Above, a poster for D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” (1915), for its showing in Denmark, from a collection of silent film posters at 50 Watts, with thanks to Kathy Biehl for the introduction. And more below:
Sherlock Holmes (1922) with John Barrymore
Who Is “Number One”? (1917), a serial starring Kathleen Clifford
Silent screen star May McAvoy (1899-1984) as Esther in Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Dr. Fu Manchu (Warner Oland) chokes his adopted daughter, Lia Eltham (Jean Arthur) while Dr. Jack Petrie (Neil Hamilton) balls his fist to give him a sock in the eye in this still from The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929). I love this for so many reasons: Jean Arthur, always a favorite; the over-the-top caption, “I hate your detestable white skin.” Oland, of course, who later played Charlie Chan, and Hamilton, who played Commissioner Gordon in the Batman TV series. It’s a pity it wasn’t a better film; Sax Rohmer’s villain deserved more.
Oh my goodness. I’ve found another beguiling blog, this one dedicated to vintage photos and stories of Hollywood, as with the photo above of Myrna Loy receiving a manicure on the set, and home renovation. I take my hat off to Vickie Lester.
Thanks to Sean Winship of Nara, Japan: a Harrison Ford fan from Kirin Beer, with Ford as Jack Ryan on the back…
“God must be a derivative of good somewhere way back. It’s the magic of the world: How does a pine tree know how to be a pine tree, how does the maple learn to be a maple? It’s what’s awe-inspiring. It’s the greatest magic there is. It’s what makes everything be alive.”
– Quoted in Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (1997) by John Oller
In her long and varied film career, Mae Busch played Erich Von Stroheim’s mistress, Lon Chaney’s girlfriend and Oliver Hardy’s wife. And legend has it that her dalliance with Mack Sennett ended his engagement to actress Mabel Normand when Miss Normand surprised Busch and Sennett in a pose that suggested intimacy. In the ensuing discussion, Busch threw a vase at Normand and hit her in the head. It was said Miss Busch was gifted with pinpoint throwing accuracy.
Head of the MGM stills department for nearly 40 years, Clarence Sinclair Bull was one of the great portrait photographers who worked for the film studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood. There’s a nice piece about him here.
Circa 1927, a postcard of Anel Sudakevich, born in Kiev to a Russian father and Swedish mother. Samuel Goldwyn wanted to make her a star in America, as Anna Sten, but she was not to be the next Garbo. There’s a nice bio here.
My mother loved tea, chocolate, mysteries and Jean Arthur, and I inherited all of that. In particular, I’m a fan of Sax Rohmer and Fu Manchu, and much to my delight I recently found Jean Arthur played Lia Eltham, a young damsel threatened by Fu Manchu (Warner Oland), and saved by Jack Petrie (Neil Hamilton) and Nayland Smith (O.P. Heggie) in The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929) and The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930). How I wish the films were on DVD. The photo above is from a shoot to publicize the first film.
Warner Oland as the diabolical doctor
Fu Manchu hypnotizes an unfortunate man dressed for dinner in The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu.
Also in The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu, Nayland Smith saves Petrie from a poisoned dart in the woodwork.
And one more glimpse of Jean Arthur from the photo shoot for the first film.
I love William Powell and dachshunds, and here they are.