Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tom Smothers, RIP -- December 30, 2023

Tommy Smothers has died. My parents had a Smothers Brothers album and I just barely remember their television show. I remember when CBS canceled it, and I remember Mad Magazine calling them the "Smothered Brothers." I learned something about comic timing from them. 

Discarded Brassieres -- December 30,. 2023

Variety, 31-January-1924

Fred Allen, the greatest comedian of old time radio, made his first movie in 1929. In 1923 I think he toured the country in a traveling company of The Passing Show of 1922, and then probably went back to vaudeville. I can't find a Broadway show called The Sidewalks of New York in 1923. 

Variety, 27-December-1923

Nellie Revell wrote a column in Variety call Right off the Chest. In 1923, she published a book with a collection of columns. Fred Allen's ad parodied the title as Discarded Brassieres.

Variety, 03-January-1924

Fred Allen gave a Question Man item asking people if they believed in Santa Claus. He combined it with New Year's wishes. He mentions that he has been with Willie and Eugene Howard in The Passing Show of 1922.

Friday, December 29, 2023

Dumb Dora Does Her Daily Dozen -- December 29, 2023

Motion Picture News, 01-December-1923

Baby Peggy Montgomery was Century's biggest comedy star.

Motion Picture News, 15-December-1923

Baby Peggy's first feature film appearance was in The Darling of New York, which was directed by King Baggott.

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Baby Peggy had recently signed a contract to make features for Sol Lesser's Principal Pictures. Her first production would be Captain January, an adaption of the book by Laura E Richards. Shirley Temple later starred in an adaption of the same book. 

Photoplay, December, 1923

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Pal the Dog was another popular Century star. 

Film Daily, 22-December-1923

Christie advised exhibitors to stop stoking the egos of big producers and start entertaining their customers with well-made short films. 

Film Daily, 14-December-1923

Educational offered free ad mats for their short subjects. These could be run as stand-alone newspaper ads or inserted into larger ads. Dorothy Devore as "Dumb Dora Does Her Daily Dozen" in "Kidding Katie." Lots of Ds and Ks. I like the dog.

Film Daily, 28-December-1923

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Educational released series of short comedies made by many different producers. Cameo Comedies were one-reelers.

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

"Laurel is making 'em all look to their laurels." That is an awful picture of Stanley. 

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Motion Picture News, 22-December-1923

Motion Picture News, 22-December-1923

"Real people doing really funny things in a really human way." Hal Roach's Spat Family movies were situation comedies. 

Motion Picture News, 22-December-1923

Hal Roach's Our Gang pursues Baby New Year 1924. 

Motion Picture News, 15-December-1923

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Snub Pollard appeared in a series of two-reelers for Hal Roach. 

Motion Picture News, 15-December-1923

Thursday, December 28, 2023

A Knockout Drama in Five Reels -- Something Different -- December 28, 2023

Pittsburgh Courier, 22-December-1923

The Lincoln Theater in Pittsburgh offered His Great Chance, a race film directed by Ben Strasser. I have not been able to learn much about Strasser, or about His Great Chance. Among the "All-Star Colored Cast" was Tim Moore, a comedian who played the Kingfish in the Amos and Andy television show. 

The Pittsburgh Courier was a widely read African American-owned newspaper. 

Pittsburgh Courier, 22-December-1923

"A thrilly riot of fun..." This item implies that this was the first race film to show in Pittsburgh since Oscar Micheaux's The Homesteader, which was made in 1919. 

Saint Louis Argus, 14-December-1923

The Criterion Theater in St Louis played Oscar Micheaux's The Virgin of the Seminole, which was sometimes billed as The Virgin of Seminole. This was star Shingzie Howard's first movie.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Alfred Hitchcock -- Woman to Woman -- December 27, 2023

Film Daily, 28-December-1923

His name does not appear in the ad or in the credits, but Alfred Hitchcock was assistant director of Woman to Woman. When director Graham Cutts was away, Hitchcock directed some scenes. The American Company Famous Players-Lasky produced the film in Britain. The star was American Betty Compson. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Lugosi in Distinctive's Latest -- December 26, 2023

Film Daily, 02-December-1923

Distinctive Pictures signed Bela Lugosi to play in his second US movie. I think Blood and Gold was released as The Rejected Woman. Albert Parker directed and Alma Rubens and Conrad Nagel starred.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas, 2023-- December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas, everyone. Peace on earth and goodwill to all my friends and relatives. We all need peace. 

Actress Grace Bradley waits for Santa Claus by her Christmas tree. Grace Bradley was the wife of Hopalong Cassidy, William Boyd.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

A Merry Christmas to You All from Carl Laemmle -- December 24, 2023

Film Daily, 23-December-1923

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone. 

Carla Laemmle, president of Universal, wishes us all a Merry Christmas. I think the only movie of these presents that I have seen is The Merry Go Round

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Holiday Number -- December 23, 2023

Christmas is coming. 

The cover of the holiday number of Motion Picture News has an ad for Name the Man, a Goldwyn picture. It was Victor Sjöström's (Seastrom's) first film directed in the US. I have not seen it. 

Friday, December 22, 2023

KPIX-5 75 Years -- December 22, 2023

75 years ago today, on 22-December-1948, KPIX Chanel 5 became to first television station to begin regular broadcasting in Northern California. The transmitter, tower and Master Control were in the roof and attic of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. I have been watching local and CBS broadcasts all my life. I remember when Walter Cronkite did the Evening News. I liked Evening Magazine. I remember when Belva Davis was a reporter.

Thomas Meighan Wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year -- December 22, 2023

Christmas is coming. 

Actor Thomas Meighan (mee-han) sends holiday wishes. I have not seen any of these Thomas Meighan productions. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Paramount Pictures for a Merry Christmas -- December 21, 2023

Motion Picture News, 29-December-1923

Christmas is coming. 

I don't think I have seen any of the movies listed. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Charles Ray -- The Courtship of Myles Standish -- December 20, 2023

Motion Picture News, 01-December-1923

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.

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Motion Picture News, 08-December-1923

Film Daily, 04-December-1923

Film Daily, 06-December-1923

Film Daily, 09-December-1923

Film Daily, 10-December-1923

Film Daily, 12-December-1923

Film Daily, 14-December-1923

Film Daily, 20-December-1923

Film Daily, 23-December-1923

Film Daily, 24-December-1923

Film Daily, 27-December-1923

Film Daily, 30-December-1923

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Emily Brontë 175 Years -- December 19, 2023

Emily Brontë died 175 years ago today, on 19-December-1849. Emily and her sisters Anne and Charlotte were all published novelists and poets. In 1847, Emily, using the male pseudonym Ellis Bell, published her only novel, Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights was a success which is still widely read today.

The first film adaption was a two-reeler made in Britain in 1920. It is probably lost.

In 1939, Sam Goldwyn produced a version that was directed by William Wyler. Merle Oberon played Cathy and Laurence Olivier played Heathcliff. It was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. This seems to be many peoples' favorite adaption.

Robert Fuest directed a 1970 version. Anna Calder-Marshall and Timoty Dalton played Cathy and Heathcliffe.

I like the design of this poster for the 1992 adaption. Peter Kosminsky directed Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes, who portrayed Cathy and Heathcliffe.

An adaption directed by directed by Andrea Arnold in 2011, starred Kaya Scodelario as Catherine and James Howson as Heathcliff.

There have been many adaptions made in various Indian languages, one made in Japan and two made in the Philippines. I would like to see the version directed in Mexico by Luis Buñuel.