Thursday, October 19, 2017

Exclusive Fight Pictures -- October 19, 2017

Motion Picture Daily, 15-July-1940

On 17-July-1940, Lightweight champ Lew Jenkins and Welterweight champ Henry Armstrong fought at the Polo Grounds in New York.  Neither man's title was at stake.  Armstrong won by TKO in the 6th round.

Henry Armstrong is regarded as one of the best fighters of all time.  He won the Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight and Middleweight titles.  Armstrong was the first man to hold three titles (Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight) at the same time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Marsha Hunt 100 -- October 17, 2017
Actress Marsha Hunt was born 100 years ago today, on 17-October-1917, and, last I heard, is still alive.  I like everything I have seen her in, like Kid Glove Killer with Van Heflin.  She got blacklisted, but was able to work on Broadway./
In later years, she played the mother in Johnny Got His Gun, based on the novel by Dalton Trumbo, who had also been blacklisted. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Liberty Needs a Loan -- October 15, 2017

Moving Picture World, 20-October-1917
The cost World War One greatly exceeded the normal budget of the Federal Government.  The four Liberty Loans sold war bonds to raise money.  The movie industry dedicated itself to selling a lot of Liberty Bonds.

Moving Picture World, 27-October-1917
"Help your country and yourself -- Help our boys 'Over There'"

Moving Picture World, 13-October-1917
The National Association of the Motion Picture Industry, "which has been appointed to co-operate with the Treasury in the promulgation of the loan," created a short film to promote bond sales.  "The image shows Julian Eltinge, the female impersonator, William S Hart, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford." 

Moving Picture World, 27-October-1917
The war continued to be a hot topic. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Florence La Badie Dead -- October 13, 2017

Moving Picture World, 27-October-1917
100 years ago today, on 13-October-1917, movie star Florence La Badie died from injuries she suffered on 28-August-1917 when the brakes failed on her automobile.

Florence La Badie began her film career in 1909 at the Biograph.  DW Griffith directed her in several movies.  In 1911, Florence moved to the Thanhouser studio, where she became their principal leading lady.

Moving Picture World, 06-February-1915
The Million Dollar Mystery was a Thanhouser production made in association with the Chicago Tribune, which ran the weekly stories in printed form. The 23-chapter serial starred Florence La Badie. Her leading man was James Cruze, who later became a director. His most famous production was The Covered Wagon.

Photoplay, December, 1915
 "She has been the heroine in scores of thrilling adventures filmed in and about New Rochelle."

Moving Picture World, 17-February-1917
Moving Picture World, 14-April-1917
Moving Picture World, 12-May-1917

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Christoper Columbus: The Discovery -- October 12, 2017
Happy Columbus Day, everyone.In 1992, in time for the 500th anniversary of his voyage, Alexander and Ilya Salkind produced Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.  I never saw it, but it got horrible reviews. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Plagues and Puppylove -- Larry Semon -- October 11, 2017

Moving Picture World, 13-October-1917
In October, 1917, Vitagraph released "Plagues and Puppylove," an early short directed by and starring Larry Semon.  This is the first reference to Semon that I could find in Moving Picture World

Larry Semon's father was a magician, Zera the Great.  Larry grew up touring the South with his father's act.  Larry became a newspaper cartoonist and performed on stage.  He joined the Vitagraph Company of America as a writer, director and player of small parts.  Over time, he became a lead comic in movies with the Big V Riot Squad and others.  He was a major slapstick star in the late teens and early 20s, playing a weird-looking character.  He directed his own movies and became more and more extravagant, running up huge costs for elaborate special effects.  He parted with Vitagraph and tried to go into features.  The only one I have seen is The Wizard of Oz, where he played the Scarecrow.  Oliver Hardy played the Tin Man.  Semon's wife Dorothy Dwan played Dorothy.  The movie was not a success and Semon lost a lot of money.  Semon went back to making shorts for Educational release.   He appeared as a character actor in some serious features like Josef Von Sternberg's Underworld.  Semon died in 1928. 

His movies are still popular in Italy, where he is known as Ridolini. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Onion Magnate's Revenge -- October 9, 2017

Moving Picture World, 20-October-2017

In his wonderful book The Silent Clowns, Walter Kerr suggested that Lloyd Hamilton was one of the great silent comics whose reputation has diminished. This is because many of the solo movies Hamilton made for Educational during the 1920s are lost. Perhaps this is also because he was not able to succeed as a star in feature films.

The Ham and Bud comedies, made with Bud Duncan, were rough and ready, but very popular.

Moving Picture World, 06-October-2017

 Reviews of "The Onion Magnate's Revenge" and "The Bathtub Bandit."  

Moving Picture World, 06-October-2017
The new series of Ham Comedies were getting good bookings.  

Moving Picture World, 06-October-2017
"The Famous Gloom Chasers." 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Judy Stone, RIP -- October 8, 2017

Former San Francisco Chronicle movie critic Judy Stone has died.  I used to read her reviews and I went to many of the movies that she recommended, especially the foreign films.  Her works persuaded me to attend the San Francisco International Film Festival while I was in college. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

June Allyson 100 -- October 7, 2017
June Allyson was born 100 years ago today, on 07-October-1917.  She made a lot of movies at M-G-M, including The Sailor Takes a Wife with Robert Walker. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jacke Saunders 125 -- October 6, 2017

Moving Picture World, 10-May-1919
Silent film actress Jackie Saunders was born 125 years ago today, on 06-October-1892.  She appeared in many films for the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, and later for William Fox and other producers. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Graumans Chinese -- Shirley MacLaine -- October 5, 2017

In July, 2012 we paid a return visit to Hollywood and Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Sid Grauman was a San Francisco showman who came to Los Angeles and built three major houses, the Million Dollar, the Egyptian, and the Chinese. The theater has hosted many film premieres, but is most famous for the hand and footprints (and hoofprints and nose prints and other types of prints) in the forecourt.
Shirley MacLaine left her hand and  foot prints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 29-June-1963. I don't know the meaning of "Mean Time" below her signature.  Her next door neighbor is Jack Lemmon, so I assume they were promoting Irma La Douce.  It says "MAGIC-TIME" on his square.  I always enjoy seeing Shirley MacLaine.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Francesco -- October 4, 2017
In honor of the Feast of Saint Francis, here is a poster for Liliana Cavani's Francesco, based on Francis of Assisi by Hermann Hesse.  I do not remember this one and was surprised to learn that Francis and Claire were played by Mickey Rourke and Helena Bonham Carter. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tired Business Men -- October 3, 2017

Film Daily, 16-May-1927
"Tired Business Men" was a short comedy with Hal Roach's Our Gang.  Note that the ad also says "Hal Roach presents His Rascals."

A note at the bottom of this ad says that this ad is a cornerblock provided to theaters to use in newspaper advertising. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Aeroplane Machine Gun -- October 1, 2017

Moving Picture World, 27-October-1917
100 years ago this month, in October, 1917,. Paramount released "The Aeroplane Machine Gun," which described the interrupter gear which allowed a machine gun to fire through the arc of an airplane's propeller.  Animation pioneer John R Bray produced the film and JF Leventhal was the animator.  Note that the airplane in the illustration has a machine gun mounted on the top wing. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Perfect Flying Machine Motor -- September 30, 2017

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917

I assume that this item describes the Liberty Engine, designed by engineers Jesse G Vincent and Elbert J Hall starting in May, 1917.  The Liberty L-12 generated 400 HP.  They were used in airplanes, tanks and boats.  I would like to see the film from the Gaumont-Mutual Weekly No 142. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Russian Revolution -- September 29, 2017

Moving Picture World, 08-September-1917
The Russian Revolution was a hot topic by September, 1917.  Czar Nicholas II and his family were already dead, but most people didn't know that.  Some years ago I worked with an older man who had grown up in the Soviet Union.  He was surprised that I remembered when Alexander Kerensky had died.  He said they called Kerensky something like "The man of five minutes." 

Herbert Brenon's The Fall of the Romanoffs (sic - JT)  featured a Russian clergyman called Iliodor, who wrote a book about Rasputin.  His real name was Sergei Mikhailovich Trufanov. 

Moving Picture World, 08-September-1917
 I'll bet the movie required some reshooting because of current events. 

Moving Picture World, 15-September-1917
Among the characters in this ad is Kaiser Wilhelm II, a cousin of Czar Nicholas. 

Moving Picture World, 22-September-1917
The review by Edward Weitzel says that the movie reflected "the swift onrush of events" and that Iliodor "was surprisingly excellent before the camera." 

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
This two-page spread is flanked by Czar Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhelm. 

Moving Picture World, 01-September-1917
"The only official motion pictures of the Great Russian Revolution." 

Moving Picture World, 08-September-1917
"Presented by the Skobeleff Committee for the relief of Russian Wounded and Disabled Soldiers."  I have not been able to learn anything about the committee. 

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
"joined the advancing hosts of democracy" -- didn't work out. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hugh Hefner, RIP -- September 28, 2017
Hugh Hefner has died.  I always thought he was kind of creepy, but I respect the work he did to promote film studies and to preserve and restore silent movies.  He produced documentaries like Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu, Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl, Olive Thomas: Everybody's Sweetheart and Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Personally Directed by Al E Christie -- September 27, 2017

Moving Picture World, 15-September-1917

The Christie Film Company was a major producer of short comedies from 1911 to 1933.  Al Christie was the director and Charles Christie ran the business.  The Christies featured situation comedy more than the slapstick favored by Mack Sennett and Hal Roach.  Christies frequently featured pretty girls in bathing suits. Actress Betty Compson later starred in feature films. 

Moving Picture World, 29-September-1917
 Note that the San Francisco exchange was at 100 Golden Gate Avenue.  Many film businesses were on Golden Gate.  I used to go to a lab there to get my black and white Super 8 film developed. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Original Zera -- September 26, 2017

This ad from the 09-December-1885 Louisiana Democrat features Zera Semon, magician and father of silent movie comedian Larry Semon.This show was in Alexandria, Louisiana.  Two brief items appeared on the same page:

"ZERA Semon, the great ventriloquist, is billed to give four entertainments in our town next week, commencing Monday, Dec. 14th. One hundred presents given away each night."

 "ZERA SEMON AND THE MARIONETTES.-The above combination appears here at Exchange Hall next week for four nights, commencing Monday. As regards Prof. Zera nothing need be said, as he is too well known to need commendation. Besides himself he introduces to Alexandria audiences something entirely new in the way of novelty, Bell's Royal Marionettes. They give a minstrel show and the pantymine (sic) Humpty-Dumpty. They carry all their own scenery, whichl is said to be something grand. Prof. Zera sill gives away night one hundred presents, and no doubt the hall will be tested to its utmost capacity. The admission has been placed at 35 and 50 cents, without extra charge for reserved seats, on sale at Dr. Henry St. John's Drug Store."

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Fatal Ring with Pearl White -- September 25, 2017

Motion Picture News, 08-September-1917
Pearl White starred in her eighth Pathé serial, The Fatal Ring.  Actor Warner Oland played a villain. How about those boots?

Motion Picture News, 01-September-1917
"Every theatre showing this serial reports good business despite the hot weather." 

Motion Picture News, 15-September-1917
"Pearl White has again proven that she brings more money into the box office than any star in the world." 

Motion Picture News, 22-September-1917
 "Pathé has the best serial organization in the world -- it has the best serial stars, the best serial writers, the best serial drectors..."

Motion Picture News, 29-September-1917
"From the very start we have told you that this serial would get the business for the Exhibitor, rain or shine, hot or cold!"