Thursday, February 29, 2024

Century Comedies -- Consistently Good -- February 29, 2024

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Baby Peggy Montgomery had been Century's biggest comedy star. She moved on to starring in features for Universal and Sol Lesser's Principal Pictures. Captain January was based on a book by Laura E Richards. Shirley Temple starred in another adaption. 

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

I hope the kids at New York's Hebrew Orphan Asylum enjoyed Baby Peggy's first feature, The Darling of New York

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

Century carried on with other comedy series. "A Barrel of Real Fun!"

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

Al Herman had just finished directing his thirtieth Century comedy for the Stern Brothers. 

Motion Picture News, 16-February-1924

Giant Jack Earle starred with Harry McCoy in Century's "Keep Going." Robert Kerr directed. 

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

Young Buddy Messinger starred in "Quit Kidding," directed by Al Herman.

Motion Picture News, 09-February-1924

Century Studio was at 6100 Sunset Boulevard, which is now a parking lot. At the corner of North Gower, it was near what is now Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. 

Film Daily, 11-February-1924

I know almost nothing about Sherwood MacDonald and I know even less about Butterfly Comedies. I think this is the only time I have seen the word "filmbrand."

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

Christie Comedies: "Fast and Funny." "The Best Bet for a Balanced Program." "In the Front Line of Laughmakers." Lots of tag lines. 

Motion Picture News, 16-February-1924

Please excuse the racism. Jimmie Adams seems to have done a lot of blackface. William Beaudine directed "Aggravating Papa." 

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Christie Comedies are "Crammed With Laughs and Action." Dorothy Devore was a popular Christie star. Scott Sidney directed "Stay Single." 

Film Daily, 25-February-1924

Film Daily, 08-February-1924

Al Christie was planning to make feature-length comedies."  

Film Daily, 25-February-1924

Dorothy Devore and Walter Hiers were going to star in the first Christie feature, Hold Your Breath

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

Film Daily, 08-February-1924

Camera, 02-February-1924

The Christie Studio was at 6101 Sunset at Gower. There is nothing remarkable there now. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

From the Pen of the Mighty Micheaux -- February 28, 2024

Omaha New Era, 08-February-1924

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. 100 years ago this month, his film Within Our Gates was going to play at the New Diamond Theater in Omaha. 

Omaha New Era, 08-February-1924

"Race's Greatest Screen Star/Evelyn Preer."

Saint Louis Argus, 29-February-1924

The "Versatile Miss Evelyn Preer" would soon appear in person at the Booker Washington Theater in Saint Louis with "Those Wonderful Lafayette Players."

Film Daily, 25-February-1924

The Lafayette Theater in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, "catering to a colored clientele," was destroyed by fire. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Happy International Polar Bear Day, 2024 -- February 27, 2024

Carmichael wishes everyone a happy International Polar Bear Day. Carmichael's grandfather was a movie star in the Old Country.

Please do what you can to slow the loss of sea ice.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Crisp to Direct Keaton -- February 26, 2024

Film Daily, 25-February-1924

Buster Keaton hired Donald Crisp to direct his next film, The Navigator. Crisp is mostly remembered as an actor, but he directed a large number of silent films and one talkie. 

Camera, 02-February-1924

Keaton's studio at 1025 Lillian Way was first used by Charlie Chaplin while he was making his Essanay films. Roscoe Arbuckle used it to make short comedies, and then turned it over to Buster Keaton. The site is currently marked by a plaque.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Charlie Chaplin Seeks Feminine Foil -- February 25, 2024

Camera, 02-February-1924

Edna Purviance was Charlie Chaplin's leading lady for seven years, from his second Essanay film, through the Mutuals, to The Kid and his short films for First National. Chaplin directed her in his first production for United Artists, A Woman of Paris.

For his first starring feature for United Artists, The Gold Rush, he looked for a new leading lady. He planned to produce a dramatic film starring Edna Purviance. 

Camera, 02-February-1924

The Chaplin Studio, where he was preparing The Gold Rush, is now occupied by the Jim Henson Company.

Motion Picture News, 16-February-1924

Chaplin signed his old associate Mack Swain for The Gold Rush.

Motion Picture News, 16-February-1924

Columbia Pictures, which had recently changed its name from Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC), produced Screen Snapshots, a series of short films, between 1920 and 1958. They generally featured candid photos of Hollywood stars. Chaplin and his buddy Douglas Fairbanks appeared in Number 11. 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Mack Sennett Presents Picking Peaches With Harry Langdon -- February 24, 2024

Motion Picture News, 09-February-1924

Vaudeville comic Harry Langdon had started to appear in short comedies for Mack Sennett. "Picking Peaches," directed by Erle C Kenton, was the first. Sennett's Bathing Beauties were prominently featured.

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Langdon's childlike/childish character did not appear in this film.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Fred Thomson -- The Screen's Newest and Biggest Western Star -- February 23, 2023

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Fred Thomson (no relation) had a diverse career. While attending the Princeton Theological Seminary, he earned the Amateur Athletic Union's All-Around Champion trophy in 1910, 1911 and 1913. After being ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he joined the Army and served as a chaplain during World War One. He went into the movie business after he married director and screenwriter Frances Marion. In time, he became a major western star. Sadly, he died of tetanus in 1928.

The Mask of Lopez was directed by Albert S Rogell. 

Film Daily, 24-February-1924

Art Acord was a cowboy star who appeared in many silent films but did not make the transition to talkies. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Happy Birthday, George Washington -- February 22, 2024

New York Daily News, 22-February-1924

Today would have been the 292nd birthday of our first President, George Washinton. 100 years ago this week, director DW Griffith's America, an epic about the Revolutionary War opened at Manhattan's Forty-Fourth Street Theater. George Washington did not play a large part in the movie, but he played an indispensable role in the events. The movie was intended to be the first in a series.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Vagabond Trail Next for Buck Jones -- February 21, 2024

Motion Picture News, 09-February-1924

The Fox Film Corporation needed a western star to back up Tom Mix. Buck Jones made a long series of movies for Fox. I imagine they tried to change his name to Charles to allow him to move into other movie genres. Marian Nixon co-starred in Vagabond Trail and Wild Bill Wellman directed. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Tom Mix -- The West of Yesterday -- February 20, 2024

Motion Picture News, 02-February-1924

Tom Mix was the greatest western star in silent films. In 1924 he published The West of Yesterday, "Compiled and Edited By J. B. M. Clark From Interviews With the Author." I haven't read it yet, but I can imagine it will include some tall tales.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Magnificent Doll --February 19, 2024

Magnificent Doll was a 1946 movie about future president James Madison (Burgess Meredith) and Alexander Hamilton's (David Niven) rivalry in courting the widow Dolley Payne Todd (Ginger Rogers), who became Dolley Madison. Frank Borzage directed.

I love Ginger Rogers, but I don't think she looked anything like Dolley Madison.

Lee Marvin 100 -- February 19, 2024

Lee Marvin was born 100 years ago today, on 19-February-2024. I always liked his style. He served in the Marine Corps during World War Two and was severely wounded on Saipan.

He made a big impression as the psychotic Vince in The Big Heat. Be careful around coffee pots.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Saturday, February 17, 2024

William S Hart and his Famous Pinto Pony -- February 17, 2023

Motion Picture News, 23-February-1924

William S Hart's career had been derailed when he was accused of fathering a woman's five-year-old child. Even though he wound up paying child support, he was allowed to return to the screen. Wild Bill Hickock was a success.

Manager WF Brock of the Strand Theater in Knoxville heralded Hart's return with this lobby display.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Harold Lloyd -- Exit Worry! Enter Joy! -- February 16 2024

Brownsville Herald, 17-February-1924

Why Worry? was one of Harold Lloyd's most popular movies. Of course, everyone loved the giant, played by John Aasen. 

Seattle Star, 09-February-1924

Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey defeated challenger Tommy Gibbons in Selby, Montana on 04-July-2023:

Wolf Point Herald, 21-February-1924

"I Do" was a 1921 short comedy starring Harold Lloyd and his soon to be wife Mildred Davis.