Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

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"All I want is recognition!" bawled Mr.
McCorkle. "Me, I'm an artist, see? So
where do you get off not to drag me up on the
stage with the rest of 'em? Why, you admit
the picture was a flop until you found me."

"A skull like ivory," lamented Abie, "and
not so good lookink. Listen, diimhkopf, did I
wise up the public on this double racket they'd
laugh instead of cry. And can you imagine
how phony Wountstephen would seem to his
admirers. And the crickets! Y'see, Eddie,
you'n me, we got a sneakcret between us for
the good of the business."

"TT makes rne nothing but a slave," com-
-^plained the tenor. " Xo justice at all. It
certainly is a tough break for me."

Mr. Zoop eyed him an.xiously. "When you
jumped up," he said, "somebody told me that
bummer Ignatz Yolk looked pretty inquisitive,
and I can't afford to have him makink you a
proposition to squeal, because he'd wire the
news to every cricket in the country. You
like it out here, don't you?"

"It's heaven on earth," said Mr. McCorkle,
with the blandness of a real estate agent.

"Then I'll let you make two talfcink shorts,
even in spite of that mug you got, and besides
that you can stay in California for two months
longer at five hundred per week. It's hush
money, but it's worth it, or may the Watch
and Ward Society put the blocks to me. Now
tell me I'm bighearted or yet a sucker."

"You're a white man," said Eddie earnestly.
"I'm not thinking of gouging you, and I see
your angle, all right. It just set me crazy to
hear the applause and not get any of it myself.
I'll be glad to do the shorts, but outside of that
I don't want a thing, although it wouldn't be a
hardship to settle out here."

"You saved the picture," insisted the presi-
dent, "and I guess a little holidaywon't break
me. Also, maybe I can use you in the future
because I got now a couple composers on the
staff, and who can tell when they'll turn a
snatch of opera into a popular song."

SO Mr. McCorkle, after writing his weekly
letter to the now far distant Molly, remained
in the enchanted suburb to pursue the life of
the legendary Riley. His first day at the
studio consisted of two hours' practice for the
shorts and then, ambling into the sunshine, he
collided with the perfumed person of Rosie

"I was just on my way to you," she
throbbed. "Oh, Mr. McCorkle, will you
please help rae?"

"There's only one answer," said the tenor,
noting the shadows under her well publicized
eyes. "What can I do?"

"I want to be soothed," murmured Rosie,
drawing closer.

"G — Gee," stuttered the amazed Eddie, "I
— I'm one of your admirers, all right, but
I've got a girl of my own. It wouldn't be
fair to — "

Rosie flashed him an amused glance.
"You've been reading too many tabloids," she
tinkled. "I've been allotted a new picture,
Mr. McCorkle, and I've got to do a lot of
dancing in it because I'm supposed to be a
Broadway soubrette. It's got me worried."

"What for? You're three times more alive
than those washed-out stage people."

"But I can't hoof worth a cent," pouted
Rosie, "and I'll have to take lessons every day
until I'm good enough. That's going to be
nerve racking, let alone doing the ordinary
picture work, so what I want is for you to sing
to me in the evenings. I'll pay you a hundred
a week, and it'll do me more good than any
doctor, because your voice is a positive cure.
Besides, you're a homely little chap and I'd
feel safe with you."

Eddie drew an ecstatic breath. "Leaving
my girl aside, Miss Redpath, you always were
my weakness, but it won't be my fault if I
don't strengthen you."

One month later the blase Mr. McCorkle
entered the Redpath mansion in Beverly Hills,
strolled through to the cool patio and gloomily

contemplated the glittering little fountain in
the center.

California had done well by "The Smiling
Singer of Sad Songs." Ten pounds in weight
and si.K hundred weekly had given him a poise
hitherto lacking. A full measure of artistry had
been given to the creation of two talking epics,
whose only handicap lay in his peculiar style of
beauty. The rest of the time had been spent
inhahng the fragrance of the lotus. Long,
languorous days at the shore or on the cliffs at
Catalina. Gazing down on mile deep orange
groves, from a cleft in the high Sierras or watch-
ing ( he sunset vanish into Asia, from a Monterey
garden. Yet, like the individual who imbibes
recklessly of Tia Juana beer, he was conscious
of a vague unrest.

" I thought you'd never get here," said Rosie
plaintively, from where she reclined in shim-
mering blue chiffon. "It's been an awful day,
Eddie, and .A.dams has about decided that my
dancing's too slipshod. Damn all sound pic-
tures, anyhow ! I'm an actress, not a hard shoe
peace disturber."

"S'too bad," muttered Eddie. "Well,

"Let's have 'Don't You Mind It, Honey',"
breathed Rosie, "and then any you like, pro-
viding you finish with 'Soothin' Song.' You're
such a comfort with that velvet voice, Eddie."

"Yeah?" said the tenor with sudden irrita-
bility. "Then why couldn't you give a guy a
little applause once in a while?"

"Don't you shout at me," flared Miss Red-
path. "I'm not paying you for that." Then
she smiled placatingly. "You want to remem-
ber I'm pretty nearly as jumpy as a week-ender
in Montreal, and when this tintype is finished
I'm going home to St. Louis for a rest."

CT. LOUIS! Mr. McCorkle embarked upon a
'-'dreamy voyage as mechanically he began to
sing. A good town if you didn't strike it in
summer — and this was October. The Ambas-
sador was a swell house. Good audiences,
too, who weren't afraid to let a fellow know
when they liked him. Nobody sat on their
hands in St. Louis. . . .

" You've certainly got a weepy blend to your
notes this evening," remarked Rosie, yawning
with inelegant comfort. "I feel all smoothed
down already." She closed her pansy eyes and
lay there serenely, a perfectly rounded,
fastidious bit of loveliness, cool and aloof as the
Montana Rockies.

Mr. McCorkle regarded her with the detach-
ment of a connoisseur. Rosie was a queen, he
told himself, but she was too much like Cali-
fornia. Too soft and colorful. On the other
hand, there was Molly, who was bowing off
at the Hippodrome in Buffalo. She'd be tired
and overheated, and maybe that tendon in
her left ankle needed rubbing again. She —

SUDDENLY he heard himself addressing
the star. "I'll bet you've never perspired
in your life," said his accusing voice.

jliss Redpath sat bolt upright. "Have you
gone crazy?" she said sharply, "or are you just
cracking wise, like all the rest of thegiligaloos?"

"It just slipped out," apologized Eddie,
instantly contrite. "You wouldn't under-
stand, even if I told you, but on the level, I
didn't mean anything fresh. Listen, Rosie,
when you hear 'Soothin' Song' now, it's going
to be for the last time. I — I'm leaving to-

"As suddenly as that. I'll miss you a lot,

"That's the way things grip a guy," says
Mr. McCorkle. ".\11 at once, like the barber's
itch. Perhaps Abie will bring me back if
Hubert has to do any more warbUng, but it's so
long for a while." .And lifting his head happily
toward the east, his voice swelled softly into
the melody that had saved the skidding Hubert
from the discard.

Fi\e days later he threaded his way through
Boston's crooked thoroughfares, emerged on
Tremont Street and galloped eagerly along to
the Metropolitan, just in time for Monday
morning rehearsal. Electricians were stacking

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letters in the canopy announcing the arrival
of "Dark Brown Blues." The October air had
a bracing tang to it and the shadowy alley
looked like the passageway to heart's desire.

Inside the theater he buttonholed the unit
manager. "Joe," he whispered, "has Molly
come in yet? I wired her to Buffalo that I'd
join the troupe here and — "

"Well, I'llbeanuncouthname!" shouted the
manager. " So it was you who wired her, hey?
I just turned it back to the Western Union and
told 'em to forward it. Haw, haw. This is rich !"

Eddie began to tremble. "Why, Joe," he
quavered. "Is Molly ill? Is — "

"She never was better," boomed the man-
ager. "Why, you dizzy ape, you passed one
another somewhere in the West! She's gone
out to these here Stupefaction Pictures to
double for some dumbbell star's dancing legs.
And maybe Molly's triple taps won't come
through the old 'mike' like a bailiff rapping for
order. Boy, she'll panic 'em !"

■\yf R. McCORKLE walked absently to the
■^ ''■^center of the stage and gazed interestedly
at the barren house. Four thousand seats, he
mused. Four shows a day. The sense of power
to sway those dim, white blurs of upturned
faces; then the applause, coming across to him
with that deep, steady thrumming that sounds
like nothing else on earth. Food and drink!
He grinned nerx-ously, restless for the matinee.

"Say," remarked Joe, "for a guy who'slost
his giri, I must say you certainly take it easy.
Did you grab off something you liked better
out in California?"

Eddie's smile grew broader as he shook his
carroty head. "All I did was sing soothin'
songs in dear old HoUyAvood." he said, "and
that's why I'm not worrying about Molly.
She'll be back, Joe. Us artists — we've got our

Temperamental ?
Yes! What of It?


She is not like volatile Mae Murray. Mae,
who has driven e.xecutives to cutting paper
dolls in an hour!

"Temperament is spirit," says Mae. "It
is like the sea. And W-ho knows when the sea
will be angry, when gay, when quiet? Who
knows when an actress will be all of these
things and more?

"I know what the public wants of me. I
know they want illusion and brilliance and
tinsel. During the making of 'The Merry
Widow' they wanted to put me in horrid
clothes. After arguing to no avail, I used the
only whip I had, which was, 'Very well, then,
I won't come to the studio. Then I won't do
my work for you.' But I ha\-e real tempera-
ment and am glad of it. In Europe they want
their actors to have it. It is that very thing
that has made the pubhc like me."

•'admits the charge.

"Certainly I'm full of temperament," he
said. "I display it whenever the occasion
demands and it's worked out to my advantage.
All artists have it. I'm conceited, too. All
artists are, whether they admit it or not.
Temperament is needed in one's work; other-
wise the fire and vivacity that stamp a screen
star's performance would be lacking. The
pubhc understands temperament, so do the
producers, but the latter are unwilling to
admit it."

On the whole, temperament is a term applied
to any poor actor who gets into a mood (as
we all do) or who has ideals (as most of us
have) or who grows cross simply because it's
loo hot or too cold or not hot enough or not
cold enough. And don't we all?


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Photoplay Magazine for October, 1929


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' I'm SO thrilled!" she exclaimed. "You see
I never met anybody before, who had anything
to do with pictures."

"You don't live around here then?"

"No, I'm from Illinois — just out here for a
motor trip with some friends."

"Oh, I see — a society girl."

"You might call it that," answered Eileen.

".Are you nith anybody this afternoon?"

"No. The Kingston-Smiths — those are the
friends who brought me on the motor trip —
were tired today, so they got me a card to the
Beach Club. They're so sweet and polite and
I am too — we really needed an afternoon off
from each other."

"C.'^Y," cried Jerry suddenly, "would you

'-'mind awfully going back to Margalo's with
me for a bit? You don't know what a relief it
is to be with someone who doesn't know a
thing about pictures. I've got a lot on my
mind this afternoon — that's why I left the
party to go out swimming by myself. If I had
to talk shop with anyone, I'd bust right up in

"But Margalo — would she want me, a per-
fect stranger?"

"Jly dear girl, half the guests at her party
are perfect strangers to her. She's got a yen
for society people any%vay. Come on. You
can help me carry the horse back."

So in tandem formation, bearing the horse
like a corpse rescued from the sea, they marched
across the sands and up a little staircase that
surmounted the great white wall of Margalo's
beach shack.

Inside was Paradise! A dainty jewel of a
green marble swimming pool was spanned by
an ornate sculptured bridge. There were gaily
colored beach umbrellas and wicker chairs of
marvelous size, shaped to fit every possible
angle of a fatigued body. Strewn around the
pool were two or three more rubber horses,
huge bright colored balls and a tiny inflated
boat with a carved paddle.

.\nd the guests! Eileen decided she had

never seen so many beautiful girls and hand-
some men. She recognized many of them — ■
idols, whose romantic struggles to fame and
riches she had followed in fan magazines.

.\ golden blonde in bright blue beach pajamas
disengaged herself from the crowd.

"Jerry Wilton! We'd begun to think you'd
been drowned. Jack Gilbert was all for getting
up a party to keep anyone from rescuing you.
How about it, Jack?"

A lithe back, stretched on the sand, wriggled

"Nothing to it. Browning's too good for
any director."

Jerry picked up a huge rubber ball and
bounced it accurately off the curly black head,
then turned to his hostess —

"Margalo, want you to meet a great friend
of mine. Miss — "

"O'Hara," prompted Eileen.

"Miss O'Hara. She's a society girl," he
added in explanation.

Margalo held out a warm and friendly hand.
" So glad to see you. The party's sort of dying
on its feet," she added apologetically. "But
I'll leave it to Jerry to give you a good time."

A ND Jerry did. Why, it made Eileen happy
■^ *-just to be with him. He was such a big,
overgrown boy. And yet how dominating!
How he teased, flattered, strutted! Eileen
could see that he was a leader, even in this
gathering of leaders. Then suddenly, in the
midst of a hilarious game of progressive ping
pong, he took her hand.

"Come here," he said. "I w^ant to talk to
you," as he led her to a little balcony, hung mi-
raculously out over the sea, its framework a
wonderful piece of intricate carving that Jerry
said Margalo had imported from some Venetian
palace. Before them was flung the Pacific,
blue and translucent, embraced in the curving
arm of Santa Monica Bay.

A tray with two frosted glasses and a bowi of
freshly cut limes was brought by a silent
servant, who silently departed. They drank.

Gary Cooper, as "The Virginian," is a-swingin' along the lonely

trail singing a range song to his little pinto boss, and the faithful

outdoor microphone, swung on a crane above bis head, catches it

all — even the protests of the little pinto boss

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Photoplay Magazine for October, 1929

Then Jerry came very close to her. She
thought he was Koinn to make love and ^vith a
Httle shiver of fear she suddenly realized that
if he did, she would let him.

But instead, he just tool; her hand and began
to tallc. If Eileen had only known it, this was
the real reason he had brought her to the party.
He was in that frame of mind, known to all
creative workers, where it was desperately
necessary for him to talk about himself.

.■\nd talking about yourself is just the one
thing you mustn't do in a gathering of picture
people, that is, if you «ish to keep the reputa-
tion and popularity that Jerry Wilton had. So
when on the beach she had listened so sweetly
with her wide, admiring blue eyes, she had
seemed what a not too educated producer once
called "Moma from Heaven."

"pOR a solid hour Jerry talked. By the time
■*- he was through, Eileen had heard all about
his achievements, past and present, his plans
for the future, his first talkie that he was start-
ing production on tomorrow — the talkie that
was to make him a leader of the new art as he
had been of the old.

There was no guile behind her admiring in-
terest. It was all so new, so fascinating
to her. She couldn't help comparing Jerry
Wilton with the men she had known, nice men,
always doing the expected things, following the
furrows that someone else had plowed out for
themi. Gary Owens, for instance, the banker's
son, whom everybody, including Eileen, ex-
pected would some day marry her.

No, Eileen had never met such a man and
Jerry had never encountered such a listener.
Finally, the hard knots smoothed out of his
mind, his soul at ease, he heaved a great sigh
and stopped talking. Lazily, he reached for
Eileen's hand and patted it. " Eileen O'Donald,
you're wonderful," he murmured.

"My name's O'Hara," she corrected gently.

"I don't care what your name is. You're
wonderful, Eileen, and I've fallen for yoy —
hard. You're the first man or woman I've
been able to stand around me for more than
five minutes. I've been so nervous and jumpy.
You're like those purple mountains I often
motor out to whenlget theheebe-jeebes — lying
in quiet stateliness under the sun."

He paused and held up his hand for silence
as he searched for similes. He liked to invent
them. Some critic had said he had a genius for
them. "You're like a stained glass window in
a cathedral — cool and beautiful and soothing.
You rest me like that line of Kipling's, 'Asleep
in the arms of the slow swinging seas.' "

She made a grimace. "I make you sleepy?
That's a doubtful compliment."

"■TNON'T be fresh,
-'-^her. "I mean it.

His arm curved around
Eileen darling. Good
Lordy, you don't know what a director has to
put up with from girls out here! They're
always making a play for you. Oh, they're
beautiful and smart all right, but you get to
know all the tricks in time. Beneath all their
vamping, flirting, kidding, there's always the
same refrain, I-want-a-job — I-want-a-job!"

"But suppose I wanted a job?" A daring,
incredible idea had suddenly come to Eileen.
Jerry glanced up. A faint, almost impercepti-
ble shadow crossed his face. A second later it
was gone and he was smiting with his old

" You'd get it, of course! But what's the use
of talking? You society girls are always raving
about going into pictures, but you never mean

"Well, I mean it," said Eileen. She was sur-
prised at her own earnestness. "I really mean
it. Do you think I'd screen?"

"Like a million dollars! That sleek curl of
your black hair — it's like carved ebony — your
profile's pure aristocrat — and your voice, so
cool and deep! Why you were just made for
the talkies!"

"Will you give me a chance?"

" Say, will I ! That part of Lisbeth — you
know, in the story I was telling you. It might
have been written for you!" Jerry's voice was



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Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 88 of 145)