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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

This Week in History - Apr 2 to 8

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

1929:
Parsons’ Chatter Causes Carroll Annoyance: Clipping from the syndicated chatter column of Louella Parsons brought about issuance of a subpoena and embarrassment for Nancy Carroll. Myrtle Sisson, prosecuting a wage claim for her son, claimed Miss Carroll owned a confectionary store and had discharged her son without paying back salary. Miss Carroll has said that she is not connected with the store other than through her husband, Jack Kirkland, who owned an inactive interest. When Mrs Sisson was called to give evidence, she flashed a clipping from the chatter writer’s column which listed Miss Carroll as store owned. The case was dismissed. 
Jack Kirkland and Nancy Carroll
Another Hollywood Gag: Youthful screen actor playing up to feminine lead - “Maybe I can’t kiss you like Novarro, or hug you like Gilbert, but I can bite you like Rin-Tin-Tin.”

Jean Arthur’s car impounded by police for failure to procure 1929 licence plates, despite protests by her mother that actress was working day and night and did not have time to procure new ones.
A young Jean Arthur
1930:
Scarface Al as Actor: It is seriously stated by First National an offer to ‘Scarface Al’ Capone, Chicago beer baron, to appear in Widow From Chicago, Alice White’s next picture, has been made. Figure it’s good publicity.
The almost picture star, Al Capone
WAMPAS Names Turned Down: WAMPAS’ intention to elect 13 Baby Stars again this year was over-ruled after candidates for nomination had been selected. Claim made is that list was not representative and that many of the baby stars were already too well established. Those mentioned include: Marjorie White, Fifi Dorsay, Mona Maris, Dixie Lee, Maureen O’Sullivan, Marguerite Churchill, Marion Schilling, Kay Francis, Lillian Roth, Claudia Dell, Lottie Loder, Dorothy Jordan, Raquel Torres, Una Merkel, Kathryn Crawford, Bernice Claire, June Clyde, Phyllis Crane, Jean Harlow, Pert Kelton, Lenore Landry and Marion Byron. Election is off. No WAMPAS for 1930!

Miss Shearer off of Screen?: Norma Shearer, one of the ranking stars of MGM for several years is out. Her contract is not being renewed and there are no further options. Her contract which has just expired was dated March 1925. Whether Miss Shearer is retiring from the screen to settle down to home life is not known inside MGM circles, although that is the assumption.
Irving Thalberg and his wife Norma Shearer
Bennett Makes Ex Give Up: Joan Bennett got the local court’s okay on her suit for $50 per month support for their child from ex-husband J.M. Fox, now married again to a Seattle woman. Joan avowed she did not need the coin but battled for principle that father should pay.

1931:
A promo for The Royal Bed aka
Queen's Husbands
Sex Angle Buried with Title Change: Effort to play down sex angle and play up the comedy resulted in selling Royal Bed in Oregon as Queen’s Husbands. Latter is the original title of the book. The new title is thought to be better known and also to admit bright comedy appeal and exploitation. Royal Bed was ditched as admitting little exploitation possibility. This is the first local instance for some time of playing down sex angel for b.o. reasons.

Lewis J. Warner Dies at 23: Business boy of much personal charm impressed entire Warner staff by ability. Lewis J. Warner, 23, son of Harry M. Warner, succumbed to double pneumonia on April 4 in New York. Young Warner’s death is directly traceable to a tooth extraction which had performed against his dentist’s advice prior to taking his first vacation in a couple of years. On the way to Havana, he was stricken with septic poisoning. The struggle to save the youngest of the active Warners was waged valiantly by Lewis but he succumbed to his illnesses. 

Polly Moran Banged Up: Polly Moran was taken to the Hollywood hospital Sunday (April 5) with a broken nose, two shiners and a cut on her head. Hospital record states Miss Moran fell down the stairs of her Santa Monica Beach house. Another less pacific version of the affair is reported without foundation. Miss Moran was due to go to work this week on Marie and Polly on Politics with Marie Dressler. Start of picture is postponed pending her recovery.
Polly Moran

1932:
Metro Irked by Gable Ballyhoo on Polly: Exhibitors billing Clark Gable as the unofficial star of Polly of the Circus has been creating quite a bit of protest around MGM. Indie exhibs often starred Gable alone, leaving the player of the title role, Marion Davies, to be guessed at.
No Divorce for George: Mrs George Jessel has made a condition that may block any chance of a marriage between her husband and Norma Talmadge. Mrs Jessel has said she will not consent to a divorce until she can sue her husband and name a correspondent. Jessel is supposed to have made and emphatic refusal after hearing the name his wife wished to mention. Miss Talmadge has not yet started the agreed upon divorce suit against Jos. Schenck. They were married about 16-years-ago. The Jessel’s have been twice married. Mrs Jessel is the former Florence Courtney of the Courtney Sisters. They remarried followed a divorce procured after a prolonged separation. 
George and Florence during happier times
Photo of Home Driving Dietrich to New One: Reason why the names endeavour to keep their addresses and telephones a secret was manifest by Marlene Dietrich’s recent experiences. As a sideline to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, a local paper ran a story on the precautions being taken by colony members against any similar abduction of their children. Picture was run showing Miss Dietrich’s home, with windows barred and the address was given. Since then an average of 60 telegrams a day have been received by the star from salesman and racketeers trying to interest her in every bargain and money-making scheme. More than this number called at the home with similar propositions while hundreds of others have paid visits to the home to get a look at the player in person. She is now looking for another house. 

1933:
Hooker Title Banned: Hays office has ordered Fox to get a new tag for Sandy Hooker, a Clara Bow picture. Studio has requested suggestions from employees.
Only $200,000: H. G. Wells has notified studios that he has an original idea for a picture which he will sell for $200,000. He requests studios interested, through his agent, to send one to England to discuss his idea.

Dressler Quite Ill: Strong probability Marie Dressler will be unable to play in Tugboat Annie and The Late Christopher Bean. Since her return from New York following her operation, she has been far from strong but insisted upon going into Dinner at Eight, now in production. Current opinion is that the strain of working in this feature will necessitate an indefinite vacation.

1934:
Rothschild Smashes Boston: In the face of a torrential downpour, House of Rothschild broke all roadshow records on its opening at Boston. Advance sale is big and the picture will run two-a-day indefinitely.
Richard Barthelmess, sent to bed by the doctor due to an abscessed ear, is expected back Wednesday at First National to resume his role in The Old Doll’s House.
Seven of the beauties brought out here by Earl Carroll for Paramount’s screen version of Murder at the Vanities are remaining in Hollywood. They are Ruth Hilliard, Wanda Perry, Anya Taranda, Beryl Wallace, Ernestine Anderson, Constance Jordan and Dorothy Dawes.

All WAMPAS Stars in Paramount Picture: Entire group of 13 WAMPAS Baby Stars have been signed for Paramount production, Kiss and Make-Up. The group includes Jacqueline Wells, Katherine Williams, Gigi Parrish, Lu Ann Meredith, Lucille Lund, Ann Hovey, Hazel Hayes, Jean Gale, Dorothy Drake, Helene Cohn, Jean Carmen, Betty Brysen and Judith Arlen. Cast of the picture is headed by Cary Grant and Helen Mack.
The 1934 WAMPAS Baby Stars

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