Louise Dresser was an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the many films in which she played the wife of Will Rogers, including State Fair and David Harum. Louise Josephine Kerlin was born on October 5, 1878 in Evansville, Indiana to Ida Kerlin and William S. Kerlin, a railroad engineer who died when she was 15 years old, she had one sibling, a younger brother, William Lambert Kerlin. Dresser took her professional last name from Paul Dresser, a friend of her father. Upon finding out Louise was William Kerlin's daughter, he launched her as his younger sister and she took on his last name. Many people believed the two were related, when Paul died, Louise was mentioned in his obituary as a surviving relative. Dresser worked as a burlesque dancer and a singer at the Boston Dime museum before making her vaudeville debut in 1900, she formed a team called Louise Dresser and her Picks, a singing act, backed by a chorus of African American children. In 1906, she began to play New York vaudeville stages, that year, she was in the musical About Town with Lew Fields, a hit.
The following year, she was in another hit show, Girl Behind the Counter, which ran for 260 performances. After Vaudeville, Dresser's success continued on Broadway, where she starred with De Wolf Hopper in Matinee Idol, appeared in Broadway to Paris and Perlmutter, Hello Broadway!. Her final Broadway show was Have a Heart, which received good reviews. Dresser made her film debut in The Glory of Clementina, her first starring role was in The City that Never Sleeps. In 1925, she starred in The Eagle, opposite Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Bánky as Catherine the Great, acted as the title role in The Goose Woman alongside Jack Pickford. During the first presentations of the Academy Awards in 1929, Dresser was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for A Ship Comes In. In 1930, she acted as Al Jolson's mother in Mammy, she portrayed Empress Elizabeth in The Scarlet Empress. Dresser's last film was Maid of Salem. On television, she appeared in an episode spotlighting Buster Keaton on Ralph Edwards's program This Is Your Life.
She had known Keaton since he was a small boy with his parents in vaudeville. After retiring in 1937, Dresser worked as a volunteer at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital. In 1950, Dresser attempted to make a comeback, but she was unable to get any screen roles, which she blamed on rumors of her being deaf. Dresser was married twice, her first marriage was to singer/songwriter Jack Norworth, who she married in 1898. The couple performed together in vaudeville, where Dresser earned a reported $1,750 a week, they divorced in 1908. She wed Jack Gardner in 1910, they remained together until his death in 1950. Neither union produced any children. Dresser died in Woodland Hills, after surgery for an intestinal ailment, she had lost much of her fortune trying to establish a racing stable. Her gravesite is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Louise Dresser on IMDb Louise Dresser at the Internet Broadway Database Louise Dresser at Find a Grave Louise Dresser photo gallery NYP Library Louise Dresser at Virtual History
Tully Marshall was an American character actor. He had nearly a quarter century of theatrical experience before his debut film appearance in 1914. Marshall was born in California, he attended private schools and Santa Clara College, from which he graduated with an engineering degree. Marshall began acting on the stage at 19, appearing in Saratoga at the Winter Garden in San Francisco on March 8, 1883, he played a wide variety of roles on Broadway from 1887. His Broadway credits include The Clever Ones. For several years, Marshall played with a variety of stock theater troupes, including both acting and being stage manager for E. H. Sothern's company. In 1909, appearing in Clyde Fitch's drama The City, he was the first actor to say "Goddamn" on Broadway. In 1914, Marshall arrived in Hollywood, his screen debut was in Paid in Full. By the time D. W. Griffith cast him as the High Priest of Bel in Intolerance, he had appeared in a number of silent films, his career continued to thrive during the sound era and he remained busy for the remaining three decades of his life.
He played a vast array of drunken trail scouts, lovable grandpas, unforgiving fathers, sinister attorneys and lecherous aristocrats. In one of his last films, This Gun for Hire, he plays a sinister treacherous nitrogen industrialist. Marshall was married to playwright Marion Fairfax. Marshall died on age 78, after a heart attack at his home in Encino, California, his grave is located in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Tully Marshall at the Internet Broadway Database Tully Marshall on IMDb Literature on Tully Marshall
Freighthopping or train hopping is the act of surreptitiously boarding and riding a railroad freight car. In the United States, this became a common means of transportation following the American Civil War as the railroads began pushing westward among migrant workers who became known as "hobos", it continued to be used by those unable to afford other transportation during times of widespread economic dislocation such as the Great Depression. For a variety of reasons the practice is less common today, although a community of freight-train riders still exists. Riders will go to a rail yard where the trains "crew change", they will either know from other riders of a spot to hide and wait, or they will find one themselves. Depending on the size and layout of the yard, riders may have to get on the train while it is moving. Furthermore, riders must figure out which way trains are going, either by calling the company's internal tracking number or by knowing which tracks go where. Riders will wait at "side outs", places where there are two parallel tracks and trains pull aside for others to pass.
Cars and trains are divided several ways with regards to riding. There are "junk" and coal. Within these three groups some cars are "rideable" and some not: boxcars and gondolas are some of the rideable "junk" cars. On IMs, riders stay in the metal beds in front of or behind the shipping containers, "48/53 wells" or under tractor trailers "pig in a bucket". On coal, riders get into "DPUs" or "rear units", which are the engines put on the back or middle of the train on long coal loads. Riding in the empty or full coal containers is possible but has obvious downsides. Riding cars on the small exposed porch of a tanker, on a truss-bottom well car or any other position which exposes the rider to a great risk of falling off or getting caught is called "riding suicide". Freight-train riding has a reputation of being dangerous and, to some degree, is in fact so. According to author and journalist Ted Conover, a large percentage of modern-day hobos are ex-convicts and violence is not uncommon among the transient population.
Where train hopping is illegal, there ticketing. The amount of security and the attitudes of authorities vary depending on the location. Increasing security has presented a problem for train hoppers, though the establishment of legal protection for vagrants has led to a decline in the beating and maltreatment for which'bulls' and brakemen became infamous through the overemphasis on violence in such popular culture manifestations as the film Emperor of the North; because railroad companies can only patrol stopped trains, freight-hoppers embark and disembark while the train is in motion to avoid bulls. But freight train cars are not designed for human riders. In March 1899, Welsh "tramp-poet" W. H. Davies lost the lower part of his right leg after jumping a train at Renfrew, Ontario; the incident is recounted in his 1908 book The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp. More than a century train hopping is still a safety concern. In the 1900 to 1920 days of wood frame freight car construction, steel truss rods were used to support the underside of the car in order to provide it with the strength to carry heavy loads.
There could be four or more of these truss rods under the car floor running the length of the car, hobos would "Ride the Rods." Some would carry a board to place across the rods to lie on. Others would hold on tightly. Riding the rods was dangerous; when a train moved at high speed, the cars could bounce and rock violently if the track was rough, rock ballast might be tossed up which could strike a rider. Hopping trains varies from place to place; some places are more critical and consider freight hopping a crime, other places are more lenient. Uys, Errol Lincoln. Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the Great Depression: Routledge. ISBN 0415945755 "Riding the Rails", American Experience PBS series. Hobo Letters Letters from boxcar kids who rode the rails during the Great Depression
Jack Curtis (actor)
Jack Curtis was an American actor of the silent era. He appeared in 157 films between 1915 and 1950, he was born in San Francisco and died in Hollywood, California. Jack Curtis on IMDb Jack Curtis contracts, 1937, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Noah Beery Sr.
Noah Nicholas Beery was an American actor who appeared in films from 1913 to 1945. He was the older brother of Academy Award-winning actor Wallace Beery and the father of character actor Noah Beery Jr. Beery was billed as either Noah Beery or Noah Beery Sr. depending upon the film. Noah Nicholas Beery was born on Missouri not far from Smithville; the Beery family left the farm in the 1890s and moved to nearby Kansas City, Missouri where the father was employed as a police officer. While still a young boy Beery got his first exposure to theatre, at the same time showed budding entrepreneurship by selling lemon drops at the Gillis Theater in Kansas City. Possessed of a deep, rich voice in his early teens, several of the actors at the Gillis Theater encouraged Beery to take singing lessons and consider a career as a performer. A summer of singing at Kansas City's Electric Park amusement park led to Beery leaving for New York City while just sixteen years old. Noah Beery found work in vaudeville and in the chorus of musical comedies during his early years in New York.
Soon though he would turn his attention to acting in melodramas of the period under the direction of William A. Brady. After a dozen years on the stage, he joined his brother Wallace in Hollywood in 1915 to make motion pictures, he became a respected character actor, adept at playing the villain. One of his most memorable characterizations was as Sergeant Gonzales in The Mark of Zorro opposite Douglas Fairbanks; the tagline on the poster for Stormswept proclaimed "Wallace and Noah Beery, The Two Greatest Character Actors on the American Screen". Beery acted through the silent film era, made the transition to "talkies", he appeared in lavish early Technicolor musicals, such as The Show of Shows, the widescreen musical Song of the Flame, Bright Lights, Under a Texas Moon and Golden Dawn. He reached his peak in popularity in 1930 recording a phonograph record for Brunswick Records with songs from two of his films. However, his popularity declined while his brother Wallace became the highest-paid actor in the world, winning an Oscar and arranging a contract with MGM in which he would be paid $1 more than any other actor on their roster.
Noah Beery Sr. played the flamboyant supporting role of Mae West's bar-owning lover until she leaves him for Cary Grant in She Done Him Wrong, while his brother Wallace performed in an similar part, as the top-billed lead the same year in The Bowery. At the height of his career, Noah Beery began billing himself as "Noah Beery Sr." in anticipation of his son's presence in films. After his death, his son dropped the "Junior" and became Noah Beery. Among other films, Noah Beery Sr. and Noah Beery Jr. appeared together in The Trail Beyond with John Wayne. Noah Beery Sr. appeared in nearly 200 films during his career and in 1945 returned to New York City to star in the Mike Todd Broadway production of Up in Central Park. Noah Beery Sr. married fellow actor Marguerite Walker Lindsey in 1910. Their first child died in infancy, their second child, Noah Lindsey Beery, was born in 1913 and was ill in early childhood, prompting a brief move to Florida on the advice of doctors. Beery died on April 1, 1946 after suffering a heart attack at the Beverly Hills home of his brother Wallace.
It was Wallace's birthday and, in addition to celebrating the event, the brothers were rehearsing a radio drama they were scheduled to perform in the evening. He was buried at Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. 1937 film interview with Noah Beery Noah Beery Sr. on IMDb Noah Beery Sr. at the Internet Broadway Database Noah Beery Sr. at AllMovie Noah Beery Sr. at Find a Grave Literature on Noah Beery
Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the brief era in the American film industry between the widespread adoption of sound in pictures in 1929 and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines, popularly known as the "Hays Code", in mid-1934. Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor, it did not become rigorously enforced until July 1, 1934, with the establishment of the Production Code Administration. Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee and the major studios, popular opinion, than by strict adherence to the Hays Code, ignored by Hollywood filmmakers; as a result, some films in the late 1920s and early 1930s depicted or implied sexual innuendo, mild profanity, illegal drug use, prostitution, abortion, intense violence, homosexuality. Strong female characters were ubiquitous in such pre-Code films as Female, Baby Face, Red-Headed Woman. Gangsters in films like The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, Scarface were seen by many as heroic rather than evil.
Along with featuring stronger female characters, films examined female subject matters that would not be revisited until decades in US films. Nefarious characters were seen to profit from their deeds, in some cases without significant repercussions, drug use was a topic of several films. Many of Hollywood's biggest stars such as Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, Edward G. Robinson got their start in the era. Other stars who excelled during this period, like Ruth Chatterton and Warren William, would wind up forgotten by the general public within a generation. Beginning in late 1933 and escalating throughout the first half of 1934, American Roman Catholics launched a campaign against what they deemed the immorality of American cinema. This, plus a potential government takeover of film censorship and social research seeming to indicate that movies which were seen to be immoral could promote bad behavior, was enough pressure to force the studios to capitulate to greater oversight. In 1922, after some risqué films and a series of off-screen scandals involving Hollywood stars, the studios enlisted Presbyterian elder William H.
"Will" Hays, a figure of unblemished rectitude. Hays nicknamed the motion picture "Czar", was paid the then-lavish sum of $100,000 a year. Hays, Postmaster General under Warren G. Harding and former head of the Republican National Committee, served for 25 years as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, where he "defended the industry from attacks, recited soothing nostrums, negotiated treaties to cease hostilities." Hollywood mimicked the decision Major League Baseball had made in hiring judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as League Commissioner the previous year to quell questions about the integrity of baseball in wake of the 1919 World Series gambling scandal. Hays introduced a set of recommendations dubbed "The Formula" in 1924, which the studios were advised to heed, asked filmmakers to describe to his office the plots of pictures they were planning; the Supreme Court had decided unanimously in 1915 in Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio that free speech did not extend to motion pictures, while there had been token attempts to clean up the movies before, such as when the studios formed the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry in 1916, little had come of the efforts.
In 1929, an American Roman Catholic layman Martin Quigley, editor of the prominent trade paper Motion Picture Herald, Father Daniel A. Lord, a Jesuit priest, created a code of standards, submitted it to the studios. Lord's concerns centered on the effects sound film had on children, whom he considered susceptible to their allure. Several studio heads, including Irving Thalberg of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, met with Lord and Quigley in February 1930. After some revisions, they agreed to the stipulations of the Code. One of the main motivating factors in adopting the Code was to avoid direct government intervention, it was the responsibility of the Studio Relations Committee, headed by Colonel Jason S. Joy, to supervise film production and advise the studios when changes or cuts were required; the Code was divided into two parts. The first was a set of "general principles" which concerned morality; the second was a set of "particular applications", an exacting list of items that could not be depicted.
Some restrictions, such as the ban on homosexuality or the use of specific curse words, were never directly mentioned but were assumed to be understood without clear demarcation. Miscegenation, the mixing of the races, was forbidden, it stated that the notion of an "adults-only policy" would be a dubious, ineffective strategy that would be difficult to enforce. However, it did allow that "maturer minds may understand and accept without harm subject matter in plots which does younger people positive harm." If children were supervised and the events implied elliptically, the code allowed what Brandeis University cultural historian Thomas Doherty called "the possibility of a cinematically inspired thought crime". The Code sought not only to determine what could be portrayed on screen, but to promote traditional values. Sexual relations outside of marriage could not be portrayed as attractive and beautiful, presented in a way that might arouse passion, nor be made to seem right and permissible. All criminal action had to be punish
Say It with Songs
Say It With Songs is a 1929 American Pre-Code musical drama film, directed by Lloyd Bacon and released by Warner Bros.. The film was a follow-up to his previous film, The Singing Fool. Joe Lane, radio entertainer and songwriter, learns that the manager of the studio, Arthur Phillips, has made improper advances to his wife, Katherine. Infuriated, Lane engages him in a fight, the encounter results in Phillips' accidental death. Joe goes to prison and soon insists that Katherine divorce him, for her and their son's sake, marry her employer, Dr. Merrill, since Joe has learned the doctor has feelings for Katherine and would provide for them well; when Joe is released he visits his son, Little Pal, at school and they embrace during outdoor recess. Joe says goodbye when recess is over, but Little Pal follows Joe downtown and is soon struck by a truck, causing the paralysis of his legs and loss of his voice. Joe takes the boy to Dr. Merrill, who long ago proposed to Katherine, but she had politely declined and told the doctor that she still loved Joe.
Dr. Merrill says he will either operate for free if Joe relinquishes Little Pal to his mother's care or charge a large fee if Joe insists on keeping the boy to himself. Joe panics and leaves with the boy, but soon realizes his mistake and brings Little Pal back for the surgery. After obtaining Joe's promise that he will return Little Pal to his mother, Merrill operates and restores the use of the boy's legs. Little Pal's voice is regained when Katherine plays a recording by Joe, "Little Pal", at his bedtime and Little Pal dreams of a tender visit with his father holding him in his arms and singing to him. Joe returns to work and sending personal messages over the airwaves to his wife, along with their son, await Joe at their lovely home. "Used to You", "Little Pal", "I'm in Seventh Heaven", "Why Can't You?" "One Sweet Kiss" "Little Pal" "I'm in Seventh Heaven." "I'm Ka-razy for You" "Back in Your Own Back Yard" Say It With Songs reunited Al Jolson with the boy actor, Davey Lee, of The Singing Fool fame, who had enthralled audiences in 1928.
This, Jolson's third feature film, contains several firsts in his movie career: His first full length talkie. It was one of the few films in his career in which his on-screen character isn't named Al, the second and last to cast him as a married man. Reviews from critics were negative. Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times wrote that in "later episodes it lapses into sentimentality that makes it somewhat tedious, except for the singing of Mr. Jolson; the lines in some of Mr. Jolson's songs detract from their value, for his tuneful exhortation to a group of convicts is by no means inspiring." John Mosher of The New Yorker called it long and "blatantly sentimental", adding, "Even the fantastically happy ending, when the sound of his voice cures the child of aphasia, does not eradicate the general impression of dreary and specious tragedy." "Story mawkish and over sentimental", agreed Film Daily. "It can't miss and yet, as a picture, Jolson's latest is indifferent stuff." Variety ran a positive review, calling the film "a marked advancement for as a screen player...
He plays more and looks the human Al Jolson on the screen in the betterment of his make up, than previously."Although word of mouth did not travel fast enough to sink the film at the box office, its $1.7 million gross in the United States was considered a flop by Jolson's standards. It was received so badly in Los Angeles that the Warners Theatre closed it after only forty-eight hours. According to Warner Bros records it earned $1,715,000 domestically and $551,000 foreign. About ten minutes of film have been lost. Two musical numbers, "I'm Ka-razy for You" and "Back in Your Own Back Yard", are missing from the prints in circulation, it is unknown. The sound to these sections survive on Vitaphone disks; the film has been released by The Warner Archive on DVD. Say It with Songs on IMDb