Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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

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sweet young heroine somewhere before the last reel.

The styles in screen vamping have changed with the times,
hats and skirt lengths.

The old school of cinema siren, incarnate in Theda Bara, is no
more. Its rough and tumble, catch-as-catch-can style of at-
tack will never do for talking pictures, for its physical and vocal
acrobatics would sound like a fox in ahen-yard in the ears of the
demon microphone.

The modern, up-to-date man-killer of the screen must be a
far smoother and more seductive article. A come-hither look
and a provocative rolling of the eyes and hips must do the work
that the half-nelson and strangle hold performed in the dear
old days.

AS the first great practitioner of this new school, as shown by
her work in " Gentlemen of the Press," Kay Francis stands

Others will come, do their dirty deeds, and pass, but' as the
pioneer of the clan. Miss Francis will occupy a sizable place in
the yet unwritten history of the talkies.

If you have already seen her first picture, you are acquainted
with Kay's methods. If you aren't, here's a brief exposition of
vamping technique, 1929 model.

Instead of circling her male prey looking for a punishing hold,
she stands still, fixing the victim with a steady gaze that half

Run, boys, do not walk, to the nearest exit! This is Kay

Francis, who vamped 'Walter Huston and her way to

fame in "Gentlemen of the Press." Kay employs the

Snaky, or Come-Hither, Method

repels, half commands. As she takes her stance close to the un-
happy male, there is an air about her that says, "Well,
you fool, take it or leave it, — but if you leave it you're
an idiot!"

Fascinated by the attitude of the siren and utterly undone by
her compelling charm, the poor fellow has no more chance than
a rabbit transfixed by the eye of a cobra. Unless he falls dead
of heart failure, or the house is struck by lightning, he is a gone

KAY FRANCIS' work in "Gentlemen of the Press" was
great, not so much for what she did as for what she left un-
done. She made no passes at the unlucky Walter Huston — she
merely exerted every cubic ounce of her fascination, and let na I ure
take its course. And so she stands forth as the forerunner of the
perfect vamping technique for the talkies.

It didn't take the smart talent at Paramount long to see what
they had in Kay Francis when they looked at the first rushes of
her scenes.

The projection machine had hardly stopped whirring before
they had her Jane Hancock on the dotted line of a long term con-
tract. Before she had caught her breath she was aboard a fast
train bound for the Hollywood foundry of Paramount. Still
gray with desert dust, she was hurled into the latest Clara Bow
production, "Dangerous Curves," and what she did to the un-
suspecting young Dick Aden, in that JDicture, will be everybody s
business when the world sees it.

Even while the cameras were [please turn to page 126]



^™"^* '^m^


NORMA SHEARER takes over the role of the cele-
brated Mrs. Chcyiiey, made famous by Ina Claire, and
gets away with it neatly. Which is no small triumph for
Miss Shearer, since Miss Claire is rated one of the best co-
mediennes on our late lamented footlight stage. Miss
Shearer's performance of the smart lady crook who sets
British society agog has poise, charm and genuine assurance.
Maybe you saw Miss Claire in "The Last of Mrs.
Cheyney." If so, you know that the lady was the belle of a
select coterie of high-toned crooks. B ut Mrs. Cheyney loses her
heart to the handsome Lord Arthur Dilling and — but why
tell the story? Basil Rathbone, direct from the Broadway
stage, lends e.xcellent assistance as Lord .Arthur. Sidney
Franklin's direction is excellent. All Talkie.

y^ LUCKY star—Fox

A GENTLE and charming little story this — of a boy who
comes back from Flanders a cripple and of a farm slavey
who never has known love or kindness. She hurls a stone
through the window of his lonely and desolate house. But,
from his wheel chair, he wins her love. Under his guidance,
she becomes understanding and lovely. Then a tough
sergeant comes from France and demands the girl from
her mercenary mother.

What happens? What can the helpless cripple boy do
against the brute? Go see "Lucky Star" for yourself and
you will know. Moreover, you will be won over completely by
the playing of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The direc-
tion of Frank Borzageis tender and sympathetic. The Photo-
play Gold Medal trio wins new laurels here. Part Talkie.




(REG. U. S. PAT. OFF-.) H^ 1

A Review of the New Pictures


THOSE two hard-boiled marines, Sergeants Flagg and
Quirt, are back again. Remember them in "What Price
Glory "? Flagg was a captain then, but peace times demote
him back to the post of top sergeant.

" The Cock Eyed World " takes up the further adventures
of the two leathernecks: in Russia, in Central America, in
and about the Brooklyn Na\'j' Yard and at that playground
of civilian and soldier, Coney Island. The immortal quarrel
of Flagg and Quirt goes on endlessly whether the cause is the
sweetie of a tough Russian or the sweetheart of a timid
Spanish-American. Between policing the world, Flagg and
Quirt are eternally plotting to outwit the other.

There is less of war in "The Cock Eyed World" than in
its predecessor, although the sequel carries the marines
through a campaign against rebels in Central America.
Victor McLaglen, it seems to us, has a shade the best of it
as Flagg in "What Price Glory." In "The Cock Eyed
World " the edge goes to Edmund Lowe as the crafty Quirt.
And Lily Damita stands out brightly as a peppy Central
American jungle belle.

Bear in mind that "The Cock Eyed World" is not a
family picture. It is a little rough and profane. Remember
that the microphone records everything — and the repartee
between the two marines is not Sunday School conversation.

Raoul Walsh's direction has a fine gusto. " The Cock Eyed
World" was written by Laurence Stallings and Maxwell
Anderson, authors, as you know, of "What Price Glory."
It lacks none of the flavor of that war epic. All Talkie.


The Best Pictures of the Month




The Best Performances of the Month

Victor McLaglen in "The Cock Eyed World"

Edmund Lowe in "The Cock Eyed World"

Norma Shearer in "The Last of Mrs. Cheyney"

Basil Rathbone in "The Last of Mrs. Cheyney"

Gary Cooper in "The Virginian"

Richard Arlen in "The Virginian"

Anna May Wong in "Piccadilly"

Chester Morris in "Woman Trap"

Evelyn Brent in "Woman Trap"

Ina Claire in "The Awful Truth"

Casts of all photoplays reviewed will be found on page ISO


KING ^'IDOR has a number of notable motion pictures to
his credit. "The Big Parade," for instance. That in-
teresting experiment of last year, "The Crowd." And, back
of those two films, were many pictures revealing a fine under-
standing of humanity, along with a superb sympathy.

His new photoplay, "Hallelujah," is another experiment
— and a striking one. His hero is a harum-scarum negro lad
who gets involved in a gambling house brawl. His younger
brother is killed in the fight and the boy, his world turned
upside down by the tragedy, becomes an evangelist. But he
can not stand up against all temptation. He backslides,
serves a year on a chain gang — and then comes back to the
little plantation of his father.

The story is told with a fine appreciation of the negro race.
Indeed, the picture is something of a racial epic. Vidor's
camera wanders into the little cabin after the boy's death
and records the lamentations of the lad's family with
startling emotional effect. Later, Vidor shows the negro
evangelist upon his mission, and he pictures a great revival
and a river baptism. Behind the simply written dialogue, is
a colorful background of negro spirituals.

Every member of Vidor's cast is excellent. Although none
of them ever worked before a camera or a microphone
before, they give unstudied and remarkably spontaneous
performances. That speaks a lot for Vidor's direction. A
word for the excellence of Daniel Haynes' Zeke, Nina Mae
McKinney's Chick and Fannie Belle DeKnight's Mainmy.
All three are great. All Talkie.


THIS picture has some fme touches that Cecil De Mille
should be proud of, but it is too long. While there is
delightful comedy relief, in the sophisticated handling of
some of the domestic relations, the story is stark drama,
with several exceptionally tense scenes.

Cynthia Crothers, to save her fortune, bargains with a
murderer to marry her a few hours before his execution. She
plans to marry another man whom she has bought from his
present wife. The big surprise is Charles Bickford who wins
all the female hearts by his first screen role — a he-man. Kay
Johnson, also new, delights with her work. \ harrowing
mine explosion, a weep}' court room scene, love scenes a la
Glyn, beautiful sports events, a whoopee party de luxe, and
last, but not least, a new De Mille bath tub. .\U Talkie.

yr THE VIRGINIAN— Paramount

OWEN WISTER'S novel is due for a revival after this
picture is released. It is to be regretted that Dustin
Farnum (who made a very creditable silent version of this
story in 1923) did not live to see the present talking version.

AH the atmosphere of the range is here, with Gary Cooper,
The Virginian, in his first fuU-dialogue picture, delivering
that famous line: "When you call me that, smile!"

For the first time, a thousand bellowing cattle, with
dozens of yelling cowboys, are filmed with sound, in a thrill-
ing roundup.

Walter Huston, as Trampas, equals his work in "Gentle-
men of the Press," and Dick Arlen has another role very like
that in "Wings," and again he gets from it tremendous
sympathetic response. All Talkie.


Sound or Silent, You Will Find the





All Talkie





All Talkie

FOR two years the crime wave has flooded the film market,
yet this production rises above the hackneyed and com-
mands attention. It is the story of two East Side families.
Chester Morris, as a vicious kid criminal, quite upholds the
standard he set for himself in "Alibi." Evelyn Brent is really
splendid as the sacrificing sister and Hal Skelley gives a credit-
able characterization of the detective.

THE world is eagerly awaiting the first screen appearance of
Jack Gilbert's new wife. It wiU not be disappointed. She
is earnest, vibrant, delightful. "The Awful Truth" had a long,
successful stage run. A dramatic story of love, marriage, mis-
understandings, divorce. Situations liandled in an extremely
sophisticated style. JNIiss Claire is supported by two fine stage
actors, Henry Daniels and Paul Harvey. The latter is perfect.




All Talkie

First National

All Talkie

WESLEY RUGGLES has established a reputation for
making consistently good pictures at minimum cost.
He keeps the present picture well up to his fine standard. Story
hinges around a girl violinist and a group of musicians who
befriend her. Betty Compson, Jack Oakie, John Harron and
others appear to advantage. Incidentally, Miss Compsou, who
used to be a vaudeville violinist, really plays.

FROTHY bedroom farce always lands on the screen with
something of a dull thud. This example isn't bad. Neither
is it very good. Ail about folks in negligee and pajamas who
get into the wrong apartments. This sort of thing used to be
considered very naughty behind the footlights not so many
>ears ago. Jack Mulhall and Patsy Ruth MiUer do their best
to help.

—World Wide




All Talkie

THE age of wonders has dawned! A British picture, a silent
picture, and an unusually fine picture! True, the brilliant
job of directing was done by A. E. Dupont, of "Variety" fame.
Anna May Wong, Hollywood's little Chinese girl, steals the
picture from Gilda Gray, its star. A fine story by Arnold
Bennett, set in London's Limehouse and cabaret night life, and
good acting by Jameson Thomas. A credit to British studios.


A RIPPING good mystery story done with more sincenty
and artistic touch than the average. Reason? It was
directed by Lionel Barr\'more. Even if you don't hke baffling
yarns, you'll enjoy this for the charming English atmosphere.
Roland Young, from the stage, brings all his whimsical charm
to the screen. And Dorothy Sebastian is devastatingly beauti-
ful and does fine work as the mysterious Eurasian. See it!

First and Best Screen Reviews Here


Part Talkie


All Talkie

THERE is nothing new in this race-track, story nor the
method of handling, though the background is authentic.
It was made at the seventeenth annual race at Indianapolis.
Billy Haines' great following will hardly like him in such slap-
stick. His characterization is less subtle than in former pic-
tures but, likely, the younger folks will roar gleefully. Ernest
Torrence, Anita Page and Karl Dane render capable support.

EUREKA! A delightful stage comedy has been made into an
even more pleasant picture. "Kempy" represents a high
water mark in talking comedies. It is unpretentious. No
cabaret sets, mobs or marble bathtubs. Kempy is the very
youthful plumber who stays to marry the literary daughter of
the Bents and then finds out that he is really in love with the
youngest girl. "Kempy" belongs on your must list.




All Talkie


All Talkie

IF you can accept Charles Rogers as a mild-tempered boy who
turns into a roistering bad man, "River of Romance" is a
grand picture. Several years ago it was produced with Cullen
Landis as "The Fighting Coward." It is a humorous romance
of crinoline days in the South. Dialogue is well handled and
screen values have not been sacrificed. Rogers and Mary Brian
are splendid. And superb comedy by WaUace Beery.

GEORGE MORAN and Charles Mack, the famous Black
Crows, are black only part of the time in " Why Bring That
Up?" their flicker debut. The two idols of the phonograph
records are at their best in burnt cork. Without the shellac it
is evident that they aren't such a much at heavy emoting.
When they get going about the early bird and the worm and
other comedy skits they are superb.


All Talkie







Pari Talkie



A TALKIE played entirely by actors fresh from the stage,
with British accents so thick they get in your hair. But it
has a good enough story, concerning a girl who was smuggled
into a smart country house by a gang of thieves in order to lift
the family jools. Among the actors in the piece are Marguerite
Churchill, Kenneth McKenna, Dorothy Burgess and Henry
Kolker. This picture should draw a lot of trade in Lunnon.

PEGGY WOOD, late of the legitimate, makes her bow as a
dramatic actress of rare ability with a Hcdda Gabler type of
personality. She plays the dutiful wife of the concert pianist,
admirably done by Lewis Stone. Leila Hyams is the decorative
"other woman." A Sudermann theme of misunderstood genius.
Beautiful direction, delightful acting, remarkable emotional
undercurrent. Go prepared to think, [please turn to page 107]


"j^e Wisecracker Reveals

Mr. William Haines, 1929 Model. Here you see
the completed product, graduate of the Pola
Negri Finishing School for Young Actors, as he
looks in his latest comedy, "Navy Blues"

T AST month Bill Haines told of his childhood and his adven-
■'-'turous boyhood. He was born in Staunton, Virginia. There
were Jive children in the family: three boys and two girls. Bill
was the oldest.

Bill startled the family by running away from home. He
worked for a time in a powder factory on the James River. Then
he ran a dance hall for a brief period — until fire wiped it out.

Meandering to New York, Haines worked in a department store
and with a bond house.
Then he was selected as
one of the two winners
in a contest conducted
by the Goldwyn Com-
pany. Eleanor Board-
man was the other

THE Los Angeles
Chamber of
doesn't exactly
send bands to the train
to meet contest win-
ners. They're as com-
mon as coal miners in
Pennsylvania. I was
lonely and poor in a
strange, confusing busi-
ness. But I made up
my mind that I would

In the first few years
when things were going
so badly for me I used
to think I would die


William Haines stroking for God, for Country and for

"Brown of Harvard," his first big film success, which

he stole completely from Jack Pickford, its star, and

turned into a Haines hit

William Haines tells of his
life in Hollywood and a ca-
reer which at first promised
little. And of his romances,
philosophy and friends

gladly just to make one good picture. It's obvious that I didn't
die. It was a long time before I made that good picture, and
when I did I had no wish to die, gladly or otherwise.

Someone had made the discovery of sex appeal about this
time, and apparently it was something that William Haines
lacked. They wouldn't give me a break on that account, and
it followed me around like a curse.

Elinor Glyn went a bit further and said I didn't have IT,
and moreover, I was a big ham. I replied that the best hams
in the world came from Virginia. I was beginning to wise-
crack a bit. God knows I had to do something.

EVENTUALLY they found a role that could be played by
a young fellow who didn't have any sex appeal. I was to be
given a chance in ''Three Wise Fools," with Eleanor Board-
man playing the leading feminine role.

I had to wear a high silk hat, and I had to wear it while
I did my most dramatic scene. I'd never had one on before
and it takes a good actor to be emotional in a top hat. I was
just as conscious of it as I would have been without my
pants. I was terrible, awful.

After that I played the heavy in a picture in which Lew
Cody was the hero. That was funny because I had a round
babyish face and my dirty work couldn't have impressed any-
body. I wore a high hat in that one, too, but this time it came
easier. I had spent several evenings in front of the mirror
trying to become friendly with it.

I played the cornfed man-with-the-hoe country lover in
"The Tower of Lies." This was Norma Shearer's first big
dramatic picture. I felt that everything depended on it. This
time it was do or die. I worked myself to such a nervous pitch

that one day in the
midst of a love scene
with Norma I became
violently sick at my
stomach and had to re-
tire in a hurry to the

I told the director
that it was just a touch
of ptomaine. I couldn't
tell him the real truth.
They sent me home,
and I spent the rest of
the day in bed crying.
Then I argued the
thing out with myself.
Why should I be afraid
of the camera? It was
an inanimate object
and couldn't reach out
and bite me on the
chin. It had. the fac-
ulty of photographing
thought as well as fea-
tures. I made up my
mind that I would
think more of what I


As told to
Marquis Busby

was doing, to try and live the role. It was a good phi-
losophy and I stuck to it, for I was never afraid or
nervous again.

But a philosophy isn't much good if you don't get a
chance to practice what you preach. After that I
played bits without screen credit. It came to me in-
directly that the M.-G.-M. organization had made up
its mind to worry along without me.

At that time I was earning $5,000 a year. It seemed
like an awful lot of mone\', but then I had to buy
clothes, and pay rent on a little two by four apartment
in Los Angeles. In addition, I was sending money
home. I hadn't saved a sou, and wouldn't even be
able to get back to New York.

Harry Cohn, the Columbia producer, was a life-saver
to me. He asked M.-G.-II. to borrow a leading man
for a series of four pictures. They must have been glad
to get me off their hands for they fell joyfully on his neck.
My first picture at Columbia was "The ^lidnght Ex-
press. " Elaine Hammerstein was the star.

I had one of those actor proof roles, a young engineer
who races to the rescue of something or other. The
picture was made for a dill pickle and a cold fried egg,
but it was my first success. Se.x appeal or no sex
appeal, I was popular. Naturally I was happy. I
remember that Harr\' Cohn gave us all gifts at Christ-
mas. I got a bathrobe. The gift business was good.
It created a friendly spirit.

Columbia tried to buy my contract option, but when
my studio found out that somebody else wanted me
they became coy. They asked S20,000, but Cohn
didn't think I was worth that much. So W.-G.-M.
had me back on its hands. But the Columbia experi-
ence was valuable. It was through "The Midnight
Express" that Mary Pickford chose me for her leading
man in "Little Annie Rooney. "

IT was at this time that "Brown of Harvard"' was
scheduled to go into production. I determined that
nobody but William Haines would play the role of
Tom Brown. The executives were just as determined
that anybody but William Haines would play it. Jack
Conway thought I would be terrible, but Irving Thal-
berg stood by me through thick and thin. Jack Pick-
ford was to be starred and Conway told me that, of
course, he would steal the picture. Pickford was
getting §3,000 a week. I made S250. Finally I was
given the role, chiefly, I suppose, because it wasn't
suitable to Lon Chane)-, Lillian Gish or Conrad Nagel.

I thought and planned for that role. People had told
me many times that I looked like Charles Ray. I can
see the resemblance, so I determined to take a Charles
Ray character, turn him inside out and make of him
the freshest punk that ever drew breath. I did the
best I could for Tom Brown. Gave him everything
that was in me.

One day the supervisor was on the set. I overheard
Jack Conway tell him to watch " that fresh punk put
the scene over." At first I thought he meant Pickford.
Then I realized he meant me — Pickford was in bed
asleep and couldn't be doing much emoting. That was
the first I realized that I was good. Boy, didn't I take
that scene big!

When the picture was completed I forgot all about it.
I didn't e.xpect anything [ please turn to p.\ge 127 ]

A shot from "Three Wise Fools," in which

Haines stunned the art world by making love

to F.Ieiinor Roardman, in a plug hat

In "Circe, the Enchantress," Mae Murray

works her wicked will on Bill Haines, soggy

with puppy love and very wet water

Willie Haines grows up. Slick and self-
possessed, he plays a scene in "A Slave of
Fashion" with that lovely Norma Shearer



ye mperamental?

Jetta Goudal recently was awarded
$31,000 in her suit against Cecil B. De
Mille. She alleged a broken contract.
De Mille countered with charges of tem-
perament. The decision for Miss Goudal
was a triumph for temperament

PICTURE me upon a snow white charger, in a suit of
glittering silver armor and mail, with a tempered Damas-
cus blade circling agitatedly above my head. I have the
crusader's spirit. I perfectly adore a cause.
I've just taken one up — the cause of temperament. I think
it a bit pathetic that the actors can't answer back when every-
body from the prop boy to the most high executive accuses
them of throwing fits, of tearing their clothes to bits and jumping
up and down on directors' hats.

And so I, in royal raiment and a high dudgeon, am going
to let the stars speak their
little pieces. I'm going to
question a lot of them who
have been accused of being
hard to manage, and discover
just what the vitriolic re-
marks they have to cast in
the teeth of the producers
who have called them tem-

Just what have the stars to
say about temperament?
Plenty, my good reader,

Of course, they all stood
up and cheered when Judge
Leon R. Yankwich gave
Jetta Goudal $31,000 of
Cecil B. De Mille's gold and
the right to throw a fit when
she chose. When her trial, in
which she demanded back
salary and De Mille de-
manded the right to break
her contract because she was


"I'm not tempera-
mental," says Regi-
nald Denny. "I'm
just fighting for exist-
ence on the screen"

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 79 of 145)