Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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flattered her and made allowances for her
"temperament." Gossip said that she had
more scalps in her belt than any other picture
star. She had been heard to boast that no man
could resist her. There was always a new line
waiting and with queeidy gesttue she oper-
ated the stop-go signal to suit her fancy. Jack
Delancey had been her fancy through two pic-
tures. Billie was wise enough to know that it
was about time for the trafiic signal to change.

It changed on the day that Eric Harding, a
handsome young stage actor, was signed to
play opposite her in her new picture.

Billie suspected it when she saw them lunch-
ing together at the studio commissary. She
was sure of it when Odette stopped by the set
late that afternoon to speak to Jack.

"Darling, I can't see you tonight," the red
lips pouted.

"Why, darling?"

"I have to rehearse some horrid, old talking
sequences vdxh this new leading man."

Billie hid her smile behind her makeup box.

"But, darling, I'll wait for you," he insisted.

"No, darUng. Please don't do that. It'U

probably be terribly late." She gave him a

hurried kiss and was gone.

Billie noticed that Harding was waiting for
her near the exit to Stage 3.

"All right, Billie," called the director.
"We're ready for you."

There was a blare of brass from the Synco-
patin' Six and Billie snapped into her song.
Gee, baby, I'm lonesome for you,
June moonlight was made for us two
My lovin' I'm savin'
Till that day when you'll be cravin'
The kisses I've saved up for you —
Just you —

The kisses I've saved up for you.
It was what in studio parlance is called a
"hot number." Billie put it over with a bang.
Of course she was singing it to Jack — only he
didn't know it. But something — perhaps it
was the dimpled knees which were like little
round faces — apparently brought back some
forgotten memory, for later, when they were
leaving the set for the day, he called to her.

"CAY, Billie. How'd you like to drive down
'-'to the beach tonight for dinner? I'm feeUn'
kinda low."

"Hold everything," she was saying to her- '
self. "Don't let him guess that this is the
moment you've been praying for." Aloud, she
said: "I'd love to — but I've promised to
judge a tap dancing contest tonight. Why
don't you come along? It'll be fun."

He had presumed the contest would be at
some out of the way dance place. When she
directed the chauffeur to the Valencia he had
a mild attack of cold feet.

Now, the Valencia, as ever>'body who has
been to California knows, is that well known
night club where tourists go to see and stars go
to be seen. The Friday night dance contests
are a popular feature. A lesser known picture
star usually acts as one of the judges, and pic-
tures are taken of the crowd and presented to
the guests as souvenirs.

\\'hen Billie and Jack were seated at a ring-
side table, and an exuberant master of cere-
monies had broadcast their arrival. Jack was
uncomfortably aware that if Odette found out
about this, it might not be so good.

Billie, however, found the setting made-
to-order. Her quick eye had spotted Miss
Dayne's cameraman at a nearby table and
something within her was saying: "It won't
be long now."

It wasn't!

Even before Miss Dayne appeared on the set
the following day the news had flashed across
the lot that the "wonder girl" was having one
of her celebrated tantrtims.

Her eyes were ice blue and the red mouth
was drawn in a tight, ugly line when she ap-
proached Mr. Delancey.

"fJELLO, darling," he greeted her as usual.

•'^"Don't darhng me," was her haughty

retort. "Not until you have e.xplained that."

"That" was the picture which she tossed
into Jack's lap. It was the scene at the Valen-
cia the night before. When the picture had
been shot Jack had quickly "ducked" behind
the floral decoration on the table, hoping thus
to obscure his face. Some trick of the camera,
however, had made it seem as though BiUie's
head were resting on his shoiJder and that his
cheek was pressed against hers.

Who coidd ex-plain such damning evidence?
Jack tried. That is, when he coifld get in a
word between the rapid fire epithets which
Odette was hurling at him.

BilUe listened tensely. "Oh, please God,
make him talk back to her. Don't let him be a
sap all his life." She was breathing a little

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prayer. "If he eats out of her hand now he's
absolutely finished."

By this time Odette had reverted to the
vernacular of the streets from which she had
sprung, and she was including Billie in her

"I knew the little tart was crazy about you
the first day I ever laid eyes on'her, but I didn't
think, after all I've done for you, that you'd
try to two-time me the first minute my back
was turned."

Billie was watching Jack's face. He was
looking at Odette as though he were really
seeing her for the first time. Suddenly he
caught hold of her wrists and in a low tense
voice he ordered:

"Stop it! Billie's not a little tart. She's a
good little trouper who knows her business and
minds it — -"

"Oh! So that's the way you feel about her,"
she taunted. "Well, this is the way I feel."
She jerked her hand free and struck him across
the mouth.

THERE was a pregnant silence on the set as
the "wonder girl" walked away. Jack's
face showed crimson beneath the white of his

"Let's get on with this scene," called the
director. "We've wasted enough time."

Incongruously enough, it was a love scene — •
a talking sequence. According to the con-
tinuity it followed Billie's "Lonesome" song.
It showed Jack in the wings, waiting for her to
finish her number. The Syncopatin' Six could
be heard repeating the chorus ol" Gee, baby,
I'm lonesome for you."

Billie ran offstage. Jack caught her in his
arms. She clung to him breathlessly, waiting
for the line which the title writer had given him
to speak.

" Gee, baby — did you mean that about being
lonesome for me?"

She nodded.

"And did you mean that about saving up
your kisses?"

She nodded.

"Then how about giving me one now — on

She did.

That was where the scene was supposed to
fade out. But Jack added another line which
was not in the script.

"If you'll save tonight for me — I'd like to
collect the rest of them and interest."


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He Threw Away a Million


fans applauding Fenton for work in "Paris
Bound," "The Office Scandal," "The Danger-
ous Woman," "Broadway."

"I'm going to Spain," Les said, in refusing
the oflfer.

"Have you bought your castanets?" asked
the producers, since it is always best to humor
a lunatic.

""PNON'T need them," said Les.

■L-'Maybe he didn't say that, but I say it
for him.

It has been my observation that Les doesn't
need to play guitar or castanets; all he needs
to do is whistle.

■When it was learned about Hollywood that
he had rejected gold the conclusion was: "The
poor kid's gone haywire."

"It's Equity," said some. Others, "His
girl threw him down."

It has been remarked that the First National
Trust and Savings Bank of Hollywood, with
its dominating tower, resembles a cathedral,
and this is as it should be since it contains the
thing we love.

He who rejects that god is either a lunatic
or a poseur.

Since Les not only rejects but blasphemes,
his case in just plain lunacy — temporarj', at

"Why, you could make a million dollars,"
friends pleaded with him.

"That's what I'm afraid of," said Les. "A
million dollars!

"My God, do you realize what that can do
to you?

"There's nothing so ensla^-ing as money and

"Look at them! Look at the great actors

who came to Hollywood and now exude com-
placency and smugness. Great actors who
were, I mean. They were great when they
were rebels. Now they are householders nith
yachts and motors and swimming pools . . .
and mortgages and taxes and monthly
bills . . ."

I quoted from the Lord Buddha: "Rid
yourself of possessions . . . From attachment
comes grief and fear."

Les quoted from another: "The measure of
a man's pleasure and greatness is in what he
does without."

Les had \nthhimacopy of Erich Remarque's
"All Quiet on the Western Front." He was
in the grip of it, and I had spent the previous
night reading it and recalling a little of the
wisdom I'd divined in France.

We talked of other writers.

Les is a close friend of many of them,
particularly intimate wiih John Russell of
South Sea classics.

Such friendship is easy to understand.

Les has a brilliant, acquisitive and sym-
pathetic mind. None of the obstreperous
egotism of the actor.

In fact, I would classify him as a writer. .Xnd
he has had stories published by Argosy, All-
Slory and other fiction magazines. He has
written poetry, too, but refuses to let anyone
read it. "The truth is I'm ashamed of it . . .
perhaps later . . ."

One reason for his quitting Hollywood is
that he hasn't written anything for two years,
"not even letters."

He says he has gone Hollywood like all the

That it is inevitable.

He bought a house in Hollywood, had

another at the beach, a couple of cars and a
boat. He brought over his brothers from Eng-
land and they, too, were being undermined by
the Sybaritic ease of this lu-xurious city. Aunts
and uncles came to visit. Rooms had to be
added and individual baths were considered

"Bills, bills, bills . . . miserable little two
dollar, five dollar, ten dollar bills like gnats
each month.

"How can you concentrate on your work
when your spare time is given to writing checks
and looking after finances?"

Les was scheduled to take an Italian freighter
from the harbor of San Pedro, arriving in Ma-
jorca in a month or more. The boat was de-
layed ten days because the captain had a girl
in San Francisco.

There is no way of ascertaining how many
he has in other ports. Anyhow, Les v-iX\ be in
congenial company.

HE is going to get an old boat and cruise by
himself among the classic isles of the
^lediterranean until he feels his mental deck
is cleared for fresh action.

He would like to do "An .\merican Tragedy"
on the London stage. He did it in Hollywood
in a way that made j'ou feel he knew the tor-
tured human heart.

There is also an offer for picture work in

But more important to him than these is
playing the role of Les Fenton, which, in my
opinion, is one of the richest, most romantic
plums ever handed anyone.

Dare to live dangerously and you'll be con-
sidered haywire, but stagnate and the poUi-
wogs will surely get you.

The Littlest Rebel in Hollywood

She interviewed Hal Skelly and Fay Bainter
and a number of others and, with Jack's help,
wrote pieces about them for the paper.

Then, quite suddenly, the great idea was

They would go to Paris ! Nancy would have
the baby and Jack would WTite the Great
American Nox'el.

A baby and a novel in Paris!

They looked at their bank balance. By some
mysterious process a thousand dollars had
gotten there.

Plenty of money for vagabonds.

Jack told his managing editor that he was
going to resign and go to live for awhile in

"Well, as long as you're going," said Payne,
"you might as well have a job."

So the amazing vagabondage was denied
them for awhile. Jack was literally handed a
position as Tom Mix's press agent at S3.S0 a
week and all expenses paid for himself and his

'T'HEY lived like kings in Paris.
•'- They entertained all the newspaper men
royally at the Kitz bar and then fled to a
little restaurant on a side street and pretended
that they were poor.

Nancy had thought it thrilling to have her
baby born in Paris.

She had even made reservations at the
French Hospital, but something American took
hold of her and she wanted to be in New York


when the great event occurred. They booked
passage at once.

Nancy had not thought of a doctor. She
went to a fine specialist just a few weeks before
the baby was born and he took one look at
her, said she was perfect and dismissed her
at once.

Patsy was a very expensive baby. After
she was born there was no money. So Nancy
went back on the stage and Jack took his old
job on the Ndi^s.

J.^CK worked the graveyard shift. He fin-
ished at three A. M. .\t that time it was the
fad for the big musical shows to send acts to
the night clubs. Nancy completed the day at
three, also.

.'^nd they met and found new adventure

But Jack, having once touched movie gold,
was sick of newspaper salaries. He wanted to
go to California.

They adventured to California. Jack found
movie gold scarce, so Nancy went on the

She worked in a little musical comedy called

Macloon saw her and signed her for three

During this time she had dozens of picture
tests made. M-G-M, First National, Warner
Brothers, Universal — all had her face recorded,
but nothing e\'er came of it. Jack took a place
writing for Paramount.

At last a test amounted to something and
she did a picture for Fox called "Ladies Must

But she was tied up on her contract with
Macloon and that had to be straightened out
before she did ".Abie's Irish Rose" for Para-
mount and signed a long term contract.

In the meantime she held the fort for Jack.
When he went back to New York to do his
play, "I'>ankie and Johnnie," she stayed on
w ith Patsy and worked to give him the chance
to do it, and when he came back she was
happy again.

Nothing really matters as long as the three
of them are together.

FUNDAr^IENT.ALLY," she said, "I'm an
Irish Catholic girl like my mother and if
Jack wanted me to stop work and be just a wife
and have ten children like Patsy, I'd do it."

But fundamentally she is a rebel. She gets
what she wants by fighting for it. Years ago,
when she was a kid she fought with her two

She fought to go on the stage. Now she
fights with her mind. Her brisk, humorous,
keen mind.

Studio politics worrj' her not at all.

She knows what she wants. She knows
when and how she can do her best work. And
she does it.

She is a rebel with her tongue in her cheek.
She's a red-headed, fighting Irish kid with
gypsy blood in her veins!



Posed by Mary Brian
and Jack Luden

crnoiv she found (7\f^ J Aj-^ o qLTT? J T^nr

z/t the way to a (LySiyilV O <itl LL /l I\ I

He could not resist the charm of that
haunting, delicious fragrance

JIM didn't dislike me, apparently. It was worse than that.
He was indifferent to me — sometimes even ignored me

It isn't much fun, not being noticed by a man you admire —
feel strongly attracted to. It hurts your pride, if nothing more.

Jim came to our house often, but to see my brother. And I
used to see him out at parties now and then. Sometimes I
danced with him. I wore the prettiest clothes I could manage,
and was as charming as I knew how to be. But all to no avail.
Jim was good humored and friendly — but oh, so casual! How
could I make him think of me, want to know me better —
seek me out?

I was a modern girl, but not altogether in sympathy with
the frank, obvious methods of "getting one's man." And Jim
was a little old-fashioned, and reserved. Not wild about girls
— certainly not wild about me!

But I found a way. A subtle, fascinating way, to impress
myself upon Jim's consciousness! Up to that
time I don't believe he ever thought of me
when he was away from me.

My brother and I gave a little party at
our house and that night for the first time I
used a perfectly enticing perfume.

Deliciously fragrant, delightfully elusive —
all evening I was aware of its alluring fra-
grance. I felt it made me distinctive —

Jim must have thought so for he danced
with me again and again, and his glances and

Ben Hur



speech became more and more personal as the evening wore
on. It was evident he was seeing me with new eyes — seeing me
as I had always hoped he might see me — in a flattering,
romantic light.

Jim stayed after the other guests had gone. When the door
had closed on the last of them, I sat down at the piano and softly
played some of the tunes to which we had just been dancing.

Jim came over to stand beside me. He held out to me a
filmy square of chiffon and lace, and said:

"This is your handkerchief, I know. I picked it up in the
hall and I recognized the perfume at once. Where did you ever
find a fragrance so lovely, so irresistible— so like yourself?"

I looked up to meet his eyes and put one hand up against
the piano to steady myself Jim's hand closed over mine, and
then we were both seeing things through a fragrant mist of
glamour and enchantment.

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The Shadow Stage


THE WRECKER— Tiffany-Stahl

WE review "The Wrecker," an English pro-
duction, cliiefly because it offers one of
the first of American male screen idols, Carlyle
Blackwell. Carlyle married a mess of English
gold some years ago. In the lead of this excit-
ing railroad melodrama and mystery the boy
still looks fine and handsome, though naturally
somewhat older around the edges, and stouter,
too. The picture is not verj' successful, being
largely a distressing series of wrecks caused by
the mean old villain. Sound.

NIGHT CLUB— Paramount

"XJIGHT CLUB " was made a long time ago
■'•^at the Paramount Eastern studio, and
really is little but a series of face and voice
tests for many Broadway celebrities, including
Fannie Brice, Pat Rooney, Ann Pennington,
June Walker and others. Little song and dance
specialties are tied to a fine short story by
Katharine Brush. A companion feature to
'' Night Club" is a short comedy called" Pusher-
in-the-Face," with Lester Allen and F.stelle
Taylor. The double bill can be labeled an
early talkie experiment. All Talhk.

FAST LIFE— First National

/^XE of the sadder failures of the summer
'^melodramas, due to extreme pokiness in
direction, and an unbelievable story. Even
Chester Morris, the "Alibi" hit, is so dragged
by the pace that his face-making looks like an
old-time slow motion film. He plays a gover-
nor's son who committed an after-gin-party
murder for wliich Doug Fairbanks, Jr., is
sentenced to be electrocuted. One of the
bright spots is the youth, beauty and budding
talent of little Loretta Young, as Doug's sweet-
heart. Not even a wild party looks gay, in
this. All Talhir.

DARK SKIES— Biltmore

TF this were not an all-talkie, we'd suspect it
-'•of ha\-ing been made ten years ago, at least.
Cruel uncle beats cringing girl into submission
behind the counter of his general store, until a
handsome young stranger, w-ith very dark eyes
and moustache, rescues her from drudgery.
And when he turns out to be a rum pirate . . .
Math a price on his head! Well, we just can't
cope with it, that's all. All Talkie.


A TENSE murder melodrama that gets you
■''•right from the fade-in, but the story is
deplorably synthetic — suspiciously reminiscent
of "The Trial of Mary Dugan" and "The
Argyle Case," and the denouement is both
forced and obvious. However, Gladys Brock-
well's performance, in the leading role, is
probably her best, and a fitting epitaph for a
finished actress whom the sound screen lost at
the zenith of her career. A well-directed and
well synchronized production, .ill Talkie.


A COUPLE of years ago Fox made the silent
-' »-version of the stage play "Cradle Snatch-
ers." Thisispart of the same story. Strangely
enough the other picture was Nick Stuart's
first juvenile lead and this is his first talking
picture. The story is about three married
women whose husbands go duck hunting and
the \nves go fun hunting. Walter Catlett is
somewhat disappointing, but Sue Carol, Nick
Stuart and Da\id RoUins are delightful. Lots
of fun. All Talkie.


Xyf OTHER runs a low saloon on Avenue A,
■^'•••New York, while unsuspecting boarding-
school bred daughter believes the family con-
nections are all Park Avenue. Something is
bound to happen — wliich it does. Even Louise
Dresser couldn't rise above such trite trash,
although she and Dolores Costello, as the

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 112 of 145)