Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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She stayed on to become one of the greatest
figures of the screen. Her only genuine suc-
cesses were mth Griffith. Later she went to
England and played in pictures, as did Dorothy
Gish and Blanche Sweet.

"KTOW Alae lives in retirement near Pasa-
■'■ ^ dena. Her life is devoted to her home and
her children. I don't beliexe she misses the
adulation that was once hers. I don't beliexe
she would come back to the screen if she could.
Recently she appeared at a fashionable film
wedding.

The avid fans, congregated outside the
church, did not know her.

Griffith nearly wTecked his own career in
attempting to star Carol Dempster. For
some reason this clex'er girl was never popular
with the fans. Griffith saw great possibilities
in her and was determined not to give up.
Carol, I remember, was first famous for her
graceful walk. She had been a Ruth St. Denis
dancer. Perhaps it was the walk that fasci-
nated Griffith. He made much of small things
like that. Do you remember the unusual,
sliding walk of JIary Hay in "Way Down
East"?

Mar}', too, came under the spell of mis-
fortune. Dick Barthelmess and she were very
much in love at that time, but their marriage
was a failure. Dick had his years of \'ar\'ing
fortune after Griffith "discovered" him.
Naturally he is not of a particularly happy
nature. In addition, many of his pictures were
not popular. He came back into his own, for
Dick has a very great gift, in "The Patent
Leather Kid." Now he is firm on the heights
again.

Ralph Graves, despite fine capabilities as an
actor, did not win the success he deser\-ed
after "Dream Street." Even his splendid per-
formance in the recent "Submarine" has not
meant a great deal to him. For some time
Ralph has divided his time between acting and
directing.

TTHERE is another example of misfortune
■*- and a thwarted career in Eric von Stroheim.
Who will e\'er forget his deep-dyed \-iIlainy in
"Hearts of the World"? Even during the
making of that picture his hard luck had be-
gun. It was war time, hatred was burning at
fever-pitch, and he was an .Austrian, Teutonic
in appearance. He was most unpopular on the
set, and the workmen took delight in anno>-ing
him in every way.

The von Stroheim luck has never changed.
Here is a genius, but a genius who does not
tliink as the rest of the world. His mind runs
on strange tangents. He has had trouble in
every picture he has directed. Gloria Swan-
son, a short time ago, shelved "Queen Kelly,"
the picture he directed for her.

After years of work, and millions of dollars
expended, "The Wedding March" was an out
and out failure.

There was no question in Griffith's mind
that Bessie Love was an excellent actress. Yet
when she left him she had years of bad luck.



It was the old, old story of the lack of sex
appeal.

Bessie finally took matters in her own hands.
She built for herself a new personality. She
became the life of every party. She danced
and sang and played her uiulele.

Now she is one of the greatest potentialities
in the realm of talking pictures.

A LL the world knows the story of Mildred
^ ^-Harris, her tragic marriage to Chaplin and
her unavailing efforts to come back. She is
now a moderate success in vaudeville. And
there is the dusky Miriam Cooper, the Southern
girl in "The Birth of a Nation." The name of
Miriam Cooper is almost forgotten, but she
was an unusually proficient actress

Seena Owen, the stately queen of "Intoler-
ance," is back on the screen after a period of
retirement.

Winifred Westover also retired from tie
screen after her unhappy marriage to William
S. Hart.

She came back to play the name part in
"Lummox." You will not recall the name
of Marjorie Wilson, yet she was acclaimed as
Brown Eyes in "Intolerance."

Then there are other names which dimly
recall past greatness. Joseph Henaberrj', the
kindly Lincoln of " The Birth of a Nation"; Fred
Turner, the scheming carpet-bagger; Mary
^Uden as the hated mulatto; Fay Tincher, who
appeared in the first "Battle of the Se.xes," and
who, for a time, was one of the leading come-
diennes of the screen, and Elmo Lincoln, the
Griffith strong man.

Constance Talmadge became famous as the
Mountain Girl in "Intolerance." Her career
was a bright one, but Connie made light of her
own capabilities.

She preferred a good time to the hard work
that has kept Norma Talmadge secure for so
many years.

In recent years Griffith has made a series of
mediocre pictures. Yet once he was the great-
est of them all. " The Sorrows of Satan" came
near ruining Adolphe Menjou. Lya de Putti,
the sensational woman in "Variety," was
pathetic as the siren. And the picture meant
nothing to the lovers, Ricardo Cortez and
Carol Dempster. There was little to commend
in the second "Battle of the Se.xes." Jetta
Goudal has not-worked since "Lady of the
Pavements," in spite of a cameo-like perform-
ance.

"DUT misfortune has always had a liking for
■•-'David Wark Griffith, even from the time of
"The Birth of a Nation," the picture that made
him famous, and at the same time made him
many enemies. He has been beset by the
jealousy of others, and his own married life
was unhappy. Of late years he has not been
well.

Now he realizes his mistake in setting out
deliberately to make commercial successes.

He must work on inspiration, and with
idyllic material. His own formula of picture
making has never been equalled — building to-
ward a terrific climax in the weaving of lines
of parallel action.

Perhaps he will defeat the old jinx in
".\braham Lincoln."

As for a change in fortune for most of the
others — it is too late for Wally Reid, and
Bobby Harron, Clarine Seymour and Charlie
]Mack.

For those who are li\'ing, it is too late for
Henry Walthall to achieve the heights that
were meant for him.

It may be too late for Blanche Sweet, Mae
Alarsh and Dorothy Gish to climb back to
great public acclaim.

Perhaps it has been enough — just "to have
done a picture with Griffith."



Every atlvertisement In PHOTOPLAY JIAGAZIXE is guaranteed.



Photoplay Magazine for December, 1929



103



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SYSTEM




Just a Crazy Kid



[ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 ]



When he ran away from school, he had his
personal belongings shipped to the police
station as a Pueblo friend of his was a re-
porter on the poUce beat for an evening paper.
The friend met him at the train in a pohce car.
They roared up Broadway seventy miles an
hour, with the siren going mde open.

THAT was Grant's entrance into Los Ange-
les, and that's the way he's gone ever since.
Seventy miles an hour! With the siren wide
open! Making whoopee! What did he care if
he caught the devil at home I

He caught plenty of it. Married and di-
vorced before he was nineteen. An habitue of
all the night clubs. In a rented tu.xedo. Some
one mistook him for a waiter, once. " Show me
to my table," the patron said. Grant did. It
became a gag among his friends. " Boy, show
me to my table!" Making whoopee! Raising
hell! There was just no stopping the boy.

He found a job at a furniture store, but it
grew tiresome. So he became a reporter. It
lasted until the editor called him in for a re-
write and found he couldn't use a typewriter.

Letters from home arrived, begging him to
come back. A couple of years later he did
come back. In an airplane. Making personal
appearances at seven hundred dollars a week,
with a dozen women mad about him. And the
town band met him. Just a crazy kid!

During those early mad days in Los Angeles,
when he wore rented tuxedos and showed cus-
tomers to their tables for the laugh, a friend
introduced him to Fanchon Royer and her
husband, Raymond Cannon. Fanchon watched
him. Big, good-looking, devil-may-care.



"You ought to go in pictures," she said.
"I'd like to manage you. "

Grant laughed. Maybe he even blushed,
although that is doubtful. Anyhow, it is his-
tory that he said, " Aw gowan!"

But when he got fired from the paper, he
thought about it. Fanchon got him a job as an
extra with Douglas MacLean. He sat on a
suitcase in a hotel lobby all day and they paid
liim five dollars.

"Whoopee," said Grant, "this is the life.
Maybe tomorrow I'll find myself a couch."

He found Elinor Glyn instead. Or, to be
more precise, she found him. She asked if he
had ever been in the army. Grant said,
"Yes." He lied, but it didn't matter. Madame
Glyn gave him a bit in one of her pictures and
paid him one hundred dollars.

His film career had begun. Fanchon Royer
managed him and she can step right up and
take a big bow. Managing a career as hectic
as Grant's is as difficult as getting jocund with
Mussolini, fanchon got him out of scrapes
just in time for him to get into new ones. But
she got him jobs, and his work was so steady
that his family came on from Colorado.

He had made a picture with Monte Blue at
Warners when Daryl Zanuck called him into
the office and said, "See here, my boy, how
would you like to play the lead opposite
Dolores Costello?"

"I've got a couple of other things lined up,"
he said, lying . "I don't know whether I could
get out of them."

He promised to try. He'd see Zanuck later.

.'Vt the corner drug store he called Newton.

"Don't be an idiot all your life," said his



brother. "Take the job quick before they find
you out and change their minds."

A few hours later Grant swaggered into
Zanuck's ofiice. "Well," he said, "I think it
can be arranged."

"That's great and, as an added inducement,
here's a five-year contract for you to sign."

He has not had an idle moment since, what
with pictures and gal friends. But of his large
salary he is allowed only fifty dollars a week for
himself. The rest is kept for him. He was
given several bonuses, a big wardrobe and a
car. And they paid up his debts, which
amounted to some four thousand dollars. They
think right well of the kid.

""DUT I'm being smart from now on," he
-•-'says. "The boy's using his head for once.
I'm bujing a big house in Brentwood, and I'm
going to stay in it. Beheve me, I'm married
to this industry. I'm crazy about it. Hon-
estly — don't laugh — I want to make good.
Gosh, I've been lucky. Breaks? I've had a
million of 'em. Wouldn't I be foolish to keep
on being just a crazy kid? Not much for
Uncle Grant. The boy's really settled down."

Really? ilaybe yes, and maybe no. It is
true that he has reached the advanced age of
twenty-four. It is true that he is taking his
screen success seriously. But I doubt if he'll
ever settle down.

.\nd, for all his success, he's just a crazy kid.
And that's why you like him.

P. S. Incidentally, don't be surprised if
Grant and Loretta Young have gone into a
permanent clinch by the time you read this.
Life and Withers are like that!



i6



No More Family Pictures!"



Says John
Monk Saunders



IN the old hairpin days a gentleman used
to possess "a private life," apart from

his public career. But that day has
passed, along with the stiff collar.

The age of intimacy is upon us. When
an Amelia Earhart flies the Atlantic, we
want to know her brand of bath salts and
the color of her undies.

When a screen actress marries, people
want to know what about this fellow, and
how they look together. That's how I came
to be exposed to demon reporters and
fiendish cameramen.

pAY WRAY and I belong to the no-print
school. We didn't see how we'd work
or feel better if we appeared in newspapers
in domestic poses.

So Fay and I decided that ours would not
be a movie marriage. We'd enter wedded
bliss in a quaint village remote from Holly-
wood.

That was a noble scheme. See how per-
fectly it worked out. Rowland Lee decided
to take his company to Chesapeake Bay to
shoot "The First Kiss," in which Fay was
playing. I was sent to nearby Washington
to arrange for the cooperation of the Navy
Department in filming "Dirigible."

■pjERE we were in the East, all the ele-
ments of our plan at hand. Here was
our little Maryland village, with its minister.
I applied for a license in Easton, a lovely
spot. I swore old Colonel Hollyday, the
court clerk, to secrecy, but he pointed out

io4




Author Saunders wanted no pub-
licity pictures, so they made this
one with Big Boss Lasky



that the record book was open to public
scrutiny.

Once the names of Fay Wray and John
Monk Saunders were in that book, it
seemed the news was all over Talbot
County in a second. It even preceded us
back to location. Half an hour later, when
I asked Lee when he would be through with
his leading lady, he stopped work and de-
livered a marriage hynm. Was it cricket, he
asked, to sUp away and get married? Was
it fair to Barney Hutchinson, the publicity
man, who had scotched many rumors for us?

T GAVE in. When we set out for the

Easton church, Lee, Gary Cooper and

Hutchinson — and, alas, a still cameraman — ■



went along. Thank God there was no
camera in the chapel. Those few beautiftil
moments were sacred.

The mischief began outside. The air was
full of rice, and humorous small hoys had
tied old shoes, tin pans and waggish signs to
■(- the car. In a weak moment we allowed
Barney to shoot us embracing for the
camera. That still picture has haunted me
ever since. It has jumped at me from news-
* papers all over the country, causing me, as
lawyers say, anguish, worry, embarrass-
ment and shame.



'\X7'HAT grief followed I In New York we
were pestered by photographers,
writers, jewelers, florists, beauty specialists,
insurance agents and wine merchants. The
Rolls-Royce people sent nice notes telling
about the new models. A race track sharp-
shooter gave us a hot tip on a crooked bang-
tail for a wedding present.

And it was distressing to get a note — as
Fay did — from an old friend at whose home
she had once been a guest, enclosing a bill
for that hospitality, "Now that fortune has
favored you."



'T*HE climax came after our return to
Holljrwood, when a yoimg man, des-
perate for money, tried to extort $2,000 from
Fay with a threatening letter. The police
got him, after he caused us much grief and
woe.

Do you blame me when I scream, "No
more family pictures"?



LITTLE STORIES FROM REAL LIFE



POSED BY FAMOUS SCREEN STARS



^ewiTCjreT)/



Again and Again He Found Himself
Drawn Back to Her by the Spell of a
Haunting Elusive Fragrance



ROMANCE had somehow never seemed
to come my way. It was always some
- other girl in our crowd who was being
taken out to look at the moon — who sat out
dances in quiet corners — who seemed to have
some man constantly at her feet.

It's all very nice to have a man tell you you're
"the life of a party" — but I wanted someone
to act thrilled and ardent about me — to gaze
at me as though I were something precious and
apart — to tell me he just couldn't keep away
from me.

How did one weave such a spell.' How be-
come alluring — fascinating — irresistible ?

CHRISTMAS came, and one of my gifts
was a gay, sparkling little bottle of per-
fume. I was going to the theatre that night
with a man I liked particularly well, and when
I dressed for the evening I used the new perfume.

I found something enchanting about this new
odor. Magic and mystery seemed to breathe
from it. Something about its fragrance made
me think of thrilling tales I had read of tropical
nights and jungle flowers.

It happened that the play that night was a South Sea
romance, with music on a moonlit beach. During the last act
my companion leaned over and whispered:

"Convincing sort of scene, isn't it.' But I've just discovered
that part of the illusion is in that tantalizing perfume you are
wearing. What an inspiration!"

He looked at me as though he were really seeing me for the
first time, and — which thrilled me — as though I were a part
of the glamour and romance that breathed through the play.
Would this mood last through the evening, I wondered.

I was to discover that it would last through many, many




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Oh, It Is, Is It?



I CONTINUED FROM PAGE 43 ]



the glory of the bracelet which the little boop-
adooper, Helen Kane — new to Hollywood, but
learning fast — crashed at them the other day.
"Oh, this thing," she said to my awed look.
"It's just a knick-knack. But you should
see the one I'm going to get. It's got emeralds
so-o-obig."

She pantomimed an egg at least.

Was it strange that Jack Oakie should
whiten and creep away? That David Newell
should get a laugh — and out?

"I'm a star at S.300 a week" (Buddy Rogers
wailing). "The lowest paid one in the busi-
ness. I can't save as much as I did when
I was getting $65 for playing in 'Wings'!"

TS it any wonder that Buddy should be seen
■^in the company of a young lady who astutely
picked out a multi-millionaire father, and thus
relieved her young men of the problem of
deciding between rubies or tiger eyes?

Phillips Holmes sits in his apartment and
reads. "Get out and play," says I. "Can't
afford it," says he, on behalf of scores of young
men under the six-months-option Sword of
Damocles.

There is an erroneous impression current —
and strangely it extends to the girls of the
racket — that the bill-paying sex of the film
industry are (if I may) lousy with dough.

Such, to get things straight, is not the case.
They get more money than the usual young
man, true enough; but they have a multitude
of expenses of which the usual young man
knows nothing. They simply can't afford to
be romantic away from the camera — in the
fashion which the picture lasses consider
romantic: terrapin and tiaras, caviar and
cluster brooches.



When they get embarrassed and try to swell
their incomes to something impressive, try to
keep up with the overnight flash characteristic
of visiting firemen, they invariably are marks
for the gyp artists with which the village
abounds.

What to do? Well, there is matrimony.
Young Doug, Carroll Nye, Raymond Hackett,
Chester Morris and Johnny Mack Brown thus
temporarily are safe from the ravages of the
local Loreleis.

Or sports. Larry Kent and Charlie Farrell
are ardent yachtsmen. Guinn "Big Boy"
Williams plays polo. Hugh Trevor is addicted
to tennis. John Holland wrestles. Lane
Chandler rides.

These young men figure that such exercises
are preferable to that of making little ones out
of big ones, a pastime promised to Cullen
Landis during his recent appearance in coiu-t
on an alimony-arrears charge.

The .\merican divorce court seems to have
been planned by some designing female. One
would think, by all the laws of equality
now said to be in practice, that if two young
people decided that their marriage was a bust,
the sporting thing to do would be to kiss and
part.

THE parting is done all right; but the token
of termination takes the form of a perma-
nent attachment on the side of the lady for a
portion of the late husband's wage.

One shudders at the number of lads who fill
in regular engagements with quickie jobs down
on Poverty Row in order that an ex-wife may
not miss her regular luncheon at the Mont-
mart re.

It's not the initial cost: it's the upkeep.



The demands are terrific. "The Hollywood
girl," commented Pat Powers, the producer,



Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 132 of 145)