D. W. Griffith
David Wark Griffith was an American director and producer who pioneered modern cinematic techniques. He is remembered for The Birth of a Intolerance; the Birth of a Nation made use of advanced camera and narrative techniques, its popularity set the stage for the dominance of the feature-length film in the United States. The film has sparked significant controversy surrounding racism in the United States, focusing on its negative depiction of black people and the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan. Today, it is both acclaimed for its radical technique and condemned for its inherently racist philosophy; the film was subject to boycotts by the NAACP. Intolerance was an answer to his critics. Several of Griffith's films were successful, including Broken Blossoms, Way Down East, Orphans of the Storm, but his high costs for production and roadshow made his ventures commercial failures, he made 500 films by the time of his final feature The Struggle. Griffith is one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and among the most important figures in the history of film.
He popularized the use of the close-up shot. Griffith was born on a farm in Oldham County, the son of Mary Perkins and Jacob Wark "Roaring Jake" Griffith a Confederate Army colonel in the American Civil War, elected as a Kentucky state legislator. Griffith was raised a Methodist, he attended a one-room schoolhouse where he was taught by his older sister Mattie, his father died when he was ten, the family struggled with poverty. When Griffith was 14, his mother abandoned the farm and moved the family to Louisville, where she opened a boarding house, it failed shortly after. Griffith left high school to help support the family, taking a job in a dry goods store and in a bookstore, he began his creative career as an actor in touring companies. Meanwhile, he was learning how to become a playwright, but had little success—only one of his plays was accepted for a performance, he traveled to New York City in 1907 in an attempt to sell a script to Edison Studios producer Edwin Porter. He decided to become an actor and appeared in many films as an extra.
In 1908, Griffith accepted a role as a stage extra in Professional Jealousy for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, where he met cameraman Billy Bitzer, his career in the film industry changed forever. In 1908, Biograph's main director Wallace McCutcheon, Sr. grew ill, his son Wallace McCutcheon, Jr. took his place. McCutcheon, Jr. did not bring the studio success. He directed a total of 48 shorts for the company that year, his short In Old California was the first film shot in California. Four years he produced and directed his first feature film Judith of Bethulia, one of the earliest to be produced in the US. Biograph believed. According to Lillian Gish, the company thought that "a movie that long would hurt eyes". Griffith left Biograph because of company resistance to his cost overruns on the film, he joined the Mutual Film Corporation. There, he co-produced The Life of General Villa, a biographical action–drama film starring Pancho Villa as himself, shot on location in México during a civil war.
He formed a studio with Majestic Studio manager Harry Aitken which became known as Reliance-Majestic Studios and was renamed Fine Arts Studio. His new production company became an autonomous production unit partner in Triangle Film Corporation along with Thomas H. Ince and Keystone Studios' Mack Sennett; the Triangle Film Corporation was headed by Aitken, released from the Mutual Film Corporation, his brother Roy. Griffith directed and produced The Clansman through Reliance-Majestic Studios in 1915, which became known as The Birth of a Nation and is considered one of the first feature length American films; the film was a success, but it aroused much controversy due to its depiction of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, race relations in the American Civil War and the reconstruction era of the United States. It was based on Jr.'s 1905 novel The Clansman. This view of the era was popular at the time and was endorsed for decades by historians of the Dunning School, although it met with strong criticism from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other groups.
The NAACP attempted to stop showings of the film. They were successful in some cities, but it was shown and became the most successful box office attraction of its time, it is considered among the first "blockbuster" motion pictures and broke all box office records, established until then. "They lost track of the money it made", Lillian Gish remarked in a Kevin Brownlow interview. Audiences in some major northern cities rioted over the film's racial content, filled with action and violence. Griffith's indignation at efforts to censor or ban the film motivated him to produce Intolerance the following year, in which he portrayed the effects of intolerance in four different historical periods: the Fall of Babylon.
No Woman Knows
No Woman Knows is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by Tod Browning. It was adopted from the Edna Ferber story Fanny Herself. A complete print of the film survives at the Filmoteca Española in Madrid; as described in a film magazine, the Brandeis operate a little dry goods store in Winnebago, Wisconsin. Ferdinand and Molly are the parents and Fanny and Theodore are the daughter and son, with Aloysius an adopted Irish youth. Theodore shows talent for the violin and under Herr Bauer he practices several hours each day. Schabelitz, a famous violinist, during a concert tour hears Theodore play and suggests to the Brandeis that he be sent to Europe to study. Times are poor, but Molly with the assistance of Rabbi Thalman persuades "Papa" Brandeis that it should be done, the Boy is sent. Molly works the store, does the housework, looks after the children, happy in the thought that some day her boy will become famous and rescue her from drudgery. By and by Papa dies, Fanny, grown to womanhood, denies herself all pleasures such as a new dress in order to maintain Theodore at Dresden.
What they do not know is that her brother's frequent requests for money are to keep him and his wife, whom he married the first year he was abroad, from starvation. One day when Fanny is returning home from skating, the only pleasure she allows herself, she encounters tragedy in discovering her mother dead. Fanny breaks down, unburdens her pent-up feelings. Left to her own resources she gains employment in a mail order house. Theodore, having been deserted by his wife, returns home with his baby, they take up their abode with Fanny, she becomes attached to the youngster. Through her influence with her employer Michael Fenger to have Theodore give a concert and looks forward to the event as a personal triumph. However, on the evening of the event Theodore receives message from his wife asking him to return to her, he leaves a note to Fanny pinned to the telegram stating. Max Davidson as Ferdinand Brandeis Snitz Edwards as Herr Bauer Grace Marvin as Molly Brandeis Bernice Radom as Little Fanny Brandeis Danny Hoy as Aloysius E. Alyn Warren as Rabbi Thalman Raymond Lee as Little Theodore Brandeis Josef Swickard as The Great Schabelitz Richard Cummings as Father Ritzpatrick Joseph Sterns as Little Clarence Hyle Mabel Julienne Scott as Fanny Brandeis John Davidson as Theodore Brandeis Earl Schenck as Clarence Hyle Stuart Holmes as Michael Fenger No Woman Knows at the American Film Institute Catalog No Woman Knows on IMDb Synopsis at AllMovie Ferber, Fanny Herself, New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. on the Internet Archive
Malibu is a beach city in western Los Angeles County, situated about 30 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles. It is known for its Mediterranean climate and its 21-mile strip of the Malibu coast, incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu; the area is known for being the home of Hollywood movie stars, people in the entertainment industry, other affluent residents. Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway, which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons; as of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645. Nicknamed "the'Bu" by surfers and locals, beaches along the Malibu coast include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu Beach, Topanga Beach, Point Dume Beach, County Line, Dan Blocker Beach. State parks and beaches on the Malibu coast include Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Beach and Park, Point Mugu State Park, Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, with individual beaches: El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador.
The many parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area lie along the ridges above the city along with local parks that include Malibu Bluffs Park, Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, Legacy Park. Signs around the city proclaim "21 miles of scenic beauty", referring to the incorporated city limits; the city updated the signs in 2017 from the historical 27-mile length of the Malibu coast spanning from Tuna Canyon on the southeast to Point Mugu in Ventura County on the northwest. For many residents of the unincorporated canyon areas, Malibu has the closest commercial centers and they are included in the Malibu ZIP Codes; the city is bounded by Topanga on the east, the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, Solromar in Ventura County to the west. Malibu is named for the Ventureño Chumash settlement of Humaliwo, which translates to “The Surf Sounds Loudly.” This pre-colonial village is now part of the State Park. Malibu was settled by the Chumash, Native Americans whose territory extended loosely from the San Joaquin Valley to San Luis Obispo to Malibu, as well as several islands off the southern coast of California.
They named it "Humaliwo" or "the surf sounds loudly". The city's name derives from this; the village of Humaliwo was located next to Malibu Lagoon and was an important regional center in prehistoric times. The village, identified as CA-LAN-264, was occupied from 2,500 BCE, it was the second-largest Chumash coastal settlement by the Santa Monica Mountains, with just Muwu being more populated. A total of 118 individuals were baptized in Humaliwo. Humaliwo was considered an important political center, but there were additional minor settlements in today’s Malibu. One village, known as Ta’lopop, was located few miles up Malibu Canyon from Malibu Lagoon. Research have shown that Humaliwo had ties to other villages in pre-colonial times, including Hipuk and Huwam. Explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo is believed to have moored at Malibu Lagoon, at the mouth of Malibu Creek, to obtain fresh water in 1542; the Spanish presence returned with the California mission system, the area was part of Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit—a 13,000-acre land grant—in 1802.
That ranch passed intact to Frederick Hastings Rindge in 1891. He and his widow, May K. Rindge, guarded their privacy zealously by hiring guards to evict all trespassers and fighting a lengthy court battle to prevent the building of a Southern Pacific railroad line through the ranch. Interstate Commerce Commission regulations would not support a railroad condemning property in order to build tracks that paralleled an existing line, so Frederick H. Rindge decided to build his own railroad through his property first, he died, May K. Rindge followed through with the plans, building the Hueneme and Port Los Angeles Railway; the line started at Carbon Canyon, just inside the ranch's property eastern boundary, ran 15 miles westward, past Pt. Dume. Few roads entered the area before 1929, when the state won another court case and built what is now known as the Pacific Coast Highway. By May Rindge was forced to subdivide her property and begin selling and leasing lots; the Rindge house, known as the Adamson House, is now part of Malibu Creek State Park and is situated between Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Surfrider Beach, beside the Malibu Pier, used to provide transportation to/from the ranch, including construction materials for the Rindge railroad, to tie up the family's yacht.
In 1926, in an effort to avoid selling land to stave off insolvency, May K. Rindge created a small ceramic tile factory. At its height, Malibu Potteries employed over 100 workers, produced decorative tiles which furnish many Los Angeles-area public buildings and Beverly Hills residences; the factory, located one-half mile east of the pier, was ravaged by a fire in 1931. Although the factory reopened in 1932, it could not recover from the effects of the Great Depression and a steep downturn in Southern California construction projects. A distinct hybrid of Moorish and Arts and crafts designs, Malibu tile is considered collectible. Fine examples of the tiles may be seen at the Adamson House and Serra Retreat, a fifty-room mansion, started in the 1920s as the main Rindge home on a hill overlooking the lagoon; the unfinished building was sold to the Franciscan Order in 1942 and is
Joan Crawford was an American actress. She began her career as a dancer in traveling theatrical companies before debuting as a chorus girl on Broadway. Crawford signed a motion picture contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1925. In the 1930s, Crawford's fame rivaled, outlasted, that of MGM colleagues Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo. Crawford played hard-working young women who found romance and success; these characters and stories were well received by Depression-era audiences, were popular with women. Crawford became one of Hollywood's most prominent movie stars, one of the highest-paid women in the United States. In 1945 she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, she would go on to receive Best Actress nominations for Sudden Fear. Crawford continued to act in television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955, Crawford became involved with the Pepsi-Cola Company through her marriage to company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alfred Steele. In 1970 Crawford retired from the screen and following a public appearance in 1974 Crawford withdrew from public life, becoming reclusive until her death in 1977.
Crawford married four times. Her first three marriages ended in divorce, she adopted five children. Crawford's relationships with her two elder children and Christopher, were acrimonious. After Crawford's death, Christina wrote Mommie Dearest. Born Lucille Fay LeSueur, of English, French Huguenot and Irish ancestry, in San Antonio, she was the third and youngest child of Tennessee-born Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer, Texas-born Anna Bell Johnson, whose date of birth is given as November 29, 1884, based on census records, she may have been older, she was still under 20 when her first two children were born. She died on August 15, 1958. Crawford's elder siblings were sister Daisy LeSueur, who died before Lucille's birth, brother Hal LeSueur. Thomas LeSueur abandoned the family a few months before her birth resettling in Abilene, Texas working as a construction laborer. Following LeSueur's departure from the family home, Crawford's mother remarried Henry J. Cassin. However, the marriage is listed in the census as Crawford's mother's first marriage.
Crawford lived with her mother and siblings in Lawton, Oklahoma. There, Cassin ran the Ramsey Opera House. Crawford preferred the nickname "Billie" as a child, enjoyed watching vaudeville acts perform on the stage of her stepfather's theatre. At that time, Crawford was unaware that Cassin, whom she called "daddy", was not her biological father until her brother Hal told her the truth. Cassin began sexually abusing her when she was eleven years old, the abuse continued until she was sent to St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic girls' school, her family's instability negatively affected Crawford and her schooling never formally progressed beyond primary education. Beginning in childhood, Crawford's ambition was to be a dancer. One day in an attempt to escape piano lessons so she could play with friends, she leapt from the front porch of her home and cut her foot on a broken milk bottle; as a result, she underwent three surgeries to repair the damage. She was unable to continue with dancing lessons, for 18 months.
While still residing in Lawton, Crawford's stepfather was accused of embezzlement. Although he was acquitted in court, he was blacklisted in Lawton, the family moved to Kansas City, around 1916. Following their relocation, Cassin, a Catholic, placed Crawford at St. Agnes Academy in Kansas City; when her mother and stepfather separated, she remained at St. Agnes as a work student, where she spent far more time working cooking and cleaning, than studying, she attended Rockingham Academy as a working student. While attending there, she began dating, had her first serious relationship with a trumpet player named Ray Sterling. Sterling inspired her to begin challenging herself academically. In 1922, she registered at Stephens College in Columbia, giving her year of birth as 1906, she attended Stephens for only a few months before withdrawing after she realized she was not prepared for college. Under the name Lucille LeSueur, Crawford began dancing in the choruses of traveling revues, was spotted dancing in Detroit by producer Jacob J. Shubert.
Shubert put her in the chorus line for his 1924 show, Innocent Eyes, at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in New York City. While appearing in Innocent Eyes, Crawford met; the two were married in 1924, lived together for several months, although this supposed marriage was never mentioned in life by Crawford. Crawford wanted additional work, approached Loews Theaters publicist Nils Granlund. Granlund secured a position for her with singer Harry Richman's act and arranged for her to do a screen test which he sent to producer Harry Rapf in Hollywood. Rapf notified Granlund on December 24, 1924, that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had offered Crawford a contract at $75 a week. Granlund wired LeSueur, who had retu
George Siegmann was an American actor in the silent film era. Born in New York City in 1882, Siegmann is listed as having been in over 100 films, his more notable roles include Silas Lynch in Griffith's Birth of A Nation, Porthos in The Three Musketeers, Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist, the guard in the 1927 film The Cat and the Canary, Dr. Hardquanonne in The Man Who Laughs. In 1919, Siegmann directed a 60-minute horror film for Universal called The Trembling Hour, which starred Kenneth Harlan and Helen Eddy. In June 1915, Siegmann was injured in the crash of a car driven by film actor and director Tod Browning, badly hurt. Another passenger, film actor Elmer Booth, was killed in the crash. Siegmann had four broken ribs, a lacerated thigh, internal injuries. In 1927, Siegmann married Maud Darby. About a year in 1928, after a long illness, he died of pernicious anemia. George Siegmann on IMDb George Siegmann, 1922 passport photo
Nickelodeon (movie theater)
The nickelodeon was the first type of indoor exhibition space dedicated to showing projected motion pictures. Set up in converted storefronts, these small, simple theaters charged five cents for admission and flourished from about 1905 to 1915. "Nickelodeon" was concocted from nickel, the name of the U. S. five-cent coin, the ancient Greek word odeion, a roofed-over theater, the latter indirectly by way of the Odéon in Paris, emblematic of a large and luxurious theater, much as Ritz was of a grand hotel. For unknown reasons, in 1949 the lyricist of a popular song "Music! Music! Music!" Incorporated the refrain "Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon…", evidently referring to either a jukebox or a mechanical musical instrument such as a coin-operated player piano or orchestrion. The meaning of the word has been muddied since. In fact, when it was current in the early 20th century, it was used only to refer to a small five-cent theater and not to any coin-in-the-slot machine, including amusement arcade motion-picture viewers such as the Kinetoscope and Mutoscope.
The earliest films had been shown in "peep show" machines or projected in vaudeville theaters as one of the otherwise live acts. Nickelodeons drastically altered film exhibition practices and the leisure-time habits of a large segment of the American public. Although they were characterized by continuous performances of a selection of short films, added attractions such as illustrated songs were sometimes an important feature. Regarded as disreputable and dangerous by some civic groups and municipal agencies, ill-ventilated nickelodeons with hard wooden seats were outmoded as longer films became common and larger, more comfortably furnished motion-picture theaters were built, a trend that culminated in the lavish "movie palaces" of the 1920s. Film historian Charles Musser wrote: "It is not too much to say that modern cinema began with the nickelodeons." The name "Nickelodeon" was first used in 1888 by Colonel William Austin for his Austin's Nickelodeon, a dime museum located in Boston, Massachusetts.
The term was popularized by Harry Davis and John P. Harris, who opened a small storefront theater with the name on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 19, 1905. Although it was not the first theater to show films, in 1919 a news article stated that it was the first theater in the world "devoted to exhibition of moving picture spectacles". Davis and Harris found such great success with their operation that their concept of a five-cent theater showing movies continuously was soon imitated by hundreds of ambitious entrepreneurs, as was the name of the theater itself. Statistics at the time show that the number of nickelodeons in the United States doubled between 1907 and 1908 to around 8000, it was estimated that by 1910 as many as 26 million Americans visited these theaters weekly. Nickelodeons that were in converted storefronts seated fewer than 200 – the patrons sat on hard wooden chairs, with the screen hung on the back wall. A piano would be placed below the screen. Larger nickelodeons sometimes had the capacity for well over 1000 people.
Louis B. Mayer came of age. Other well-known nickelodeon owners were the Skouras Brothers of St. Louis. Nickelodeons radically altered the mode of representation that corresponded with changes in the modes of distribution and the types of films being made. Around 1903, longer multi-shot films became more prevalent, this shift brought about important innovations in the distribution of films with the establishment of "film exchanges". Film exchanges would buy films from manufacturers and rent them out to exhibitors. With a steady supply of different films, exhibitors had the possibility to open venues where films were the central attraction, they did not have to worry about finding new audiences because the same audience would return again and again to watch different films. Exhibition practices varied and programs lasted anywhere from ten minutes to an hour and a half or more in length. Programs ran continuously and patrons would join a program in progress when they arrived and stay as long as they liked.
While some nickelodeons only showed films, others offered shows that combined films with vaudeville acts or illustrated songs. The desirability of longer films, which enabled nickelodeons to grow the way they did, was the result of a number of factors. Longer films were more attractive, as the price paid by exhibitors depended on a film's length and the longer a film, the more profit there was to be made; some exhibitors found longer films more desirable since it made programming easier and cheaper, as they no longer had to organize their own programs by editing together a variety of short films. Directors had a great desire to make longer films because it meant greater artistic innovation as they tried to find new ways to engage audiences; the popularity of longer films meant an increase in production of fictional films as actualities decreased. One of the possible reasons for this shift is that fiction films were easier to plan and cheaper to film than actualities which were subject to various location-related difficulties.
Fiction films became standardised, the popularity of longer films meant they