Photoplay Magazine – Feb 1930

Here  are some clippings from Photoplay- 86 years ago!

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Talkartoons… what a terrible name! Still, they were a laugh a second.

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Wow! “Inimitable blackface artists!” (As opposed to inimitable whiteface artists.)

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Ooo, look what just came out! A new Marx Brothers comedy!

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What a weird, exciting time this must have been when sound was just entering the film business. Movies were advertised as Silent, All Talkie, or Part Talkie. (Part Talkie?… Like only every other word?)

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Local boy makes good. Santa Clarita’s own William S. Hart! (The only talkie he ever shot was an introduction to “Tumbleweeds.”)

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A film can cost a million dollars?!?!  What’s the world coming to?!

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That’s an awfully big toy house.Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 8.53.13 AM.png

 

Little Rascals update:

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Should be used in the 2016 election, yes?

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Racism update:  Remember, osculating didoes will offend British sensibilities.Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 8.50.34 AM.png

“Artists Earn More”  (More than who?)

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Did you know that Dr. Frankenstein’s wife was Fannie Brice’s sister-in-law?Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 9.12.24 AM.png

One half of the Wheeler and Woolsey comedy team.

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See you next month!

Animation Autographs

As part of my goal to clean out the rats-nest I call an office, I discovered an old Film Comment magazine from January 1975.

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At that time I was a Lieutenant JG in the Navy, stationed at the Pentagon – but I was also a huge animation fan. This Film Comment issue was devoted to toons, so I snatched it up… primarily because I was going to hear Chuck Jones speak at the Kennedy Center, and I was hoping for an autograph. Long story short, I got Chuck’s signature and carried it with me to California (where I moved the following year to work for Disney). Naturally, I ran into more animation folks in Los Angeles, so I managed to pick up a few more autographs for my magazine. Thought you might like to take a peek.

Here’s Chuck’s signature from 1975.

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Working just a few offices from me in the Roy O. Disney building was Willie Ito, who worked on Chuck Jones’ crew. (Willie also worked for Hanna-Barbera, Beanie & Cecil, and Disney feature animation. He even character-designed for WD TV animation in its infancy.)

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Just down the hall from Willie sat Cal Howard who was a Fleischer veteran from the ooooold days. (They even rotoscoped him as the Prince in Gulliver’s Travels.) So one day Cal brings a buddy to the studio, and I hear them talking out in the hallway. And the buddy sounds strangely familiar. It was Jack Mercer – the voice of Popeye!!! Another autograph!

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And of course, when I moved from Walt Disney Music over to TV Animation in 1984, I had the pleasure of working with these two mega-talents. Bill “Bullwinkle” Scott and June “Rocky” Foray. (She called me “dollink”!)

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A real treasure, eh? (Wonder what it’s worth….  Naw, I’d never part with it.)

Jymn

Photoplay Magazine – Jan 1930

I was looking through an old Photoplay magazine from 86 years ago, and I discovered several tidbits that I thought would be fun to share.

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The first thing to remember is that there is nothing new under the sun. For example, take a look at this movie title.

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Before Basil Rathbone played the illustrious Sherlock Holmes in  14 films, several other actors portrayed the famous detective. Like Clive Brook. (Who?)

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So what was Rathbone doing until Fox hired him to play Holmes in 1939? Well, he played another private detective Philo Vance!

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Sax Rohmer’s master villain Fu Manchu would be played by hot horror star Boris Karloff in 1932, but until then Warner Oland (who also played Asian detective Charlie Chan) donned the make-up in 1929 and 1930.

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“Oriental deviltry” I tell you!

Speaking of horror stars, here’s what Lon Chaney Sr. was up to…

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They’re probably talking about “Thunder,” After that film he made his first and only talkie – “The Unholy Three,” his last film before succumbing to a throat hemorrhage weeks later. Under the heading of New Year’s Resolutions, some wit wrote this for Mr. Chaney.

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More on the horror front: Helen Chandler was let go by Fox studios.

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Poor dear. What will Helen do? Oh, she’ll just wander over to Universal and star in one of the most iconic horror films of all time – DRACULA!   Plus, she did this ad for Lux soap.

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Speaking of Universal, they didn’t release their classic horror films Dracula and Frankenstein until 1931. But you can see the Laemmles are already gearing up for that genre in Jan  1930.

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In 1940, Cliff “Ukelele Ike” Edwards would star as the beloved Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s PINOCCHIO. But a decade earlier, he was just an up’n’comer.

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Wow, here’s some American film snobbism!

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Also, in the Hollywood tradition of changing book titles, fearing the stupid moviegoers won’t understand the original (e.g. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), here’s The Scarlet Pimpernel!

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One of the greatest losses to Hollywood history.

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A bit of nostalgia. Here’s what it cost for a fancy night out on the town!

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This article caught my eye, because I live in William S. Hart’s neighborhood. It’s nice to see he was level-headed with his child-rearing.

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And now for you creative types!

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Photoplay even has gags you can steal!!!

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And that’s about it. But let me leave you with a lovely piece of ad artwork.

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