Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mary Anderson, Vitagraph Star -- September 30, 2015

Motography, 11-September-1915
Mary Anderson is a popular name.  An actress named Mary Anderson appeared in Gone With the Wind.  She died in 2014:

This Mary \Anderson appeared in many films in the Teens and Twenties.  Vitagraph films have a poor survival rate, so I don't know if I have ever seen her. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brenda Marshall 100 -- September 29, 2015
Beautiful American actress Brenda Marshall was born 100 years ago today on 29-September-1915 in Negros, Philippines, where her father managed a sugar plantation.  She preferred to use her real name, Ardis Ankerson, when she was not working.
She was Errol Flynn's leading lady in The Sea Hawk, but also appeared in a bunch of programmers.

After she married William Holden in 1941, she virtually retired.  She made her last movie in 1950.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Triangle Film Completes Plans -- September 28, 2015

Motography, 04-September-1915

The Triangle Film Corporation was founded by Harry and Roy Aitken to distribute films produced by three of the leading men in Hollywood, Mack Sennett, Thomas Ince and DW Griffith.  Each was supposed to supervise (produce) a movie for each weekly program.  Douglas Fairbanks made his film debut in The Lamb.  The captions are wrong.  The Coward was an Ince production and The Lamb was a Griffith. 

Motography, 04-September-1915
The opening program, at New York's Knickerbocker Theater on September 18, was to feature three leading ladies, Seena Owen, Margaret Gibson and Mabel Normand.  That is a nice picture of Mabel. 

Moving Picture World, 04-September-1915
"Two five-reel dramas and two two-reel Keystones will be released each week."  "My Valet," the first Sennett film for Triangle, was a four-reeler. 
Motography, 11-September-1915
Thomas Ince replaced The Coward with The Iron Strain, starring Dustin Farnum, in the initial program.  I like the photos of the three principals. 

Motography, 11-September-1915
Triangle planned to open "four model theaters in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston."

Motography, 18-September-1915

Moving Picture World, 25-September-1915

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Greatest Upset in Modern Ring History! -- September 26, 2015

Motion Picture Daily, 22-June-1960.

Floyd Patterson won the Gold Medal as a Middleweight at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.  After Rocky Marciano retired as Heavyweight champion in 1956, Patterson won the tournament to find a replacement, becoming the youngest Heavyweight champion.  Patterson lost his title to Ingemar Johansson of Sweden on 26-June-1959.  Europeans were happy to see a European win the title and racists were happy to see a white man win.  Patterson and Johansson fought again on 20-June-1960 at the Polo Grounds.  Patterson won by a KO in the fifth round, becoming the first man to win the Heavyweight championship back after losing it.  They fought again on 13-March-1961 and Patterson won by a KO. 

I like the quote from former champ Jack Dempsey "Floyd Patterson more than avenged his defeat by beating the Swede more decisively than Ingo plastered him last June.  In fact, he darn near killed him." 

Patterson lost the title to Sonny Liston later in 1961.  He kept fighting and had chances to win the title for a third time again Liston and Muhammed Ali.  I remember reading a lot of criticism of Patterson in The Ring and I remember him making strange statements later in life, but he may have already been suffering from dementia. 

Motion Picture Daily, 22-June-1960.
United Artists ordered extra prints of the film. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

News of the Week September 25, 1915 -- September 25, 2015

The 25-September-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels. 

"Japanese training naval ship anchors in San Francisco Harbor.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  Taisei Maru was a government training vessel which visited San Francisco for about a week in early September. 

"Demonstration of tractor plow at Bloomington, Ill.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I couldn't find anything about this, but several people were working on powered tractors. 

"Arabic's survivors reach New York on the liner St. Paul.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  On 19-August-1915 German submarine U-24 sank White Star liner Arabic.  44 passengers and crew, including 3 Americans, were killed.  American protests led Germany to promise to stop unlimited submarine warfare:

"Big attendance at Elks and Shriners ball game, Buffalo, N. Y.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I assume the two fraternal organizations were playing a ball game for charity.  The man with the "Peace" sign may be imitating former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. 

"Alligator farm near Los Angeles, Cal.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Who knows? 

"Prisoners of Ossining Prison welcome their warden.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Thomas Mott Osborne, a reformer, was warden of Sing Sing in 1915. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Spurious Chaplin Films Being Seized by Essanay -- September 24, 2015

Motography, 11-September-1915.

A sign of Charlie Chaplin's great popularity is that Essanay had to go to court to fight "spurious Chaplin films."  "...there have been several cases in which fake productions have been issued.  In other cases, films have been rented from the General Film Company, which distributes the Chaplin films for Essanay, and the film copied and these copies sold or rented out as the original Chaplin productions." 

Moving Picture World, 04-September-1915.

"Essanay-Chaplin Comedies are convulsing the nation with laughter.  Charles Chaplin's inimitable antics and facial expressions stamp him as the world's greatest comedies.  Watch for the next release." 

Motography, 04-September-1915.

The Ohio State Fair held a "statewide 'Charles Chaplin contest.'" 

Moving Picture World, 18-September-1915.

Essanay issues a warning to beware of unauthorized prints.  They ask exhibitors to report "any fake Essanay-Chaplin picture that you may know of."

Moving Picture World, 25-September-1915.

"'Shanghaied' in 2 acts in the latest Essanay-Chaplin Comedy.  "It is Charles Chaplin at his best.  Chaplin with his funniest antics and Chaplin in that weird humor that turns tragedies into laughs." 
Moving Picture World, 25-September-1915.

Moving Picture World reported that Chaplin and his company were marooned on a steamship they had taken to Venice when the launch which was supposed to take them ashore broke down.  There was no food on the ship, so Jesse Robbins and Lou Trimbly tried to row ashore, but could not land.  Two launches from Santa Monica rescued the party the next morning.  They were shooting scenes for "Shanghaied." 

Motography, 25-September-1915.
A review of "Shanghaied" doesn't sound very funny. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Saint Junipero Serra -- Septembe 23, 2015

Today Pope Francis visited Washington DC.  During a mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, he canonized Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest who founded the Alta California missions.  There is controversy because the Native Americans lost their cultures and many died.  He thought he was doing the right thing.  This was the first canonization performed in the United States. 

I can find only two theatrical movies that featured Saint Junipero Serra as a character, American's "The Coming of the Padres" from 1914 and 20th Century-Fox's Seven Cities of Gold from 1955.  Seven Cities of Gold featured Anthony Quinn as Gaspar de Portolá, leader of the first overland expedition to Alta California and Michael Rennie as Father Junipero Serra, the spiritual leader of the expedition.  I have always admired Michael Rennie because of The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Rita Moreno was good as a Native American.

Michael Rennie's Junipero Serra demanded that the soldiers treat the Native Americans as human beings. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grauman's Chinese -- Raoul Walsh -- September 22, 2015

Raoul Walsh started out as an actor who also directed. He played John Wilkes Booth in DW Griffith's Birth of the Nation and the Marine in his own Sadie Thompson, opposite Gloria Swanson. After an auto accident in which a rabbit hit his windshield, he lost an eye and gave up acting. He was to have played the Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona.  Warner Baxter got the part in the early talkie western.  Walsh went on to direct many talkies, including The Roaring Twenties, High Sierra, and White Heat.

He left hand, foot, and eye patch prints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 14-November-1930. DSCN4141. I took this on 18-July-2009.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mortmain -- September 20, 2015

This interesting series of ads appeared in the 04-September-1915 Moving Picture World.  They are for a Vitagraph film called Mortmain, which has the story of a man with a transplanted hand that turns out to be evil. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

WC Fields Pool Sharks -- September 19, 2015

Moving Picture World, 25-September-1915

100 years ago today, Mutual released a Gaumont Star Comedy, "Pool Sharks" (or "The Pool Sharks"), starring WC Fields in  his first film appearance. 

Motography, 18-September-1915.
Mutual also released a midget comedy.

Moving Picture World, 18-September-1915
Moving Picture World, 18-September-1915
Moving Picture World, 25-September-1915

Fields made one more movie for Gaumont, the lost "His Lordship's Dilemma," and then went back to the stage for a while.