Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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will put a million people out of work.

Sign on the dotted line, it exhorts; take a lease on
auditoriums, school halls, Y. M. C. A. assembly rooms,
and see how all good 100 per cent Americans will flock
to see the road shows we will send you.

CAN you imagine how excited the cultured patriots
of Kalamazoo will get, trying to decide between
the road show production of Ziegfeld's "Whoopee"
they would get there, and Clara Bow's latest opus?

And only a few years ago the poor, lowly movie was
used as a "chaser" on the end of vaudeville programs to
get patrons out of the theater. It seems to have
accomplished that purpose.

But try to get a decent seat under eight or ten dollars
for any one of ten first-class New York stage produc-

I tried to get six tickets for "Journey's End," a
war play, and was asked eighteen dollars apiece.
I didn't see it.

CHARLIE CHAPLIN just won't be merged. The
high-powered boys who have been talking millions
have not yet been able to cajole him into playing ball


with them. Photoplay is in a position to know the
little fellow's feelings about the recent negotiations for
the financial combination of United Artists and Warner

He considers that the plans for the merger misrepre-
sented, so far as he was concerned, what it was phvsi-
cally and artistically possible for him to do over a five-
year period.

And knowing that most of the stock would fall
into the hands of the public, he could not conscien-
tiously go through with the proposition, particularly in
view of the fact that he felt himself obligated to keep
faith with the public to whom he is indebted for his
place on the screen today.

CHARLIE is frankly worried about the recent tre-
mendous developments in the sound picture. Un-
challenged in his position as the supreme artist in
pantomime, he sits like a little grey-haired "Thinker"
of Rodin's and wonders what it is all about and what it
means to him. |

With all the money he will ever need, in spite of what
the income tax officials and Lita Grey did to his
bankroll — and he can see a dollar as far away as any one
of the lads who have been trying to whoop him into the
new deal — Charlie is not primarily concerned about
that phase of it, and he won't be Uncle Tom-ed down
the river.

JUST write Charlie a letter and tell him what yotc

Everybody is so bdsy writing to Clara Bow and
Janet Gaynor, Charlie Farrell and Buddy Rogers these
days that only his devoted Japanese and Brazilian
admirers think of writing to him.
Here's ours:

Dear Charlie: If you don't know the answer, we do. We
would rather see one of your silent pictures than any singing,
dialogue, or sound picture that can be made. If you won't
make a picture for yourself, make one for us.

IN his new novel "The King Who Was A King," H. G.
Wells un^■eils what is solemnly blurbed as a " new art-

The new art-form is nothing more nor less than
a motion picture scenario, seriously proposed for pro-
duction by Mr. Wells, who gets rather belatedly
breathless over the glorious possibilities of the screen
for spreading peace propaganda.

With its allegorical visions, its mob scenes, its un-
wieldy use of spectacular effects, its inept handling of
dramatic situations and its stilted and self-conscious
propaganda, Mr. Wells' scenario is enough to give any
producer a nightmare.

IN his "new art-form," the well-meaning British
author has combined all the worst and most expen-
sive mistakes of motion pictures. His use of rather
primitive symbolism is enough to give D. W. Griffith
the horrors. His recklessness in combining propaganda
and mob melodrama would send Cecil De Mille into
chills and fever.

It is amazing and a little sad that, in attempting to
work in the medium of the screen, one of the best
brains in Europe has nothing to offer except a rehash
of all the grandiose banalities that the motion picture
has tried and passed by.

There are one or two producers — I cannot believe it
of more than that number — who may reach for the
ponderous tale, and handing it to one of those Holly-
wood writing lads, tell him to dumb it down a bit and
gag it up plentv, throw in a theme song, and call it
"The Big Shot Steps Out."

Dorothy Sebastian's career has been full of heartaches. She lost the leading rdle of "Tempest"
after months of work. But now she's a Hollywood hit


tested the mettle

of Dorothy


A^ttle Alabam

By Katherine Albert

LET me begin by giving you a picture of the Dorothy
Sebastian that Hollywood thinks it knows.
She is the best scout in town.
Known to her gay friends as "Little Alabam," she's
always the life of every party.

She is always happy, always good natured, always in high

"Alabam won't mind. She's a regular fellow."

The little whoopee girl.

But that isn't the real Dorothy Sebastian. Behind the
gayety and bright spirits is a hungry little heart and a strange,
mysterious misery.

She isn't a Pagliacci. Far from it. They're getting to be so
commonplace in Hollywood, anyhow. Dorothy has never told
the incidents of her pitiful life for publication. She is not one
to dust off her troubles before the world. Interviewers have
discovered her to be gay and wisecracking and maybe just a bit

I came to Dorothy not as an interviewer but as one of her
best friends. Our companionship began geographically. We
come from the same part of the country. There's an invisible
bond between people who stand up when the band plays
"Dixie." I've often wondered if citizens of South Dakota or
Colorado feel as close to each other as people who happen to be
born in any of the Southern states. I rather doubt it.

When I say that I know the unhappy side of Dorothy
Sebastian, the groping, restless, melancholy side that cries
vainly for self-expression, I don't mean that we're always
swimming around in indigo when we're together.

We've laughed together, certainly, but more important,
we've wept together. Tears are more binding than laughter.

You may laugh with your cook. You don't cry with her.

Confidences and details of personal misery are given rarely
(unless only for effect) except to one's intimate friends.

Dorothy left Birmingham to go on the stage. She brought a
broken heart to Broadway instead of acquiring it there, as is
the usual procedure. Her girlhood had been made miserable by
a circumstance that I cannot touch here. Few people know it.

For six weeks, while George White's Scandals was in rehearsal
she lived on sixty dollars, part of which went for dancing lessons.

THE very last cent was gone when the company played At-
lantic City before going into New York. She had nothing to
eat and was too proud to ask one of the girls for a loan, draw on
her salary from George White or write home for money. On her
way to the theater she used to pass a candy shop and she vowed
that the minute she got her week's salary she would buy a whole
pound of fudge and eat every mouthful herself.

She got paid. She bought the fudge and carried out her
threat. The result was that she was too ill to eat for three days.
The ludicrous becomes woven up with the tragic.

Hollywood has added bitter experience to the pattern of her
life. I once saw her play scene after scene gayly, bravely and
chat between times with the people on the set when, concealed
in her bag, was a telegram she had just received — a curt, ten
word message that had made her heart snap in two.

I once saw her dominate a situation that might have involved
a friend of hers in a front page scandal.

She's one of the bravest little troupers I know and I flounder
when I try to find the incident that shows most clearly what
manner of gal she is.

I believe it's the "Tempest" story. [ please turn to page 120]


The Bride — Ina Claire, probably the best come-
dienne on the speaking stage and now a talkie
star. Miss Claire met Jack Gilbert three weeks
before the wedding. She once was married to
a newspaper writer, James Whittaker. She's
Irish and thirty-six

THE high gods must have smiled in purest happiness
when they saw two of their favorite children coming to-
gether in marriage, Jack Gilbert, undisputed king of
Hollywood, and Ina Claire, acknowledged queen of

John Gilbert, the screen's greatest lover, had known Ina
Claire, the stage's greatest comedienne, just three weeks when
they eloped from Hollywood on the evening of May eighth to
be married at Las Vegas, Nevada, the next morning.

They eloped because they couldn't wait the three days that
must elapse between securing the license and wedding in CaU-

Jack asked, "Who could resist her?" when the reporters
questioned him.

Ina retorted, "Who could resist him?"

But Hollywood, to which this wedding had been nothing less
than an emotional shock, asked many more questions than
these two love-drenched queries.

Hollywood, no more than the world at large, had wanted
Jack to marry. He was its most romantic playboy, its spoiled
darling. Love as he portrayed it on the screen was never by
any stretch of the imagination monogamous, married love. It
was always the grande passion, the burning love of man for
woman in its first, flaming hours.

As in the heart of Hollywood, so in the hearts of millions of


J^ Girl

Famous star surprises
Hollywood by wedding
Ina Claire, stage favorite,
after courtship of only
three weeks

Greta Garbo — The Swedish star was expected to
be Jack's next bride. Greta frequently phoned
Jack from abroad during her recent trip to the
homeland and she always went with him to
Hollywood's first nights

women in every country of the globe, a dream died with the
passing of Jack Gilbert's bachelorhood.

There was, in fact, almost a resentment. The world would
concede Jack only to one woman — Greta Garbo. Only the
Swedish Mona Lisa seemed glamorous enough to win him and
tie him with the bonds of matrimony.

And so the questions rose in Hollywood, What was Ina
Claire like? Who was she to win its favorite son? How did she
capture him from the siren charms of the glamorous Garbo?
What was her secret? How was Greta taking it? How, in fact,
was Leatrice Joy, Jack's second wife, taking it? Or, for that
matter, how was that obscure little girl, known only as Olivia,
who had been his first wife, taking it? Would the love endure?
Would the marriage last?

Jack G ilber t


Ruth Waterbury

But, first and foremost, what, oh what, was Ina Claire

Now, by one of those exquisite freaks of circumstance, I
am one of the few people who have interviewed Ina Glaire.

It was several years ago and a single interview, but I
have never recovered from it. Since then I have talked
with scores of stars and met hundreds of minor celebrities,
but of them all — beautiful, clever, flattering, delightful or
simple, Ina Claire remains to me the most compelling.

Naturally I have met Jack Gilbert. You could no more
write of movies and not meet Jack Gilbert than you could
write authoritatively of Italy and not meet INIussolini.
And I should say that if ever two people were intended by
training, by the struggles they have endured, the fame



Leatrice Joy and her daughter, Lea trice Joy
Gilbert. Little Leatrice is four years old.
Miss Joy divorced Jack in 1924, just after he
made his first big hit in "The Merry
Widow." Miss Joy is now in vaudeville

The. Groom — Jack Gilbert, the most popular male
screen star for the past three years. Twice mar-
ried in the past. Everyone expected that he would
marry Greta Garbo — but you never can tell. Jack
is an able writer, as readers of Photoplay well know

they have won, the art they have created — if ever two people
were made for one another, those two are Jack and Ina.

I do not need here to write of the charm, the lovableness of
John Gilbert. You all know that.

But certainly, if it can ever be said of any woman, it can be
said of Ina Claire that she has everything.

She isn't very powerful physically, but she gives the effect
of being a whirlwind. She is five feet, five, and her hair is
naturally golden. Her skin is as perfect as that in a soap
advertisement and her eyes sparkle like summer sunlight on a
rushing stream. [ turx to page 102 ]


C/y^ Truth About

Laura La Plante did not really sing or play
the banjo in "Show Boat." Doubling in another
voice was easy, but Miss La Plante had to study
banjo strumming so that her work would lookright

LIGHT travels 186,000 miles per sec-
ond, but nobody cares. Sound pokes
along at approximately a thousand
feet per second, and still' nobody cares.

But when Richard Barthelmess, who is
famed as a film star and not as a singer,
bursts into song in "Weary River," playing
his own accompaniment, folks begin to
prick up their ears.

And when Corinne Griffith plays a harp
in "The Divine Lady" and acquits herself
vocally, with the grace of an opera singer,
people commence asking pointed questions.

And when Barry Norton does a popular
number to his own accompaniment in
"Mother Knows Best," a quizzical light
appears in the public's e\'e.

Then, too, when Laura La Plante strums
the banjo in "Show Boat" and renders negro
spirituals in below the Mason and Dixon
line style, the public breaks out in an acute
rash of curiosity which can be cured only by
disclosing state secrets of the cinema.

Richard Barthelmess did not sing and
play the piano in "Weary River." A double
did it.

Corinne Griffith did not sing or play the
harp in "The Divine Lady." A double did it.

Barry Norton did not sing in "Mother
Knows Best." A double did it. He did,
however, play the piano.

When you hear your favor-
ite star sing in the talkies,
don't be too sure about it.
Here are all the facts about
sound doubling, and how it
is done

Laura La Plante did not sing and play the banjo in "Show
Boat" — at least not for all of the songs. Two doubles helped
her. One played the banjo, the other sang.

And so it goes, ad infmiium.

THERE are voice doubles in Hollj-wood today just as there
are stunt doubles. One is not so romantic as the other, per-
haps, but certainly just as necessary.

Those who create movies will probably not cheer as we
make this announcement. In fact, they may resent our
frankness. They may even have the Academy of iMotion
Picture Arts and Sciences write letters to Photoplay about

Richard Barthelmess received what he considered rather
embarrassing publicity in connection with the song he did
not sing in "Weary River." And, as a result of that, per-
sons who undoubtedly know say that he is effecting a change
of policy regarding future pictures. I was told on good
authority that he informed Al Rockett, who heads First
National's studios in Burbank, that he did not choose to

Everybody knows now that Richard Barthelmess did not sing
in "Weary River." And, of course, he didn't play the piano.
Johnny Murray sang "Weary River" into a "mike" out of
range of the camera while Frank Churchill played the accom-
paniment. It was done very neatly

.Voice Doubling



Lawford Davidson, who
gets $500 a week as Paul
Lukas' voice double.
Lukas has a heavy

sing in forthcoming
photoplays. " I am not
a song and dance man,"
he explained, "and I
don't want any pictures
that feature me as such."

Nevertheless, Richard
will sing — or rather

someone will sing for him — in his forthcoming feature, titled at
present, "Drag." That is, he will have a voice double unless
they change the story. One never knows, you know, until
the picture is released. There's many a slip between the screen
and the cutting-room floor!

But Dick will not be seen actually in the act of singing as was
the case in "Weary River." Probably there will be
only his shadow, and the expression of the man for
whom he is singing, this man — in the role of a song
producer — registering reactions to the song.

If you saw "Weary River," you will remember that
Dick sat at a piano and played and also sang. The
means by which this was accomplished was ingenious,
to say the least.

YOU will remember that it was a grand piano. Mr.
Barthelmess faced the audience. You did not see his
hands upon the keys, yet you saw him go through the
motions of playing and singing. And you heard what
you thought was his voice. But it was not his voice.

Many persons have said that it was the voice of
Frank Withers. But it was not. It was the voice of
Johnny Murray, former cornetist at the Cocoanut
Grove, and now under contract to First National to
sing for Richard Barthelmess. He is a real, dyed-in-
the-wool voice double, Johnny is.

There was much enthusiasm on the set the day
Johnny Murray put over the song, "Weary River."
Dick threw his arm around Johnny's shoulder and
said something Hke this: " Don't you ever die, young
fella, or go East, or get run over, or anything!" .^nd
they both laughed.

Dick faced the audience during the filming of the
scenes at the piano so as to conceal his hands. It has
been said that a dummy keyboard was built on the
side of the piano at which
Dick sat, but that is not so.
But the strings of the in-
strument were deadened
with felt so that when Dick
struck the keys the strings
would give forth no sound.
And Frank Churchill, pian-
ist in a Hollywood theater
orchestra, sat at a real piano
ofiE stage and played the ac-
companiment while Johnny

Eva Olivotti, who did
Laura La Plante's sing-
ing in "Show Boat"
and did it very well, in-

Johnny Murray, Dick
Barthelmess' voice
double. He's under
contract to be Dick's
voice for all 1929

Murray sang. The recording microphone was close to them
and nowhere near Barthelmess. Dick merely faked the singing
and playing, but he did it so beautifully that the results were
convincing beyond doubt.

Probably the highest paid voice double in pictures is Law-
ford Davidson, who doubles [ please tue.n to p.age 108 1

It may surprise film
fans who saw "The
Divine Lady" to real-
ize that Corinne
Griffith neither sang
nor played the harp.
Miss Griffith did
study the fingering of
harp strings to get the
correct illusion

J/l/y Boy Buddy

Photoplay at last finds the father of a screen

star who tells his own story


■AMING the

Baby" was the


question in the
home of Mr. and Mrs.
B. H. Rogers, Olathe,
Kansas, on the evening of
Friday, August 13, 1904,
following the arrival of an
eleven-pound boy. Our
home was then on the
west side of the public
square, where now is lo-
cated one of the largest
buildings in Olathe, hous-
ing a garage and automo-
bile sales room.

Although it was the
13th — and Friday — there
was no thought of bad
luck, although it was a
mooted question whether
the plump baby should be
named for me, Bert, Jun-
ior, or Charles Edward —
Charles for a deceased
brother of mine and Ed-
ward for his maternal
grandfather, Edward Moll.
The latter was finally
chosen but it was never used. As baby, boy, and young man
he was never called anything but Buddy, so the name was
given to Buddy's brother, who came si.x years later.

As to the origin of the name Buddy — a sister, Geraldine,
almost three, really named him thus, which was as near as she
could come to the word ''brother." The name stuck — he

The future Paramount star at the age of four, a

daring equestrian on his own Shetland pony. In

those days Buddy hoped to be an editor like his

dad when he grew up

never was called Charles
until after he had finished
high school, when, on en-
tering the University of
Kansas, he was obliged to
enroll as Charles. But
that was all we ever heard
of Charles during his
three years there until he
was made a star in pic-
tures. Then Paramount
officials thought Charles
would be more dignified,
as he grew up in pictures
— but even they couldn't
make it "stick." His fans
would not have it any
other way.

TO my absolute knowl-
edge, not once in my
life have I addressed him
asCharles — alwaysBuddy.
It may have been re-
counted before, but a wire
came for him to Olathe,
addressed to Charles Rog-
ers, and I sent it out to the
country to a cousin of his
for delivery. His diploma
at graduation from High School was issued to Charles Rogers,
but ail his teachers with one exception called him Buddy.

Much of his rearing was in the office of my paper, The Olathe
Mirror, the oldest weekly in the State of Kansas. It was
established in 1857 and has never missed a single issue, though,
during the war, guerrillas plundered the town. The office was

wrecked, some of the machinery
destroyed and much of the type
thrown out an upstairs window.

There were always bills to dis-
tribute — and I paid him the same
as anyone else for handing them
out, so he usually came to the
Mirror office the first thing after
school. He spent all day Satur-
day here, even before he became
the regular devil at nine years of
age. As devil he started fires,
swept out, carried coal and kin-
dling, ran errands, delivered Mir-
rors, as weU as The Daily Kansas
City Star. He had a route of
sixty-three customers.

During school vacation Buddy
put in full time and his pay was
•SLOO for a full day. Then, as he

Here is the whole Rogers fam-
ily outside the Olathe home.
From left to right: Mr. and
Mrs. A. E. Moll, Buddy's
grandparents; Buddy, his
mother, his father, his sister,
Mrs. John Binford, of Lincoln,
Neb., and his younger brother



B. H. Rogers

Kditor of

The Olathe,


Weekly Mirror

learned to run the job presses and the
big cylinder press, he was paid more.
During his high school years, he
contributed to the Mirror a column
of high school news weekly and, dur-
ing vacation of the last two years,
he assisted me in the front office, get-
ting news, advertising, keeping books
and doing the stenographic work.

There's just a little bit of Scotch
and a lot of Irish in Buddy and, with
him, a dollar made was a dollarsaved.
To the amount he actually saved
each week I would add fifty per cent
in order to foster the thrift habit.
When he would save $40.00 or S50.00
he would turn it over to me, and I
would gi\-e him my note for the
amount. On this I would pay him seven per cent interest.

As he grew older I paid him more wages, until, when he was
fifteen years of age, he had saved $500.00, on which I paid him
interest. When he was chosen to go to the Paramount school
at the age of twentv, I returned to him something more than
$700.00 and it was with this earned
money that he paid his necessary
expenses while in the Paramount
Training School. So, in reality, he
financed himself in the big venture.

SO he did during his three years in
the University of Kansas, at L:iw-
rence, by playing drums and trom-
bone in his college dance orchestra.
His ent ire coUegee.xpensesdid not cost
me a single dime — in fact, after his
three years' schooling, he returned
to Ola'the, having saved $150.00.

During the summer of 1922 Buddy
took his orchestra over a Chautauqua
circuit of thirteen states in the Mid-
dle West. For his services as drum-
mer and trombonist, as well as leader
of the orchestra, he received $60.00
a week, with transportation paid.
Each Monday morning I received
from him, to be banked in his name,
all but S8.00 or $10.00, which he re-
served for eats — often going without
breakfast in order to send that much
more home to be put in his savings

Nor did he stop at the best hotels
on the way, as you may have sur-
mised from the amount saved. He
had a cot and slept in the Chautau-
qua tent. The savings of that sum-
mer, something like $700.00, he ap-
plied on the purchase of a farm near
Olathe, which we now own in part-

It was purchased at a bargain in
order to settle an estate. As it had

Buddy Rogers and his father, who wrote this story of his son for

Photoplay. B. H. Rogers' newspaper is the oldest weekly in

Kansas. Buddy started by distributing hand bills for his dad

been rented so long, it was run down, and as a result, we bought

it very cheaply. We sowed the entire eighty acres to sweet

clover, the greatest fertilizer known.

Now, after four years it is in wheat and it is said to be the

best field in the county. The farm has doubled in value.

During the summer of 1923 Buddy
and a fraternity brother, Dean
Boggs, together with twenty other
college youths, went to Spain as
chambermaids to a shipload of 800
mules. A Spanish buyer had pur-

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