Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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Velez type of Spanish tamale who worked in a
tobacco factory.

He bought her a seven-foot rope of genuine
pearls big enough to play marbles with, but she
never learned what love was until one day the
nobleman got sore because she locked him out-
side the palace he bought her as an engagement



present or something of the sort, and whaled
the tar out of her.

But he forgot to beat her up the next week
and she walked out on him, taking along her
marbles.

BUT the joke is still to come. Next morning
I read an attack on the American motion
picture industry by M. Jean Sapene, who is
the director of the company that made the pic-
ture, and also head man of one of the most
powerful Paris newspapers.

In closing, he said, "Without the quota the
French industry will have to die, and French
thought, its influence, the spreading of its ideas,
beauty, progress by the animated image — in
short, all that which down through the ages has
contributed to its honor, its glory, and its power
will disappear, not only from the screens of the
world, but our own screen as well."

The gentleman quoted above made the pic-
ture I saw at the Paramount.

Now, taking off my reporter's disguise and
putting on my new French bonnet, the better
half and I are going for a real treat.

We are going back to take another look at
Notre Dame, and then for a third trip to the
Louvre.

EX'ERYTHING connected with pictures on
this side of the Atlantic is a bit quaint, a bit
reminiscent of days that are no more to Amer-
ican audiences. I picked up an issue of The
Film Weekly, the popular English fan publica-
tion, to read a good old-fashioned interview
with Pola Negri.

I AM an extremist in everything I do," Miss
Negri was quoted as saying. "Whether it
be love or hate or work or play, I throw my
entire self into the passion of the moment. In
the way I work I am a little like Emil Jannings.

" I mean that I lose Pola Negri in the identity
of my role. If I am playing a servant girl, 1
come home at night and eat humble food, and
dress myself in humble clothes.

" If I am playing a queen, a millionairess, a
rich society lady, I live the part both inside and
outside the studio. Pola Negri is forgotten."

AND if you are playing a wicked vam-
pire?" the interviewer coyly inquired.

"Ah, then — that is the difficulty! When I
play the vampire, I must ask everyone to — to —
leave my house! They cannot trust me, you see,
and I cannot trust myself!

" I have to live all alone with my dogs, who
are my truest friends and forgive me whatever
I do!" . .

Oh, for the good old days of stars born withm
the shadow of the pyramids !




Hired to
double, she
literally be-
came the
Swedish star




Greta Garbo herself — The white flame of Sweden.

Note the uncanny resemblance of the extra girl

opposite to the popular star



Geraldine De Vorak — Greta's double. The

resemblance is remarkable. Physically she is

the same to the half-inch in measurement




Girl who Played
Greta Garbo



g:



OTT! She looks like me!"

Greta Garbo, seated in the dark projection room,
''saw her e.xact likeness flashed across the screen. The
' gowns made for her newest picture were being modeled
by her double.

"You like this frock, Miss Garbo?" the costume designer
asked.

"Oh, yes, O.K." she said absently. Her interest was not in
the way the dresses hung, nor how the colors photographed.
She was held by the amazing likeness she saw before her. "Dot
girl! Gott, don't she look like me?"

There are two Garbos in Hollywood.

One is the white flame from Sweden.

The other is Geraldine De \'orak, her double.

Geraldine's duties consist in having gowns fitted on her, in
making wardrobe tests and in standing in front of the camera
until the lights are ready. Occasionally she is used for "a long
shot to save the star's energy.

She has assumed more specific duties than these. Having
become a figment of her own imagination, she has taken it upon
herself to play the role of Garbo. She is what Garbo should be
and isn't.

She is Greta Garbo's private life.

Her physical requirements are e.xact. Greta and Geraldine
measure the same to the half inch, weigh the same to the half
pound. Their faces are shaped alike.

Geraldine has everything that Garbo has except whatever it
is that Garbo lias. To the latter has been given a great, vital
talent. To the other an imagination only. An imagination so
demanding that she has been able to re-create herself in the
likeness of the Garbo.

Psychologically, the thing is sound.

Garbo's own private life does not suit the silver sheet lady of
passion. The off-screen Garbo is hopelessly young, as gauche
as a farmer boy and as timid as a younger sister. Her tweed
coats are the despair of the modistes. She wears her little sports
hats pulled tight down over her ears.

Her dislike of grandeur amounts to a passion. It is her de-
light to pass up limousines in her shiny little Ford. She has
attended but one premiere. She has never crossed the sacred



portal of Eddie Brandstatter's Montmartre Cafe. .\ publicity-
man's camera is a red signal for flight.

These outward manifestations she leaves, ironically enough,
to an extra girl on a forty dollar a week salary. Greta takes the
cash and Geraldine the credit.

The paraphernalia of stardom is anathema to Garbo. .\t
heart she is a simple Swedish girl, and the sudden success that
now surrounds her is not worth a single white-capped wave on
a Scandinavian sea.

She is, I'm afraid, a bitter disappointment to the executives
at the studio. Not from a box office standpoint, mind you.
The shekels she has brought in are of bright, true gold. But she
has failed as a private life star.

Such a dazzling personality on the screen! She might see her
picture in every paper in every city every day. But she refuses
to do anything to put it there. She leaves the studio at night
and goes straight home. She pulls her little sports hat over her
eyes and travels the world incognito.

STARDOM bores her, so she leaves her glittering, dazzling,
successful garments at the studio. And there Geraldine De
\'orak finds them and puts them on.

Strange — that to the one should be given the divine gift and
to the other only the desire.

Garbo is the actress. De \'orak, the star.

Geraldine is everything that a star should be.

Tweed coats and little sports hats? There's not a one in her
wardrobe. She wears what Garbo should wear. Small, inter-
esting toques. Clinging velvet gowns. Furs.

Her hair is combed back off her face like Garbo's. She walks
majestically into the studio commissary and sits alone at a
table. She has grace, where Garbo is awkward. She cups her
chin in her hands and imagines that she is Garbo.

Strange — that two women should be made in the same mould.
They are alike, completely alike, physically. But one has, in
some inexplicable manner, clasped a feather of the bird of
beauty.

Geraldine, living in a world of her own making, ignores the
difference in their stations. To Garbo the acclaim is nothing.
Shedoesn't care a Swedish herring [please turn to page 108]

'29



Jhc Jr



assing of the




Frances Johnstone,
one time silent film
extra, now secretary
in a Hollywood play-
ers' agency



Ouida Willis, another
silent extra, now
saleswoman in a
woman's shop on
Hollywood Boulevard



Dorothy Irving, one of
the old studio extra
guard, now a shopper
for Howard Greer,
clothes designer



The micro-
phone era has
transform ed
Hollywood, and
the 1929 extra
must have more
than beauty



THE extra girl is gone.
Her beaded evening gown, her gleaming riding boots,
her exotic negligee, her thoroughly impractical bathing
suit — all a symbol of her — lie dejectedly in ber clothes
closet.

One doesn't need a beaded evening gown, nor a pair of riding
boots behind the counter of a five- and ten-cent store, nor at the
steam table of a cafeteria, nor in the nursery of a rich man's
home.

When the shadow of the microphone fell across Hollywood,
the extra girl put aside her number two pink grease paint and
her number six black mascara and took up other tools for other
trades. Glamour was left behind her.

A new era has dawned. It is heralded with sound effects.
And the new extra girl is a pair of dancing feet, a lithe, hardy
body and a throat that can sing "Mammy."

Once beauty spelled film success. Now it is accomplishment.

A few days ago I walked on a new sound stage at one of the
old studios. There were fifty girls on the set and I saw not a
single familiar face!

I recalled the stages of six months ago. A certain dull,
droning atmosphere was felt on the old silent sets. Their only
claim to brilliance was the beauty of the girls with their
vivid costumes, their bizarre taste in jewels and their mania
for exhibiting their ravishing backs.

The girls themselves were a trifle haughty, a trifle proud.
Easy, light patter was at the tip of their tongues and their
laughter was sudden and a trifle
hard .

They collected in little groups
when they weren't in front of the
camera. They usually removed
the silver or gold dancing pumps
and substituted house slippers
(silver shoes cost $16.50 a pair in
Hollywood). The lazy smoke
from their cigarettes wafted to the
overhead lights the extra girl's
prayer, "May there be work to-
morrow!"

Some played bridge in corners.
Others bent over pieces of sewing.
On very rare occasions one of them
read a book. This was unique
enough to be considered in the
light of news. The rest chatted.

"I tell you, dearie, she gets all



Requirements of the




1929 Extra


1.


A pretty face


2.


A pretty figure


3.


Ability to dance


4.


A voice


5.


Youth


6.


Personality


7.


Excellent health



her work because her boy friend is the assistant director."
" Where did you get that swell lip rouge, Mabel?"
"Oh, sure. I went to that party, but it wasn't so hot and I
didn't stay long because I knew I was working today."

"Remember that beige lace dress I had? I dyed it blue.
Looks nice."

The drone of the voices went on all day. Briskness was a
social error. It was a dull, stagnant sort of life with boredom
as its keynote, but it had glamour and it was comparatively
secure. The "dress" extras, those used on the smart sets,
were employed about three days a week. It was enough to
carry them along. And it was easy work.

BUT it isn't easy now. Big rehearsal rooms have been built
just off the sound stages. Here are to be found dozens of
girls and a couple of pianos. Vo-de-o-do. The girls have live,
young faces (every chorine used in the Fox Follies was under
sixteen) and slim, active bodies. And they're busy. They're
working. They're dancing, dancing, dancing.

In one corner three youngsters are doing the most exhausting
leaps and catches. In another part of the room a little girl (she
hasn't a very pretty face but heaps of personality) is strutting
on her toes. The muscles of her legs stand out like walnuts.
The piano is incessant. Ta-ta-ta. Two kids are doing tap
work and break-downs. No bridge playing here! No idle
chatter! No indolence! It's all work. Fast, exciting, exacting
work pitched in a high key.

\nA there isn't a familiar face.
For these few extras are picked up
in dancing schools or they come
from the local choruses, from the
legitimate stage or from New
York.

They are alert like the quick
music that accompanies their
dancing.

But where are the old cohorts?
The sinuous, voluptuous extra of a
few months ago — where is she?

A group of us happened to drop
into a shabby little restaurant on
the beach at Santa Monica after a
swim. The waitress came to our
table for the order. She was
beautiful, I noticed, and there was
something familiar about her face.
Suddenly I remembered where




By

Katherine
Albert



I had seen her. It was on a sump-
tuous set at oneof the studios. She
had worn a flame colored velvet
gown. Crystals sparkled at her
throat and wrists. And here she
was, a waitress in a shabby, little
beach restaurant.

Her hand trembled as she set
the water in front of us. She turned
was a little tear on her cheek. Once,
glycerine for a crying scene.

When we had finished our meal she
for God's sake, don't tell anybody
you saw me here. I wouldn't have
any of the girls know. I'm just
tiding myself over until people get
sick of these stupid talkies. It
won't be long, will it?" she asked
fiercely. "Don't you think the
public will want silent pictures
again ? I took this job because
the place was away from Holly-
wood. I'd die if I saw any of
the girls. Maybe if I'd henna
my hair it would change me."

HAD I wanted to prolong the
agony of the meeting, I could
have told her of the other e.xtras
who would "die if any of the girls
saw them."

There's the girl who learned
manicuring and goes out in the
evening with her scissors and liquid
nail polish. She's just "tiding
herself over until the public is
tired of talkies." She's sure
"they're just a fad."

And there's the girl who owns
her own car and hires out for taxi
service.

One of the prettiest extras I
ever saw is taking care of children
in the evening. Does she tell
them wild, exciting stories of the
glamorous da\'s when she stood
next to Lillian Gish for a big close-
up and when Richard Barthel-
mess looked right at her and said,
"I want that girl to do this bit
forme"?



Now, no bridge and gossip. The extras rehearse every spare moment.

Above, Archie Cottier teaching new steps to the girls of the Fox

Movietone Follies. Fifty were chosen out of 500

away quickly and there At the Ambassador Food Show recently a beautiful girl pre-

on a set, she had to use sided over the waffle iron. She talked to housewives for hours,

trying to impress them with the fact that the waffle batter she

called me aside. "Please, demonstrated was better than the kind they made up at home.

The dramatic ability that the
home town folks told her she had
before she came to Hollywood
thus served its purpose.

You meet the girls on the
street. They put up a good
front. They are a proud lot.
Oh, they're just between engage-
ments. It won't be long until

they'll be working "steady"
again. And isn't it strange
that you just happened to
catch them in one of their old-
est frocks ?

The wise ones are not wait-
ing for the talkie fad to be over.
They have left the business
completely.

In Jessie Wadsworth's office
(Jessie is an actor'sagent) Isaw,
at the desk, a brisk, efficient,
beautiful secretary. "Hello,
Miss Wadsworth's office. Miss
Wadsworth isn't in. Who's call-
ing, please?"

She turned to me and smiled
and I remembered Frances
Johnstone, one of the most

[ PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 122 ]



Recall "The Wedding of the
Painted Doll" in "The
Broadway Melody"? Then
you remember Joyce Mur-
ray, who is the new type of
talkie extra girl. She can do
all sorts of acrobatic dances
— and do them well

31





/T^ home— Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Joan Crawford and

(^yi youns: Doug were married on June 3rd, in New York. The ceremony

took place at St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church, with the Rev.

Edward F. Leonard officiating. This is the actors' church, near Broadway,

from which Valentino was buried




The grand old Hotel Hollywood, filmland's first and most famous inn, on a busy, licentious
afternoon. Note the orgy in progress on the lawn. What these walls have heard!

Ip Daring Days of

Hollywood

Hollywood Has Vanished Along with
Tahiti and Timbuctoo, Says Herbert Howe



THE Hollywood hotel, in its flesh-colored stucco, sprawled
in the morning sun like a freshly tubbed baby. Wreathed
in flowers and the coo of birds, it was all innocence. But
tourist ladies poking among the shrubs suddenly re-
coiled with frightened squawks. There, under a pink Ophelia
rose, lay a gentleman in pajamas.

Thus is Hollywood discovered: under the rose, the serpent.
Or at least so it was in the palmy days of ten years ago.

At first it was thought that the gentleman in robe dc unit had
been winged from his window by a carefree bullet from Te.xas
Guinan's gat. Te.x lived at the hotel, and in those days was the
two-gun woman of pictures, "the female Bill Hart"; whenever
she returned from a tour she was met by her cowboys and
escorted to the hotel with a rattle of musketry. The regular
guests knew enough to bury their heads in their pillows and
pray, but a curious innocent might peer out the window, get
punctured and faw down boom among the floral offerings.

But the gentleman was not shot by a bullet. He had been
attending a party in his pajamas the previous night. Seated in
the window, glass in hand, he suddenly had passed out via the
window. Of course, the gossips — and what merry, daring souls



they were in those days — insisted that he was in the wrong
room when the right man had returned home from location and
had been torn from a right wrong embrace to be dropped out-
side. He was not dead, but sleeping, for men were hardy in
that pioneer epoch.

THERE were no formalities then. A window was as good an
e.xit as a door. On the first night of my arrival I had been
called upon to assist a young rapture through a window because,
as she hastily breathed, she didn't want people seeing her go
through the lobby to her friend's room.

The hotel of those days had sound-proofless walls and ever>'-
one's secret was everyone's. Vi Dana talking to her sweetheart in
Chicago by long distance at midnight was told to pipe down by
a grouch in the seventh room beyond. A brawl on the first floor
had people taking sides in their beds on the first. It was just a
great big family.

The Thursday night dance was the weekly event in the vil-
lage. Stars fraternized in perfect equality, for there were no
princesses, or marquises, or friends of royalty among us. All was
communism. [ please turn to page 104 ]

33





You remember her, of course. Katherine MacDon-
ald, the American Beauty. She has made only one
picture since 1923. Recently it was rumored that
she had been killed in an automobile accident. As
a matter of fact. Miss MacDonald has just returned
from a tour of Europe with her husband, Christian
K. Holmes, a wealthy resident of Santa Barbara.
Miss MacDonald owns a wholesale cosmetic estab-
lishment and is a successful business woman. Her
address is 6312 Selma Avenue, Hollywood



Kathlyn Williams was one of the first serial
queens. At the height of her popularity she mar-
ried Charles Eyton, then an executive of the Para-
mount Company. After her marriage, she played
in dramatic pictures, notably "The Whispering
Chorus." Upon the death of her only son, she
dropped all her professional and social activities.
Recently she returned and appeared as Anita
Page's mother in "Our Dancing Daughters." Her
address is 458 N. June Street, Hollywood



Should Old Acquaintance





Crane Wilbur was a matinee idol. Thousands of
girls wrote him silly adoring letters. Wilbur
couldn't stand it and, ten years ago, he fled to Nev^
York to write and produce his own plays. It meant
an uphill fight but he kept at it. "The Monster,"
"The Woman Disputed," and "The Ouija Board"
are some of his plays. He has just signed a contract
to write, direct and act in talkies for Metro-Gold-
wyn-Mayer. He is living at the Roosevelt Hotel in
Hollywood



When Ethel Clayton's husband died, she was so
grief-stricken that she left the movies. As the wife
of Joseph Kaufman, director for Paramount, she
had been earning $5,000 a week. A few years ago
she appeared in a few films and made a vaudeville
tour. Last year she married Ian Keith, a leading
man. She is young and attractive and could return
to the screen if she wanted to. But she prefers
home life. Her address is Highbourne Gardens,
1922 Highland Avenue, Hollywood





Jewel Carmen played with Douglas Fairbanks in
"Manhattan Madness" and with William Farnum
in "Les Miserables." She was on the way to star-
dom when an unfortunate lawsuit kept her from
the screen for several years. In 1918, she married
Roland West, the director. Three years ago she
retired from the screen but her husband has per-
suaded her to stage a comeback in the new talkies.
She has a beautiful home at 17560 Revello Drive,
Santa Monica, Calif.



At one time Theda Bara was one of the greatest
box-office attractions. Theda made screen history;
she put the word "vamp" into common usage.
Theda was the rage. But styles change and stars
pass. Theda has tried several comebacks and now
she is making voice tests. She is married to Charles
Brabin, the director, and if you want to write to
her, send your letter to 632 N. Alpine Drive, Holly-
wood. The "wickedest woman in the world" likes
to be remembered by her old friends



What y ester day'' s favorites

are doing now and where

you can write to them




For several years Ruth Stonehouse has seen other
stars rise into prominence, while she has been
relegated to the "quickies." But Ruth has the last
laugh. In January, 1928, she married Felix Hughes,
brother of Rupert the novelist. Mr. Hughes is a
voice teacher and has many stars under his tute-
lage. Ruth gets her lessons free. Her picture
career dates back to 1914 and she was one of the
most popular Essanay stars. Her home is at 204 N.
Rossmore Avenue, Hollywood



And here is Florence Lawrence, the Biograph Girl
and famous before Mary Pickford came into prom-
inence. She was starred in Griffith's first pre-
tentious film, a one-reel version of "Resurrection."
In 1915 she joined a new company and was injured
in rescuing her leading man from a burning build-
ing. The boss sent her roses but she never received
a cent of compensation. For three years she was
partially paralyzed. Now she has a cosmetic busi-
ness at 821 N. Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood

35



Wy]^C K Gl LBERT




he had found happiness. His
first marriage belongs to a
dim and distant past, when
he was trying and without
much success to arouse Holly-
wood to the consciousness of
his existence. Her name was
Olivia Burwell, and she lived
in the same boarding house.
It was a typical marriage of
extreme youth, brought about
by propinquity and yearning
for romance.



ik



International Newsreel



Breakfast for two at Jack Gilbert's home in Beverly Hills where, because

they were both working in pictures, the Gilberts spent their honeymoon.

"There is no home and fireside stuff about it," says Jack. "We shall

share our work always"



JACK GILBERT married Ina Claire three weeks after they
met because he had found at last the thing for which he had
been seeking all his life. His other experiences, his many
romances, his two previous

marriages, his famous love affair

with Greta Garbo, were mere steps
leading to the ultimate — marriage
with Ina Claire.

He might well sum up his own
reason tor the elopement that startled
the whole picture world, in the words
of the poet:

" I wandered all these years among
a world of women, seeking you."

Perhaps it is because they wander
in "a world of women" that the
search of screen sheiks for happiness
is so difficult. They grow confused,
they are misled and they make tragic
mistakes.

Rudolph Valentino, the greatest
matinee idol who ever lived, followed
that same path, seeking the right
woman, the one woman, who would
bring him real happiness, among the
thousands who worshipped him.
Surrounded always by women who
offered him love, he desired the happi-
ness that only love could give, he was
constantly reminded of love and of
women. He died before he came to
the end of his quest.

Certainly, Jack Gilbert has wan-
dered. Unhappily, as most of his
friends know. Lonely, with that
awful loneliness that comes only in
crowds. Restless, feverish, dissatis-
fied, as are all seekers.

Three times, at least. Jack thought

36




"There is a tradition that men
like myself do not make success-
ful husbands. No man makes
himself a husband. It is the wife
who does that"



T failed because they didn't
know each other, had never
really known each other.
Jack Gilbert simply married
a girl — any girl in the same
circumstances would have
done as well. Marriages of
youth must all face the time
when the veil is torn off life.
Then the two of them — man
and wife — stand face to face,
two people, with minds,
tastes, aspirations, characters.
Sometimes luck has been
with them, and they fit. More
often, they do not.

Jack Gilbert found him-
self married to a strange girl
who didn't belong in his life
at all. Because he was fire-hot with ambition, he was honest



Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 29 of 145)