Another Accepted Invite

 accused

 

luringAugust 19, 1927
Los Angeles

annaAll the noir hallmarks here:  a destitute, starry-eyed country girl, the shifty grifter she befriends, a rube with some dough in his pocket, a classic con, the crummy apartment hotel and a dark city.

Anna Karrick, 22, ran away from her Illinois farm home to win fame in pictures, but found herself down and out.  

At a dance, she met a nice guy, Phillip Linker, of 1327 West Fourth Street.  She persuaded him to come back to her annaplace at 532 South Fremont Avenue (one imagines it didn’t take all that much persuasion).  Once there, in the hallway, thoughts of ingress dancing in Linker’s head, he is brained by a rolling-pin, wielded by one Jess F. Waller.  Linker wakes up in a taxicab, lightened of seven dollars and other valuables.

Waller and Karrick are thrown into County and charged with robbery and ADW.  Anna told the court today about her relationship with Waller, sure, but denied knowing he’d be there with her rolling-pin.

Sadly the Times didn’t see the need to print the trial’s outcome, and because there’s no Anna Karrick listed in imdb, we must sadly assume she never broke through Hollywood’s gates.

532532 South Fremont (now site of Glossy Black Tower, left) may be long gone, but it was a fun place while it lasted.  In May 1929, Filipino nationals Cal Blanco and Ceferino Sandries argued over women with some sailors from the USS Colorado, when Blanco announced, “I’m going to kill all you sailors,” and so sailor Clyde Forehand shot them both dead; July of 1929 saw a riot there involving thirty sailors and six women, at which two women and seven men were booked on suspicion of robbery; Jack Wilson and Clark Falcon, leaders of a gang of automobile plunderers, were arrested with their booty here in February, 1932; in September 1935 Robert Honchell, a 25 year-old taxi driver, was having a drinking party with his pal Edward Folder, a 29 year-old unemployed café worker, when a woman showed up with her infant daughter—Folder’s insistence on taking the child out for candy started a quarrel, and Folder ended up stabbed mortally in the chest by Honchell…you get the idea.

Shoes of the Times

August 19, 1927
Hollywood

nancyoscarYou jazz-age dames sure make life tough for us workingmen!  Oscar Smith, veteran bootblack at the Paramount Studio, has been compared by the Times to no less than a modern Rembrandt.  

In order to operate a modern shoeshine stand, you see, Oscar’s had to stock an uncountable number of brushes and equally innumerable paints to match the dizzying spectrum of colors that’ve come across his stand of late.  Heck, with the basket-weave sandals, multileathered and multicolored pumps, snake and lizard slippers flying past him all day long, he should be getting an Oscar™ of his own!

Here, Nancy Phillips is offering up a pair of head-scratch-worthy three-toned suede and velvet slippers.  Don’t worry Oscar, Old Man Depression is on the way!

The minute my back was turned, you drank all the hair tonic.

Two Black Crows

August 2, 1927
Hollywood 

A line stretched halfway down the block from the lobby of the Pantages Theater as eager fans waited their chance to be amused by Moran and Mack, popular blackface performers better known as Two Black Crows. Once they got inside, the audience enjoyed such trifles as a man who played Liszt on the banjo, a tap dancing sister act and the great Van Cello, who balances barrels on his feet.

Moran and Mack were a great hit, and indulged the cheering crowd with two skits, a comic boxing match and Mack’s signature "lazy shuffle." The evening closed with a screening of Colleen starring Madge Bellamy, in which Irish people were painted with a brush nearly as broad as the tar-dipped one that coats Two Black Crows. Just another night of fun and frolic in Movietown USA!  

Hear Two Black Crows in action here.

Death Car

death car headline

July 23, 1927
Los Angeles

Detective Lieutenants Kallmeyer, Werne, and Roberts spent all day searching for the three contemptible men who cruelly drove away from a hit-and-run accident which left nineteen year old Aristo Santelanto of 712 Clara Street, dead at the scene.

The hardworking Santelanto was with a crew of men repairing railway tracks at Washington Street and Cimarron Avenue when an automobile that was traveling at approximately sixty miles an hour struck him. Without slowing, the death car sped away.

A sharp eyed witness to the crime furnished detectives with numbers from the car’s license plate. The investigation was complicated because the crime car had traded hands several times over a period of six months. Undeterred, the cops persisted in their search and as a result, A.T. House, 32, of Lankershim (now North Hollywood), was handcuffed and taken into custody for suspicion of manslaughter.

House’s passengers, Eugene Long, 20, and Paul Post, 32, both of Lankershim, were picked up by police at Sunset Boulevard and Wilcox Street, where they were employed.  The two men were taken to the City Jail and charged with failure to render aid.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Big Feet Headline

July 16, 1927
Hollywood

“You make me feel like dancin’
I wanna dance my life away…”
— You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, written by Vincent Poncia, Jr. and Gerard Hugh Sayer, recorded by Leo Sayer

Bad news ladies – your feet have grown larger over the past twenty years. The reason? Dancing! Your older female relatives may have danced the night away, but they were tripping the light fantastic to the sedate melodies of the waltz and the two-step. The kinder, gentler dances of bygone days made it possible for women to keep their petite size three tootsies from spreading out like flapjacks. Modern gals stomp around the dance floor gyrating to the tango, Charleston, and black bottom. As a result of all this vigorous activity, today the average girl wears anywhere from four and a half to a size six shoe!

“As athletics become more popular for women and modern dances become more violent feet will grow in accordance. Some day women will Olive Oylhave feet as large as men’s are now”, said Mr. Julian Alfred, a director of musical choruses at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Women of the future – beware! You are fated to have feet as big as Olive Oyl’s.

“Walkin’ with my baby she’s got great big feet
She’s long, lean, and lanky and ain’t had nothing to eat
She’s my baby and I love her just the same
Crazy ‘bout that woman cause Caldonia is her name…” 
– Caldonia, written by Fleecie Moore

The Other Hilton Sisters

July 3, 1927
Los Angeles

The other Hilton sisters

Violet and Daisy Hilton are not hotel heiresses. They must work for a living, which is why you will find them at the Pantages theater this week. Nor do they resort to flashing their lady parts for attention. In fact, it may be physically difficult for them to do so: this set of Hilton sisters has been joined at the hips and buttocks since their birth nineteen years ago.

Armed with the latest novels and a Pekinese dog named Boy, Violet and Daisy arrived in Los Angeles tonight from San Antonio, Texas. The twins were accompanied by their aunt, Mrs. Myer Myers, who noted that their conjoined condition does not hinder their performance of the Black Bottom. When not thus engaged onstage, she told reporters, the girls study with a private tutor.

The twins profess to be a happy pair. "We never quarrel," Violet told reporters waiting at the train station. "What’s the use?"

* * * * *

What was the use, indeed? Especially when reality was so much harsher than the Hilton twins let on to reporters in 1927. Myers, for example, was not their aunt. Two weeks after their birth in Brighton, England, in 1908, Violet and Daisy were "adopted" by their unwed mother’s landlady, Mary Hilton, who immediately put them on display. When Hilton died, the twins were "willed" to Edith Myers, the wife of a carnival balloon salesman. Myers and her husband physically abused Violet and Daisy at the same time they exploited them on stage—and kept their earnings.

In 1915, Violet, Daisy, and the Myerses moved to the United States. By the 1920s, the pretty pair of conjoined twins were a sensation on the vaudeville circuit, where they danced, sang, and played the clarinet and saxophone. They were also implicated in their advance man’s divorce action. Dean Jensen’s recent biography suggests that both Violet and Daisy had in fact slept with William Oliver at the time his wife sued to dissolve their marriage.

By 1931, Violet and Daisy had had enough of the Myerses. They found an attorney who helped them break their contract, and took their career into their own hands. They appeared in Tod Browning’s classic movie, Freaks, in 1932.

The following year, twenty-one states refused to issue a wedding license to Violet and her fiancé. That relationship collapsed, but Violet eventually married her dance partner in 1936 (on the 50-yard line at the Cotton Bowl during the Texas Centennial Exposition, no less). Daisy wed in 1941, but the marriage lasted only two weeks.

After the failure of their second film, Chained for Life (1950), in which they played vaudeville performers Dorothy and Vivian Hamilton, Daisy and Violet opened The Hilton Twins’ Snack Bar in Miami. The venture was not a success. An attempt to cash in on the revival of Freaks in 1962 ended when an unscrupulous agent absconded with their money.

At the end, Violet and Daisy Hilton worked in a Charlotte, North Carolina supermarket. When they didn’t show up for work one day in 1969, the police found them dead of the "Hong Kong flu" in the small trailer they called home. Penniless and in debt at the time of their demise, they were buried in a donated cemetery plot.

Hooray for Hollywood!

Rose Host Headline

July 2, 1927
Hollywood

“Hitch your wagon to a star.” — Ralph Waldo EmersonRose Host

A blue-bound copy of Emerson’s essays, 50 cents, and the clothes on her back were all that Miss Rose Host had with her when she stowed away aboard the Panama Pacific liner “Manchuria” bound for Los Angeles. If Capt. William J. Munroe hadn’t been so understanding and hadn’t allowed her to earn her passage by stamping passenger forms for the ship’s purser Leo Gallagher, she may never have made it.

Rose’s picture appeared today in the Los Angeles Times accompanied by a story about her Hollywood dreams of gold and fame. A beauty contest winner in her home state of New York, Rose believes that a successful career in tinsel town is within her grasp.

Fast forward six months. Rose landed a bit part in the film “Shootin’ Irons” with Jack Rose and JackLuden. See – that’s Rose in the photograph, nothing more than a silhouette. Her part was so small she wasn’t even mentioned in the credits, and her Hollywood dreams ended with one picture. Rose Host the actress was not heard from again.

Maybe she became an English professor, sharing her love of Emerson with idealistic undergraduates. Let’s hope so, because when a Hollywood dream becomes a nightmare you have Jack Luden’s story.

Jack and Rose were both in their 20s when they made “Shootin’ Irons” together. Jack was an heir to the Luden’s cough drop fortune, but he was young and it was Hollywood so he tried his hand at acting. He was a handsome guy and Paramount planned to feature him in westerns as they’d done with Gary Cooper. Unfortunately for Jack, “Shootin’ Irons” wasn’t a success and by 1930 the studio had either dropped him or he’d walked away from his contract to pursue a life as a junkie.

How he spent the years between 1930 and 1936 remains something of a mystery, but by the 1940s the thrice married Luden had a monkey on his back the size of Cheeta on steroids. He drifted in and out of the movie business – and trouble, for the next decade.

During those six lost years Jack evidently acquired a taste for the seamy side of life. Busted several times for shoplifting to support his heroin habit, he was known to have said "a crooked buck is sweeter than an honest dollar." Jack, it seems, was an unrepentant sinner.

Finally in 1951 he was sent to San Quentin for drug possession and passing bad checks. Nine months into his sentence Jack dropped dead of a heart attack. He was 49.

 “Come on and try your luck
You could be Donald Duck
Hooray for Hollywood!”
— Johnny Mercer

The Mad Gasser of Fullerton Strikes Again!

 

inceheadline

June 30, 1927
Fullerton

Two members of the Ralph Ince Film Company returned to the California Hotel in Fullerton ’round midnight tonight to find their fearless leader, Ralph Ince, semiconscious and supine upon the floor.  Nipping the ol’ Hollywood joy juice down in Valenciaville, eh, Ralphie?

califhotelpicWhy, no!  He’s been the victim of the Mad Gasser of Fullerton!  Hotel resident Carl Breusch said he’d seen a man skulking about the corridor, carrying a can, and that said can-carrier leapt out of a window when approached.  Guests Charles Scott and Charles McMaster were awakened in their respective bedrooms by the odor of the anesthetic solvent and then espied through their windows a shadowy figure running down the street.

Though the papers reported Alois Sabinski’s recent battle with chloroform in his Nicholas Street home, California Hotel lessee Ellen Lincoln declared she’d heard nothing about any “chloroform burglar;” Fullerton Chief of Police T. K. Winter said, ahem, reports regarding any such character have been greatly exaggerated.

In any event, Ince has departed for his company’s location in Santa Ana Canyon, and can not be reached for comment.

ince

Now in Phantomscreen

June 29, 1927
near Cordova, Alaska

Hollywood death came to the far north today, in the loss of stuntman Ray Thompson, 29, a player in a white water rapids stunt gone wrong on the roaring Copper River in remote Abercrombie Canyon. Thompson was on location for the new M-G-M picture Trail of ’98, starring the fiery Dolores del Rio, under the direction of assistant director Harry Schenck. Numerous small boats were in the stream packed with stuntmen and cameramen shooting a thrilling scene of Gold Rush-era peril, when Thompson and F.H. Daughters of Spokane fell into the water. Joseph Bautin of Juneau jumped in to try to save the men, and joined them in death; his was the only body recovered. Also in the water that day, stunt man Gordon Craveth, who managed to swim to shore.

Motion Picture News previewed the film and its innovative projection technique, but made no mention of the blood shed in its production:

"A big picture, easily of roadshow size, and big because of spectacular sequences this is our opinion on The Trail of ’98, directed by Clarence Brown for M-G-M. More pointedly, it is a presentation of the right sort, by which we mean that the presentation is the picture itself, through the "Fantomscreen," of which more later.

As to the artistic greatness of The Trail of ’98, we don’t know. Who does? But big at the box-office it will certainly be, unless we miss our guess.

The story is the Klondike Gold Rush, and is of epic dimensions. The cast- Dolores del Rio, Ralph Forbes, Tully Marshall, Karl Dane, Harry Carey, George Cooper, and others- is, excellent, with Carey in the forefront as to honors, and Dane and Cooper mostly carrying the

The frenzied rush to the Klondike from all corners of America, and what happened to the individual in his or her fight against the perils of the North, form the story background.

The handling of the characters in this screen version of the Robert W. Service story is dwarfed by the spectacular features. These are four in number: a breath-taking snowslide; the running of the rapids in frail boats; the Chilkoot Pass stuff, with big panorama shots; and the burning of Dawson City.

For the snowshoe sequence, the screen is suddenly enlarged to twice normal size, and moved down to the curtain-line. The effect is, of course, electrifying and carries a big punch. The same method is used with the running of the rapids, a remarkable spectacle. The "Fantomscreen" device, which moves the screen forward or back without interrupting the picture, is a great piece of show manship.

The picture will be roadshowed by J.J. McCarthy, who handled the six great roadshows of the industry’s history: The Birth of A Nation, Way Down East, The Ten Commandments, The Covered Wagon, The Big Parade, Ben Hur."

She Threw Herself Into the Part

 fistsoffury

eileenbasilJune 24, 1927
Hollywood

Yeah, she threw herself into the part.  She could throw a mean left cross too, apparently.  In fact she went so nuts she broke several straw hats and mussed up the hair of several spectators and managed to bust the nose, teeth, and blacken the eye of some ponce named Basil Webb.

She is Eileen Sedgwick, and she was portraying an excited Swedish servant girl, cheering the home town team in Metro’s Slide, Kelly, Slide.  And now she stands shoulder to shoulder to shoulder with Metro and the United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, as Basil bemoans his condition before Referee Crowell of the State Industrial Accident Commission.

We are beguiled by the fetching Ms. Sedgwick!  Mr. Webb should consider himself lucky to have be walloped by so charming a creature.