For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Hollywood First National Bank Building, Courtesy of Mary Mallory.
Soaring to the skies, displaying confidence in Hollywood’s unlimited future, the First National Building, constructed and opened in 1928, brought Art Deco-Gothic beauty to Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Operating as bank and office building for decades, the First National Building celebrated Hollywood’s business success and its glorious potential, a economics temple.
The Hollywood and Highland intersection served as the western end of Hollywood Boulevard’s business district, anchored by the regal Hotel Hollywood. Businesses sprang up around it, two blocks north of Hollywood High School. The First National Bank of Hollywood built a branch here, leasing space on its upper floor to the Frank Meline Co. Meline operated its Hollywood office here at 6777 Hollywood Blvd. from 1920, offering properties in the immediate area for sale. Buster Keaton even filmed a scene from his 1921 short “The Goat” looking south from a garage at 1741 N. Highland Ave. toward the intersection, per John Bengtson on his blog, “Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd Film Locations.”
“Here’s a good spot to shoot, baby” are the probably the last words spoken by William B. Smith, 39, a dental technician (or a shipyard worker, depending on the story) who was confronted by his angry girlfriend, waitress Mildred Cook, 30, after he told her that he was reconciling with his wife, according to a Times story.
July 25, 1944
George Raft has always hankered after romantic parts. Time after time he has turned down “heavy” roles that have brought fame to other actors. But George has always argued that fans like romance and adventure, so it’s interesting that RKO has bought “Mr. Angel Comes Aboard,” the Charles Gordon Booth book. It gets the new title of “Johnny Angel” and George plays a modern swashbuckler and adventurer. He goes to RKO as soon as he finishes “Nob Hill” at 20th. Speaking of George – he’s about 20 pounds thinner and looks much better.
Loretta Young and Col. Tom Lewis have not bought “Bugsey” Siegel’s mansion. Too expensive, they decided, and the baby, due in a month, will have its first nursery in the house where they now live.
LEO: Power of thought, predicated with determined action, should render effectual assistance in solving tasks successfully. Don’t abuse or dissipate health.
July 24, 1944
Jennifer Jones, a quiet, 24-year-old movie newcomer, last March startled Hollywood by winning the Academy Award for her performance in “The Song of Bernadette.” In her second major movie, “Since You Went Away,” she gives another warm and sensitive performance. She is especially good in scenes with her real-life husband, Robert Walker, from whom she is separated.
The modern farm woman wants – electricity!
No one is surprised that Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed to run for a fourth term, but Life has editorials pro and con.
Gen. Charles de Gaulle visits New York.
The movie of the week is “Since You Went Away.”
July 24, 1944
Jeanette MacDonald’s absence from all social activities this summer is explained. She opens with the Chicago Civic Opera Co. in November and she has been studying hard with Lotte Lehman and her teacher of many years, Grace Adele Newell, to prepare herself for her debut. The contract, signed by Maestro Fausto Cleva, calls for three performances – two of “Romeo and Juliet” and one as Marguerite in “Faust” to be sung in French.
Bebe Daniels writes that the theater where she has been playing in “Panama Hattie” in London was hit by a robot bomb. None of the cast was in the theater, thank heaven.
LEO: Stars offer generous scope for both personal and business affairs. Your particular talents and skill favored; also domestic and social obligations.
Dear Martha Foster: Until eight months ago my husband and I were very happy with our two children. Then, one day at a plant party, he playfully kissed his secretary, and she took him seriously. She declared her love for him and there have been kisses and declarations of love at various times since. I learned this through a note I intercepted from her about a month ago.
In case you just tuned in, I was given a box of material that was cleaned out of the old press room — the “Cop Shop” — when Parker Center was closed.
Today we have an artist’s sketch of John Doe No. 52, a homicide victim described as a white male, age 17 to 20, about 5 foot 4, 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
I have no further information about this case. Judging by the DR number, I would assume it occurred in 1973.
July 23, 1944
The conversation I had with Bing Crosby several days ago was not about the world-famous crooner, the man who is already mentioned for this year’s Oscar because of his performance in “Going My Way.” It5 was with Bing Crosby, the star-maker – the man who was courageous enough to select Greg McClure, an unknown, to play John L. Sullivan in “The Great John L.”
CANCER: Aspects similar to Gemini today, heed same cautions. Especially protect family interests. Don’t worry about what is coming, prepare as well as can, then take things in stride.
July 22, 1944
Mr. Winkle Goes to War” has set Jack Moss in solid as a producer at Columbia – so solid that his next will be “Pal Joey.” The Broadway stage hit has nothing to do with Pal Joey Stalin, but was the show that first brought Gene Kelly to fame, fortune and fans. Need I add that Mr. Moss, who used to be Gary Cooper’s manager before he took up producing, is keeping his fingers crossed very tightly, hoping to get Gene for the movie version. That might not be such a shot in the dark as you might suppose, because MGM loaned Kelly to Columbia for “Cover Girl,” and look what happened.
(Of course, “Pal Joey” didn’t get made until 1957 with Frank Sinatra.)
Trixie Friganza has donated her money to the Church and is living at the Sacred Heart Convent.
This is the 1933 film “Girl Missing.” It opened in Los Angeles at the Warner Bros. Western Theater (now the Wiltern) on March 23, 1933, with “Untamed Africa.”
Douglass Dumbrille, photo courtesy of Mary Mallory.
Classic Hollywood studio films employed actors with striking faces and mannerisms as recognizable character types from the 1930s to the 1960s, giving a shorthand to understanding the story as well as a way to add color and spice to films. One of Hollywood’s most outstanding conniving villains during this period was Canadian Douglass Rupert Dumbrille, an often unctuous, forceful presence. Whether attempting to manipulate politics, business deals or romantic relationships, Dumbrille was plotting his rise at the expense of others, usually earning his comeuppance in the end.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 13, 1889, Dumbrille married his wife, Jessie, on Jan. 21, 1911, and worked in a bank, dreaming of a life on the stage. The family entered the United States in 1913, with his younger son Douglas born in Cleveland in 1914. Dumbrille worked in a variety of stock companies and theatrical productions supporting himself and his family.
July 18, 1944
One of the most startling medical books of recent years is “Kaiser Wakes the Doctors.” It succeeded in getting its author, Paul De Kruif, in the center of a storm with the American Medical Association. I have no intention of putting myself in the middle of this battle, pro or con, but news is news. After seven months of negotiations, Edward A. Golden, who made “Hitler’s Children” and “The Master Race,” has purchased the De Kruif book and his son, Robert Golden, will produce it in technicolor.
CANCER: Embarrassment often follows carelessness, lack of attention to important matters. Be advised, there are many “don’ts” now. Be reluctant to try unorthodox schemes. Keep your humor.
The pretty girl in peasant clothes on this week’s cover is Anne Scott from Columbus, Ohio. Anne has been modeling ever since her graduation from Ohio State University nearly five years ago. Although she has posed for several cover sketches, this is her first photographic cover.
July 17, 1944
Pleasant blouses and skirts are what fashionable young women are wearing these days. Fashion note: The Wartime Production Board has banned the previously popular dirndls and stipulated that no blouse could have more than one ruffle per sleeve. No more ruffles until it’s over, over there!
Notice the cover price of 10 cents an issue and $4.50 a year, or $1.35 an issue and $60.80 a year in 2014 dollars.
Corsican residents punish three women for consorting with the Nazis: Their heads are shaved, they are stripped of their clothes and forced to leave town, something similar to what will happen in France.
The movie of the week is “Two Girls,” starring June Allyson and Gloria DeHaven.
And the “Greatest Generation” took cat pictures
In case you just tuned in, I was given a box of material that was cleaned out of the old Cop Shop at the LAPD’s Parker Center and I’m slowly scanning the files.
This is a memo sent by Chief Ed Davis on the necessity of what we would now call “transparency” in dealing with the news media.
“When a free press is operating, we are relieved of the burdensome task of constantly attempting to justify our actions,” Police Chief Davis said.
July 17, 1944
Lana Turner, as Bunny Smith, the public stenographer, is only one of the star parts in “Week-End at the Waldorf.” In the script, which Sam and Bella Spivak have just completed, there are at least eight other characters just as important. In fact, Arthur Hornblow, the producer, says this musical is comparable to “Grand Hotel” and “Dinner at Eight” in the number of Star roles.
CANCER: Your planets are in more beneficent position than they have been for days. Stir yourself to energy needed to achieve while opportunity is at hand. Think of future needs also.
June 29, 1944
I need to do a little catching up on national politics, with the Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago. Of course, the convention was covered by Times political editor Kyle Palmer and as usual, the man who helped create Richard Nixon made no pretense of being impartial.
California Gov. Earl Warren delivered the keynote address, but stunned the Republicans when he declined to join the ticket as vice presidential candidate. In rebuffing the “draft Warren” movement, he explained: “I would be happy to accept your offer if I were a free agent. However, I have made certain commitments and assumed certain obligations to the people of my state which are not yet fulfilled.”
Warren also said: “I have to refuse because I must live with my own conscience.”
As a staunchly Republican paper, The Times endorsed Dewey, who lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On Nov. 8, 1944, Dewey conceded when he was trailing Roosevelt 12,165,763 to 14,411,965 in the popular vote and 136 electoral votes against Roosevelt’s 395.
Notice that Times Managing Editor L.D. Hotchkiss attended the convention and filed a story.
July 16, 1944
Louella Parsons says:
Diana Lynn, who has been everyone’s kid sister in movies on the Paramount lot, has at long last gone glamorous. The dazzling young lady with the blonde curls and the black lace form-fitting dress looked anything but the awkward-age brat, when I paid her a visit on the set of “Out of This World.”