Thursday, November 30, 2023

Martha Mansfield 100 Years -- November 30, 2023

Actress Martha Mansfield had a tragically short career. She appeared in Max Linder's Essanay films. Her best remembered, perhaps her only, remembered movie is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with John Barrymore. On 09-September-1923, she was working on The Warrens of Virginia, directed by Elmer Clifton. Her hoop-skirted Civil War era costume caught fire, perhaps on a discarded match, and she was burned severely. She died the next day. The film was completed but is now considered lost.

Motion Picture Magazine, July, 1922

Fall River Evening Herald, 30-November-1923

She was really 24 years old. There is some conflict about whether the accident occurred on the set or in her automobile.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Greatest Advertised Baby in the World! -- November 29, 2023

Film Daily, 18-November-1923

Baby Peggy made the jump from short comedies for Century to feature-length films for Universal. 

Film Daily, 01-November-1923

I find this image to be creepy.

Film Daily, 04-November-1923

"Oooh Golly!"

Film Daily, 17-November-1923

I find this image to be creepy, too.

Motion Picture News, 24-November-1923

Century carried on, releasing one short comedy a week. "Comedies with a box-office kick!"

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

Century signed five-year old Dawn O'Day for a new series of comedies. Ten years later, after starring in an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, she changed her name to Anne Shirley.  

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Buddy Messinger was another child actor starring in a series of Century Comedies. Albert Herman directed "A Regular Boy." Note the chef in blackface. 

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Albert Herman also directed "Bringing Up Buddy". 

Motion Picture News, 10-November-1923

"A Corn Fed Sleuth" starred Jack Earle and Roscoe Karns. Albert Herman directed.

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

"One Exciting Day" starred Jack Earle and Billy Engle. Guess who directed. 

Motion Picture News, 24-November-1923

Pal the Dog was the star of "Down to the Ship to See" (heck of a title, making fun of Down to the Sea in Ships). Pal was supported by Roscoe Karns and the Century Follies Girls. Albert Herman directed. He must have been a busy guy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Gloria Grahame 100 -- November 28, 2023

Gloria Grahame was uniquely beautiful. I love her voice. I think I first noticed her in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Pearl White Starts First Paris Production -- November 27, 2023

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

In Paris, Pearl White started work on her last film, a feature called Terreur (or The Perils of Paris). Edward José directed.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Samuel Goldwyn Allowed Use of Name -- November 26, 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Samuel Goldwyn was born in Warsaw, which was then part of the Russian Empire, in 1879 or 1882. When he came to the US in 1899, he was called Samuel Goldfish. He worked in the glove industry, eventually becoming a successful salesman. In 1913, he joined with Jesse Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, and Arthur Friend to found the Jesse L Lasky Feature Play Company. In 1916, the Lasky Company merged with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Film Company to form the Famous Players–Lasky Corporation. Goldfish was chairman of the board, but, later in 1916, he resigned after repeatedly clashing with Adolph Zukor, he resigned. Goldfish joined with brothers Edgar and Archie Selwyn to form Goldwyn Pictures. Goldfish liked the name Goldwyn, so he changed his last name in 1918. In 1924, Goldwyn Pictures merged into the Metro Company. Goldwyn left before the merger and formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions.

The original Goldwyn Company sued to prevent Goldwyn from using his name on the new company. He eventually prevailed in court and went on to a long career as an independent producer.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Two Gun Louis Jordan -- November 25, 2023

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Louis Jordan, not the French guy, is one of my favorite singers. Look-Out Sister was a western set on a modern-day dude ranch. Bud Pollard directed; he directed several race films. 

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Louis Jordan and the Three Stooges on the same bill. I would have been there.

Detroit Tribune, 13-November-1948

Terra Haute Tribune, 23-November-1948

Go Down Death was a successful 1944 race film with a religious theme. Spencer Williams directed and starred. 

Terra Haute Tribune, 21-November-1948

Go Down Death took its title from a poem by James Weldon Johnson. The Organ Committee of the Second Baptist Church of Terra Haute sponsored the showings to raise money. The congregation is still active. I wonder if they still have the same organ.

I couldn't find anything useful about race films in November 1923. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Arbuckle Cancels Speaking Tour of Country -- November 24, 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Roscoe Arbuckle was blacklisted by the film industry even though he was acquitted of a charge of manslaughter. 100 years ago this month, after strong objections to his appearance in Boston, he decided to cancel a nationwide speaking tour. He did say he might direct movies again.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Marilyn Monroe -- Thanksgiving 2023 -- November 23, 2023

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

Here we see Marilyn Monroe saddened because she can't find the turkey.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Surely, Exhibitors Have Much to be Thankful For -- November 22, 2023

Film Daily, 16-November-1923

Thanksgiving is coming. 

Universal listed many of their upcoming productions to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Charles Ray -- The Courtship of Myles Standish -- November 21, 2023

Motion Picture News, 10-November-1923

Thanksgiving is coming.

Speaking of Pilgrims, many years ago, I took a book about silent films out of the Richmond Branch Library. I think it was The Movies in the Age of Innocence by Edward Wagenknecht. The author spent many pages talking about Charles Ray, who was producing his own films for United Artists. Wagenknecht said that The Courtship of Myles Standish, the expensive, elaborate epic film, based on the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was a bomb on a Hiroshima scale, and that it ruined Charles Ray's career. At the time, I had never seen a movie with Charles Ray, but I think that the book prejudiced me. When I did see some of his movies later, I thought he was a pleasant actor.

Film Daily, 12-November-1923

Film Daily, 20-November-1923

Film Daily, 25-November-1923

Film Daily, 30-November-1923

Added 28-November-2023:

Photoplay, December, 1923

Monday, November 20, 2023

Lee De Forest Introducing the De Forest Phonofilm (Talking Movies) -- November 20, 2023

Mount Vernon Argus, 24-November-1923

Lee De Forest, a pioneer in vacuum tubes and radio, introduced his Phonofilm sound-on-film picture process.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Terminal Theater -- November 19. 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

  The Terminal Theater in Newark, New Jersey, put on an elaborate display for The Silent Command. Interesting name. I hope it was near a transit terminal. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Buster Keaton -- Seven Reels of Hilarious Fun -- November 18, 2023

Washington Evening Star, 25-November-1923

I like this image of Buster Keaton in Our Hospitality

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

It took a while to settle on a title for Our Hospitality

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Some idiot decided that the slogan "Keaton's Kolossal Komedy" would be good for The Three Ages

Friday, November 17, 2023

Colleen Moore -- A Flaming Story of Sensation Seeking Society Women -- November 17, 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Flaming Youth, starring Colleen Moore was the film which made Colleen Moore's reputation as a flapper. The movie and the novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams were considered risqué. Only one reel is known to survive, but it includes the skinny-dipping scene, which was shot in silhouette.

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Motion Picture News, 17-November-1923

"They Seek -- They Find -- They Suffer -- They Pay -- All Because They Wanted Life!"

Photoplay, November, 1923

Colleen did not always play a flapper. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Chaplin Classics -- November 16, 2023

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

Many celebrities visited Charlie Chaplin at his studio. Here Chaplin visits two celebrities, Edsel Ford and his father Henry, at a Ford factory in Detroit. 

Motion Picture News, 03-November-1923

The Export and Import Film Company acquired the world rights, except for the US and Canada, to Chaplin's Mutual short films, one of the greatest series of short comedies ever made. 

Film Daily, 16-November-1923

Meanwhile, Chaplin's feature A Woman of Paris was doing good business, even though he made only a cameo appearance.

Film Daily, 25-November-1923

Chaplin was starting work on his first feature comedy for United Artists, The Circus