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.