Saturday 7 June 2014

This Week in Precode History: 8th - 14th June

Check out this week’s goings-on in the history of Precode:
  • Clark Gable’s mysterious illness is reported to perhaps keep him off the screen for as much as three to four months. The condition was said to be, “a toxic condition that has settle on his legs, and physicians now advise that he go to Hot Springs, in Arkansas, or Virginia, for the baths and a long course of treatment.” The newspaper also reporter that Gable was, therefore, unable to appear in this next contracted film Dancing Lady with Joan Crawford. I am not sure what he must have been suffering but he was indeed well enough to perform (even in shorts) in the film.
  • There must have been an epidemic in Hollywood during this week because it was reported that the legendary Cary Grant was also suffering a mysterious illness. He apparently withdrew from role in Big Executive which was released in October 1933 with Ricardo Cortez as the lead. His illness also held up retakes on Gambling Ship and delayed the start of shooting on Ladies Should Listen, released mid-1934. Paramount later said Grant had been suffering a “heavy cold”.
  • After the release of Gold Diggers of 1933 in 1933 last week, the reviews and box office figures are released with the film being a huge success. The film apparently drew full houses at the Strand on it second day and was popular with both the public and critics. A couple of newspaper reviews highlighted its popularity:
“Another shiny, expensive musical show which portrays considerable ingenuity in its musical sequences.” Sun.
“The film as a whole is gay, spontaneous and altogether amusing.” Herald-Tribune.
“Four stars. It is lively, it is funny, it is stirring and in its unreeling the picture continues to gain in interest, speed and beauty until the very end.” News.
“Packed with lavish sets, decorative chorus girls, tuneful song numbers and trick dance formations all of which spell good summer entertainment.” Journal.
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was announced as the second male lead in an upcoming film Design for Living alongside Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins. The contract was apparently drawn up by M. C. Levee with Doug to sign in two weeks upon his return from Europe. I don’t know what eventually occurred, but Gary Cooper was rushed into the part instead of Doug.
  • Sam Jaffe long term production executive and assistant has resigned his position at Columbia. He announced no further employment plans and decided to take a long vacation in Europe 

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