Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

. (page 55 of 145)
Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 55 of 145)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

colors, was handed us.

"That's what I call production," beamed Dr. Beethoven.
" Exactly eight and three-eighths minutes elapsed time. Just
try that!" handing a copy to Case D. She tried it gingerly.

"Well, it tastes a little inky," said my assistant, "but one
won't mind that on the radio."

"Do you want to hear it?" asked our guide.

"No," I answered.

Sitting down at a piano, he played and sang —

"The hours I spent with thee, dear heart,
Are as a string of pearls to me,

Little Maudlin Mother O'Mine!
I count them over every one apart,
Little Maudlin Mother O'Mine!"

"Well, how do you like it?" he asked.

"Great!" I answered. "I've been crazy about it for years.
I didn't know you had Ethelbert Nevin here!"

"Nevin? Never heard of him. That's mostly the work of
Wolfgang von Stebbins, our star Mammy Man. We have
Mammy Men, you know, as well as Novelty Men, Home
Town Men and Sweetie Men. But Wolfie is really our ace. He
did 'Mammy, Put Sammy in His Little Pajammy,' you know. "

"No, I don't," I replied.

" Little Maudlin Mother O'Mine'!" went on Dr. Bee-

thoven, " will be on the air in fifteen minutes over a network of
five thousand stations. In about twenty-two minutes, the
first copy will be sold in Silo Center, Ark. Tonight Rudy Vallee
will be moaning it for the records. We expect to sell seven
million copies by the end of the week. The picture, of course,
was released day before yesterday, with complete score and
sound effects. Did you ever hear a mother sounding maudlin? "
"No, frankly," I replied. "What is it like?"

DID you ever hear a mother cow whose calf has a pin
sticking it somewhere and whose husband drinks? It's
something like that, only a bit tenderer and more harrowing. "

"You work pretty far ahead, don't you?" I said.

"You said a flute-full," replied Dr. Beethoven. "We're
doing stuff for the 1936 pictures, just now. We don't even
know what some of them are, but we're stocking up with
staple Mammies and Kiddies just the same.

"We have some knockouts on the fire. There's a little thing
called 'Indian Love Call' that should be a panic. Some of our
other hot numbers are 'Valencia' and 'Onward, Christian
Soldiers.' We're getting up a piece called 'The Star-Spangled
Banner' for a war pic they may do in '34. It's got a kick like
a jug-head!"

"Well, we must be jigging along," I said. "Thanks for
your time!"

"Not at all — a real pleasure," said Dr. Beethoven. "Would
you like a few grace notes and arpeggios to take home? Fresh
this morning. Try one of these cadenzas. Right off our own

"Goodbve, " we said, our arms filled with sheet music and

"Goodbye," called our guide. "Drop out next month.
We'll be doing some interesting stuff on that big one, 'The
Passion of No-Kan-Leak Rubberized Shingles and Sheet Tin."'

"We won't, " I promised, and we were whisked back to town.

As we entered the lobby of our hotel Sousa and his military
band of eighty men were plaving "Little Maudlin Mother

"Aw, chestnuts!" remarked a small boy.

"That's what I call production!" I said to Case D.

"Now, boys," said the foreman to the eight theme
song composers, "all together when you hear the
gun. No inching up, no yelling, no biting!
Just six minutes to write this bebby, and remem-
ber, it's got to be a novel number, something
snappy and really HOT!"

C ^*V*^A>»^>|^






AN almost extinct species of entertainment — a silent
picture. Adela Rogers St. Johns' "The Single Stand-
ard" was a best seller and interest does not lag when Greta
Garbo brings to the screen the unusual Ardcn Stuart.

Ardcn Stuart believes that women should be permitted to
meet life as men do. She attempts to do this. When she
meets an artist of the same ideas, they dream together. It
isn't permanent and Ardcn marries hei girlhood sweetheart,
and becomes buried within convention's adamant walls.

John Robertson's direction is admirable. Johnny Mack.
Brown is most convincing as the devoted husband and Nils
Asther measures up to the requirements of a Garbo lover.
Greta gives a splendid interpretation of the woman of today
at war with herself. Fine entertainment for adults. Sound.

■yl^ DRAG— First National

NOT a splashy feature as was Richard Barthelmess'
"Weary River." A simple, domestic story, it has a gen-
uine dramatic hold, due to Mr. Barthelmess' acting and
Frank Lloyd's direct handling. .\nd to the sparkling work
of Lila Lee. David Carrol! buys the Paris (Vermont) Courier
and then marries the wrong girl. His bride and her family
attach themselves to Davey and the Courier sinks under the
weight. So Davey runs away to New York, where he scores a
success as a writer of songs. At the end there is a Paris di-
vorce in the ofl'ing, with the right girl waiting.

Miss Lee is the right girl and Alice Day is the bride. You'll
be amazed at Lila's performance of a flip villager who later
makes good in New York as a revue designer. Barthelmess
gives a delightful performance. AH Talkie.


IRBQ. U. fl. PAT. OWr.1 M 1

A Review of the New Pictures


•y^ THE DANCE OF LIFE— Paramount

YOU should hang your head in shame if xou're not able to
answer the most technical questions concerning back-
stage life. How educational the pictures are!

If you're not already tired of hoofers and troupers, you'll
enjoy this. In many ways it has more than the play,
"Burlesque," from which it was adapted. The characters
achieve a definite background. And you can see Hal Skelly's
expressive face and putt\' nose in close-ups.

The story, as you know, concerns a clown who can't refuse
a drink. It has tremendous heart appeal and looks deeply
into the shallow, but lovable, soul of a comic. In spite of
the fact that he is drunk on his wedding night and leaves his
wife to take a big job without even writing to her, she goes
on loving him indefinitely.

Skelly, who created the role on the stage, gives an excellent
performance, doing his best work in the hysterical climax
where he leaves his wife, as he thinks, forever.

Nancy Carroll comes in for a big share of the laurel
wreath. She is natural and charming and uses her head for
something besides her permanent wave. Equipped with
stage experience, this little girl has climbed to the top of
the sound film successes.

The backstage atmosphere is well done and, if you're
Turkish in your tastes, you'll care for the beef trust chorus
in a large way. There is a big dance number and some
bright music (no picture is without them these days) but the
story is the thing. And that survives all the intricacies of
the talking apparatus. All Talkie.


The Best Pictures of the Month






The Best Performances of the Month

Greta Garbo in "The Single Standard"

Hal Skelly in "The Dance of Life"

William Powell in "The Greene Murder Case"

Richard Barthelmess in "Drag"

Nancy Carroll in "The Dance of Life"

Lila Lee in "Drag"

Ann Harding in "Paris Bound"

Fred Kohler in "Broadway Babies"

Jean Arthur in "The Greene Murder Case"

Casts of all photoplays revieii'ed will be found on page 1 4.0



THIS is a great show for the money. And there's some-
thing in it for everybody.

Like Shakespeare? Well, you'll find Jack Gilbert and
Norma Shearer as Romeo and Juliet. Like low-brow slap-
stick? Well, there are Laurel and Hardy in a comedy act as
low as they come. Like big musical numbers with glorified
gals singing and dancing? All right, there's the hit,
"Singing in the Rain," and many breath-taking girl numbers.

Besides all this there are your favorite screen stars who do
their bits e.xpertly. Marion Davies is remarkably good in
"Tommy Atkins on Parade." And can that girl tap dance?
Watch her! Marie Dressier, Polly Moran, Bessie Love,
Ukulele Ike, Charlie King and Gus Edwards are howlingly
funny in a Gay Nineties number. Gus, by the way, does more
than his share by appearing in the show, writing most of the
numbers and directing some of the dancing acts, although
Sammy Lee, of Ziegfeld Follies, directed many of them.

Conrad Nagel and Jack Benny deserve especial praise for
their work as masters of ceremonies. Besides those men-
lioned there are Joan Crawford (photographed rather
badly), William Haines, Anita Page, Nils Asther, Buster
Iveaton, Karl Dane, George K. Arthur, Gwen Lee, the Brox
Sisters, Natacha Natova and June Purcell.

Whether picture revues will ever be as good as the real
thing is still conjecture. This is strictly a revue with no
.semblance of a story, for which Producer Harry Rapf de-
serves credit. There are bad spots, but it is, to date, the best
of its kind and great entertainment. .1// Talkie.


THIS second of the fascinating Van Dine murder mys-
teries to reach the sound screen is a vast improvement
over its predecessor, "The Canary Murder Case." Better
story, better acting, better direction, better synchronization.
In the Greene Case instead of one murder, a whole family is
attacked, each death eliminating the temporary major sus-
pect. Breath-taking suspense throughout.

Naturally, William Powell is superbly suave as Philo
Vance. E. H. Calvert and Eugene Palette are again excel-
lent as the district attorney and homicide sergeant, respec-
tively. Florence Eldridge, recruited from the stage for " The
Studio Murder Mystery," is highly commendable. An out-
standing performance is given by Jean Arthur, who quite
distinguishes herself. -1// Talkie.

y/r PARIS BOUND— Pathe

IF you like a problem, see this. None of the intimate,
marital appeal of the play is lost in the movie version.

It is the first film vehicle of Ann Harding, the original
Mary Diigan of the stage version. Her own particular brand
of mauve beauty, her eccentric manner of dressing her hair
and her strange grace give her a distinct screen personality.
You already know about her acting ability. One of the
interesting moments occurs when Leslie Fenton, as a young
musician, plays his ballet, an amazing piece of music, in the
Rhapsody in Blue manner, written by Arthur .Ale.xander,
while a futurist pageant done with masks is double e.xposed.

Its sophisticated dialogue, its thesis, which concerns infi-
delity, its smooth acting and that startling musical sequence
make this worth while. All Talkie.


Sound or Silent, You Will Find the









.4// Talkie

THE romantic A. E. W. Mason yarn of the regeneration of a
coward is grafted upon the realistic film shot two years ago
in the Soudan by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack.
Cooper and Schoedsack are the men who filmed " Grass" and
"Chang" and they caught a great rhinoceros riot for this film.
In the HoUywooden portion, Richard Arlen stands out as the
coward who isn't. An excellent film.

CLARA BOW wears tights and the picture is called "Danger-
ous Curves." The little circus girl is a good influence in the
life of Richard Arlen, the tight-rope walker and circus star.
When he looks too long on wine that is red, she goes on and does
his act — and almost dies. A venerable situation. A typical
Bow performance. Richard Arlen is splendid. Stuart Erwin
is outstanding in a comedy bit. Peppy.


Part Talkie


All Talkie

PAUL FEJOS had the time of his life figuring out weird
camera angles in this film, originally called "Erik the Great."
Veidt appears as a stage magician. He loves his pretty assistant,
ineffectively done by Mary Philbin. Leslie Fenton is cast in a
particularly offensive role, and Fred Mackaye, a handsome
newcomer, shows promise. Everybody overacts and a striking
plot has been wasted to make a director's holiday.

A FARCE concerning a buyer who hits the big city with an
order, if his friend will make whoopee. The boss engages
his secretar>f to help him put over the deal and a party follows.
Matters are complicated when Gertrude Astor and Patsy Ruth
Miller claim that they are Mrs. Tom Ford. Finally Pats>- owns
up that she is Mrs. Ford, Jr. Arthur Rankin, Ford Sterling,
Betty Farrington and Jed Prouty help keep you entertained.

First National

All Talkie


All Talkie

ALICE WHITE'S newest portrayal of a cabaret cutie — and
better than anything she has done thus far. But Fred
Kohler steals the film as a great big Detroit bootlegger who is
the soul of honor and adulteration. The Detroit gentleman
loves our Nell, but he gives her up to our hero, finally, along
with a big wad to star her. Phoney story — but a lively melo-
drama, thanks to Kohler.


POSSIBLY you read this mystery yarn by Earl Derr Biggers.
In the film version that famous Chinese detective, Charlie
Chan, is reduced to a minor figure. The man hunt leads from
London, to India, to the Persian desert and then to 'Frisco.
Excellent work by Warner Baxter and Lois Moran. Good
melodrama, although too rambling. Still, the desert sequence
wdll get you without question.

First and Best Screen Reviews Here




Ml Talkie





A ROMANTIC Latin idyl about a girl who could sing, and
a boy who could play. A bit slow, at first, but the picture
rises to sustained emotional interest. Classical music is rather
a pleasant change from the jazz prevalent in most talkies. Jean
Hersholt is characteristically fine as the old maestro. Kathryn
Crawford and John Reinhardt, as the artist lovers, achieve
some dramatic beauty in their more poignant scenes.

WHEREIN a fiock of wild and leaping youngsters in wide
pants and practically no skirts at all consistently invade
any given homestead like an army of pestilential locusts. 'I'hey
kick back the rugs, knock the piano unconscious, and execute
violent contortions popularly referred to as "Joy .Street." The
object is to let joy be unrefined — and it is. -Ml very amus-
ing, perhaps. Lois ^loran and Xick .Stuart arc really good.



First National

Pari Talkie



All Talkie

A SHOPGIRL on her holiday mistakes a plumber for a
movie star. And falls in love. You know the rest. Dis-
illusionment — but love triumphs over all. Dorothy Mackaill is
excellent as the flip salesgirl and Jack Mulhall is a humorous
plumber on parade. A neat bit is contributed by Eddie
Gribbon as a fresh life-guard. This is light stuff, but not bad
at all.

UNDER the title of "The Brass Bowl.' this was one of
Eddie Lowe's first films. It has been revived as an aU-
talkie with jMan Birmingham, from the stage, playing the dual
role of the gentlemanand the burglar who look exactly alike.
.Mthough the plot is a trifle old-fashioned (there's much looking
about for the evidence), the film is entertaining, and deft \\ork
is done by Birmingham and Leila Hyams.




Part Talkie

First National

Part Talkie.

FURTHER movie proof that most chorus girls are nice young
things who won't accept money from men. Laura La Plante
goes back to a pretty bad program picture and proves how a
little circumstantial evidence will make a plot. Laura, herself,
does well enough with the material at hand, but Neil Hamilton
is a trifle too bounding for real romance. Wild parties in
gentlemen's apartments. Oh, well, if you like that sort of thing.

IN spite of "mikes" and mixers, they do turn out an old-time
ripsnorting movie now and then. George Fitzmaurice has
made one in this new Billie Dove picture. It opens with
speedboat jiolo and an airplane crash and ends with a rescue
in midocean. .\ silly, far-fetched yarn with a few amusing
spots. It talks now and then. Dove speaks pleasantly, but
Rod is hopeless. [ please turn to page 129 ]


$5,000 ///Fifty Cash Prizes


1. Fifty cash prizes will be paid by Photoplay Magazine, as follows:

First Prize $1,500.00 Fourth Prize $ 250.00

Second Prize 1,000.00 Fifth Prize 125.00

Third Prize 500.00 Twenty Prizes of $50 each . 1,000.00

Twenty-five prizes of $25 each $625.00

2. In four issues (the June, July, August and
September numbers) Photoplay Magazine is publish-
ing cut puzzle pictures of the well-known motion
picture actors and actresses. Eight complete cut
puzzle pictures appear in each issue. Each cut puzzle
picture will consist of the lower face and shoulders
of one player, the nose and eyes of another, and the
upper face of a third. When cut apart and properly
assembled, eight complete portraits may be produced.
$5,000.00 in prizes, as specified in rule No. 1, will be
paid to the persons sending in the nearest correctly
named and most neatly arranged set of thirty-two

3. Do not submit any solutions or answers until after
the fourth set of cut puzzle pictures has appeared in the
September issue. Assembled puzzle pictures must be
submitted in sets of thirty-two only. Identifying
names should be written or typewritten below each
assembled portrait. At the conclusion of the contest
all pictures should be sent to CUT PICTURE PUZZLE
EDITORS, Photoplay Mag.\zine, 750 North Michi-
gan Avenue, Chicago, 111. Be sure that your full name
and complete address is attached.

4. Contestants can obtain help in solving the cut
puzzle pictures by carefully studying the poems appear-
ing below the pictures in each issue. Each eight-line
verse refers to the two sets of cut puzzle pictures appear-
ing directly above it. The six-line verse applies generally
to the four sets on that page. Bear in mind that it costs
absolutely nothing to enter this contest. Indeed, the
contest is purely an amusement. You do not need to be
a subscriber or reader of Photoplay Magazine to com-
pete. You do not have to buy a single issue. You may
copy or trace the pictures from the originals in Photo-

play Magazine and assemble the pictures from the
copies. Copies of Photoplay Magazine may be
examined at the New York and Chicago offices of the
publication, or at public libraries, free of charge.

5. Aside from accuracy in assembling and identifying
cut puzzle pictures, neatness in contestants' methods of
submitting solutions will be considered in awarding
prizes. The thirty-two cut puzzle pictures or their
drawn duplicates, must be cut apart, assembled and
pasted or pinned together, with the name of the player
written or typewritten below.

6. The judges will be a committee of members of
Photoplay Mag.\zine's staflf. Their decision will be
final. No relatives or members of the household of
anyone connected with this publication can submit
solutions. Otherwise, the contest is open to everyone

7. In the case of ties for any of the first five prizes, the
full award will be given to each tying contestant.

8. The contest will close at midnight on September
20th. All solutions received from the time the fourth
set of pictures appears to the moment of midnight on
September 20th will be considered by the judges. No
responsibility in the matter of mail delays or losses will
rest with Photoplay Magazine. Send your answers as
soon as possible after the last set of cut puzzle pictures
appears in this, the September issue. The prize
winners will be announced in the January, 1930, issue of

9. No solution will be returned unless sufficient
postage accompanies the solution and such request is
made at time of submission.

Cut Puzzle Pictures Are on Second and Third Pages Following This Announcement


Contestants should study the poems appearing in connection
with the cut puzzle pictures. These are the indicators for
identifying the contest puzzle pictures and winning prizes.

Contestants will note that identifying numbers appear at the
margin of the cut puzzle pictures. These numbers may be
copied upon the cut portraits, with pencil or pen, so that, in
pasting or pinning the completed portrait, it will be possible to
show the way the cut pieces originally appeared.


As no solutions may be entered before the fourth set of puzzle
pictures appears, it is suggested that contestants merely pin
their solutions together until the conclusion. This will permit
the shifting and changing about of pictures as the contest
progresses — and will give time for lengthy consideration and

E^ch cut puzzle picture is a portrait of a well-known motion
picture actor or actress.

Ruth Harriet Louise


N ornament to any home — Bessie Love. The boulevards of Hollywood are crowded these

days with friends who always knew that Bessie would make good and be one of the great

stars. But only two years ago Hollywood was just as crowded with people who thought

that Bessie was an awfully clever kid but "not the type" for big-time productions

Last Call for PHOTOPLAY'S 1929 Cut Puzzle Contest

/ AND 2
The hair went to convent and later to school.
The eyes are a citizen, now;
The mouth in a popular play of the South
Has recently triumphed — and how!

The hair started out as a comedy queen.

The eyes are a Mrs. Director;

The mouth was the find of young Douglas MacLean,

She's so bright that she needs a deflector!

3 AND 4
The hair came from over the sea to be starred.
The eyes played the old social game —
The mouth has been married three times — and the third
Put a title in front of her name.

The hair — she was bom in St. Louis. The eyes

First saw, in Chicago, the light;

The mouth — yes, she's married — with Colman co-starred.

And she's five feet, six inches, in height!

Tuo of them are blondes, and one is a brunette,
And one has brown hair and gray eyes.
And two knew divorces — and two girts were born
In the city where gang wars arise!
The stage never owned them — not one or the other-
But one had a foreign stage star for a mother!

Complete Rules for Competition Appear on Page 58

; AND 2
T>ie hair was once married, and one time divorced;
The eyes have gone back to his land.
The mouth wa*> twice married, his daughters are two.
And he knew the world war at first hand!

The hair has turned gray (it but adds to his charm").
The eyes had a vaudeville act;
The mouth has produced many plays of his own —
For gymnastics they never have lacked!

3 AND 4

The hair is the luckiest husband'of all,

Tlie eyes trod the boards on Broadway;

The mouth has known loss, in this talkative time.

Because of the words he can't say.

The hair has played kings — but his stuff is ace high!
The eyes have a just married son.
The mouth had a part, made by S. S. Van Dine,
And his screen fame has only begun!

Bach one has known marriage, and also divorce.
None of them has eyes thai are brown:
And two are old-timers, and one's rather new,
And one, overseas, won renown.

Three had stage careers — one in Brooklyn was born,
iThis last, by departing, has left fans forlorn!)



YRNA LOY was only a stock player at the Warner Brothers Studio. She played minor
menaces and posed in seductive portrait studies. The Warners had so much faith in her
ability that, when the Vitaphone came along, they promoted Myrna to leading roles in
some of their most important features




Richard Colman

Dark reddish hair — eyes that change from gray to green

and blue — a rosebud mouth. Add them up and you have

Myrna Loy, the Menace from Montana!

The history of Myrna Exotic Loy, whose real name is
WiUiams and who began it all in Butte

MYRNA LOY isn't her real name. The Myrna is
authentic, but her last name is good, old, substantial
Williams. And she was born in Montana. A Holly-
wood poet, and there are poets in Hollywood, was
inspired by the strange Oriental eyes of the girl, and he called
her Myrna Loy. Myrna Loy she became.

The Montana background is hard to accept. One of her
friends told her she should not mention her birthplace, that it
destroyed an illusion. But Myrna is an amazingly honest girl,
and perhaps her birthplace adds to an unusual story.

Montana is not a prosaic state. In the first place, it is breath-
takingly big — rich mountains and fertile plateaus. In the early
days of mining wealth Butte was one of the best show towns

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 55 of 145)