Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

Photoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) online

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buddies, who return to life after being reported killed, interest
you. The cast is from the stage, including Charles McNaugh-
ton, Robert Montgomery, Claud Allister and Joan Bennett.
Not important.

BUT for the first half this would be the best college film ever
produced. The U. S. C. -Stanford football game is done in
sound and if it isn't one of the biggest thrills you've ever had,
consult your doctor. The rest is just another farce that will
make real collegians commit hara-kiri. But maybe they can
bear it for Elliott Nugent and Robert Montgomery are perfect,
as is Sally Starr.




All Talkie


All Talkie

ONE of the most beautiful of war stories, this picture is
an excellently done piece of romantic entertainment. It
has glamour. Kay Johnson, the stage actress who made good
in "Dynamite," does another glorious job, and Basil Rathbone
confirms the good impression he made in "The Last of Mrs.
Cheyney." A very tender and delicate piece of work. Credit-
able all round.

RICHARD DIX'S last picture for Paramount is made from
the stage play "The Boomerang." Dix is pleasing enough
as he portrays a young physician prescribing for a man in love,
and finding himself in worse fix than his patient. June CoUyer
as the nurse and victim is coy and captivating. Morgan Farley
and Miriam Seegar are almost equally as interesting in a
romance of their own. [ please turn to page 117 ]



That despised ''Holly-
wood Line'' is now the
rage of the boulevards

Katherine Albert

Howard Greer, Hollywood's
foremost style authority


THE last of the old guard has fallen!
With one dull, sickening thud, Howard Greer, fashion
dictator extraordinary, the only hold-out left in Holly-
wood, gives in and confesses all. Horribly, as a man
torn by emotion, he hangs his head in shame and admits that
Hollywood leads Paris in fashions. And he also adds that Paris
designers would gnash their teeth if they but knew the truth that
Clara Bow, Billie Dove, Alice White and Joan Crawford have
won, and that they are actually setting the styles!

I remember that I interviewed Greer about a year ago and
tried by every subtle wile to make him admit that Hollywood
has a place in Paris.

Greer was as stubborn as a new bob, then. He rushed about
his expensive shop, tearing into his sables and chiffons, and
shouted, "No, no, a thousand times no! I won't say it! It
isn't true!"

I left him alone with his hysterics and talked the matter over

with a designer on the wrong
end of the boulevard. She
gave me a swell story.
"Sure," she said, "sure we
set the styles. Where'ju get
that stuff we don't?"

But Greer's remarks
haunted me. I had to admit,
after all, that he was Holly-
wood's leading designer and
his words depressed me. I
felt that he was wrong, but I
couldn't argue with him, not
after he told me so 'emphat-
ically that the gowns made
for the screen were such a
crime against smartness.

I remember that he dwelt
at length on what he chose
to call "the HoUvwood

He bit his finger nails and
ripped asunder his neatest
seams and exploded about
the horrors of the puUed-in-
waist and the constant curve
of the Hollywood figure.

Now Greer has returned
from Paris, a sadder, wiser,
humbled man. He has dis-
covered that the very lines
over which he gnashed his
teeth and the very women

Ninon, one of Mr. Greer's manne-
quins, poses in a wrap that is cut
on the flowing Princess lines
Paris insists upon this season

whose taste he so spurned, were the Paris fads of the moment.
"Bring me that maroon colored coat I made a year and a half
ago," he cried. He looked at it sadly and shook his head. One
year and a half ago he had designed it. It did not seU to his smart
customers, but the Hollywood flappers liked it. Now, at this
very minute its line is the accepted one in Paris.

BRUSHING a tear from his eye he sat down and tried to
analyze the situation. He said he felt as if he hadn't a shred
of professional reputation left by the time it was over.

"One of two things has happened," he said. "Either the
vogue has moved in cycles and Hollywood has stood stiU for
seven years or else Paris has definitely come around to Holly-
wood and adopted its styles.

" For years our worst dressed picture girls have been wearing
those abominably fitted dresses. They were conceived by the
producers who thought that sex was an essential on the screen.
And rightly, too, I suppose.
So they put their girls in
clothes that would show off
every line of the figure and
they kept on doing it no
matter what fashion said.

"Well, now Paris has come
to it — with modification. I
definitely believe that Paris
has been influenced by Holly-
wood" — I could see what this
was costing him — " but its
influence is this.

"The big designers from
Patou — Molyneux, Chanel,
Lelong and Augusta Bernard
— have looked upon the styles
in pictures as a sane man
looks upon a modernistic art

"He sees that the cubists
are mad, he realizes that there
must be some truth in it.

"This, I believe, is what
has happened in Paris. Mind
you, Paris has only adapted
Hollywood fashions. It has
taken that form-fitting dress
(that horrible figure fitting
thing I've loathed for so many
years) and has given it
rhythm. The clothes that
Clara Bow wears are not

Alice White's coat, designed by

Mr. Greereighteen monthsago,

duplicates the silhouette Paris

has just labelled "new"

Leads Paris



smart, but the lines of her clothes have been adapted and made

'npHE really chic women of the screen, Lilyan Tashman,
JL Florence Vidor, Corinne Griffith, Norma Shearer, Norma
Talmadge and a few others, would be, I'm sure, as shocked as
the Paris designers to learn that they, too, must now con-
form to the Hollywood styles.

"The Empire mode is the thing of the moment. The waist
line is high, as the hem line is lower. The waist line, in fact,
extends from just below the chest to the hips. It's about twenty
inches. That means that there isn't much of a definite waist

line and the
gowns are now
molded to the
figure. The ugly
ones will be the
at-the- waist
things. The real
ones will be the
flowing, smooth,
beautiful gowns

This formal gown, designed
for Norma Talmadge, has
Parisian authority for its every
line. Gowns of this type were
worn in Hollywood many
months before Paris realized
that women were ready to re-
turn to more feminine fash-
ions. At the right is a Greer
sketch of a design for Betty

First the original sketch, then the muslin model.

Finally, this distinctive Greerstreet frockof dullred

crepe, featuring the Empire waistline and longer,

uneven skirt

that are shown this year in Paris. Skirts now have uneven line?,
but at their shortest point they should be five or six inches
below the knee or half way between knee and ankle.

"Corinne Griffith is always willing to take a chance on
advance models. She has but recently returned from Paris
herself and she has gotten used to the longer skirts, so her

clothes in 'Lilies of the Field' will be the real thing.
".\t first my mannequins were dissatisfied with

the high waist and the long skirts. It is all a matter

of getting used to them and women, to be really

smart, must conform.

THE day of individuality and eccentricity in line
is done. Jetta Goudal, for instance, dresses in a
bizarre fashion all her own. But she is not smart.
The smart woman is a pattern. Her frocks follow
the accepted vogue. She may be individual in color
only, not line."

I stopped him to ask about beauty and chic. It
has always seemed to me that many of the most
beautiful women I know (conventionally beautiful,
I mean) were not always smart. I thought of Billie
Dove. Billie, the flower of the screen, is far from
smartness. Yet other girls, less blessed physically,
are cleverly clothed.

"It's intelligence," said Greer. "A woman who
isn't beautiful uses her head. She tries to make
herself attractive. She learns to stand and sit well.
She acquires poise and charm and she is, therefore,
willing to be chic. The conventionally beautiful
women don't have to bother about being interesting.

"Designing for the screen is limited, naturally.
The motion picture is still a two-dimensional art.
The Hollywood line, the same over which Paris raves
now, was originally created to meet the demands of
the camera for definite curves and the public's de-
mand for sex.

"Although I've admitted a lot, I still say that
Paris women look [ please turn to page 138 ]







Leonard Hall

dollar talkie offer. Whether it is be-
cause Dr. Sunday hates a million dollars
or because he is afraid his husky voice
will sound like a ti;oop of cavalry on a
wooden bridge, no one yet knows. . . .
Lupe Velez has paid $75,000 for a block-
long home in Beverly. Just a simple
little dove-cote for two young things to try
to get along. . . . Archen,' is getting popu-
lar among Beverly Hillbillies. They'll
have to dig up some arrows, but what
a Bow they've got! . . . One hundred
picture theaters in Scotland will be set
for talkies this year. The lirst Scottish
talkie scenario has already been turned
out. It says "No!"

my dear, I said to the director, 'I simply
can't play to that microphone, old chap.
It's so cold. It doesn't GIVE me any-
thing!' Then the fellow said, 'Try this!'
And then, my dear, he struck me on
the nose!"

Thanksgiving, 1929

Greal Master of the Perfect Plots,
Who looks on little, as on Lots —

For pictures silent, pictures loud,
If they amuse a life-worn crowd —

For Chatterion and Norma Shearer,
And all whose voices make them dearer —

For big Kay Francis, little Love,
The changeless contours of La Dove —

For Clarence Brown's unfailing skill,
For Garbo's everlasting thrill —

For fine new talents from, the stage.
For older friends who do not age —

For screens that do not squawk a>td squeak,
For talking newsreels thrice a week —

For all these picture gifts, today,
I thank you, in my sitnple way!

it so tough for
now renting th

The Gag of the Month Club

Fred Allen, popular and clever
Broadway comedian, gets this
month's prize — the Erie, Penna.,
company of Greta Garbo.

Fred says the talkies have made
stage actors still in New York that they are
eir gold-headed canes to blind men.

Good Mean Fun

For years Mary Pickford has been "America's Sweetheart."
Buddy Rogers is now "America's Boy-Friend." We will now
receive ballots for the proud title of "America's Pain in the
Neck." . . . Guinn, formerly "Big Boy," Williams was
kicked by a horse while on location a few days ago. This
angered Mr. Williams, and he is said to have kicked back.
P.S. The horse was out of the picture for two days. P.P.S.
Mr. Williams was a star punter in his football days, but it is
the first time in history that a horse has been punted success-
fully. . . . The Rev. Billy Sunday has turned down a million


Getting Personal

There now being eleven towns in the United States named
Hollywood, the postoffice department refuses to allow any
more such mailing addresses, and I guess eleven are plenty. . . .
Mrs. Inga Lofi, mother of the fair Jeanette, has been awarded
a divorce from husband Morris Loff, on the grounds of cruelty.
. . . The late Gladys Brockwell left her mother her entire
estate — a home and SI, 500 in personal property. . . . Ramon
Novarro is the proud uncle of a boy, born in Ramon's home.
And it's his mother's lirst grandchild. . . . Hal Roach is one
of the few left-handed polo players in America. . . . Russian,
Yiddish, Italian, Swedish and Spanish are spoken in "The Cock
Eyed World, " not to mention a certain type of English. . . .
A memorial sen.ace for the late Rudolph \'alentino was held
August 23 in the Church of St. Gervais in Paris. The church
was packed, mostly with women in black. . . . Remember
Richard Travers, the old Essanay leading man? He's now work-
ing in a picture in Hollywood. . . . The only Swedish name
known to Hollywood is Greta. It has Gretas Garbo, Nissen,
Almroth, Garde, Von Rue and Granstedt. . . . Five years ago
Paramount pictures had less than 2,000 stockholders. Now it
has 10,000. . . . Private wealth has given S5,000 for the pur-
pose of free movie shows in four Pittsburgh parks. . . . Nancy
Carroll's little sister, Terry, is a dancing girl in the prologue to
"Glorifying the American Girl." . . . Paramount uses the
newspaper headline — "Three Ships Sight Zep at Sea" — as a
talkie test line. Try that on your Usper! . . . Billie Dove's hair
has some premature gray streaks. . . . The Minnesota Theater,
in Minneapolis, in an effort to bmld up its matinee business,
is passing out free flowers to lady customers. ... In the first
ten weeks the theme song for "The Pagan" sold 625,000 copies.
. . . How ZaSu Pitts got her first names. It seems she had
two aunts, Eliza and Susan. Mother and Father Pitts just
took the last two letters of Eliza and the first two of Susan.

/QLUTCHING her white dog, but perfectly cool and calm, little Leatrice Joy, Jr., steps out
/ to meet the folks. Mother Leatrice, now a bright light of both stage and talking screen,
^/ performs the introductions for the daughter of John Gilbert and herself. The younger
Joy, who is wearing an exact duplicate of her mamma's gown, has a Hollywood reputation for wise

and witty sayings that just kill callers!

(jW^ "*IVE months ago Milton Sills left Hollywood flat. On the edge oi nervous prostration,

fi this six-footer's weight had fallen to 150 pounds. He worked ten years without a single

^ week's vacation, and while making two pictures at once — "His Captive Woman" and

"'The Barker" — he averaged four hours' sleep a night. Look at him now, at his Adirondack camp!

A hundred and eighty-five pounds, hard as nails! Look for him back soon

^mimm^-:. -■¥':<■


y^NNA HELD, you remember, had trouble making her eyet. behave, according to her famous

(^_y/j[ ^i-Tig. But Irene Bordoni's eyes are absolutely uncontrollable. This noted singing actress

of the stage has made such a hit in her first phonoplay, "Paris," that she seems to be ready

tor as brilliant a career in Hollywood as her theatrical engagements permit. And believe us,

zis Bordoni is certain death as far back in the house as Row Z !

saxWiKIMaTTWt-tftt. * r- ■.TNf.-:. •^"«1B1


yUST a pretty little New York girl, all peaches and cream, whose path led from the Bronx
to Broadway to Hollywood and glory. Nancy Carroll, in her new party dress of pointed
tulle — no doubt earned by her remarkable work opposite Hal Skelly in "The Dance of Life."
On the opposite page you will find the smile-compelling, tear-teasing story of Nancy's rise, starting
with the days before she was a little dancer at all !

O^e Littlest Rebel



The Story of Irish Nancy

Carroll, Who Battled Her

Way to Film Glory


Elinor Corhin


Y life didn't begin until I married," says Nancy
Carroll. "Before that it was just nothing. I was
but half a person. Now we are together. We hold
"the fort for each other."

But it was that life before her marriage that gave Nancy
that wonderful courage of hers. It was when she was a little
two-fisted Irish girl on Tenth Avenue, New York, that she
began to wonder. What did she want? What did she want of
life? She didn't really know. She didn't actually realize what
she was seeking. But she had taken the first step. She knew
what life wasn't.

It wasn't bending over a typewriter in a big factory under a
dead blue light in a room wilh a hundred other girls trying to
answer a letter from a ladv in South America who seemed to
want a pair of pink slippers. It wasn't going from one firm to
another, getting fired as quickly as she got a job because she
was only thirteen and didn't have her working papers.

And, although she liked her employers, Urchs and Hegemer,
it wasn't being private secretary in their lace company. Life
was something more gallant; Life had more spirit.

She was, like every other red-headed Irish girl her age,
stage struck. Her family were all talented.

There were, in all, fourteen children. Nancy was the sev-
enth child of a seventh child. Only eight are now living, Mar-
tin, Elizabeth, Sarah, Teresa, Tommy, Nancy, Johnnie, Elsie.
It was a bright, laughing, Irish Catholic family, with big Thomas
Lahifif, their father, at the head of it. Tom Lahiff played the
concertina. Their mother told the children that's why she
married him. All the kids inherited laughter from him and
played the piano and sang and danced.

But Nancy's hopes of entertainment went beyond family

It all began in an amateur way.

N.^NCY and Teresa worked up a little sister act. They
crooned and harmonized popular melodies and, unknown
to their mother, tried out at one of the vaudeville houses. They
heard of a theater on the East Side, sufliciently far away from
the disapproving parental roof. They were from the West
Side and had no right to be there, but a friend. Buddy Carroll,
told them to say they were his sisters and to give his address
as theirs. And so they became Nancy and Terrv Carroll.

They became sort of professional amateurs, and went from
one local theater to another until various musical comedy im-
presarios began to call them. George White asked for an

That wise little redhead, Nancy Carroll, has

learned how to get all the joy out of life —

and put more in

in'erview. And J. J. Shubert. It was the latter who offered
them a specialty number in his "Passing Show of 192,5."

The two sisters huddled in a family conference. Would their
mother ever be reconciled to their going on the stage"^ Would
their father allow them another night's rest under his roof if
he knew?

But Nancy was willing to take a chance. As she always is.

Because both girls had jobs as secretaries, Shubert was good
enough to let them rehearse at night and they didn't tell their
mother until after dress rehearsal.

WHEN they got to the house on Tenth .Avenue their mother
was in tears and a fury. She had called the police. She
had searched every hospital. They had to tell her that the.\'
were on the stage. Dark looks accompanied them to bed.

But publicity won Irish Ann Lahiff. The next day was
Sunday and there — right in the rotogravure section of the
paper, was a large and beautiful photograph of Nancy.

It was several weeks before she would go to see the show and
when she did she sat high in the balcony to watch her daugh-
ters. Her only comment was, "Oh, you were very good, very
good, but I thought you tossed your limbs a bit too high."

Still she groped for life. The stage was better than the
factory. It was better than being a private secretary, but it
was a full, important life she wanted.

She found what was important when she met a young
reporter on the New York News named Jack Kirkland. And,
when she married him a few months later, she knew that her
life had just begun.

She gave up the stage for a while, but went back to it in
"The Passing Show of 1924."

She danced until four months before her baby was born!

The enforced inactivity bored her. Nancy, who had
never been idle in her life, could not be idle, so she talked
to Jack's managing editor, Phil Payne, who went down with
"Old Glory." He let her interview all the actors she
knew because she could get past the imposing ogres who
guard stage doors. [ ple.\se turn to page 114]





Mr. Mountstephen, the
star^ gets his broad A ' s
narrowed by a social
leader^ a big ruffian^
and a wise little man-

THE purple ribbon of asphalt that was Wilshire Boule-
vard gleamed stickily under the sun as distant factory
whistles heralded the arrival of noon.
The crowd that had jammed itself in the vicinity of a
handsome Gothic church revived sufficiently to stage one last
struggle with the police that guarded the portals and then,
repulsed once more, sniffed hopefully as the fragrance of
flowers came floating from the interior.

Faint music, mounting slowly to a resonant climax as the
organist tried to earn his bulbous fee, caused a flurry of activity
among the groups of cynical chauffeurs lounging beside the
long string of limousines. The ne.xt moment a memorable
couple emerged blinkingly into the light.

j\Ir. Hubert Mountstephen, registering a nonchalance that
was as false as the broad shoulders of his Prince Albert, cau-
tiously inspected his bride, the erstwhile Joyce Cleary, and
was relieved to find her smiling bravely from beneath a casque
of Spanish lace and orange blossoms. Whereupon Mr. Mount-
Stephen faced the firing squad with the calmness of a theatrical
spy. The pictures, he told himself, would be a knockout in
the rotogravure and news reels. High class happiness and
dignity, seeing that the wedding breakfast was still to be

None of those alcoholics leering like imbeciles in the back-
ground, as at the Torrance affair. If only homely little Abie
Zoop — but no, here he was, like an overdressed gtiinea pig,
barging to the front and being snapped shaking hands with


them. The cameras clicked endlessly. Pictures for iwsterit.v.
Cheers from the multitude for the present. All very satisfying,
thought Hubert, as he guided his partner down the steps.

The shining motor was reached without a casualty, but as
they entered it the fans overwhelmed the thin blue line and
surged around the car. Obese matrons and scraggy flappers
gasped in mingled ecstasy and despair, shrilled good wishes
and tossed wilted blossoms. Mr. Mountstephen beamed appre-
ciation, reminding himself that most of the outburst was for
himself, as Joyce was a mere ingenue. The police charged
again, opening a pathway, and the car commenced rolling
toward Beverly Hills, leaving the crowd to its own diversions.

ONE damp December morning Mr. Hubert Mountstephen
lowered his newspaper and scowled across the table at
his winsome spouse.

"You heard me," he accused. "How do you expect me to
do creative work when I have to listen to your troubles?"

"You're my husband," said Joyce crisply, "and a strong,
silent man in addition, says the publicity. Who's a better
right to weep on your shoulder?"

"Listen," said Hubert pettishly, "it's about time you found
out that Fm the important one in this family. I'm a star;
you're nothing but a minor player and I can't be bothered
listening to your picayune squabbles with your director. Just
be thankfulyou were smart enough to grab me in a weak
moment. "

"For the love of Dempsey!" said big, tough
Rafferty, backing away from the snarling,
scratching Joyce. "Lay off me, baby! I'm
no chump. You battle harder for him than
you did for yourself!" Mr. Mountstephen,
in the background, was torn between
acquired dignity and natural and manly


"Well, they go to the races and Newport

" And look like hell in the Sunday
papers, " flashed Joyce. " You, who used
to be counterman in a Baltimore lunch!"

Mr. Mountstephen reddened. "That
was back in 1920," he whispered furiously,
" and if you say a word before the servants,
I'U— "

"Ham on rye! Make it two!" chanted
his loving wife. "Why, you'd dash to the
nearest faucet if somebody yelled,
'Draw one!' Go on, hit me, you little
tailor's dummy, and show that you're not
a sissy!"


"Tell it to Sweeney," scoffed the lady. " Give it any upstage
title you like, it's a swelled head just the same. You're sort of
irritated, are you? Well, you'n' me both, dearie."

Mr. Mountstephen wound himself more firmly into his
mauve dressing gown before delivering an ultimatum. " Among
other things, " he stated, " I wish you'd give up slang. And
cerise underwear. And forgetting to make up the back of
your neck. .\nd cracking jokes with head waiters. It simply
isn't done, so kindly remember that as my wife you've a
position to keep up. "

Joyce's mouth rounded with astonishment. " It isn't done, "
she mimicked. "So that'sit,eh? LittleHubert'sgoinghighbrow!
Well, you'd better start reading those eighteen yards of pretty
books we ordered for the library, but don't forget to cut the
pages. "

Mr. Mountstephen became interested in the ceiling.

"W THEN I married you, " pursued the relentless beauty, "I
VV thought I was drawing a prize and we were happy, too, un-

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 104 of 145)