Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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tell what I thought of her in print if it cost
me my job.

Suddenly she opened the door and asked me
in. Five minutes later she could have put me
on the floor and used me for a willing doormat.
I was completely, immediately fascinated by
her. One glance and I knew it wasn't sellish-
ness, it wasn't egotism, that made her thus
exclusive. It was the natural, the beautiful im-
pulse of the artist to give all she had and the
best she had to her work and let the rest of the
world go hang.

SHE talked incessantly that night. She still
talks incessantly, I understand. She talked
while she took off her make-up and while she
dressed. She talked while she left the theater
with a bunch of American beauty roses over
her arm and her motor waiting. She talked for
two and a half solid hours but she didn't know
it and I didn't give a hang.

I'^or more than an hour we stood in that
night-shadowed street, while an adoring
chaufleur stood with an open car door and I
stood with an open mouth. And when she
finally floated away and left me unconscious on
the curb I knew I was as near first water genius
as I shall ever get.

Not that Ina Claire was always that way.
Heavens, no. She proves conclusively what a
girl can do to develop her own personality if
she uses her brains and her energy and works
like a whip-lashed slave.

There are artists who create their master-
pieces in terms of paint and canvas and others
who work in terms of beautiful music and
others who cut fair, white marble. Ina Claire
is definitely an artist who has worked in terms
of her own charm.

She was born a poor little kid. Her name
was Fagan and her father had died in an auto-
mobile accident four months before her coming.

.\lmost immediately she knew she wanted to
go on the stage. By four she was on, a baby
doing imitations.

She kept on doing imitations. She had a
mother, the typical stage Mamma with the
typical guardian-dragon complex. Somewhere
along the line, I suppose, she got some educa-
tion. Today she speaks French with all the
fluency of a prime minister, but it is hard to
figure out when she got time to learn anything.
She appeared with Richard Carle in "Jumping
Jupiter"; in the Frolics Bergere, New York's
first cabaret; in the title role of "The Quaker
Girl"; in "The Honeymoon Express"; but it
wasn't until she appeared in Ziegfeld's Follies
of 1915 that she was definitely set.

In that year's F'oflies she imitated Frances
Starr playing Maric-Odilc in a production of
David Belasco's.

'T'HAT choice looked like an accident, but I
^ would like to wager forty-five of my labori-
ously minted doUars that Ina's imitating Miss
Starr was just about as accidental as Washing-
ton's crossing the Delaware.

She had climbed as high as she could go in
musical comedy. She had reached the Follies
and there wasn't any more. But drama lay
ahead and Belasco was dean of aU the pro-
ducers. Certainly very shortly thereafter Miss
Claire was signed to appear in Mr. Belasco's
production, "Polly with a Past."

She was very charming in " PoUy," and very
unimportant. Theseasonopenedandclosedand
next season Belasco put her in the leading role
of "The Gold Diggers." And in "The Gold
Diggers" Ina Claire struck bottom.

She had a marvelous part and she got excel-
lent notices. But there were two factors
operating against her. In the cast of her play
was an actress, Jobyna Howland, with a voice
like a foghorn and a perfect knowledge of how
to use it. And in Ina's private life there was a
man, who up until this present writing was her
one and only husband, one Jimmie Whittaker,
a newspaper reporter.

At the theater Jobyna, the experienced
trouper, topped Ina's every scene. And to be
"topped" in scenes is the most sickening.

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Photoplay Magazine — Advertising Section

3 daifs

- ujhen Mum
means most

Most woiiKii liave discovered tlic need
of Mum to guard tlie underarm from all

But protection from the odors of per-
spiration is only half the story !

Mum performs its most important scrz'-
icc on the sanitary napkin!

For Mum is a true deodorant. It neu-
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frustrating thing that can happen to an actress.
It is a vocal trick entirely. Jobyna could talk
louder and faster than Ina. When they got in
a scene together Jobyna's bass against Ina's
golden soprano was like a truck against a field
of violets. Before the end of the run Ina had
to leave the cast. The press yarn was that she
was ill. But she wasn't ill. The truth was that
her voice had given out entirely.

And Jimmie Whittaker. I don't know a
thing about it, but I have the impression that
Ina Claire was terribly in love with him.

Certainly she could have married almost any
man in the metropolis. Among her hundreds
of suitors one was the scion of one of America's
oldest, richest and most aristocratic families.
.'\nd when a girl who could have made a
riage like that chooses to marry a penniless
reporter it must be love.

Jimmie Whittaker was the true newspaper
man — charming, unambitious for material
things, intelligent and caustic. When any-
thing exciting happened, Jimmie was prone to
say, "Oh, what the heck," or words to that
effect. And there was Ina, fiercely ambitious,
eager for fame, hungry for security, driven ever
restless by her urge to be a great artist.

WHEN Ina opened in "The Gold Diggers,"
Jimmie was sent to review the show.

"When we were married," he wTote, "Miss
Ina Claire gave her profession as actress. Last
night in 'The Gold Diggers' she did nothing to
confirm this." It was the first public announce-
ment of their union and it was also its swan-
song. Shortly thereafter Ina got her divorce.

She was out of a show, out of a voice and out
of love. But she wasn't out of courage. She
sailed for France and went to work.

It wasn't many months before her vocal
chords, which had literally been calloused
through her attempting to talk louder than
Miss Howland, were like a piano keyboard to
the hands of a magician. She could create
tones on them and produce any effect she
willed. But she wasn't satisfied.

She secured herself bits with French comedy
troupes. Not as Ina Claire but as a struggling
young actress. She chose these French com-
panies because she knew what she wanted.
She wanted to be a comedienne; she needed
the cacJict of chic and smartness; and she felt,
very rightly, that French trained actresses
possess these qualities to a superlative degree.

\\'hen she had learned her lessons, when she
was assured through dozens of performances,
that her voice, her technique were perfected,
she came back to Broadway.

She had left it an ambitious girl. She re-
turned to it a woman of the world. She, who
cared nothing for clothes, became the smartest
dressed woman on the American stage. She,
who wore not a touch of make-up on the street,
became a wizard at it for her performances.

She introduced the first shingle bob. She in-
troduced the first theatrical posters by the
great artist Drian. And she made theatrical
history by appearing in five successive comedies
that didn't amount to a tinker's darn on their
own accounts, but which were made into
speculators' paradises by her masterly per-
formances in them.

By the time she played in "The Last of Mrs.
Cheyney" her fame was so secure, her follow-
ing so definite, the speculators bought blocks of
seats for her theater regardless of time, tide or
prices. And that was her position when she
went to Hollywood in .-\pril to make, not her
first movie, for she made a couple of movies
many years ago, but her first talkie.

\\ hich gets me back, definitely, to the smiles
that must have been on the faces of the high
gods when Jack and Ina eloped.

Jack's career has been one of struggle all the
way. And so has Ina's.

Jack, writing about making "The Big
Parade" in his life story in PnoroPL.w, said:
"No love has ever enthralled me as much as
this. No achievement mil ever excite me so
much. No reward mil e\'er be so great."

Ina, talking of her work, uses much the same
words. Tu-o artists who lo-^'e their work. Two
human beings who have been totally unwse in
love. If Jack had married Greta Garbo, as he
undoubtedly once wished to do, she would have
always remained a mystery to him. Re-
pressed, reserved, strangely fascinating, he
would never have understood her, never have
known her.

There is no mystery about Irui Claire. There
are, instead, things infinitely more endearing.
There is warmth, enthusiasm, impulsiveness,
charm, intelligence and chic. Ina is an .\mcri-
can and yet a woman of the world, a girl who
started with nothing and made every goal she

J.\CK'S two other marriages were mad, head-
long kid affairs, the loves of a man who hadn't
worked out his destiny.

And no more had Ina Claire achieved the
full llowering of her extraordinary personality
when she married Jimmie Whittaker.

Today Jack Gilbert is the screen's greatest
lover. Ina Claire is the stage's leading come-

If two human beings ever met on a basis of
equaUty, these two do. Equal in fame, equal
in money, equal in ability, equal in ambition.

Their love should last. It surely seems as
though it should be the answer to the deepest
idealisms they have cherished over all their
hard-working years and disiUusionnients.

But just between ourselves, when you think
of the man Jack Gilbert is and realize the
woman Ina Claire represents and you think of
those two in love and married — well, really,
don't some people have all the luck?

LOST — Leonard Hall. Somewhere in the wilds of Holly-
wood. Last heard from him was following note, which may
give clue to his ^vhereabouts:

For those with a roving eye the search
for the world's loveliest women goes on as
long as the eyesight holds out. But my
hunt has come to an end in Hollywood.

I thought I'd seen the last word when I
beheld the blondes of Vienna. For
several years I swore by Flo Ziegfeld as a
picker. Then I turned my allegiance to
the gals of the films.

But that's all over now. The most
beautiful women in the world, including
the Scandinavian, work for Mr. Greer,
famous Hollywood dressmaker, who
makes marvelous duds for Norma Tal-
madge and many other players.

Greer has about eight models who
positively glitter.

Why the picture executives don't offer
them a miUion dollars I don't yet
know, but I'm going to lurk around the
Greer establishment until I either find out
or am thrown out.

.\s a matter of fact, the saleswomen and
waitresses of Hollywood stack up against
any of the pippins to be found on any of
the lots.

If the beauts of filmland ever stage a
walkout, the producers can dig up all the
loveliness they need in a half-hour on the

(Suggest that Los Angeles police assign keen-eyed dick
to watch establishment referred to.)

Every advertisement In PHOTOPLAY JIAGAZINB Is guaranteed.

Photoplay Magazine — Advertising Section


She Prayed for
the Part


Press Club and a friend of D. W. Griffith. Jlr.
Criffitli visited her family at one time, saw
the girl — who was then Winifred Von Heide —
and remarked upon her resemblance to Blanche
Sweet. He asked her if she would like to try
out in pictures. Of course, she was overjoyed.
She had been studying piano and taking vocal
lessons, but she gave that up gladly to accept
his offer. So she had her early training under
"D. W." in the old Fine .Arts days.

"I was with that company about two and a
half years," she said. "\Vhat a wonderful
group that was! Wy first picture was 'Poor
Papa,' with DeWolf Hopper. Then I was in
'The Half Breed' with Douglas Fairbanks.
I played 'Baby Blue Eyes,' a dance hall vamp.
I looked so wide-eyed and innocent in those
days that I suppose the name of the character
fitted me. I remember that, after 'Baby Blue
Eyes' had played the ingenue, her last line, to
the bartender, was: — 'ilike, two bottles in
the back room.' "

AFTER that she was leading woman for
Harry Carey, with John Ford directing; for
William S. Hart, for Charles Ray and for Wil-
liam Russell. She played with Emma Dunn in
"Old Lady 31" and later made three pictures
for Fox, in at least one of which she played
opposite Buck Jones.

"Later I went to Sweden," she said, "and
made some peasant pictures with an all-
Swedish cast. Zorn told me that I was more
of the Swedish peasant tj-pe — that is, the tj^ie
most people imagine Swedes to be — than were
the Swedes themselves. I came honestly by
that, anyway. JMy father was Swedish and
French, and my mother had Danish blood,
so it's no wonder I have Scandinavian traits
and characteristics."

She came back to New York after the
Swedish venture and made several pictures
for Selznick, returning to California in 1921,
the year she was married. One final question
was asked her : —

"Now that you have been selected for the
role of 'Lummo.x,' do you pray that you will
make good in it?"

She seemed surprised. To her the question
was superfluous.

"But, of course not," she replied. "If I
were not to make good, I would n^t have been
selected for the role."

Princeton Goes


Vitaphone! When the sound finally came, it
was way behind the action on the screen. In
the course of the next five minutes, Josephine
Dunn spoke Jolson's lines, Jolson talked noth-
ing but baby-talk, and Davey Lee sang "Sonny

"Fix it!" cried the audience, but it was not
fixed until the beginning of the next reel. The
noise-makers had gained their end.

Subsequent showing of talking pictures has
shown that the Princeton students will have
nothing else. They pack the theater for
"talkies" as they formerly did only to see
Greta Garbo. And they no longer bring bells
and whistles, or alarm clocks. They are loud
in their approval and their criticism. That
makes it easy for the manager when booking
future programs. And he doesn't need to pro-
claim talking pictures a success — he just points
to the line at the box office.


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Photoplay Magazine — Advertising Section

^e/itaJtt '





Amateur Movies


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Liggett's are also Rexall Stores.


Left, Dorothy
Burke, the fem-
inine lead; be-
low, William
Overstreet, an
player ; and,
right. Phyllis
Van Kimmell,
the ingenue, of
the new Univer-
sity of Oregon
amateur film

T^HE Flower Cit}' Amateur
^ Movie Club, which en-
tered "At Your Service" in
Photoplay's $2,000 con-
test, was organized in
March, 1928, by Frank J.
Buelhman. Since that time
more than sLxty have en-
rolled as active members.

Since the club's inception
two screen plays, "Fresh-
man Days" and "At Your
Ser\-ice," have been made
by senior members of the
club. "Three of a Kind"
was made by the junior

The organization is a
member of the Amateur Cinema League oi
America and holds regular weekly meetings.
The officers are: Frank J. Buelhman, presi-
dent; F2. A. Curtis, vice-president; William N.
Cushing, business manager; R. J\L Clemens,
director; Lee G. Wright, secretar)'; and Joseph
n. Apple ton, publicity manager.

AT a recent meeting of the Metropolitan
-'^■Motion Picture Club, the newly organized
New York amateurs, an informal talk was
given by Professor Carl Louis Gregory on
amateur problems, dealing particularly with
interior lighting and the use of filters. "H20,''
an experimental film showing the movement
and reflections of water under varj'ing condi-
tions, produced by Ralph Steiner, a club mem-
ber, was shown. Over 150 members attended
the meeting, which was presided o\'er by Dr.
Raymond 1.. Ditmars.

npHE activities of the
■'-Washington Cinema
Club in making a film record
of the inauguration of Presi-
dent Herbert Hoover are
worthy of unusual note.
Plans were laid well in ad-
vance. Space was obtained
in the official photographers'
stand and arm bands, per-
mitting members to work
without restriction along
the Une of march, were ob-

Two hundred and sixty
feet of 16 millimeter film
. were obtained. The film was
developed by the club

members. Prints are being furnished each

club member at a nominal cost.

■\yfARKARD PICTURES, the amateur
■'■'-'■makers of the much talked about film,
"Narrow Paths," announces that a new pro-
duction, " Nothing to Declare," is in work. This
will run 1,200 feet in 16 millimeter film. The
storj', adapted for the screen by Harry M.
Lopez, deals with a crooked custom oflicial who
uses his position to blackmail wealthy evaders
of custom duties. The photography will be in
the hands of J. \'. Martindale and Frank Pack-
ard. Markard, by the way, is a combination of
these two names.

THE Hawthorne Photographic Club of
Chicago, -omposed of members of the
Western EleCiric's Hawthorne Station, is con-
ducting a scenario contest open to members.

Scene from the Cumberland Cinema Club's production of Oscar
Wilde's "Salome," submitted in the PHOTOPLAY contest. The
Cumberland Club is composed of amateur enthusiasts of Vine-
land, N. J.

B»ei7 advertisement In PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE I3 guaranteed.

Photoplay Magazine — Advertising Section

Young King Leer


The talkie lightning smote Mr. Morris when
he and the wifelet were swinging round the
Western circle in a little vaudeville act.

Chester had made a few mild passes at pic-
tures. Mr. De Mille had been pontilically
kind. Mr. Griffith had even made a test of

Then Fate, in the person of Director Roland
West, came up and tapped young Mr. Morris
for Bones. ,

West went into the Griffith headquarters one
day. "AJibi" was on the make, and the
director was in the market for a Chick Wil-
liams, Grade A.

"How about letting father look at some of
your rusty old tests?" Mr. West might have
said. He was accommodated.

Suddenly Mr. Morris leered his best party
leer from the screen. Mr. West leaped fully
forty feet into the air and cracked his heels.

"There's my Chick!" he cried. And darned
if it wasn't!

A FEW days later, Morris was in the
studio, learning and unlearning under
the baton of Roland West.

His fourteen years of trouping stood by him .
He learned fast and well, and West was teacher,

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 15 of 145)