For Monday, we have a mystery law enforcement officer with a cigar.
For Monday, we have a mystery law enforcement officer with a cigar.
Aug. 29, 1944
You can never tell what our unpredictable movie heads are going to do when they decide they want a play. Jack Warner, for instance, has purchased the film rights to “The Visitor” before it even opened on Broadway or had a rehearsal. But he had a reason and, I think, a good one.
There’s really no news in Jean Arthur’s announcement she is not making any more pictures.
The beautiful home of Maurice Chevalier at Cannes has been destroyed by bombs.
Marlene Dietrich has informed her agent she won’t be able to fulfill picture commitments until 1945.
I wonder if you remember Robert Morley … while London was being bombed by robots [Robert] was undergoing an operation in a hospital when the building was hit. The operation was completed under great difficulties and he was taken to a safe place in the country to recuperate.
VIRGO: Excellent planetary influences for matters pertaining to investments, determining profits and carrying out responsible tasks, orders. Be optimistic in romance, home affairs.
At a fashion show of fall college styles held about a fortnight ago at B. Altman & Co., New York, most startling among the novelties shown were the “pedal pushers,” in which Anne Scott appears on Life’s cover. These are made of red wool plaid, come to just below the knee and are one of many versions of the new long shorts which are being promoted to replace rolled-up slacks and dungarees for college wear. (Note to millennials: “dungarees” are the old name for blue jeans).
Aug. 28, 1944
Life’s cover story is about the new fashion craze: pedal pushers.
Life says: Preston Sturges is a man of vast and varied talents. He is the author of a Broadway stage hit, the inventor of a kissproof lipstick, a superlative cook, a multilinguist, the owner of a war production plant and probably the most exciting movie director to emerge in the past decade. (The Daily Mirror’s library recently acquired a copy of James Curtis’ “Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges,” which we highly recommend. You can hunt down an old copy or get the Kindle version).
The Big Four powers begin peace talks. Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks are U.S. Undersecretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Britain’s Sir Alexander Cadogan, China’s Wei Tao-ming and “an able but inexperienced young diplomat” from the Soviet Union named Andrei Gromyko.
Aug. 28, 1944
I had just put down “The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters” when — flash! — came the word that MGM had bought the Lt. Joseph Stanley Pennell novel for $60,000. Here, my friends, is a powerful story of the Civil War, so powerful, in fact, it takes a good strong stomach to get past some of the passages. But not since Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe has an American written a first book with the beauty and force of Pennell, and the reading public is responding at the rate of 13,000 a week.
Two nights running, David Wark Griffith ran “Intolerance” and Birth of a Nation” for Preston Sturges, which inclines me to believe his deal with Sturges will be closed any day.
Director Mike Curtiz starts his 18th year at Warners … Certainly Dalton Trumbo won’t have to worry where his next meal comes from for the next few years … I remember so well Carole Lombard’s interest in Helen Deutsch’s story “But Is It Love,” the comedy she thought was so right for her. She took an option on it before she died and expected to interest one of the studios in making it. After Carole’s death, Helen Deutsch lost interest in the picture because she had set her heart on having Carole play in it. Now the story is being rewritten and will again be offered for sale.
VIRGO: You are in same planetary boat with Leoites today, therefore benefit by advice to them. Enjoy wholesome pleasures in free time. Avoid extremes.
Aug. 26, 1944
When William Bendix was broke and didn’t have a nickel to his name, his father-in-law, Henry Stafanotty, loaned him money to support his wife and child. Bill isn’t the kind who forgets and now he has opened a hardware shop for his wife’s father in Newark and is calling it “The Wake.” That’s in honor of “Wake Island,” which put Bill in the movie limelight.
VIRGO: Put today in your happy medium column. Approach agreeably and without fuss the good and the bad tasks. No volcanic promotion ideas, just down-to-earth dependability.
“The Bride’s Bereavement or the Snake in the Grass” and “Stolen by Gypsies,” two Masquers presentations.
Organized in 1925, the Masquers Club was a social/fraternal organization founded by actors but open to others in the entertainment industry. As the original bylaws state: “The object of this club shall be the promotion of social intercourse among persons engaged professionally in drama, cinema, music, authorship, and the fine arts… .” They met for social times in their original clubhouse on Yucca Street before moving to their longtime headquarters at 1765 Sycamore Ave. in Hollywood, just below the Rollin B. Lane mansion. The group entertained itself with small productions of skits, plays and small holiday productions on their own stage and major shows at other theatrical venues around town.
While they did gather for social gatherings in their club, where they conversed, played cards, drank and put on shows, they also supported each other and society during times of hardship. The group embraced members in need, often providing a temporary home, offering a small financial pick-me-up, or providing help in times of distress and ill health. They made sure no member was forgotten and rallied around families at the time of members’ deaths.
Aug. 22, 1944
The Times encourages readers to save copies of the paper for reuse in the war effort. Let’s hear it for recycling!
Keith Hallock gets a kiss from Warner Bros.’ Joyce Reynolds for being the first to volunteer for a job making tires at one of the plants in Los Angeles.
Discussions are underway to avoid a streetcar strike over higher wages.
And no. It would be unconstitutional to keep Japanese Americans from returning to the West Coast after the war is over, says Atty. Gen. Francis Biddle.
Aug. 22, 1944
Danton Walker writes: High on a hilltop in Beverly Hills at the end of the Tower Road, a tortuous lane overlooking Benedict Canyon, is a hobgoblin castle straight out of a Walt Disney film; an edifice of scrambled architecture, so rambling and complex that it would take a full day to explore it, if one had the heart to do so. It is the home of the late John Barrymore, on which the Great Profile spent close onto a million dollars; unoccupied since his death and unoccupiable except by someone who does not object to living with a frozen nightmare.
Louella Parsons says: “Citizen Tom Paine” was bought by Frank Tuttle a long time ago, but he left his option lapse and it goes to Walter Wanger. Walter has bought it from the author, Howard Fast, and plans to make a story of the Revolution with all the famous characters.
But he will not go into Paine’s religious beliefs nor his tendency toward atheism. Rather, will he make a real saga of the Revolutionary period with four principal characters, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Paine. Well-known actors will be chosen to play these four men. We haven’t had a good story of the American Revolution in a long time and Walter plans to spend a considerable amount in making an authentic story.
LEO: The sort of day on which your talents should shine. Clean up odd little tasks, pay bills, make plans for future events. Study standard problems. Aim at completion.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.org.
I thought I had seen just about all the Black Dahlia-related items that existed, including the Living Dead Dolls, the Black Dahlia snow globe, etc. But this is a new one on me. Dalia Negra was a series of comic books – for adults – published in Mexico in the 1950s and several issues have been posted on EBay. The artwork is the Mexican take on E.C. Comics. Bidding on this issue starts at $24.99.
The churning craft on the cover are amphibious tractors, sometimes called “alligators.” The alligator, armed with machine guns, is designed to carry small loads of troops through the water to an enemy beach and, if possible, to carry them through the beach defenses. Together with approximately 1,100 warships, 37,000 naval aircraft and 48,000 landing boats, the alligator has made possible the U.S. formula of amphibious attack.
Aug. 21, 1944
This week’s photo essay is by Alfred Eisenstaedt of European refugees arriving in America.
The featured movie is “Janie,” featuring Joyce Reynolds, who you may remember was supposedly up for a part in “Mildred Pierce.”
Other articles include a profile of vice presidential candidate Harry Truman; John Foster Dulles, likely to be secretary of State under the Republican administration of Thomas E. Dewey (oops); the ruins of St. Lo, destroyed in heavy fighting; preparations for the liberation of Paris; and George Ray Tweed, a U.S. Navy radioman who eluded the Japanese on Guam for 31 months.
Aug. 21, 1944
Today, we stumbled across a columnist named Danton Walker (d. 1960). We don’t know his name, but his prose is so familiar that we can recite by heart the stale, snide New Yorker’s boilerplate on Los Angeles. It’s the sort of thing still being circulated, scarcely unchanged, by some of today’s smartest East Coast writers whose sum of experience consists of a stay in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills and a jaunt to Farmers Market.
Hollywood, like Broadway, is largely a state of mind. Originally an exclusive residential section of that vast, sprawling, unwieldy community called Los Angeles (“six suburbs in search of a city”), it has become the capital of filmdom and a symbol for all that goes with it. But Hollywood has now moved from Hollywood, and though four major producers — Sam Goldwyn, RKO, Paramount and Columbia — still maintain their centers in Hollywood proper, the rest of the industry has spread and is still spreading, mushroom fashion, over the hills and canyons of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, West Wood, Belair, San Fernando Valley and Ensino Valley, and the homes of movie stars cling precariously, like the nests of birds, to the slopes of the Sierra foothills, miles and miles away from the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine. Miami Beach is positively cozy by comparison; Hollywood lives on wheels, and deprived of motor transportation, it would vanish from this earth as surely as Tyre and Sidon, the biblical cities of the plain.
Louella Parsons says: A deal is hot on the griddle for 20th Century-Fox to borrow Kathryn Grayson from MGM to star in “State Fair,” one of their important musicals. If “State Fair” slips your mind, let me remind you it was made years ago with Janet Gaynor and Will Rogers in the top roles. Now it’s being converted into a musical by Dick Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. There’s a great chance here for 20th to capitalize on the same hay-foot, straw-foot appeal that has made “Oklahoma!” such a smash.
LEO: Make an effort to “Hi Neighbor” associates. It’ll put your mind in cheery attitude, your daily good deed donation and you’ll function better. Cheery news.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer via Fultonhistory.com.