Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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her entire time to Gloria Swanson.

Sylvia, by her miracles of touch, can put you to sleep quicker
than a shot of Hollywood gin.

"The picture girls need more attention than anj'one else,"
she said. "They work under such a terrific nervous strain.

Their eyes are always open and
alert. Their ears are tense with
listening for every word from
the director. Their mouths are
contorted in their emotional

"Therefore, I first work on
their nerves. For excess fat, I go
straight to the glands. First, I
attempt to calm them, to bring
them rest during busy days.

" A RE the treatments pain-
./Vful?" Sylvia shrugged her
shoulders. "Well, my dear, fat
has to be pinched off. There's no
other way. But what woman
wouldn't suffer a bit for

Yes, you and I would suffer
a BIT for beauty. But our suf-
fering is optional. A star MUST
sufl'er for beauty. It is her job.

"I tell you, darling," Sylvia
went on. "I can build bodies.
I take off a little here and put
it on there. Look what I did
with Alice White. "

The story of the ugly duckling
who makes one trip to the
beauty parlor, suddenly blos-
soms out in new clothes and
leaves masculine hearts quiver-
ing in her well-shod wake is not
as ridiculous as it sounds. The
[please turn to page 135]

K. O. Rahmn


rHE first camera appearance of Doug and Mary in William
Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." United Artists is
billing it as "the original sheik story." Petruchio, mad gentle-
man of Verona, still tames Katharina, beautiful shrew of Padua



oily wood

( (

More and Bigger Masterpieces!'' the cry as geniuses

lock-step from cell to cell


Leonard Hall

IN the mass production of standartlized goods Hollywood
has it all over Detroit like a tent. It produces more gas and
hot air than Pittsburgh, Cleveland and the rest of the Soot-
and-Clinker Belt combined.
Let those soft and gullible souls who think of the film colony
as the haunt of the dreamer and the Mecca of the great artists
draw another card. They are holding a soiled deuce.

In the dear, dead days, they tell me, Hollywood was a sunny,
languid town, day-dreaming near the sapphire sea. Pictures
were lazily planned and produced by the pose-and-knock-off,
or \'awn-and-stretch, method.

But that's all over now. Big Business and its hired men. The
Organized Talents, have come to filmland. And the whistle
blows, and the time clock is punched, and the hands
lock-step into the big
foundries, just as though
they were making gadgets
and widgets instead of
your entertainment and

Wall Street has helped.
The talkies have pushed
competition to the point
where it is root, hog, or

SO, at eight o'clock every
morning, ten thousand
alarm clocks clang and the
writers faU out of bed.
Kneeling, they pray that
their options will be taken
up. At eight-thirty they
are squirting grape fruit
passed by the National
Board of Citrus Censors.
And at nine o'clock,
dressed in the prescribed
costume of ice cream
pants, blue coats and white
carnations, they are in
their cubby holes — pencils
poised for the whistle that
starts the day's llow of
commercial genius.

Did I say genius? I
take it back. Hollywood
doesn't want or need it
just now, unless it can be
converted into the great
cry of the hour — Usable

Illustrated by

Ken Chamberlain


This Handsome Gentleman used to be a Big Shot in

the Writing Racket. Now, in his Hollywood cell, he

grinds out Usable Stuff for the movie mills. Here

he is, badly stuck for an Idea

The demand for talkie dialogue has done funny things. Take
one mighty foundry, for instance. In its penal colony of pla\ -
Wrights are such ill-assorted fish as John Howard Lawson, most
radical of dramatists; Willard Mack, cleverest of hack writers
for the .\merican theater; Crane Wilbur, who specializes in
melodramas and shockers for the popular trade, and Edwin
Justus i\Iayer, the most brilliant writer of dialogue in active
practice in America. And they all look, act and talk alike.
The factory spirit has them — they are just four more hands
in the mammoth rolling mill that grinds fast, but very small.

IN the New Hollywood, its sunlight filtered through factorj'
smoke and its peace shattered by the clanking of the Talent
Mills, the laborers move in herds.

If you fans have an idea
that the artist who writes
your movies sits dreaming,
alone, in a picturesque
shack high above the
Pacific, and woos the Muse
in sacred solitude, you'll
just have to take another

And the same goes for
the inspired geniuses who
bat out those classic gems
of musical art known as
"theme songs."

On the contrary, the
bosses herd them.

They live and work in
studio colonies, like con-
victs, diet faddists and
half-cracked radicals in
the ways of life and love.

No matter if they work
best in a quiet room away
from the heart of the
world. What boots it if
their talent flowers finest
looking at an ocean, or a
tree, or a Bull Durham
sign? When they report
for duty at the studios,
they are issued a pencil,
a dozen sheets of white
paper, and a typewriter,
and are assigned cells in
the writers' corral of the

Each cubicle bears a
name on the door — that
of its present inmate.
With the trick short-term

PAGE 140 ]




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ter rour I ears



Looking across the gates of Bill Hart's ranch at Newhall. Here, but for domestic tribulations,
Bill's little boy. Bill, Jr., now seven, would be playing happily


"ILL you kiss your daddy goodbye, son?" Bill Hart
asked his boy.

"I will if you don't cry again," said the little
fellow. He was only three then, but he knew that
something pretty terrible was tearing the heartstrings of the
gaunt, thin-lipped man who was on his knees before him. Bill
Hart clasped the little son he had not held in his arms since the
sixth day of the boy's life, and composed his features with all
the strength he could summon. "Goodbye, son," he said. "Be
a good boy."

That meeting was hail and farewell, for William S. Hart has
never seen his boy since.
That was four years ago. It
was Bill Hart, Jr.'s third
birthday. I took the baby
from his party to make a
brief call on his father. I
tremble now when I think
of my boldness, for at that
time I was not acquainted
with Bill Hart.

I came forth shaken to
the soul. There was a feel-
ing that I had trespassed in
the sanctuary of a human
heart, a heart wounded al-
most unto death. Like
others, I had wondered
what lay behind the silence
and mystery of this man.

No accusation had ever
drawn forth an answer, only
silence. Now the reason be-
came clear. There was that
little golden -haired boy with
his father's face. He would
grow up to bear an honored
name. Bill Hart was seeing
to that in his own way . . .
and I understood for the
first time that a great heart


Bill Hart and his wife, Winifred Westover, in

happier days, before they separated. Little did they

dream then of trouble. It broke Bill's heart to

part with his son

in its wisdom had seen beyond selfishness to renunciation.
Two years later, in a windswept pass in the mountains beyond
Truckee, I met Bill Hart again. It was bitter cold, for it was
February in the Sierras. The deputies seeking to serve Hart
with his wife's divorce papers had consented to take a rather
frozen but ambitious female reporter from Reno along.

"We just didn't hitch, "saidBill . . . and the world wondered
and did not understand why he gave no sign. Bill Hart went
home to a sickbed and lay in danger of his life. It was not all
cold weather that did that. There was something in that face
that was not the cold, that day in the mountain pass. There are

some riddles in life that two
guns are powerless against.
Brokendreams, forinstance.

YO U see there was a group
of trees on a hillside that
would never see a little boy
playing Indian with his tipi
pitched under their shade,
as the little boy's father had
dreamed. There is the little
boy, but he lives in an
apartment in Hollywood,
and his father walks alone
under those trees. The
apartment is luxurious, due
to the father's generosity,
but there are only women
there — not any father, not
tipis, and trees and God's
great outdoors, where a lit tie
boy can play Indian and
listen to his father's stories
of his own boyhood, and his
Indian friends.

Somewhere in the Divine
Weaver's plan, is the reason
that domestic tragedy had
to come to BiU Hart. A
dream of a home had sus-

Bill Hart, the lonely
star, wants to return
to the screen after
his long absence.
And fans want him



tained him through all the years when he
had been battling his way towards recogni-
tion on the stage, and again on the screen.
He had his little family, his mother and sis-
ters, who battled poverty with him and
helped hearten him to win the great fame
that is his today. A home of his own had to
wait for material success; a home that he had
visioned through the years, with children,
and a wife and mother who would hold the
sacred trust of building a home higher than
any passing glorj' of career or fame.

THERE were plenty of women ready to
help Bill Hart make that dream come
true. Nothing of a gallant about him, yet
Hart's charm was so potent that one society
woman of prominence, who had never seen
him except on the screen, was willing to give
up her home and her husband, if she could
have gained the slightest hearing with Hart. This case is
known to me personally; there were others as well.

When Pola Negri came to Hollywood it was not long before
the exotic and beautiful cyclone was telling reporters, "JNly
beeg strong he-man of the Wes', he will protec' little Pola."

Before this time. Norma Talmadge had become aware of the
inscrutable charm of the strong silent man, and blushingly ad-
mitted tointimates that she was going to marry William S. Hart.

Years before that, a lovers' quarrel had separated Bill Hart
and Louise Dresser. If you question Bill about all the lovely
women who have cared for him, he looks embarrassed, tugs at a
tuft of his hair and says laughingly, "Well, you see, they all got
wise to me, I just didn't measure up, I reckon." He kept
steadily searching for one who would put aside ambition for
him, and be a wife and mother.

Prince Charming married Cinderella, lea\dng all the prin-
cesses and ladies of the court to weep, but something went
wrong, for the golden coach changed back to a pumpkin, the
glass slipper was broken and the ashes were cold. Five months
found the ends of the rainbow together.

Shortly after this, business troubles arose. Methods were
shifting in the rapidly growing picture industry. Can you
imagine Bill Hart wearing white kid and patent leather riding
boots? .And white serge tailored riding clothes with black satin
piping? And a white sombrero with white kid gauntlets? No
— and neither could he. That was why Bill Hart did not go on
with his film work. His producers demanded that Bill, who was
then a producer, give up all say about his pictures, his stories,
and his work, and become simply an actor, subject to dictates
from folks in New York who never saw an Indian nor a cowboy.

"I have faith to keep with the public," said Bill. "Do you

A brand new picture of Bill Hart himself. The two-gun
man of the films hasn't changed

think I could do fake stuff for all those little boys, and the big
ones too, who have learned to love my pictures? No, I'll quit
first. Do you think I could go among my Indian friends with-
out hanging my head in shame, if I presented them falsely to
the public? They could never understand my doing such a
thing, because they know that I know better."

WITH his dreams of a home gone glimmering and the con-
flict between Hart's ideals of sincerity in his work and the
new efticiency methods of the industry. Hart sought retirement.

Only his most intimate friends at small gatherings saw the stal-
wart, silent man. Hollywood first nights and the public func-
tions, at which he had always been greeted with almost hysterical
applause from the fans, saw him no more. He preferred to
spend more and more of his time at the Horseshoe Ranch, out
past Newhall on the edge of the desert. Fritz, the little pinto,
and Cactus Kate, and Lisbeth, the mule, understood in their
dumb way the hurt and sorrow of it all. Perhaps they under-
stood better than most folks, because their beloved master
couldn't talk to people about things ver>' well.

There is sometimes more comfort for the wounds given by
one human being to another in fingering the soft ear of a faith-
ful dog whose eyes speak the comfort he can't tell. The
velvety soft nose of a horse brushing one's cheek can be a power-
ful comfort when all the world seems wrong and mixed up.

Four years of retirement, of absence from the screen, and the
fan letters are still coming to Bill, to the tune of two hundred a
day. Rudolph Valentino was absent from the screen for two
vcars after his differences with those same producers and
his backers were very worried over the possibility of that great
lover making a comeback. As for [ please turn to page 96 ]


C'7)UDY VALLEE — Yale's gift to girls. Ladies cry for him and strong

^/V men curse his name. With no other weapons than a saxophone and a

>v_^ come-hither voice, Rudy stepped from the cloistered halls of his

alma mater and broke more hearts than the income tax. Now, the Great

Vallee is to be heard in the talkies


kFilms Go
Baby Talk

Ooo! Helen Kane is just

turrible glad to be cooing and

singing in the Talkies!

Helen Huston


'ON'T you pu-lease come in and sit down? Aw

gee, it's nice of you. And pu-Iease don't say I'm

a stylish stout like 'ey said in New York. Aw

gee, I'm on 'e eighteen day diet. "

It isn't done with mirrors. It's right there before you. Helen

Kane on or off is Helen Kane. With that baby talk voice and

that baby stare and those baby hands. Yessir, that's Miss

Kane. Aw, gee, bu-lieve me. That's just the way she is.

If Helen Kane had chatted on in a low, cultured tone about
the future of the art of talking pictures— if the dopiest little
dumb Dora who ever crooned a blue ditty had been a grand

Helen Kane, the baby
talk girl who founded
the "Poo-poo-poo-
doo" school of spicy
songs that sound
sweet the way she
sings them. Now, isn't
this a pitty 'ittle

The famous Helen Kane Pout. This

sort of maneuver can turn a strong,

silent man into a bowl of mush

lady with a withering glance, I'd believe Doug Fairbanks uses
a double. And Jack Gilbert isn't crazy about Ina Claire. And
Tom Mix was born in London. Honest, I would. Aw, gee!

" Init silly? " Helen went on. (Aw, gee, she's the only person
in the wurruld can do it and get away with it.) "I've heard
girls talk 'iss baby talk and it sounds turribly silly. I guess
I don't mind it in me becus' it's just me. It's natural. Why,
I always talked 'iss way. Baby talk. I can't help it. I can't
help it the teenciest-weenciest 'ittle bit.

"But I don't sing baby songs. Aw, gee, no. Why, I sing
sophisticated songs. And say sophisticated things. But I can
get away with it becus' — well, becus' this talk — it's natural."

In case you never, never heard Helen Kane on the phono-
graph or on the radio or in person and in case you were one of
those turribly unlucky persons who didn't see "Nothing But
the Truth, " let me explain. Aw, gee, I gotta e.xplain. Honest
I have.

SHE'D been doing everything in show business. Vaudeville
and cabarets and bits in musical comedies and things, .^nd
all the time she'd been talking baby talk and making those
great big goo-goo eyes. But it didn't seem to get her anywhere.
Aw, gee. And then she got a job singing in the prologues at the
Paramount Theater. Most everybody accepts prologues as a
necessary evil. A short prologue is just a little bit worse than
no prologue at all.

But people listened when Helen Kane sang. Could that gal
be-dut? I'll say she could. And those bored sophisticates who
had kept looking at their watches to see when the prologue
would be over and the picture begin, threw their watches right
out in the aisles and didn't give a hang how much tempus
insisted upon fugiting.

Somebody saw and heard Helen Kane besides Mr. and Mrs.

Public. Arthur Hammerstein
saw her and gave her a big part
in one of his swellest musical
comedies. And the smartest
night club hostesses saw her
and craved her baby ways.
And Paramount officials saw
her and she just had to play
that grand comedy role in
Richard Dix's "Nothing But
the Truth" and walk away
with all the feminine honors
of the picture. And all the
time she kept on making the
house -slipper brigade glad — ■
just plain glad — they were
[please turn to page 126]


>^NN HARDING is now of and in pictures and prefers to stay.
Q^,/j^ Pathe has placed tlie "million-dollar voice" under contract —
and the million-dollar hair, too. Not to mention the million-
dollar eyes!








Ann Harding Speaks
and You Get


Marquis Busby

kARDON me for a moment. I have to leave the opera
'house long enough to drop into a man's apartment and
kill him."

The next second Ann Harding was on the set at Pathe
in the midst of a tense dramatic scene of " Her Private Affair,"
her second starring picture following "Paris Bound."

I've no idea of what the plot is about but the dialogue
may give vou some notion of what's going on.

Ann— "Well, do I get the
letters or must I pay cash on

The 'Man — "You needn't
make me out quite a black-

Ann — "Oh, you're low.
It's written all over your
face. How could I have been
so infatuated in Pizaro?"

.^nd so on far into the
night. Just the kind of a
plot Al Woods would love.
Ann Harding speaks in a low,
dramatic, insistent voice. At
Pathe they call it the voice
with the sex appeal. Well,
perhaps that is true. At least
you will agree, when you hear
"Paris Bound," that she has
one of the loveliest voices on
the screen. The sex appeal
speech will next stir Ronald
Colman to bigger and better
amours in "Condemned to
Devil's Island." Then Ann
resumes her starring contract
with Pathe.

The scene was completed.

Marriage has taken nothing from the romance

of Ann Harding and Harry Bannister. They

still hold bands — on and off the screen

Ann is an exquisite sort of young person,
small and slender and very blonde

\ man with a broad grin stepped in front of the camera, an-
nouncing "Scene 20. Retake 2." Ann forgot acting imme-
diately. She patted the assistant's head, while he grinned

"Tell me you love me," she demanded in that million dollar

Waiting for a new set up on the stage she perched on a suit
case and chatted with me.

" I love it out here. Harry
Bannister, my husband, and
I have the same kind of a
contract with Pathe. We can
have a home with a front
yard with grass in it. The
baby plays out there in the
mornings. It s hell to go to
the studio. I'll never worry
about leaving the stage or
screen. I'll be just a wife and
mother. Harry says I'm a
very good one. Isn't that
sweet? But he's a sweet per-
son. Can I bum a cigarette
from some one? Oh, there
you are (toanother assistant).
We smoke the same brand.
He's such a comfort.

HE.WENS, yes. The
screen is ever so differ-
ent from the stage. On the
stage it is all vocal. Idotricks
with my voice to get over an
emotion. Back of the third
row the audience can't see
your face. On the screen a lot


Nowadays the list of celebrities at a Hollywood

first-night reads like the program for an Equity

benefit. The Celluloid City has become more like

New York than New York itself

BROADWAY? Oh, yes, it was a grand old street, and
really it was quite gay before it packed its tooth brush and
pajamas and trekked to Hollywood.
They used to write songs about that street. It must be
desolate now. A sort of cross between " The Deserted \'iUage "
and the Sargasso Sea.

There must be cobwebs at Broadway ajid
42nd Street, and the Lambs and Friars
clubs probably take in non-theatrical
boarders to meet expenses.

The bellhops at the Algonquin surely are
dejected, and the waiters at the Rilz are
crying into the soup.

Wonder what the New Amsterdam
Theater is doing now? Quite likely it is
offering a revival of "The Perils of Pauline,",
or an Indian medicine show. And Sardi's
restaurant. Quaint place. Sardi is prob-
ably serving tea and lettuce sandwiches to
women who spend the morning shopping at

In just such a manner would the average
HoUywoodian describe Broadway today.
The fdm capital doesn't see how anyone can
be left on New York's main stem; despite
the fact a prominent producer said that the
people who had deserted Manhattan for the

Just another Hollywood opening, sun-arcs,
radio, and all. Hollywood Boulevard is the
new Broadway — whether it will or no. The
placid street, accustomed to dozing in the
summer sun, and going shut-eye long
before midnight, is doing its best to be big

Hollywood Boulevard is

doing its best to be a Big

Time Street during the

latest Gold Rush

West left no more impression than a drop of iodine in
the Atlantic. But maybe that remark could be classi-
fied as sour grapes.

Broadway can scarcely help missing Lenore Ulric,
JNIarilyn Miller, Irene Bordoni, Basil Rathbone,
Charles King, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Dennis King,
and Laura Hope Crews — to mention a very few.

With every train pulling into Los Angeles, several
carloads of New York stage people, actors, play-
wrights, directors, song writers, or what can you offer,
shake the dust of the Mojave from Fifth Avenue
habiliments, hop into a taxi and start for Hollywood.
There are more than two thousand Broadwayites
here now, and every day brings a new invasion. Now
Hollywood, after all, isn't a big town, and two thousand people
cannot fail to make a marked impression. It is still a bit
bewildered with its streets swarming with new faces, new auto-
mobiles, and with broad a's dropping into your coffee at the

The new gold rush is on. Not since the days of '49 has there
been such a rush to the Coast. The precious metal does not
come out of them thar hills, however.


Pioneer days are with us again. Hollywood Boule-
vard is the new Broadway. The placid street, ac-
customed to dozing in the summer sun, is doing its
best to be big time. Of course it felt a bit hurt, that's
all, when some actor said that the only thing it lacked
to become Surf .Avenue in Coney Island was a roller
coaster and a "hot dog" stand.

The Boulevard isn't at all sure that it wants to be
the new Broadway. Hollywood today is a bit like the
mother hen with a brood of ducklings. She is doing
her best to raise her ducklings into good, little motion
picture chickens — and more than likely she will suc-
ceed. The Broadway invaders are faced with the
necessity of doing in Hollywood as the Hollywoodians
do. New York habits of life are completely out of focus in these
more or less wide open spaces of real estate subdivisions.

Hollywood goes to bed at night and gets up earlv in the morn-
ing. The New Yorker is now getting his first introduction to
8a.m. Hollywood, for the mostpart.livesinhomes. NewYork-
ers usually have apartments. Hollywood makes whoopee in its
homes. The New Yorker goes to night clubs and speakies.

They do tell some priceless stories about the New York stage

This is how the Hollywoodians picture Broadway
now — a cross between the Deserted Village and the
Sargasso Sea. In their eyes old Bagdad-on-the-
Subway has become an empty shell. Well, a few
of us old timers stick to the ghosts of yesterday

people, having their first e.xperience at bona fide home life.
Helen Kane, the baby talk girl from the revues, leased a house
in Hollywood for no other reason than a fig tree in the back
yard. Helen had never seen a fig tree. In fact she had a
vague idea that figs grew like potatoes, beneath the ground.
But to have a house with a real live tree.
She couldn't resist it. Her little nephew
eyed the tree with speculative interest.

". Auntie Helen," he queried, "do Fig
Newtons grow on it?"

After eighteen }ears on the road, Hal

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 77 of 145)