Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

Photoplay (Volume 35 – 36 (Jan. - Jun. 1929)) online

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mind that "it's still pictures"; that the sounds
and talk must be subordinated to the visual
results.

In some of the studios the movie director is
assisted by a stage director who rehearses the
talking sequences. In others a stage technician
actually shoots the spoken scenes. But there
has been a noticeable lack of movement in the
early talking features and audiences have
grown restless, watching — or listening to —
them.

Our first talking picture made at the Metro-
politan Studios for Paramount release was
"The Carnation Kid," starring Douglas Mac-
Lean. It had originally been intended as a
sUent picture and was shot as such while the
sound stages were being built.

In shooting the sound picture we learned
that three-sided sets produced hollow voice
reproduction — [continued on p.age 110 ]




The old fashioned
arc lights have
departed to make
way for the silent
incandescents.
Two styles are
shown at left and
at the extreme
right. The one at
tlje left is called
a rifle lamp



A Dictionary of New
Talkie Terms

In sink — in synchronism; picture and sound per-
fectly timed together.

Outa sir\k — not in synchronism.

Phased, or interlocVedi — all motors of sound and pic-
ture recording equipment lined up in readiness
to start out in perfect step together.

'is,\on\tor man — the person who operates the volume
control on talking picture production, modulat-
ing sounds as they come through the microphone
so as to get a more even and natural tone.

Three heWs — the ringing of three bells in a sound
picture studio as a signal that a scene is to be
taken and that everyone must preserve silence.

One bell — the ringing of one bell to indicate that a
picture has been taken and that normal noise may
be resumed.

Sound track — the narrow band of space along the left
side of picture film on which is printed the rib-
bon-like strip of light and dark lines which con-
stitute the record from which sound is projected.

Camera booth — the movable sound-proof box with a
glass front, in which cameras are enclosed in a
talking picture studio in order that the sound of
the camera may not intrude in the picture.

Mike — microphone, corresponding to a telephone
transmitter, through which the sounds on the set
are picked up and sent to the recording machin-
ery.



Inkys — incandescent lights, the
talking pictures in con-
trast to the old noisy arc
lights.

Movieola — miniature pro-
jection machine with
earphones used in the
cutting room of a talk-
ing picture studio for
rapid viewing of pieces
of film.

Amplifier — the electrical ap-
paratus similar to that
in a radio which magni-
fies the strength of the
electrical current from
the microphone before
recording.

Tormentor — a large portable
wall draped with special
material to prevent
echo and resonance on
the sound set.

(Continued on page 110)



silent lights used for




<)f




©on't B



e



HOLLYWOOD has been called "The Port of Missing
Girls," "The City of Shattered Dreams," "The
Place of Heart's Desire. "

Hope has blazed across its sunset sk)' for some, for
others tragedy has stalked its pavements. There have been
successes that were brilHant, sacrifices that were magnificent,
failures that were dismal indeed.

In the last year a new name has been bestowed upon Holly-
wood — a name invented by the "Discoveries." They call it
"The Cit}' of Broken Hearts." Not a chamber of commerce
title, exactly, yet in five words it tells the fate of those eager
souls who came from far and near to answer the siren call of
over-zealous producers.




Danger signs line
that lead to Holly



It is a tragic story. The initial chapter was written in 1928
when talkies first loomed as a problem on the picture horizon.

New requirements made exacting demands. Producers
scurried for their financial ceDars or climbed high on the band
wagon to ride the crest of the talkie wave. Great personali-
ties were submerged in economic upheaval. New blood
seemed imperative. Panic was in the air. Certain first line
stars dropped out. Other great names grew dim. Pola
Negri passed, Mae Murray was forced back to the stage,
Tom Mix took his spurs and ten gallon hat to vaudeville,
Blanche Sweet submerged herself in matrimonial seclusion —
and the glory of other names threatened to die of dry-rot.

IT was an emergency that thrust at the very marrow of the
craft. To meet it, picture-makers went on a talent hunt.
In all directions they rushed, beating the histrionic jungles
and sending forth loud cries. They looked here, there, every-
where. Wildly they sought "Discoveries." And in their
frantic search they flung opportunity into the wrong laps,
always with a dramatic gesture. They even stimulated their
forays with the loud blare of publicity. Each producer
glorified his "Discover)'" in the pubhc prints. Contracts
were promised, studio facihties were put at their command,
stardom was indicated in every act, futures were assured.
Do you wonder, then, that these poor little "Discoveries"
built their hopes to the sky and sat atop them in Cinderella
grandeur?

They have become the stars of tragedy, adding another
volume to the unique history of Hollywood.

Dimples Lido was one of the first to meet defeat last year
— Dimples Lido brought to Hollywood from abroad by Carl
Laemmle, Jr., amid the fanfare of press agent acclaim.

There are many stories concern-
ing the finding of Dimples Lido.
Carl Laemmle, Jr., however, best
knows the facts.

Her right name was Joan, but
they called her Dimples, for a very
obvious reason, no doubt. Few
in Hollywood ever knew her last
name. Universal called her Lido
— Dimples Lido — because it was



Lovely little Lila Lee,
who was originally
chosen to fill Mary
Pickford's vacant
slippers as player
queen at Paramount



32




{discovered



By

MARK

L A R K IN



the golden roads
wood and glory!



on Lido Beach, near Venice, Italy, that young Laemmle dis-
covered her, at least that was the gist of publicity stories at
the time.

Those generous lines upon which many Continental women
are built are what defeated Dimples Lido. She was dismissed
as being too fat to act.

The tragedy of her failure was suppressed with utmost care
and a veil of secrecy thrown over her departure. If she left
with a broken heart, the matter was strictly her own secret.

The case of Eva von Berne was
different. We know definitely
that she left with a broken heart.
Like Miss Lido, this little Berhn
girl, discovered by Irving Thal-
berg, was too ample to act. In
Europe, however, Miss Berne's
weight was not against her. Al-
most immediately upon her return
to the German capital she was
given a contract at a salary re-
ported to be three times as large
as the amount she received from
M.-G.-M.

So her sorrow eventually turned
to joy, even though it was a very
broken-hearted and pathetic little
foreign girl who sailed away from
America unheralded and unsung.
What a contrast, too, with her
arrival. No slight detail had been
overlooked. Her American entry
was almost as grand as that of a
visiting queen. But she smiled
bravely when she left, smiled
after a night of tears, smiled be-
cause the eyes of those she had
met in the film world were upon
her.

The day before her departure
from Culver City, she wandered
about the big studio, looking at
famihar things she would never



CTRANGE, sad stories, these —
^of pretty little girls found in the
world's four corners and brought
to the great beauty mart that is
Hollywood. Odd, pathetic stories
— of how they danced in, full of
youth and hope and loveliness,
and left with torn hearts and tear-
filled eyes. Dimples Lido, Dita
Parlo — the list is long and tragic.
Some are half-remembered
dreams of fresh faces and person-
alities who brought us a moment
of joy in photoplays long dusty
on the shelves. Others are not
even fading memiories in our
minds. Be wary of too much
happiness in discovery, for Holly-
wood is not only the place of
heart's desire — it can be the city
of shattered dreams !



see again: The commissary where she had chattered away
happy lunch hours. The flowers banked bright and gay in
their spaded beds. The green lawns. The bootblack stand,
and "Slickem" with his funny laugh. She hoped he'd fix that
wobbly footrest at the second chair some day, the one that had
nearly spelled disaster for her.

Even the day before she left, Eva von Berne posed for pub-
licity pictures, posed knowing they were her last pictures, her
swan song as a "film find," as a great "discovery."

Of course, a plausible alibi had been devised to protect her —
the aUbi that her foreign accent made her unavailable for
talking pictures. But Eva knew in her heart that it wasn't
true.

Fate was kind to her, however, and the tragic blunder that
had brought her to Hollywood became the happy circumstance
that set her feet on firm ground in her own country.

Hollywood is the cruelest and at the same time the kindest
city in the world. There is a
ruthlessness apparent with many
fighting for success. But with
those who have aimed at the stars
and hit only the housetops, philo-
sophic understanding is at hand.
They have learned their limita-
tions. They make their way now
on a less exalted plane. To them
the newcomer may safely turn for
a helping hand. It is unfortunate,
however, that he usually finds
this out too late.

Perhaps if Mona Martenson had
known, matters might have been
different. But she really never
learned her Hollywood. She did
not stay long enough to get below
the surface of things. It takes
time to dig beneath the film capi-
tal's superficiahties. She was ban-
ished to her native Sweden for the
cardinal cinema sin of failing to
live up to expectations — a sin that
often wrecks the careers of
veterans.

Fortunately Miss Martenson
was one "discovery" who fell into
merciful hands. Harry Rapf sat
in judgment on her future and in-
sis;cd that there be no publicity
ballyhoo about her, that her activi-
ties [ CONTINUED ON PAGE 142 1




y^VERY fancy studio picture of The Cisco Kid in his best Hollywood store clothes.

CJ_^/j[ Warner Baxter's work in " In Old Arizona," Fox's splendid talking picture, has

sent his stock up in a bullish Baxter market. Warner and his pictures are both

in great demand these days. The story of his brilliant come-back is on the opposite page.

3j^



The



F'W ; ■



Cisco
Kid

Himself



The wonderful come-
back of Warner Baxter,
and how it happened

By Tod Hastings







Warner Cisco Kid Baxter, finding himself to be worth

§5,000 dead or alive, seems to consider the whole thing a

huge joke on the state of Arizona



IN Hollywood a new roster is being formed — the roster of
those who have been saved by the talkies.
Perhaps in time it will resemble the passenger list of a
trans-oceanic liner, but at present the names are few.

Heading the roll is Warner Baxter.

Six months ago he was taking the cinema count and preparing
to bow out of the glare of the Kleigs for keeps.

Today his is a name that means box-oifice. He has staged a
comeback that startled even himself. As the troubadouring
Cisco Kid of "In Old Arizona," that sensational talkie that
William Fox recently produced, Warner Baxter brought to
himself a glory which he could not, under any circumstances,
have achieved in the silent pictures.

Great as the performance is, however, Baxter does not con-
sider it a comeback. Nor is this a matter of plain, unadulter-
ated ego. Far from it, in fact. For Warner Baxter does not
consider that he ever even arrived! And never having arrived,
naturaUy he could not come back, because, forsooth, there was
no place to come back from.

There have been great parts for him in the past, but no great
triumphs.

Many times he thought that he might touch the hem of Fame.
Many times he thought that his great chance had come, his big
opportunity. And each time iickle favor passed him by. It
was just another good part creditably done. It was not out-
standing, not irresistible in appeal.

There was his work in "Craig's Wife," in "The Great
Gatsby," his splendid Alessandro in the Dolores Del Rio version
of "Ramona," his Nuitane in ".41oma of the South Seas," and
many other noteworthy roles. But none of them, despite the
skill with which he characterized them, brought him recognition.

For all of which, according to Baxter, there was a reason.

"On the set, working in silent pictures," he explained, "one
says one thing, and then it goes into the cutting room and to the
title writers, and when it emerges, lo and behold, one finds him-
self saying something else. "

AU of which merely means that the characterization the
player dehneates is often garbled in cutting and titling.

Or to make it simpler still, silent pictures stifle personality.

And that is what was happening to Warner Baxter.



"Personality, after all," he says, "is in the voice."

Not always, Warner, but in your case, yes.

"Therefore," he continued, "when an actor saj's one thing,
and a title writer ma^kes him say something else, naturally his
characterization is false and the public condemns him or at
least passes him a lukewarm reception. But that, thank the
good graces, can't occur in the talkies. A man says what he
says, and that's that. No cutter can chop out half of it, no
smart title writer can stick a wisecrack into the middle of a
serious speech. The result, therefore, is a sincere interpreta-
tion, one in which the player gets over the full measure of his
characterization and not merely some film editor's idea of it."

Apparently Mr. Baxter feels that too many cooks have been
putting garlic in the film broth in Hollywood.

And maybe he's right.

IT is interesting to note that the fight for success is often a
grim battle. After some ten years on the stage and seven years
in pictures, Warner Baxter, a splendid actor, had just about
decided to bow his way out. He was going to give up the
ghost, toss up the sponge, as it were. He just couldn't seem to
get any kind of worth-while break. He had dreamed of star-
dom, yes, but it seemed such an empty dream. And in conse-
quence, he was discouraged. In fact, he had become a bit
cynical, or if not cynical, at least commercial. Quite frankly
now he admits that he had reached the point where he was out
after the money.

"I had planned to spend only one year more in the picture
business," he admits now, "then I intended tocheckout."

As to what he would have done, he does not exactly know.
Allied lines, probably — the theater, directing, even salesman-
ship was a calling that haunted his dim consciousness. But
most of all, he had always wanted to direct.

When the break came for him as the Cisco Kid, he knew it
was the big moment. Just the minute he heard the playback
on the voice tests, he knew it. Talking pictures were made to
order for Warner Baxter. Nothing could stop him. He took a
theoretical reef in his belt and plunged into that part with every
ounce of his energy, every iota of his intelligence, every
particle of knowledge gained in past [ CONTINUED ON PAGE 131 ]

35



What a Yilm First




Some of the stars that

Melody" made its

Chinese Theater



Need we name
them? Oh well,
for the benefit of
a few benighted
souls who require
labels, here is one
of Movieland's
inost romantic
cou pies — the deb-
onair Adolphe
and the fair Kath-
ryn. Kathryn is
wearing a becom-
ing costume of
cherry and silver




Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon,
whose engagement was recent-
ly reported. Bebe's costume is
white and silver — a gorgeous
setting for her dark beauty.
She is wearing orchids



Bessie Love and Anita Page — two
little troupers whose work in "The
Broadway Melody" brought roars
of applause and congratulation.
Bessie (left) is gowned in the pop-
ular all-white — taffeta dress, er-
mine coat trimmed with fox. The
only note of color is in her orchid
bouquet and gold slippers. Anita
is also in white, except for a dark
fox fur. Her gown is tulle, her
cape transparent velvet



56



Night Looks Like

shone when "The Broadway
bow at Grauman's
in Hollywood




Young Doug and Joan — the
most "are they engaged or
are they married" couple in
Hollywood. Eddie Nugent is
the jealous on-looker. Joan
is the foil for all the white
costumes. She's wearing
clinging black velvet relieved
only by pearls and a spray of
lilies of the valley



Blue-eyed, blonde Virginia
Cherrill, a new star in the
film sky — with Jack Gil-
bert. Virginia is charming
in a dashing chartreuse
velvet cape, allowing brief
glimpses of her youthful
white moire dress. The
dress is made with tight
bodice and circular skirt





Marion Davies, looking
very dignified and lovely in
a graceful rose and gold
brocade wrap, heavily
trimmed with sable,
which almost completely
covers her short rose chif-
fon dress. Her dainty
gold slippers are trimmed
with stunning rhinestone
bows



.W




Intimate Snapshots of Film Favorites

No. 3
Greta Garbo Advertises for a Double



3S



5^



with

Leonard
Hall



EELiNG Around




TALKING PICTURE DIRECTOR— "Gome on, now, bark like an antedi-
luvian monster, there's a good creature!"



I



Just a Theme Song

Dashed hurriedly off for "Sins of the Fathers,"
Herr Emil Jannings' Picture.

Sins of the fathers,

I love you!
Sins of the fathers,

'Deed I do!
No matter how hard I try to he had
I just can't act as terrible as dear old dad!
While I'm sitting all alone

Father's chasing blondes —
While I'm drawing thirty per
Daddy's stealing bonds!
How I envy
Those fasciitatin'
Aggravatin'
Sins of the fathers —
/ love you
(Sweet papa!)
I love you!



The Gag of the Month Club

A boy and girl leaving a talking picture.

THE GIRL— "That leading man gives me an earache!"

Again "Variety" wins the embroidered blinders.



Bits from Lots

When you heard Richard Barthelmess sing in "Weary
River," that was a young gentleman named Frank Withers.
. . . And Belle Mann sang so prettily for Alice White in
"Show Girl" that the Victor platter people have given her a
recording contract. . . . Alice opened her mouth in Holly-
wood, but Belle sang in Camden. . . . Milton Sills lost sixty
pounds in a three week's illness, and work is off. . . . New
York seems to be the easiest place for famous actors to hide.
. . . Mr. and Mrs. John Barrymore, Norma Talmadge and
Carol Dempster have all succeeded in dodging inquiring
reporters for weeks. . . . Tom Meighan is in New York, all
tanned by the Florida sun. . . . "Singing Porter" is the
latest. . . . The Paramount Theater, in Brooklyn, has a
colored boy who mingles baritone solos with his lobby sweeping.
. . . .\nd when they want the house emptied I suppose they
start him on "Ramona." . . . Metro-Goldwyn gave 110
stage actors voice tests in New York and the only one to nab a
contract was Miss Gwynne Stratford, of ".-^nd So to Bed."
. . . The gorgeous Greta Nissen has been playing in an
obscure stock company near New York. . . . And that's the
high cost of a thick accent!



Personal and Confidential

Rudolph Valentino's valet is now hired by Samuel Goldwyn.
. . . Between Christmas and New Year Paramount laid off
750 studio people. . . . Happy New Year! . . . Hard
winter for mo\ae dogs. . . . Virginia Vaili lost hers, a little
Scotch terrier named Benny. . . . And the famous Bill, who
co-staxred with Chaplin in "A Dog's Life," died at the Chaplin
studio at the ripe old age of 13. . . . It is rumored that Al
Jolson and Ruby Keeler are expectant. . . . OrviUe Caldwell,
former leading man, is selling bonds in Los Angeles. . . .
Cecil De ISIille's middle name is Blount. . . . Lya di Putli
is permitted to do solo flights in her own plane. . . . Joe
Schenck, the magnate, has paid Leo Diegel, the golf pro,
between ten and twelve thousand dollars for private lessons.
. . . Which ties Joe with Roxy for the honor of being the
greatest golf bug in and around motion pictures. . . . Roxy
practices continually in his palatial offices in his own theater.
. . . Conrad Nagel's brother has gone into the crystallized
fruit business. . . . Thirteen hundred Montana citizens
visited Los Angeles in a body not long ago, and the crowd was
immediately searched for more Gary Coopers. . . . Herbert
Brenon, Jr., son of the director, is a cub reporter on the New
York Mirror. . . . Ruth Roland, the serial queen, is reported
to have given Ben Bard, her ffance, a million dollars for
Christmas. . . . What a helpmate! . . . Greta Garbo has
a swell sense of humor. . . . She told a couple of French
picture directors that her salary to make a picture in Paris
would be SI, 000 a day, and they fainted dead away. . .
That's what is known as Swedish punch. . . . Leave it to the
ship news reporters to tab the stars. . . . The Grapliic's man,
in New York, says that Dolores del Rio is always pouting about
something, that Norma Talmadge is incHned to be chicken
breasted, that Florence Vidor is stunning and that Mar\'
Pickford twitters about .\rt. . . . Well, a ship news reporter
has no more illusions than a bell-hop. . . . Hedda Hopper's
son Bill is six feet tall and only in his middle teens. . . .
Gwen Lee lunches on sandabs (that's a fish) and broccoli for the
sake of That Figure. . . . .•\nd believe it or not, one of Fox's
new talkie directors is none other than John Parrott.

S9




'_^*Sy



...^



■/



Be "the girl
with the
wonderful
red hair" —
not just an-
other "car-
r ot-t op."
Here's how
to do it

By •

L^aurene
Hempstead



This month's cover is a color chart for red-haired girls. Reading clockwise
from bottom of circle, we have soft red-orange, orange, yellow-orange and
yellow, fusing into soft yellow-green, green, blue-green and blue. The left
side colors are similar to the hair and make it less conspicuous but a pleasing
part of the picture created by the wearer. The colors on the right are
opposite in character to the color of the hair and by contrast intensify it



This is the third of a series of four articles on color harmony for
four distinct types — the brunette, the blonde, the red-haired and
the brown-haired girl. The writer of these articles, Laurene
Hempstead, is an authority on color. Next month — the brown-
haired girl.

WHY! I never knew Anne was so attractive," the
young man exclaimed in a tone of chagrin at hav-
ing entertained a beauty unawares.

"I told you Anne was the sweetest girl I
know,' responded his sister.

"Sweet," said the man in a tone of deep disgust; "the girl is
beautiful! That hair, that wonderful golden red hair, I
wonder why I have never noticed it before."

"It's been that same golden red for twenty years. During
most of that time Anne has been in and out of this house every
day. If you would pay a little more attention to your sister's
friends — " she added in a half-aggrieved, half-teasing tone,
"you wouldn't discover beauties after they become the most
popular girls in town and are all dated up weeks in advance."

"But that hair, it couldn't have been so beautiful all these
years — she hasn't done anything to change its color?" he asked
with the horrified suspicion with which even the most broad-
minded men seem to regard artifice in the change of natural
coloring.

" No, you silly, her hair has always been that color, you were

40



calling her carrot-top ten years
ago, before you had the sophisti-
cation or artistic sense to realize
that red hair is beautiful," was the
sisterly rejoinder.

"Well, it looks different now,
are you sure it's natural? " he per-
sisted.

" Well, it does look a little more

golden red with that lovely shade

of blue-green she was wearing

today. I helped her pick it out myself and I know how much it

does for her, both for her hair and her skin. That black outfit

she has this spiing, that makes her look so distinguished, also

makes her coloring stand out. I was with her the day she

bought that, in fact I insisted on her getting it, so I deserve

some credit for her beauty; all she did was to be born with it."

"Oh, yes, Sis, you are some artist, you can take the credit if I

present you with a beautiful sister-in-law. But, seriously, does

a color make all that difference? Anne never did look even pretty

before this spring."

""^"ES, seriously, color does make all that difference. Anne

J- used to be ashamed of her red hair, and no wonder with you
rude boys calling her red-head and carrot-top. She used to
wear dull browns and tans because she thought they made her



Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 35 – 36 (Jan. - Jun. 1929)) → online text (page 72 of 138)