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Sunday, 29 January 2017

This Week in History - Jan 29 to Feb 4

Everything you need to know about the goings-ons and gossip from this week in Precode Hollywood.

1929:

Wallie Reid Memorial – Mrs Hal Reid, mother of the late Wallace Reid, is in Hollywood endeavouring to raise $150,000 to provide means for the placement of a bay window in St John’s Cathedral, New York, as a memorial to her son. 
Actor Wallace Reid during the height of his popularity in the silent era.
Alice White’s Double – Belle Mann, who doubled for Alice White in ‘Show Girl’ as the ghost songstress, has received a Victor recording contract as a result. The First National feature was synchronised by Victor in Camden and Miss Mann contributed the pseudo-vocalisation by the screen star.
Sike Doc on Job – Dr William M. Marstan psychologist recently engaged by Universal arrived at the studio. He is now making a mental analysis of his associates before taking over his duties as Universal’s director of public service, when he will attempt to psychoanalyse the business.
Joan Bennett Goes Bob – When Joan Bennett signed a contract with Sam Goldwyn to appear opposite Ronald Colman in “Bulldog Drummond”, no mention was made that she would be required to bob her hair for the part. When the young actress appeared at the studio and a few tests were made, the producer ordered her tresses trimmed to conform with the modern-day flapper. After much reluctance, the gal consented to the operation.
Ronald Colman and Joan Bennett from 'Bulldog Drummond'
Alma Rubens Serious – Alma Rubens, who ran rampant and stabbed Doctor Ed Meyers in Hollywood last week is confined to Rosemead Sanatorium. She is in a serious condition.

1930:

Real Heroic Dog – ‘Leo’, German police dog that played opposite ‘Rin Tin Tin’ in several pictures, died a hero here last week. It was asphyxiated by gas after warning the family of the danger. Dog was five years old.
Tattooing Film Favs – Tattooers are noticing this is a new era; that the modern gobs and soldiers don’t go for anchors, broken hearts and eagles. In an effort to bring back the popularity of tattooing, the permanent dye boys are figuring they must meet the public demand by giving ‘em screen mugs. For $10 any gob can get Clara Bow across his chest.
A woman with Gary Cooper tattooed on her back
Gloria Stuart congratulating a young man who had her face tattooed on his chest
Marches Sued – Fredric March and his wife Florence Eldridge are being sued for $52,000 by Harry Greenberg. Latter charges that the actress’ car crashed into him last December.

1931:

Nervy Girl Laughs off Bandit – Poking the muzzle of a revolver through the grating of the Binghamton, New York theatre ticket office, a bandit demanded of Chloris Evans, treasurer, “Come on, hand it all over”. Mrs Evans gave the stick-up artist a dirty look and coldly told him, “Go on shoot, if you want to”. After a moment’s hesitation, he turned and fled. So to did his companion who had been covering the doorman with a gun. Police failed to find any trace of either man. Go Chloris!
Machine Guns Out in New York – New York’s State Censor Board is frowning on things gunmanlike and racketeerish. It’s getting even tougher than Chicago’s pink specialists. In New York they’re beginning to edit out all machine-gun sequences even in comedy. 

1932:

Doubling for Ma – Dickie Moore, kid player working in ‘Disorderly Conduct’ at Fox, was invited to lunch by Spencer Tracy. Having a youngest of his own, Tracy figured he knew what kids should eat so ordered a vegetable platter. Next three times Tracy invited the kid for lunch, the youngest always begged off. When cornered, Dickie admitted he had no other appointments but added: “I gotta eat spinach at home”. 
Spencer Tracy and Dickie Moore in a scene from 'Disorderly Conduct'
Test English Girl – Paramount tested Diana Wynyard, British actress, last Wednesday (Jan 27). Actress came over here about two months ago to join ‘The Devil Passes’. If Par takes Miss Wynyard, it will have to wait until the play runs out.
Chicago Censors Halt ‘Morgue’ – Possibility of ‘Murders of Rue Morgue’ not opening at the State Lake this Wednesday as scheduled since the censor board has rejected the picture entirely on excess horror grounds. Universal exchange is trying to induce the board to give the film another screening.
A scene from 'Murders of Rue Morgue' with Bela Lugosi
Marx Split Denial – Old rumour about a split between the four Marx Brothers popped up again and was printed in several places. Paramount through enough of the gossip to send out an official denial with Groucho doing the same.

1933:

Verree Teasdale Story Sad – Verree Teasdale came in from Hollywood last week to tell Judge Anderson her story. It was sad, said the judge, indicating he would grant the divorce she wanted from William O’Neal, the tenor. He deserted her in 1927. 
Must Have Lip – After a two weeks search for a baby with a lip like Chevalier’s for ‘Bed Time Story’, Paramount finally had to get a dentist to make a trick mouthpiece so the youngest selected would resemble the actor.
'Bedtime Story' (1933)
No Good Women in History, says West – “Personally, I admire good women,” conceded Mae West in early 1933, “but you never hear about good women in history. The only good girl to make history was Betsy Ross, and she had to sew up a flag to do it. People are more curious about something not good. Did you ever notice how quickly they hop to talking about how bad you are and never mention you if you’re good? I catered to the masses in my stage plays. I built up a loyal public in the theatre and I’m going to keep faith with my public in pictures. There are some people who can get away with anything yet always come out on top. The worse they are, the better you like them. They happen to have something different that wins you no matter what they do. No, the wages of sin in all cases is not death.”

1934:

Ted Healy, who must have been a bit of a
fighter in 1934
Benny Weldon Suing Ted Healy – Ted Healy is made defendant in a $50,112 assault and battery charge filed in superior court by Francis Cushing (Benny) Weldon. Charge is that on November 23, Healy beat Weldon insensible and disabled him so severely he could not attend his biz for five weeks.
Fairbanks’ Tax Case Transferred – Internal Revenue has agreed to transference of its action against Douglas Fairbanks for return of certain income tax rebates to Federal courts in New York. Action was filed against Fairbanks asking for the return of $170,000 of around $600,000 rebated as excess tax on income.
Harlow Back – Jean Harlow, who has been under suspension for 10 weeks at Metro because she refused to appear for a wardrobe call at studio until her salary was tilted, has settled her differences with the company and was put back on the payroll. Miss Harlow wanted her salary boosted on the balance of her four year contract, with a jump from $1,500 a week to $5,000. A compromise was soon reached at $3,000 weekly.

Trying to Make ‘Bad’ Pic Look Good – Twentieth Century is making another attempt to get ‘Born to Be Bad’ off the shelf and released before the company shuts down in April. All execs and other have taken a hand in changing the story and negative to make it yell. The picture was completed four months ago but the film still can’t get Darryl Zanuck’s okay.  
Loretta Young and Cary Grant in 'Born to be Bad'

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