Actors' literary interests

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Rollo Treadway

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Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 20, 2012 2:33 am

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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 20, 2012 4:36 am

Below, proof positive that the Dolls are more intellectually advanced than the Guys:

(Just kidding, fellow comic book fans...)
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mndean

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 20, 2012 8:09 pm

I have a terrible, mean caption to that Marilyn photo: "Maybe it'll make more sense to me if I start at this end" :twisted:

Now did Louise and Clara read The Smart Set for Mencken or George Jean Nathan?
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 20, 2012 9:05 pm

Louise reading Mencken & Nathan? Seems plausible, actually. Clara, uh...no comment. But by the time the mag had evolved to featuring "Stores from Life," those mischievous boys were disturbing the peace in The American Mercury... before being kicked off it, too.
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westegg

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostSat Apr 21, 2012 6:07 am

That Monroe photo is so charmingly mundane, far away from all the glitz and hype.
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Lokke Heiss

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostSun Apr 22, 2012 6:43 pm

Who is the Balzac reader, and what is she darning?
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs
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Richard P. May

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostSun Apr 22, 2012 7:27 pm

The Balzac reader looks to me like Paulette Goddard.
Very nice color photo, too.
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Ian Elliot

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostSun Apr 22, 2012 7:59 pm

With apologies for splitting hairs: Goddard is not reading Balzac proper, but the biography by Stefan Zweig published in 1946.
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George O'Brien

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostSun Apr 22, 2012 8:40 pm

Great photos, Rollo. The Goddard photo is a pip, she isn't even making eye contact with the book, and seems to be laughing at the whole idea. Is Marilyn reading Ullysses in a playground? She certainly seems dressed for play. Perhaps she is dressed for wrestling - wrestling with a rather difficult book.
"This bar of likker is now a bar of justice!"
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ymmv

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostMon Apr 23, 2012 12:00 pm

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In 1932 Jean Harlow starred in the movie "Red Headed Woman". In this picture she's holding Katharine Brush' book in her hands. (And maybe, just maybe we're also seeing Jean's own typewriter with a couple of the manuscript pages of her one and only novel)
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostMon Apr 23, 2012 12:18 pm

ymmv wrote: (And maybe, just maybe we're also seeing Jean's own typewriter with a couple of the manuscript pages of her one and only novel)


If that's the same little Remington portable I used in HS, she was also giving her hands a good work-out on it's stiff keyboard.

In My Past, 1931, Bebe Daniels is shown seated at a table, reading a book. The camera moves in closely to focus clearly on the book's dust jacket: The Maltese Falcon!
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ymmv

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostMon Apr 23, 2012 3:14 pm

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Joan Crawford
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Jim Roots

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostTue Apr 24, 2012 6:16 am

I missed the apostrophe in Judge's Quarterly and burst out laughing at the idea of Chaplin finding hilarity in a publication about legal decisions.

Jim
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostWed Apr 25, 2012 5:28 pm

More Louise —
"This is my favorite publicity still because I posed it myself when I went to Hollywood in 1927. I found myself looked upon as a literary wonder because I read books. I'm posing with Keen Thompson, who wrote the screenplay for Now We're in the Air."
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Publicity still for Just Another Blonde:
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Jean Harlow seems equally dubious about the claim of the book's title. That's the author herself, Anita Loos, preparing to wreak vengeance:
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Back to the menfolks and their less sophisticated reading matter: Ole Olsen and Glenn Strange on the Universal lot.
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Last edited by Rollo Treadway on Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostWed Apr 25, 2012 5:48 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:In My Past, 1931, Bebe Daniels is shown seated at a table, reading a book. The camera moves in closely to focus clearly on the book's dust jacket: The Maltese Falcon!

Talk about clever product placement, since the following film from the same star and director was none other than...!

I'd love to to see a screengrab of that, surely one of the great but little known in-jokes.
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostWed Apr 25, 2012 6:02 pm

ymmv wrote:Image

Joan Crawford


More language lessons - Janet Gaynor and F.W. Murnau
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostWed Apr 25, 2012 10:30 pm

Rollo Treadway wrote:Talk about clever product placement, since the following film from the same star and director was none other than...!

I'd love to to see a screengrab of that, surely one of the great but little known in-jokes.


A minor irony is that I consider My Past superior, slightly, to its far more famous successor. Not that I don't think the latter is terriffic...thanks to Bebe!
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 9:00 am

Groucho Marx's "Beds" was sold out, and "The Joy of Sex" wouldn't be published for several decades yet, so:

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Ah bon, la belle cinéaste baigneur!

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All right, now let's pretend real hard to be studying the source material.

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Mike Gebert

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 9:18 am

You can just hear Gable about to explode with "Christ, what is this tripe?"
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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CoffeeDan

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Who writes short-shorts?

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 9:29 am

The stars were writers, too . . .

Liberty magazine began publishing short-short stories in 1929. The following year they held a contest offering $500 apiece for the best short-shorts, and several celebrities entered the competition. Two that I know I have in my Liberty files are written by actors Leslie Fenton (who played gangster Nails Nathan in PUBLIC ENEMY) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I'll dig up these and any others I can find, and transcribe them here. Stay tuned!
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Who writes short-shorts?

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 9:43 am

CoffeeDan wrote:The stars were writers, too . . .

Just to spur you on, I'll jump-start you with this one.

Rhythm: A Story of Men in Macabre Movement

by Charles Chaplin. First appeared in Script magazine, January 1938.

Only the dawn moved in the stillness of that small prison yard — the dawn ushering in death, as the young Loyalist stood facing the firing squad. The preliminaries were over. The small group of officials had stepped to one side to witness the end and now the scene had tightened into ominous silence.

Up to the last, the Rebels had hoped that a reprieve would come from Headquarters, for although the condemned man was an enemy to their cause, in the past he had been a popular figure in Spain, a brilliant writer of humour, who had contributed much to the enjoyment of his fellow countrymen.

The officer in charge of the firing squad knew him personally. Before the civil war they had been friends. Together they had been graduated from the university in Madrid. Together they had worked for the overthrow of the monarchy and the power of the Church. And together, they had caroused, had sat at nights around cafe tables, had laughed and joked, had enjoyed evenings of metaphysical discussion. At times they had argued on the dialectics of government. Their technical differences were friendly then, but now those differences had wrought misery and upheaval all over Spain, and had brought his friend to die by the firing squad.

But why think of the past? Why reason? Since the civil war, what good was reason? In the silence of the prison yard these interrogative thoughts ran feverishly through the officer's mind.

No. He must shut out the past. Only the future mattered. A world in which he would be deprived of many old friends.

That morning was the first time they had met since the war. But no word was spoken. Only a faint smile of recognition passed between them as they prepared for the march into the prison yard.

From the sombre dawn streaks of silver and red peered over the prison wall, and breathed a quiet requiem in rhythm with the stillness in the yard, a rhythm pulsating in silence like the throbbing of a heart. Out of that silence the voice of the commanding officer resounded against the prison walls. 'Attention!'

At this command, six subordinates snapped their rifles to their sides and stiffened. The unity of their action was followed by a pause in which the next command was to be given.

But in that pause something happened, something that broke the line of rhythm. The condemned man coughed and cleared his throat. This interruption broke the concatenation of procedure.

The officer turned, expecting the prisoner to speak, but no words came. Turning to his men again, he was about to proceed with the next command, but a sudden revolt took possession of his brain, a psychic amnesia that left his mind a blank. He stood bewildered before his men. What was the matter? The scene in the prison yard had no meaning. He saw only objectively — a man with his back to the wall facing six others. And the group there on the side, how foolish they looked, like rows of clocks that had suddenly stopped ticking. No one moved. Nothing made sense. Something was wrong. It must be a dream, and he must snap out of it.

Dimly his memory began to return. How long had he been standing there? What had happened? Ah, yes! He had issued an order. But what order came next?

Following 'Attention!' was the command 'Present arms' and after that, 'To aim', and then 'Fire!' A faint concept of this was in the back of his mind. But words to utter it seemed far off — vague and outside of himself.

In this dilemma he shouted incoherently, jumbled words that had no meaning. But to his relief the men presented arms. The rhythm of their action set his brain in rhythm, and again he shouted. Now the men took aim.

But in the pause that followed, there came into the prison yard hurrying footsteps, the nature of which the officer knew meant a reprieve. Instantly, his mind cleared. 'Stop!' he screamed frantically at the firing squad.

Six men stood poised with rifles. Six men were caught in rhythm. Six men when they heard the scream to stop — fired.
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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 6:07 pm

Rollo Treadway wrote:Groucho Marx's "Beds" was sold out, and "The Joy of Sex" wouldn't be published for several decades yet, so:

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Now that we have photographic evidence, can we please do away with that old "Buster was illiterate" BS?

:wink:
Cheers,
Maureen
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 8:54 pm

LongRider wrote:Now that we have photographic evidence, can we please do away with that old "Buster was illiterate" BS?


Well, possibly, except that the grin on Jimmy's face suggests the book has been opened to the center-fold section.
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Brooksie

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Re: Who writes short-shorts?

PostThu Apr 26, 2012 11:32 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:The stars were writers, too . . .

Liberty magazine began publishing short-short stories in 1929. The following year they held a contest offering $500 apiece for the best short-shorts, and several celebrities entered the competition. Two that I know I have in my Liberty files are written by actors Leslie Fenton (who played gangster Nails Nathan in PUBLIC ENEMY) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I'll dig up these and any others I can find, and transcribe them here. Stay tuned!


I came across some of Patsy Ruth Miller's radio plays during an episode of the MGM-sponsored radio show 'Good News' (I can't remember which one; Joan Crawford was the special guest star). It was a nice piece of work - based on the presumed last hours of an aviatrix, played by Joan and obviously based on Amelia Earhart. Rather deep for what was ostensibly a light entertainment show. I wonder if any other of Miller's works are available today, or Ruth Chatterton's?
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Jim Roots

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 6:04 am

Gable's reading while driving his car. Imagine him with a cellphone, iPod, Blackberry, tablet, and three screaming kids in the back seat... still lookin' good.


Jim
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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 6:12 am

entredeuxguerres wrote:
LongRider wrote:Now that we have photographic evidence, can we please do away with that old "Buster was illiterate" BS?


Well, possibly, except that the grin on Jimmy's face suggests the book has been opened to the center-fold section.


Hating to nit pick, but FUN IN BED (written by one Frank Skully) was subtitled "The Convalescent's Handbook" and was a book of jokes and games.
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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 9:25 am

At the risk of exposing my lack of ability to recognize people, is the woman in the bathtub Catherine Deneuve, or Bridgette Bardo?
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 10:17 am

Looks to me like my teen-age fantasy, Bridgette. (Doubt Deneuve would allow herself to be seen so declasse.)
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Rollo Treadway

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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 12:11 pm

Lokke Heiss wrote:is the woman in the bathtub Catherine Deneuve, or Bridgette Bardo?

Yes, it's Brigitte.

Of course Mlle. Deneuve would never be so déclassé as to be seen in a bathtub with a book on Fritz Lang! (She'd have chosen Gance, Carné or Renoir or one of that crowd.)
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Re: Actors' literary interests

PostFri Apr 27, 2012 12:19 pm

Jane Winton wrote two novels, both of which were published.
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