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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ZACHERLEY – Part 6

IMPORTANT NOTE: Does anyone know how to get in touch with John Zacherle – or at least direct him to these blogs? I think he’d be interested in copies of his letters to Anne DiDio, which I’d be delighted to share with him.

OK, not a long post today unfortunately. Just a pair of articles.

This first one is from an unknown newspaper. Since it mentions Zach’s show at WABC, this would put the article between 1958 to 1960. It lists John’s age as 40 which would narrow it down between Sep 1958 & Sep 1959. There were only two Friday the 13th’s in that span: Feb 1959 & Mar 1959. So that’s as close as I can get.

Note: Interesting fact about Laurence Olivier!

Article 1 (b:w) Article 2 (b:w).

And an unknown magazine. John is listed as 39 years old here, so this would have been written between Sep 1957 & Sep 1958. Narrowing it further, Zach moved to NYC and started hosting “Shock Theater” there in September of ’58, so this article was probably written before John’s birthday (September 26), and published the following month – sooooo October ’58. (???)

Zacherley article 1 (b:w) Zacherley article 2 (b:w) Mag photo

See ya soon!

Jymn