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Old 01-08-2017, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
11,679 posts, read 8,267,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
Hiya jon............ I didn't notice 700 new views of my thread....... thanks for telling me!!.......

I'm very aware that my subject is ancient history to most........ even to me. But, I find old Hollywood fascinating. Not so much the films anymore, because lets face it, most of them are of little interest to a modern audience.

But, the people of that time are so interesting, and the job they happened to have, was making movies. The studio system within which most of the people I talk about worked in, didn't last long. Really, only about 30 years. In that time from about 1920-50, movie empires were built, controlled by men who ruled their film star subjects with a rod of iron. They were well paid, but expected to work very hard in a cruel medium.

It can't be much fun looking at yourself on a huge screen aging for all the world to see. A star had their peak period, and then spent much of their time looking over their shoulder at the new, younger, talent trying to take over. For the women, it was especially hard. At 35 years of age, most of them were only considered for mother parts............... Developments helped them to a degree. Filming their close ups through gauze softened the wrinkles. More modern stars have cosmetic surgery to hold back the years. Those in the 30s and 40s didn't.

Most had short careers, then got dumped by their studios. A few lasted many years. Hollywood attracted some strange characters, who somehow decided they would like to make films. Orson Welles regretted his life spent making movies. Howard Hughes, it was just a small part of his life, but he obsessed over movie making, as the same he did in other parts of his life.

My last strange character who decided he wanted to make movies was one of the world's richest men in his time - William Randolph Hurst. I'll talk about him in my next post.
Glad to see this thread brought back.. I love all the old Hollywood stuff too, nothing like it even now its lost its sparkle to when the real big stars shone over there, some killed themselves sadly when it didnt turn out good for them in Hollywood and couldnt face failure...it must have been one of the best ways to become rich back in the old Hollywood days if you got in with the right or wrong people to give you a start... some were lucky some didnt quite make it.... I have an old Movie Annual from the 50s and some people in it I hadnt heard of at all while others lasted the pace..I always wonder what big stars might have been in their lifetimes if it wasnt for Hollywood... just ordinary people I suppose with ordinary jobs.. but some are meant for the stage from young.. I went to primary school with a girl who hand would shoot up at the mention of a school play or nativity.. she was a talented wee girl, quite poor dressed , but what confidence she had .. she could stand ther singing at the drop of a hat, and yes to this day she still writes Scottish songs and sings, she didnt make it really big ,probably the wrong place at the wrong time as we didnt have many films or TV shows being made back then, but the acting, singing bug must have been in her from very young.. like many I suppose.. As the wonderful Spencer Tracy said.... Acting is easy its living thats hard..
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:44 AM
 
Location: England
15,076 posts, read 3,672,722 times
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The name William Randolph Hurst doesn't mean much today. After all, he died in 1951....... that's even before I was born........ But, in his time he was a very powerful, even feared man. He grew up in a vastly rich family, and as a young man struggled to decide what he wanted to do with his life. He decided he wanted to be a newspaper magnet. He took over a newspaper owned by his father, and then set about building his Empire. Hurst acquired newspapers all across America, and eventually owned 20 daily newspapers, and 11 Sunday papers, in 13 cities. As well as six magazines, including Cosmopolitan, and Harper's Bazaar. At his peak, he had massive influence in politics, public opinion, and especially Hollywood. Studio chiefs quaked in his presence. They depended massively on adverts in his newspapers, and mention of stars of their movies.

Hurst had a spell in politics, and desired to become President of the United States. He did win election to the House of Representatives in 1902 and 1904. His attempts to become Mayor of New York City, and also Governor of New York, left him with little time for Congress. Angry voters retaliated, and he lost both races, ending his political career. He carried on running his papers, and in 1917, he saw a showgirl in the Ziegfeld Follies called Marion Davies. By 1919, he was openly living with her, as his mistress in California. He couldn't get a divorce, but decided he would grant her wish to become a movie star.

He then spent almost 20 years, spending and losing millions of dollars ensuring that she did become a movie star. She was a star because he desired she be one. The public had little to do with it. He ensured Marion was mentioned every day, in all his newspapers. She made many films, of which few ever showed a profit.

He built a massive home in San Simeon, California for him and his mistress to live in. He spent 30 years expanding the home, and he surrounded it with things like a private zoo. The area it is in, and the land he owned around it, was half the size of Rhode Island. He called it 'the ranch.' Everybody who was anybody was invited to spend the weekend there. The great and the good all visited. Movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable. Famous writers like George Bernard Shaw visited. He said it was like somewhere God would live........ if he could afford to build it. Another writer who visited was Herman J Mankiewicz. He would later be co-writer of the script for 'Citizen Kane'..........

Hurst financed Marion's movies, through his production company. The films were made on the MGM, and later Warner Brother's lots. Major stars of those studios were made to work in Marion's films. Clark Gable, at the peak of his popularity made two with her, very much against his will.

Marion retired from the movies in the late 30s. It was then that Orson Welles arrived in Hollywood, and in 1941 made his thinly veiled story of Hurst and Davies in 'Citizen Kane.' Hurst furiously tried to stop the film ever being seen, and it only got a limited release. But, in time, it became voted for many decades, the greatest film ever made. San Simeon in the movie became Xanadu. So much of this great film is obviously about Hurst and Davies. Instead of a movie star, the Davies character in the film wants to be an opera star.

But, even though Davies movie career was a folly, Hurst loved every one of them, and adored his very own movie star until the day he died.


Marion Davies.......


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ChnMuDSVhk


San Simeon, which is now a museum........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3GmQKQ5z18

Last edited by English Dave; 01-08-2017 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
11,679 posts, read 8,267,512 times
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Now thats rich.. and Id didnt know that story about Marion Davis in fact I couldnt pick her out, but remember my mother mentioning her name... talking of Ziegfield I remember reading about Billie Burke, the Good Witch Glinda who married Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. For many years, Burke's framed photo was displayed above the exit staircase at New York's Ziegfeld Theatre; but it vanished after renovations. However, an opening night program, bearing a picture of her, from her 1912 triumph The Mind The Paint Girl (Sir Arthur Wing Pinero) is still displayed in the lobby of the Lyceum Theatre in New York City. A park in the New York City suburb of Hastings on Hudson, New York, is named the Burke Estate.
In 1960, for her contribution to motion pictures, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6617 Hollywood Boulevard.
On November 4, 2015, a crater near the north pole of the planet Mercury was named after her
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Mpls, MN, USA
6,404 posts, read 6,027,186 times
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Very informative/interesting thread, eDave
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:26 AM
 
Location: England
15,076 posts, read 3,672,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
Very informative/interesting thread, eDave
Glad you like it Umbria. It's a work of love........... I find those long dead folks endlessly interesting.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
11,679 posts, read 8,267,512 times
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Memories of this.... This Is To Certify... and then if it was an X or U film.. and was there a double A as well..

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...4/BBFCCert.png https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...e:BBFCCert.png
https://60sbritishcinema.files.wordp...pg?w=588&h=486
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Old 01-18-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: England
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There are many famous people in the early history of Hollywood. There are a few giants. DW Griffith for sure. Louis B Mayer, and Sam Goldwyn also yes. But, the biggest of all, and the longest lasting was Cecil B DeMille. He was there at the very beginning of Hollywood. He made the very first feature film shot there in 1914. A gigantic hit called 'The Squaw Man.'

His early silent films were very different to the sort of religious epics he is remembered for today. One called 'The Cheat' in 1915, had quite a sadistic quality..........



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy6mPH-wA0Y&t=121s


He then moved on to more risque material like 'Male and Female' in which Gloria Swanson had to deal with a real lion, and other popular films like 'Why Change Your Husband?' He was very successful, but looking for something different. He found it in religious films, with plenty of sex on the side. His first film of this type was 'The Ten Commandments' in 1923. This was a huge success, followed by 'King of Kings' in 1927.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1QER9Mpbaw




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P99pL0884_c


Cecil was one of the few film directors of his day, well known by the general public. His name was as big as the film title on publicity material. He also had a radio show, which made him even more popular. He moved easily into the sound era, and almost every film he made was a big hit.

He was a shy man, with a flair for the show in show business. He continued in the 1930s with his mixture of sex and religion, with films like 'Sign of the Cross', 'The Crusades', and 'Cleopatra.'



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTbs...7tR127llbrC0Gg


He moved on to other types of adventure movie in the 1940s. The public knew what to expect...... plenty of bang for their box office buck. Some called his films low brow, but the public flocked to see them. He moved back to his well known mix of sex, religion and spectacle with 'Samson and Delilah' in 1949. I myself have fond memories, as this was my very first film I ever saw in a cinema. It was on re-release, and my father took me to see it when I was about 4 years old. I have never forgotten it.......



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VYAG5S55ig


After his circus epic, 'The Greatest Show On Earth' in 1952, Cecil moved once back into his desire to put religion on the big screen. He raised himself for one last mega movie.........a remake of 'The Ten Commandments.' This was going to be four hours long, and his greatest achievement. While shooting out in Egypt, 73 year old Cecil suffered a massive heart attack. He raised himself as quickly as possible, to continue making his last film as a director. It is his masterpiece, and a fitting end to his fabulous career.

The great man decided to introduce the film himself........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iNvzzak5U

Then on with the show........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id6oS3L-D9A


Nobody quite parted a sea like Cecil........




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqCTq3EeDcY


Cecil B DeMille died in 1958. He was a pioneer of Hollywood, and awards are still given out in his name to this day.
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Old 01-19-2017, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
11,679 posts, read 8,267,512 times
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Did you know the Cecile B DeMille had an adopted daughter..Katherine De Mille. both her parents had died , the lady then went on to marry Anthony Quinn..
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:52 AM
 
Location: England
15,076 posts, read 3,672,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post
Did you know the Cecile B DeMille had an adopted daughter..Katherine De Mille. both her parents had died , the lady then went on to marry Anthony Quinn..
Hi dizzy....... Yes, I did know that. I read Quinn's autobiography, in which he mentioned his dealings with DeMille. I like watching DeMille films......... one thing is for sure, his stamp is on every one of them.
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
11,679 posts, read 8,267,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
Hi dizzy....... Yes, I did know that. I read Quinn's autobiography, in which he mentioned his dealings with DeMille. I like watching DeMille films......... one thing is for sure, his stamp is on every one of them.
thought you would hahah...something else I just found out about the man... He was born in Monrovia, California, to William C. deMille, (whose first wife was Anna Angela George, the daughter of notable economist Henry George), and Lorna Moon. His uncle, Cecil B. DeMille, adopted and raised Richard, not telling him of his true parentage until the death of his birth father when Richard was 33 years old. He first enrolled at Columbia University, later transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating.

After several heart attacks, De Mille couldnt work and
because of his illness, DeMille asked his son-in-law, actor Anthony Quinn, to direct a remake of his 1938 film The Buccaneer. DeMille served as executive producer but could not improve Quinn's style of direction. Despite a cast led by Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner, the 1958 film The Buccaneer was a disappointment.
In the months prior to his death, DeMille was researching a film biography of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout Movement. DeMille asked David Niven to star in the film, but it was never made. DeMille was also planning a film about the space race, as well as another Biblical epic, this one about the Book of Revelation.
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