jumper -- January 2, 2023

Washington Times, 20-January-1923

Larry Semon was very big 100 years ago this month. I find it interesting that Larry, the star of the two-reel comedy "The Counter Jumper," has equal billing with Florence Vidor, the star of the feature film Skin Deep. At the time, Florence Vidor was married to director King Vidor. Lambert Hillyer directed Skin Deep.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Nine Years -- January 1, 2023

2022 was an interesting year. In January, I started teaching coding to Kindergarten through Fourth Grade. COVID-19 carried on.

In 2022, I participated in one blogathon:

Moving Picture World, 10-September-1921

The Eighth Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon:

My post:
Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts -- Reel Two:

Motion Picture News, 27-January-1917

In January, Russia moved masses of troops to the borders of Ukraine. 

I had appendicitis. 

I wrote about the 100th anniversaries of the collapse of the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, DC and the appointment of Will H Hays as chairman of the new Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America.

I noted what would have been the 150th birthdays of Marion Davies, Pola Negri and Zane Grey, the 100th birthday of Sheldon Leonard and the 75th birthday of David Bowie. 

I wrote about the passing of Sidney Poitier, Betty White, Peter Bogdanovich, Yvette Mimieux and Bob Saget. 

Motography, 12-April-1913

In February, I posted an item about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

I noted the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Tiger.

I posted about International Polar Bear Day. 

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the still-unsolved murder of director William Desmond Taylor. I posted an ad for an appearance by Anna Pavlova in Arizona. I posted an item about the Four Marx Brothers, who would one day become movie stars. I wrote about a 1922 production of Booth Tarkington's 1919 novel The Magnificent Ambersons

I wrote about what would have been Thomas Edison's 175th birthday. I noted the 100th birthday of Patrick Macnee. 

I wrote about the death of Sally Kellerman. 

Moving Picture World, 25-March-1922

In March, the Ukrainians continued to stand up to the Russian invaders. In the past, I would have assumed that some of the stories of Russian atrocities were propaganda, but there are many videos and other pieces of evidence.

Congress passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act and President Joe Biden signed it.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the release of what may have been the first film directed by Frank Capra.

For International Women's Day, I wrote about actress, screenwriter, producer and director Dorothy Davenport.

I noted the 175th anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell's birth, the 125th anniversary of Betty Compson's birth and the 100th anniversary of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Carl Reiner's births. I wrote about Rob Reiner, Elton John and Glen Close's 75th birthdays.

I noted the 100th anniversary of the death of comedian Bert Williams. I wrote about the death of actor William Hurt.

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1922

In April the Russians continued to lose personnel and material in Ukraine.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the release of Rin-Rin-Tin's first film. I wrote about the 100th anniversary of Roscoe Arbuckle's second trial being declared a mistrial. Showing his films continued to be banned.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the births of Doris Day and Jack Klugman. I noted actress Lois Chiles and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 75th birthdays.

I noted the deaths of actor Nehemiah Persoff and comedian Gilbert Gottfried.

San Francisco Call, 04-May-1897

In May I wrote about the 125th anniversary of the terrible Paris Charity Bazaar Fire.

The Ukrainians continued to hold out against the Russian invasion.

I wrote about the 125th anniversary of the first publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the release of Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North.
I wrote about the 125th anniversary of Frank Capra's birth and Christopher Lee's 100th birthday.

I wrote about the deaths of Ray Liotta and Neal Adams.

Film Daily, 20-June-1922

In June I wrote about the beginning of the long process to produce the movie, Ben Hur.
I wrote about the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee.

I wrote about the Disney Brothers starting their first company. 

I started a new series on developments in natural color and sound films. I went on to post about new technologies, like 3-D. 

I posted two items about Roscoe Arbuckle going abroad to work. It didn't happen. 

I wrote about what would have been the 100th birthdays of Judy Garland and Jake LaMotta. They were born on the same day. I wrote about the 75th birthday of Candy Clark.  

I noted the 100th anniversary of the opening of San Francisco's Loew's Warfield Theater. 

Moving Picture World, 22-July-1922

In July I wrote about the records being set by Harold Lloyd's first full-length feature, Grandma's Boy.

I wrote about the 125th anniversary of the start of the Yukon Gold Rush.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the first movie released by FBO. 

I wrote about the 125th anniversaries of the births of John Gilbert and Amelia Earhart. I wrote about the 100th anniversaries of the births of Blake Edwards and Norman Lear. I wrote about the 75th birthday of Shelley Hack, 

I noted the 100th anniversary of the death of child star Bobby Connely. I wrote about the 25th anniversary of the death of Robert Mitchum. I wrote about the deaths of Nichelle Nichols, James Caan, Bob Rafelson, Taurean Blacque, David Warner, Tony Dow, Tony Sirico, Paul Sorvino and Larry Storch. 

Blackhawk Bulletin 287, June-July 1977

In August, I found a site that hosts copies of the Blackhawk Bulletin. I will be using that for my home movie posts for a while.

I wrote about the 125th anniversary of Thomas Edison getting a patent for a camera that could capture motion. 

I noted the 100th anniversary of the murder of Irish patriot Michael Collins.

I wrote about the 125th anniversary of the birth of actor Frederick March. 

Actresses Barbara Bach and Cindy Williams turned 75. 

Vin Scully, David McCullough, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Clu Gulager died. Until I saw a recent documentary on TCM, I thought his family name was Gallagher. 

Moving Picture World, 02-September-1922

In September, I wrote about the 100th anniversary of San Francisco's historic Castro Theater, which has been in the news lately.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the publication of F Scott Fitzgerald's second collection of short stories, Tales of the Jazz Age.

I wrote about what would have been Yvonne de Carlo, Janis Paige, Jackie Cooper and Sid Caesar's 100th birthdays. Jane Curtain, Cheryl Tiegs and Stephen King turned 75.

Queen Elizabeth II died. She was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. I'm not a fan of monarchy, but I don't see how anyone could have done a better job than she did. She led a life of service.

Marsha Hunt, Irene Papas. Henry Silva and Jean-Luc Godard died.

I wrote about the 75th anniversary of Harry Carey's death.

Motion Picture News, 14-October-1922

In October, I wrote about Harold Lloyd's Grandma's Boy setting records by running 19 weeks at some theaters.

100 years ago, William S Hart was seriously ill with typhoid fever. Roscoe Arbuckle asked Will Hays to lift the ban on his movies. Hays did not.

I wrote about the 175th anniversary of the publication of Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of Ruby Dee and Colleen Gray's births. Kevin Kline and Michael McKean turned 75.

I wrote about the 50th anniversary of the death of Jackie Robinson.

Angela Lansbury and Robbie Coltrane died.

Moving Picture World, 11-November-1922

In November, I spent a week in the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara. I have had shortness of breath with strong exertion for a while. In April I also developed a violent cough. Doctors assumed both problems were lung related. I don't know how many chest x-rays I have had this year. It took until about September to figure out that the problem was caused by a leaky mitral valve.

I had an internal sonogram to give them a better view of my heart. They did two cardiac catheterizations to get the lay of the land and see if the valve could be repaired, or if it would have to be replaced. Then in November, they repaired the valve.

I decided to take break, perhaps until the end of the year. I am still gradually improving. I have been frustrated because I could not start teaching in the new school year.

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the film adaption of F Scott Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned

I wrote about the 100th anniversary of the Universal Film Manufacturing Company changing its name to the Universal Pictures Corporation.

During December I continued to recuperate from my operation. I don't heal as quickly as I used to, but the cardiologist said I am progressing well. I am continuing my break. 

My Uncle Sonny died. He was a real character. He worked as a waiter at the Fly Trap, where his father was chef and partner, then at Westlake Joe's for many years. He was always running into old customers who missed him greatly. Westlake Joe's was always his favorite place to eat. He had a big heart and a bad temper. Jack Daniels stock is likely to lose value. 

During my break, I missed several important anniversaries, including the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charles Schultz and the 75th anniversary of the birth of playwright David Mamet. I missed Terri Garr's 75th birthday. I missed the deaths of Stuart Margolin,

At the top of the page, we see Gloria DeHaven, who acted and sang in many movies and television shows. She made her debut in Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. Her parents, Carter and Flora Parker DeHaven were vaudeville performers. They appeared in many silent comedies.