Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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similar feeling, no later than last week, when
Buddy's first all- talkie, "Close Harmony," had
its world premiere in Kansas City at a mid-
night preview.

I was proud to have been invited by the
manager to press the button which started the
picture, as it was Buddy's first all-talkie. It
also was my first. I had never heard one

I might add, here, that the midnight showing
broke any previous record for midnight pre-
views, there. With the single exception of
"The Singing Fool," it easily broke any other
record for the w-eck — and by several thousand
dollars. Probably one reason for this is that
Kansas City, being so close toOlathe, "claims"
him, as, of course, Olathe properly does.
Moreover, it was on the Newman stage that
his first screen test was taken, more than three
years ago.

When liis first picture, " Fascinating Youth,"
showed in Olathe for three nights, the crowds
were so large that*j\Ir. Andrews made enough
money to buy a new car, which he called his
Buddy Car. Recently he had another of his
pictures and, since two years have elapsed, his
car needed to be traded in and he made
enough money to buy another Buddy Car.

You may be sure that I have a funny feeling
whenever the local picture ow^ner brings in the
mats and the press shjet for one of Buddy's
pictures, lly instructions always arc for his
pictures to get a "great big mat" for that
week, the ad is compHmentary, no matter
what the size and, in addition, I run a half
column of reading matter on the front page,
being careful to put as a lead an article that
is copied from the company's press sheet.

IN such cases as this I am a combination of
editor and father — but the preponderance of
"father" is easily seen. Pictures for the paper
are cast with hot metal from mats and often
the face of the metal must be scraped down
to print clearly and avoid a blur. We had been
doing this with a sharp chisel and hammer, but
it often would spoil the picture. So, when
Buddy entered the school, my foreman said,
"Will you buy us an electric router when we
get Buddy's first advertisement?" I an-
swered that I would — and, when it came in
about a year, I was held to my promise to
buy one and at a cost of $300.00. So Buddy
has improved the looks of the Mirror.

It seems that Buddy has always wanted to
be a musician. Even as a baby and little boy
he would get a drum, horn or fife for Christmas.
Once, in Kansas City, we saw a vaudeville act
where one man played eight or ten band in-
struments and, from that day to this he has
always wanted to be a one-man orchestra.

In "Close Harmony" he leads his jazz band,
plays all these instruments, sings and then

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Buddy Rogers lives quietly in Hollywood. Despite his stellar

salary, he still resides with his pal. Dean Boggs, paying S16 a week

for his board, room, garage and a kennel for his police dog

turns a hand spring, standing on top of the
piano, to the floor. I have heard from a half
dozen towns placing "Close Harmony" and
in each instance the box office record has gone

For se\eral months Buddy worked in
''Wings," completing it just two years ago, and
then he was drawing a salary on his contract of
Imt S75.0O per weeli. Now- he is working under
a new contract and his former salary is simply
pin money now. Since making "Wings" he
has worked in "i\Iy Best Girl" with IMary
Pickford, ".\bie's Irish Rose," "\arsity,"
''Someone to Love," "Close Harmony" and
others and is now making "SlagnoUa."

Buddy is diversifying his investments, real
estate, stocks and bonds, building and loan,
and he still continues to live with Dean Boggs
at Iiis home in Hollywood, paj'ing S16.00 per
week for his board, room, garage and kennel
for his German police dog. Baron. He refers
to Mrs. Boggs, Dean's mother, always, as "My
Cahfornia Mother." Both boys are members
of the Phi Psi fraternity,

'Lest you should get the impression that all
Buddy's spare money goes into investments
of some kind, I want to saj' that before his
present new contract (just signed) when his

salary was not large — as inovie salaries go —
he sent a great deal of money home to his
family. Paid the expenses and purchased
complete wardrobes for his mother and sister
on their frequent trips to New York and
Hollywood to \-isit him.

I well remember his first bonus for good
work on his first starring picture, "Varsity."
He wired all tlie money home except S200.00 —
and almost that much on subsequent bonuses.

The first Christmas following his entering
pictures we found at our door, on getting up
late Christmas morning, a brand new auto-
mobile with onlj' this to identify it—
"To my family

Merry Christmas and Love

Just a year ago, when coming through Olathe,
going to location at Princeton University, he
found his kid brother had done so well in his
junior year at Olathe high school, both in
books and athletics, that he purchased a sport
coupe for him.

If anything, he has been too generous with
us in money matters. But he says that is
his greatest enjoyment — that, and having some
member of his family with him just as much
as possible.

Rosie Rolls Her Eyes


proach of fatigue, Jlr. Slipe called it a day and
iluttered from his perch.

''Not bad at all," he conceded. "Of course,
any farce calls for rather coarse people, so
n.aturalh' you're quite suitable, although it's
too bad a real arlisic like Jliss Bellairs has to
go slumming, I'm verj' well pleased with all
but Miss Clearj'. Her voije is of poor calibre."

The director started forward angrily. "It
sounded first rate here," he burst out. "It's
Bellairs who's away off — she shouts as if she
were playing stock in Wilkes-Barre." The
lady in question, who had once been the toast
of Schenectady for two sterile seasons, winced
at this stray shot.

"\\'ork your own side of the street," said
Mr. Slipe rudely. ".\11 you've got to do is
teach these people how to make faces. I said

her voice was low grade, and that sticks.'" He
crossed over to the ingenue and assumed a bed-
side manner.

"I'm sure it can be fixed up," he soothed.
"Suppose we talk it over."

The unfortunate Joyce, who was feeUng like
a square «heel on the chariot of progress,
looked at him doubtfully. "Do you apologize
for j'estcrday?"

"Sure," said Emerson gUbly. "Consider
yourself kowlowed to. How about giving m.e
a lift to town? I haven't had time to .get a car
and I'd appreciate it." W'ithout waiting for
an answer he took charge of her elbow and
sauntered out toward the parldng enclosure,
while the cast stared after him with various
e.xpressions of disappro%-al.

Skimming along Fairfax .\venue some ten

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minutes later Miss Cleary was ffratificd to
notice that her companion's rovins; eyes missed
not a single pair of well tapered limbs, and the
knowledge encouraged her to remark, "Holly-
wood is crammed with pretty girls, and not all
in the movies, either."

"One at a time," grinned Mr. Slipe mean-
ingly. "Now, this voice of yours — it means a
lot to you, I guess."

Joyce's hands gripped the wheel a little
tighter. "If I don't make good, it means that
two years of trj'ing and hoping go for nothing."

MR. SLIPE frowned cunningly,


much chance to talk here. Why
not have supper with me and then go to hear
the stock company at El Capitan? You might
pick up a few pointers."

Miss Cleary looked squeamish, then vanity,
masquerading as ambition, got another
stranglehold in its perpetual contest with com-
mon sense. "All right," she nodded. "Call
for me at seven," and after depositing the
genius at his gaudy hotel, she drove homeward.

The mtching hours from seven until twelve
proved to be a series of evasions. Dodging Mr.
Slipe's knee at dinner, his arm at the theater
and later his kisses in a ta.vicab became a bit
monotonous, particularly as his amorous
essays were accompanied by fallacious psy-

"There's no getting away from it," he
wheedled. "All these outuard signs of re-
pulsion simply mean that your subconscious
self adores me."

".\pplesauce," snapped Miss Cleary. "For
heaven's sake get yourself another girl and let
me alone."

■".Ul in good time," smirked her squire, as
the cab entered the dimly lit roads of t^rifiith
Park. "Your case is a matter of pride with
me because you're the lirst one who ever gave
me an argument, but remember, girlie, I'm
hke a victorious general in a conquered city.
I take what I want before I pass on," and with
this announcement Mr. Slipe enfolded her in a
clammy embrace.

"Stop it I" screamed Joyce, fighting him
off. "Help, oh, driver!"

The ta.\i suddenly jolted to a standstill, and
a flat-browed chautTeur jumped out and opened
the door. "What's comin' off here?" he de-
manded. "Youse want a guy to lose his

"Protect mel" panted Miss Cleary, taking
another scratch at Emerson's crimson cheeks.
"Think of your sisters or your sweetheart."

"Sure," said Flat Brow cagily, "an' think of
nie fare. Have youse got any money?"

"Heaps," promised Joyce. "Double rates
if you'll drive me home alone."

The chauffeur hesitated no longer. "Out-
side, bum," he invited, and as Mr. Slipe
attempted resistance, a hamjike hand clutched
his collar, dragged him forth and plumped him
down on the well oiled highway. "Maybe
this'll learn youse somethin'," said the virtuous
Flat Brow as he proceeded to turn the cab
with reckless swoops. «hile Miss Cleary, lorn
between dread and anger, laughed mockingly.

"You're through!" yelled Mr. Slipe, giving
hopeless chase. "This picture will wreck your

career, you Jezebel! I'll " A sudden spurt

from the exhaust drowned the rest of the ora-
tion, and left him far from home, breathing
curses and considerable carbon mono.\ide.

A WEEK later "Uneasy Knees" had pro-
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had supplied the attendant script clerk with
sufficient gossip to insure her being the life of
the party if she ever returned to Gasconade,
Missouri. The players' nerves were raw and
flares of temperament had shrivelled the
directorto the statusofan overworked corporal;
only Mr. Slipe remained as bulbously impassive
as a cherub in a painting by Raphael. So far
the opus had been'niinus the ministrations of
Abie Zoop, who followed the prudent custom of
holding aloof until the picture had s\\-ung into
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"The trouble mth you," said the director to
Miss Bellairs, "is that you automatically gape
at the camera as if it was a spotlight. Stage
tricks don't go here, and anyhow, you're not
young enough to get away mth that one.
You're playing to fifty million people instead
of a houseful of suckers who'll pay three-thirty
a seat, and they'll be a lot more critical."

"CINO the chorus," sniffed Magnolia. "My
'-'voice is all I need to show up these dum-
mies. Jlr. Sllpe saidso."

"And I say you can't act for pictures!"
shouted the director. "Just watch Cleary in
this next scene, and see how she gets over
with only her profile." He turned to the
Ingenue. "Joyce, honey, before you speak your
Unes I want a little Imaginative work. You go
to the window and see your husband coming
home. Naturally that makes you a bit per-
turbed because the chaise longite is too short
to conceal your lover. His feet are sticking
out, and you're worried. Get the Idea?"

"Oh, yes," said Joyce half-heartedly. She
knew that no matter how well she played a
scene the caustic Mr. Sllpe would blast it.

"Silence, everybody," ordered the director,
picking up the telephone connected with the
recorders. "Now, then, Cleary, give me forty
feet of brooding. Interlock!"

.\ fog bank of stillness drifted over the set.
Cameras whirred soundlessly In their movable
glass-fronted booths, electricians on their lofty
platforms handled the sun cars mth quiet
expertness, the director froze to an unlovely
waxwork; when suddenly the noisy entrance
of Mr. Zoop and his pet head waggers ruined

"Thirty minutes I'll spend here," announced
Able. "Go on with the scene and do your
wailink after."

Without delay the action was restarted and
played to a finish, then Mr. Sllpe addressed
his employer from the door of the booth.
"Quite saisfactory," he called, "except for
iVIiss Cleary, as usual."

CLE.\RY!" said the surprised .\bie. "Why,
she sounds like velvet to me. It's Bellairs
who shouts hke an auctioneer."

The monitor man came down the stairs and
registered martyrdom, "ilay I ask, my dear
sir, whether you know anything about vibra-

"Nothink," said Mr. Zoop, "except that
Momma has them when she gets mad."

"Every note of the scale," lectured Emerson,
"is composed of innumerable vibrations —
good and bad. If the latter predominate the
result will be a flop, and the electrical recorder
will be sure to spot It. Miss Cleary comes
through quite raucously. If you doubt it,
just listen to this." He spoke hastily Into a
receiver. "Give me a playback on that last
scene, Joe."

A moment later voices were issuing from a
cavernous loud speaker in one corner of the
studio as the wax disc in the recording chamber
ground out Its chronicle. It was as Mr. Slipe
had prophesied — all the voices were suitable,
except Joyce deary's. Hers was harsh and

"You'd better take her out of the cast,"
advised Mr. SUpe. "I'd recommend that you
sign the soubrette from Miss Bellairs' old
company, and don't stop there. Get some
more legitimate players to replace these out-
worn nio\ie people."

"I'll think it over," groaned Able, "but
we'll keep Cleary in this picture because we
got to hurry the release date. I'll tell one
of them loaflnk writers to put in a wise crackle
about her comink from Pittsburgh or maybe
we'll give her consumption yet. .A pfui on this
talkink business! It's better I should quit,
and start maklnk phosphorescent keyholes for
the scofflaw trade."

Joyce, fighting back the tears, was reassured
by the friendly murmurs of Carlos and INIr.
Hoople. "I'll try to do better," she told
Abie, "and perhaps there might be something
faulty with the machine, too."

"Nonsense," scoffed the lofty Emerson.

"Mark my " His voice trailed to an

end as he noticed a voluptuous figure emerge
from behind a piece of scenery, a sight that
caused him to preen himself and smile In-
sinuatingly. "And who," he fluted, "is this

"Nobody but passion's chUd," recited Abie
from the publicity blurbs. "Rosle, meet
Mr. Sllpe, another guy who's golnk to cost me

Miss Redpath, attired in gleaming white silk
with disquieting touches of scarlet, appeared
as smootJi as a bathroom tile and equally as
cool. "I've heard so much about you," she
crooned, flashing a side glance at Joyce. "In
fact, the whole colony's been telling me about
your er — work," and the frostlness vanished as
she held out her hand. The pansy eyes en-
larged with rapture and a salvo of purple
electrons shot straight at their fatuous target.
"I think you're simply wonderful," gurgled
Rosie, as the little group stared aghast at this
treachery and the giddy Emerson mentaUy
tossed Miss Cleary to the sharks.

"Pssst!" muttered Mr. Zoop. "He can't
do nothink for you, Rosle, he only gets ."

"It's almost five o'clock, .\bie," said the
siren. "No more work today. Mr. Sllpe,
please drive me over to Santa Monica, like a
good boy. You will? Oh, you're positively
scrumptious!" She curved an arm around his
neck and scampered toward the open door with
her blushing captive.

"Hey!" croaked .'Vble, "I "

Just as she reached the oblong sunlight Rosle
glanced over her shoulder at the stern faces of
her contemporaries. Then for a fleeting second
a satiny eyelid drooped like a shutter, and a
corner of her mouth slanted meaningly down-
ward as she disappeared.

TN after years Mr. Emerson Slipe was wont
-•■to entertain his friends with a partial account
of his scanty love life in Hollywood, only to be
received with disbelief and derision. Never-
theless, he told the truth, although at times he
was tempted to mar\el that It had ever taken
place. I5y the time he found himself In his
roadster most of his self assurance came seeping
back, and he managed to drive out of Culver
City without maiming any of Its denizens.

"Why," exclaimed his tempting passenger
as they hit \'enlce Boulevard, "you're even
handsomer than I expected."

Mr. Slipe received this fairy tale with a
patronizing smile and tried to look like the
Prince of Wales. "I guess I am kind of a
change after those sap leading men," he
observed. "You're some sort of a star, aren't
you? Seems to me We heard your nan-e

Miss Redpath chewed her lips for an Instant,
then miraculously produced an amorous
smirk, and pressed a little closer. "Speed on
to the sun-stained West," she sibilated, "my
golden-haired .\pollo." Her knowiedge of that
legendary gentleman was confined to his ap-
pearance on candy boxes, but she put more
intensity into the reference than any student
of Greek w-ould have found possible.

MR. SLIPE'S foot stiffened against the ac-
celerator and the asphalt miles to Santa
Monica flowed quickly by, and before long they
were seated on the beach surveying a number
of ladies to whom the old-fashioned bathing
suits would have been sweet charity. Rosle
posed coyly under a striped umbrella and pro-
ceeded to roll her eyes until only the whites
were visible. " At last I know what It means to
love at first sight." she throbbed. "Kiss me,
tiger man, I cannot wait for darkness."

The frantic Emerson made clumsy efforts to
imitate John Gilbert, but Miss Redpath sud-
denly eluded him. "I've changed my mind."
she said hurriedly. "Love Is too sacred to
parade In public."

The thwarted Romeo colored to a dull
magenta. "Leading me on, eh?" he husked.
" .\11 right, you sorceress, just try and lose me."

Rosie counterfeited ecstasy with a series of

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shuddering moans and her eyes became twin
orbs of smouldering flame. "So you realize
that my heart is worth winning," she asked
softly, "and that I must be dominated?"

The mesmerized Mr. Slipe had the sensation
of being struck by purple lightning, but he
nodded with all the eagerness of the male in
a chase that promised dividends.

"Fine," said JMiss Redpath, becoming prac-
tical, "and now let's breeze to a dining room
and get some abalone."

SEVER.\L hours were passed at a beach club
of scrofulous stucco, after which they drove
back to the Redpath domicile in Beverly Hills,
where the lovesick Emerson contemplated the
cloudless sky and tried to recall some poetry.
At the end of an elastic farewell Rosie hummed
something about "The magic of moonlight —
and you," but Mr. Slipe 's enthusiastic kiss
landed somewhere on her right ear, and as he
returned to the hotel he wondered if his
technique needed improving.

The next day being Sunday, he renewed his
dominating at eleven and apparently was as
welcome as intermission at a Junior League
entertainment. The charmer led him through
a maze of tennis, swimming, dancing and flirt-
ing, thickly strewn with flattery, but although
she behaved like an animated blow torch her
ability to dodge and tantalize never lessened.
All day long the pansy eyes re\olved and nar-
rowed, allured and repelled, until, when Emer-
son reached for his hat, she dispensed a couple
of cautious kisses, thereby entangling him more
than ever.

Monday morning found him dreaming in his
plate glass refuge when the preliminary click
of the door handle made him straighten hur-
riedly, and the next moment the dewy Rosie
tiptoed into the booth.

"You — you're not supposed to come in
here," he stammered.

"Why, Emerson," pouted the star. "Not
stay close to my tiger man when I'm not
busy?" The purple magnets filled wlh
moisture as she slithered onto his knee. "You
wouldn't say no, honey?"

The soothing touch of lacquered lips on the
back of his neck completed the enfeebling proc-
ess of love, and Mr. Slipe smiled dizzily at
passion's child. "I guess not," he promised,
"but remember, we'll have to keep quiet."

MORNING and afternoon sessions flew by
as the heart smasher, lulled to benevo-
lence, allowed the recording to go ahead with-
out undue meddling. Miss Redpath, appar-
ently swooning with joy, rested her jet curls on
his shoulder, but the famous eyes, leveUed to
slits, missed nothing of the layout. They noted
the mixing panel with its six dials, one for each
microphone, the volume indicator with its sen-
sitive needle shivering back and forth at the
slightest change in strength. They watched
Mr. Slipe fiddling with the volume control knob
and she listened to the stream of voices coming

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 13 of 145)