Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adrienne Dore

Adrienne Dore (Doré) was born May 23, 1910, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I can find little information on her early years, but she had moved to the Los Angeles area sometime before 1925. We can make that assumption because she won the title of Miss Los Angeles and was a runner-up in the Miss America Pageant that year. Her first role was an uncredited part in 1928's The Valley of Hunted Men, produced by Action Pictures, a company that primarily released westerns. Adrienne's next film, Beyond London Lights, also in 1928, saw her in the lead role. In 1929 she was in Paramount's The Wild Party, as one of Clara Bow's troupe of good time college girls. A couple of comedy shorts followed and then she had a small role in Pointed Heels (1929), an early talkie musical which starred William Powell, Helen Kane (really fun in this film) and Fay Wray.

After a couple more shorts Adrienne was signed to Warner Brothers and her first appearance with them was a small role in 1932's Union Depot starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Blondell. Alias The Doctor (1932) was next and she was the second female lead. Adrienne was in six more films for Warner's including The Rich Are Always With Us, where she plays a pivotal role, The Expert, Play-Girl, The Famous Ferguson Case, Two Seconds, and Street Of Women, starring Kay Francis. All were released in 1932 and she had both prominent and uncredited roles in those films. For some reason I haven't been able to determine, she either left Warner's voluntarily or her contract was canceled. Only four more films were in Adrienne's future, uncredited roles in The Thirteenth Guest and The Girl From Calgary, a small role in 1933's Love, Honor, And Oh Baby! and the lead in 1934's B-crime picture Undercover Men for independent Booth Productions.

Adrienne died November 22, 1992 in Woodland Hill, Los Angeles. California.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Miss Los Angeles, 1925. Some bio's show her winning the Miss America title, but the winner that year was Fay Lamphier.

Here is a short 30 second clip, two clips together actually, of Adrienne in Pointed Heels.

Publicity still from Alias The Doctor. BTW, the film takes place in Munich.

Adrienne in a fashion spread in Photoplay magazine, June 1932

Publicity stills from the Warner Brothers days.

A rather worn cigarette card in the Carreras series of real photo cards. It think it was either neglected or carried around by a fan in his or her wallet.

Frame captures from The Girl From Calgary and Undercover Men.

Undated publicity stills.

Adrienne Dore - What do you think - Allure?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ina Claire

Born Ina Fagan on October 15 1893, in Washington, D.C., Ina began her career appearing in vaudeville. Her first appearance on Broadway was in the chorus of Our Miss Gibbs (1910). Her first long running (over one year) role was as Prudence in the 1911 musical, The Quaker Girl. Ina appeared in 25 Broadway productions and was met with critical favor throughout her stage career which lasted until 1954. She also took the time to appear in 11 films between 1915 and 1943.

Ina's intitial screen roles were in silents and included her 1915 film debut as the lead in The Wild Goose Chase and also the lead as Princess Alexia in The Puppet Crown. Two more silents followed, but Ina did not then return to the screen until the sound era, where she was given the female lead in 1929's The Awful Truth, a role she played on Broadway in 1922. Unfortunately this film, which co-starred Henry Daniell, is presumed lost A quote from the Time Magazine's September 30, 1929 review of the film says, "Actress Claire plays with a deftness perfected during the weeks when she was doing The Awful Truth on Broadway." Perhaps fittingly, her next appearance was in The Royal Family of Broadway (1930), opposite Fredric March. She then appeared in Rebound (1931), fighting for her man against Myrna Loy. This was followed by The Greeks Had A Word For Them (1932) - AKA Three Broadway Girls, the pre-code romp that has her teamed with Joan Blondell (as the sensible one!) and Madge Evans. Seven years passed until Ina was next seen as Grand Duchess Swana (left) in 1939's Garbo laughs vehicle, Ninotchka. Her last appearance was as Dorothy McGuire's mother in Claudia (1943). Broadway was really Ina's home, but she was married to screen idol John Gilbert from 1929-31. Ina, praised for her delivery and comedic flair, is an inductee in the American Theatre Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ina Claire died February 21, 1985 in San Francisco, California.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Photoplay, November 1931 - Artist: Earl Christy

Two page spread in Photoplay, November 1931.
Though the film isn't mentioned, it's Three Broadway Girls.

Picture Play, September 1931
Images from Rebound.

The Picture Show 1933 - the British hardcover annual.

Frame captures from Rebound.

Frame captures from The Greeks Had a Word for Them.
The film was adapted from the Broadway play, "The Greeks Had a Word for It". Since it dealt with modern-day "courtesans", the title was on the Hays Office banned list. Therefore, the last word in the title was changed to "Them", and eventually the whole title was changed.

Publicity still from The Greeks Had a Word for Them.

Ina Claire - What do you think - Allure?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Asides: Stop Thief!

Since the turn of the twentieth century and even earlier, publishers realized the reading public would always be ready for a good true crime story. In the 20's and 30's, dozens of true crime magazines crowded the newsstand. The Police Gazette, True Crime, Crime Stories and True Detective Mysteries were some of the titles. This week's post features the true crime story of the Douglas Fairbanks - Mary Pickford (see, an early movie star actress tie-in) hold-up as told to True Detective Mysteries reporter Emerson Gaze.

When I saw this magazine for sale, I couldn't pass it up. Loved the cover, and knew my blog readers would want the full scoop on this Hollywood crime. The article is about 15 pages of text, and goes into so much detail I couldn't include it all. However, the first two pages are shown to give you a sense of the melodramatic writing style, and the rest of the post highlights the article's imagery, including the daring escape route photo-illustration, complete with a dotted line to help you follow along.

Some things never change, and the two ads that close this post show us that the problems of 1931 are still problems now, and there is always someone willing to sell you a solution.

Click on the images for a larger view.

True Detective Mysteries, August 1931
Cover Artist: Dalton Stevens

Table of Contents
You might also want to pick up this issue for the exciting story, The Murder on the Cannon Ball Express, or perhaps The Hell Valley Cistern Mystery.

Our true crime story begins - page 1 of a 2 page spread.

The perpetrators.

Exciting photo of doorway.

Doug and Mary weren't the only ones whose joint was cased.

Location of the shoot-out and capture of the bandits.

The car used in the "carnival of crime." Love that phrase.


But it wasn't over yet as a daring escape was tried...and failed.

1931 0r 2009, you decide.

Snake oil then and snake oil now. No dieting, no exercise, no drugs...and no results.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Mary Carlisle

Mary Carlisle was born February 3, 1912 in Boston, Massachusetts. After her father died, when Mary was just four, her mother relocated to Hollywood and seems to have found employment at Universal in some non-film capacity. At age 14, while eating lunch with her mother at the company's commissary, Mary was spotted by Carl Laemmle, Jr. and offered a screen test. Though interested, it was decided that Mary finish high school before trying her luck as a film actress. Her first role (uncredited) was in the William Haines comedy, The Girl Said No (1930). Six more uncredited roles followed, including an appearance in Madam Satan, a must see film if you like an extravagant night club setting in a dirigible. Mary's first credited role was in 1932's The Reckless Age. Though one or two more uncredited appearances were to follow, she was working steadily in minor A and B pictures. Voted a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1932 also gave her career a boost.

She made seven films in 1933 including College Humor, her first of three with Bing Crosby. Other vehicles that year were Saturday's Millions starring Robert Young, and Should Ladies Behave starring Lionel Barrymore. 1934 appearances included the sweetheart of Joe Palooka (Stu Irwin) in Palooka and another role with Lionel Barrymore in This Side of Heaven. She also teamed with comedy team Wheeler and Woolsey for Kentucky Kernels (released in the UK as Triple Trouble). Unfortunately, youthful looks hindered her career, and though she went to live in England for a while in the mid-thirties, trying for "weightier" roles, she just found herself in lesser roles in decent films, and lead roles in B films. Indeed her last two films, 1942's Baby Face Morgan, and 1943's Dean Men Walk, were starring vehicles, but produced by PRC, pretty far down the list of B movie companies. Mary does quite well in both, but it was clear to her, after 61 films, it was time to leave the business. She did and I am pleased to say, as of this writing, Mary is still with us, at age 97. She and Gloria Stuart are the last surviving members of the 1932 group of WAMPAS Baby Stars.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Movie Classic magazine - January 1933

Screen Play - April 1933
No review of Mary's performance, but she got the photo op.

Cinelandia magazine - August 1933

Silver Screen - September 1933

Undated publicity stills

Modern Screen - April 1934

British Gallaher cigarette cards. Note the Triple Trouble card, the UK release name for Kentucky Kernels. Grand Old Girl (May Robson) was released in 1935.

Movie Classic - April 1934
The article shows 1933 as the year she was made a WAMPAS Baby Star, but there really wasn't a 1933 crop.

Frame captures from four films, including Girl of My Dreams (1934), a fun college sports/musical romp. It's from Monogram, but well produced.

Oops - late entry. While looking through my collection for some Halloween fare yesterday, I remembered this not so memorable film, 1935's One Frightened Night.

Later publicity still.

Mary Carlisle - What do you think - Allure?