THIS ‘N THAT 18

 

………Back in the day actors, if they were lucky,  got an apprenticeship  before stardom.

I recently saw Ginger Rogers in a 1931 film, Honor Among Lovers which starred Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. A black haired Ginger was almost unrecognisable and she had at best two lines of dialogue as the dumb blonde( brunette) girlfriend of Charlie Ruggles.
She was 20 at 
the time and would make 17 more films in the next two years before partnering Fred Astaire in FLYING DOWN TO RIO.

That’s an apprenticeship!

Ginger Rogers, Charlie Ruggles.

 

 

The Ginger we know.

 

……….I enjoyed  Honor Among Lovers . Claudette Colbert and Fredric March costarred four times in the early 1930s and worked very well together. Their other films were MANSLAUGHTER (1930), SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932) and TONIGHT IS OURS (1933).

 

With Cecil B. DeMille. SIGN OF THE CROSS.

 

Would love to see “Manslaughter” and “Tonight Is Ours”. Interesting  to read that “Tonight is Ours” is based on  a Ruritarain romance by Noel Coward.

TONIGHT IS OURS.

 

……………Eugene Robert Richee (1896-1972) was a photographer who headed Paramount’s portrait studio and was at that studio for 20 years from 1921. He also worked at Warners and MGM.
He was the first to photograph  Veronica Lake and her blonde tresses in I Wanted Wings (1940).

Here are a few of his photographs.

 

The famous 1928 portrait of Louise Brooks, wearing the long string  of pearls in stark black and white.

 

Marlene Dietrich

 

Veronica Lake

 

Frances Dee.

 

Sylvia Sidney

 

………….RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!

Fictional newspaper headlines always looked good when splashed across a screen. Must have been fun writing these pages.

 

Joan Bennett , Woman in the Window.

(Poor Edward G.)

 

Cagney as the gangster who goes crazy and reaches the top.WHITE HEAT.

 

Klaatu comes to town but goes underground. Gort  remains on guard.  THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.

 

Not a newspaper but done in the tabloid style for the press book of The Hoodlum. (Would love to see some of these press books.)

 

………….A page from the press book for ”Dark City”. Cinema managers are given ideas on how to exploit  the film – simplest displays are giant blow-ups of stills. ( boy, would we like to own some of these!);  Charlton Heston, Hal B. Wallis’s new discovery, is ‘the key exploitation figure.’
I
love how this page reveals who Heston has the final fight with! Mike Mazurki is never seen for most of the film.

It is suggested exhibitors have a midnight premiere to tie in with the film’s title.

Dark City‘s plot is centred around a gambling den.

Best of all is the suggestion that there could be a roundup of gambling equipment for a lobby display – roulette wheel, slot machines – the Police dept.  might cooperate in working up such a display!  (From gambling equipment they have confiscated??)

 

 

………..Warners to film Forester novel: Warner Brothers have bought the screen rights to C.S. Forester’s novel, The African Queen, a story of adventure and romance on an African river boat, which will be a co-starring vehicle for Ida Lupino and Paul Henreid.
Production is planned for late summer.

Didn’t happen of course.

11 responses »

  1. I cannot imagine Henreid in the Bogart role in The African Queen, I mean not at all. I’m struggling to imagine Lupino in Hepburn’s place too, surely she would have been much too young.

    • Bogie and Kate seem just perfect. I too can’t imagine Paul Henreid , but Ida Lupino was such a good actress and could play older .
      It happened often that newspaper/magazine items suggested star roles that never happened. I think it was just the studios starting a build up of advertising for forthcoming movies.

      • Lupino was indeed versatile and could slot into a range of roles and settings so I’ll concede that point.
        Overall, I think you’re right though and many of these rumors do appear to have been marketing exercises in essence.

    • Is there an ounce of difference between Rosie Sayer and Eula Goodnight? The spinster on a boat, or the spinster on a horse. Hepburn had 3 or 4 masks that she pulled out of her trunk and wore as a role required.
      Certainly a different actress to go along with Henreid…. Eleanor Parker, perhaps, or Virginia Mayo. No Hepburn mask could work with him.

      Since money is no object, I prefer to dispense with Henreid and go a different way.

      Parker was terrific in Many Rivers to Cross and Valley of the Kings. She had enormous acting range. And, her partner in those movies would have excelled with the African Queen script. Eleanor Parker & Robert Taylor were quite the team.

      Joel McCrea & Virginia Mayo might have worked. McCrea was powerful and athletic and an outdoorsman, and it would fit many of his roles. Just about the polar opposite of Bogart.
      But I doubt he could have played the sot; that was Bogart finally playing himself.

      • I think Parker and Mayo were far too glamorous to convince for even an instant as a rather buttoned up spinster. All actors have certain “types” that are a better fit for them and Hepburn had what was necessary to carry off her role very well.
        Henreid was far too urbane for such a setting.

  2. Enjoyably well-researched snippets! and so nice to see mention of the underrated March. I loved the way it ended, and imagining them in the roles. After a performer leaves a real mark on a role by playing it definitively well, the public become “fixed” in their minds, believing no one else can play it. It’s a variant of type-casting – and if the actor is especially good, often works in reverse… for example because Bancroft and Murray Hamilton were so good as the girl’s parents in “The Graduate”, the vastly unimaginative public and “biz” firmly believe no one else could play those roles. When in fact in the traditional type-casting sense, Nichols’ original choices of Doris Day and Reagan were indeed more “right” for both of those roles – even if most people’s imaginations are so weak, they can only “see” what they’ve already seen: Bancroft and Hamilton’s making the roles fit them. It’s called acting – and in this case most certainly not type-casting.

      • Absolutely – and what a risk they are taking! With Cicely Tyson and so many other fine actors, it could so easily have resulted in no career at all.

    • Strange but true… arguably Rogers might be the best of the Golden Era actresses at the role of Rosie.
      She was an avid hiker, fisher and canoeist, had a working 1000 acre ranch, and basically lived outdoors 24×7 when not working. She would canoe for days at a time, 150+ mile trips, fishing, camping and running whitewater.
      Yet she too is known almost exclusively as a glamorous actress and turned down role after role that would have showcased her own lifestyle.

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