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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

This Week in History - Mar 26 to Apr 1

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

1929:
Court Limb Exhib in Masseuse Case: Mae Murray will have to shell out $2,000 just because Alice White has pretty legs. No sooner had Miss White exhibited her undraped extremities to the judge and courtroom, than the jurist handed down a decision awarding Sylvia Ulbach, masseuse, judgement against Miss Murray. Masseuse sued the actress after Miss Murray discharged her “because she had called Miss Murray’s husband a bum”. Miss Murray declared her blue-blooded husband was a gentlemen and denied ever discharging her and borrowing money from Ulbach. The masseuse brought Miss White into court as a living example of her art. The object of the testimony was to show in court that Miss Ulbach had done wonders for her legs.   
Doug Fairbanks going in for aeronautics. Now figuring on building a landing field at Pickfair.

Joan Crawford threw a confidential birthday party with only the immediate family as guests.
Director Jack Conway, left, celebrates Joan's birthday on the set of 1929's 'Our Dancing Daughters'
Sounds Piquant: With bathing season getting started along the California beaches, annual police censorship is on. At one beach, Mary Wilson (23), was first to run afoul of a beach cooper. She was picked up on a charge of wearing an ‘immodest’ costume, which consisted of a tight-fitting suit of extreme cut, backless to a point below the waistline and with portions of the front and sides cut out.

1930:
Handling Ben-Hur: In re-making Ben-Hur, Metro will retain all the spectacular stuff as is, merely synchronizing with sound. Song dialog sequences will be entirely new. One of the original principals, Richard Currier, is now dead, a complication. Metro also has to arrange to get the dialog rights for the old play.
Ramon Novarro in the 1925 version of Ben Hur
Warner Oland can’t play golf. He let his fingernails grow for Fu Machu.

Penny Rollers Go Ga-Ga for Wild Beast Revivals: Success of Ingagi, African wild animal picture on its initial showing at San Diego, has sent a flock of promoters on the hustle for any sort of wild animal films. Every film library in town is being canvassed by the promoters in an attempt to get something which sound can be dubbed into. One owner of a six reel animal picture which was made in India in 1924 was offered $10,000 for the negative.
A scene from the popular film, Ingagi 

1931:
June MacCloy’s Home Life, As Per Husband: June MacCloy was made defendant in a suit for divorce filed by Wilbur Guethlein, traveling rep for RKO. She is charged with neglect and cruelty, the husband alleging that she refused to live with him, informing him that she preferred her freedom. Also accused of having an ungovernable temper. They were married in 1929.
June MacCloy sitting on Groucho Marx's lap
Baby Born to Baclanova: Olga Baclanova off the screen for several months for motherhood purposes is expected to go back with a Metro contract.

Davies Sore Over Claire’s Role: Marion Davies is raising ructions, claiming she was promised her the role in Greeks Had a Word For It but that Samuel Goldwyn announces Ina Claire for the play. Goldwyn denies she was ever offered the role.
Ina Claire as she appeared in Greeks Had a Word For It
Ames’ Test: Samuel Goldwyn is testing Adrienne Ames, New York society girl. She has never been on the stage. The potential actress’ husband is Stephen Ames, wealthy Wall Street broker.

1932:
Klan Won’t Let Warner’s Film Nude ‘White Trash’: Rewrites on several sequences in Cabin in the Cotton has been made necessary through influence of the Ku Klux Klan. Company dispatched a camera crew and assistant director to Mississippi to photograph women of a ‘white trash’ section bathing nude in a river. Idea was okay with the women but when the picture company started to grind on the scene the hooded members showed up and ordered the crew to pack up and scram.
Girls Tele Worry is Blondes Out: A television expert, Harry Lubcke, can look even further than ‘just around the corner’. It is bad news for the blondes but jake for the brunettes and red heads. His expert opinion is that inasmuch as television photography must be made before white backgrounds, it will be necessary to have dark objects for distinctive filming. Blonde gals of the future who dye their hair to get work with still have issues he says. Because blondes usually have blue eyes and these will be nix also before the white background.

Mrs von Sternberg sues Dietrich Again: Mrs Riza von Sternberg’s suit against Marlene Dietrich for libel and alienation of affections were reopened by Mrs von Sternberg, who claims Paramount didn’t live up to certain terms of the agreement to cancel suit. Dallies carried the story that the suit had been dismissed when a Budapest newspaperman admitted an article he had written quoting Miss Dietrich on the case had been pulled out of thin air. He wrote a retraction. Agreement was that three letters by the two women and the newspaperman be printed in the newspapers of 10 US cities and Berlin and Vienna. But editors used the letters only in part in their news stories. Paramount’s legal department must now buy advertising space to have the three missives printed in full. 
Von Sternberg and his muse, Marlene Dietrich

1933:
Choosy: George Bernard Shaw, who was on display to the picture people at the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon last Friday, March 24, went under the condition that he would not have to be photographed with picture personalities. Newsreel camera men and photographers who figured they would have an exclusive on Shaw, returned immediately after the condition was made.
Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies and George Bernard Shaw at San Simeon 
Arliss’ Retirement?: George Arliss is reported retiring from the screen and returning to England. On completion of Voltaire his contract with Warners is up. No deal to renew has been started.

Accident Saves Bette from being Just Another Good Girl: There is nothing more deadly, Bette Davis has decided than being a nice girl too long. That’s the way she started, and if it were not for the lucky break she got in Cabin in the Cotton – the opportunity to do a strip – she might still be playing somebody’s daughter or somebody’s sister, and languishing honoured and unstarred. “Spice in pictures has its place,” says Miss Davis. “That’s the thing that impresses execs and people. Unless the execs think you have sex appeal, you’ll never get a part that the people will remember. Be sweet and demure all you like and see how far you get. Just another blonde indistinguishable from all the rest. Stay good too long and nobody will ever believe you can be anything else. Go torrid, in a na├»ve, subtle way, of course, and people will pay some attention to you. Prove you have sex appeal and you give the people something that interests them.”

1934:  
Guard Crosby Baby: Fearing kidnapping of their baby boy, two armed guards have been stationed at Bing Crosby’s home at Toluca Lake for a week. Guards went on when a policeman reported that he had heard a chap talking in a telephone booth about ‘the Crosby baby’.
Bing Crosby, wife Dixie Lee and Gary Crosby (born 1933)
Madison Mystery: Eric Madison, former accountant in Warner’s studio restaurant at Burbank, was found dead in his apartment on March 25 with six bullet wounds in his body. Police are searching for his wife, Nellie. She had disappeared from their home about 12 hours before the body was discovered.

Elysia Okayed in Chicago by Court Ruling: After six months of court squabbles the nudie, Elysia, got through on a legal order and goes into the loop Majestic for a run. Though Aaron Jones has the house the Lehman estate had promised that if the nudie picture got through the censorship before May 1 they could have the house for the exhibition. However, the picture must be out by May 1.
Press Asked to Omit Funeral Locations: In future it is likely that the New York press will be asked to refrain from printing the location of services to be held for deceased screen celebrities. Plan follows the exhibition by the public for the late Lilyan Tashman. The morbid curiosity of the crowd almost led to fights between those riding in the funeral cortege and the sidewalk gawkers who climbed on the running boards and opened doors seeking autographs. At the burial ground, women plucked flowers from the casket and almost fell in the grave in the rush. Services for Miss Tashman were held on March 23 at the Universal Chapel. 
Lilyan Tashman, she died too soon

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