Vera Pearce was an Australian stage and film actress whose lengthy career was carried out in both her home country and in England. Born in Broken Hill, Pearce spent much of her youth in Adelaide, made her stage debut there at age five with the World's Entertainers She went on to train as a juvenile performer in pantomimes and musical comedies produced by J. C. Williamson Ltd, in 1910 scored much acclaim for her role in the Firm's hit production Our Miss Gibbs. After making her film debut in The Shepherd of the Southern Cross, Pearce went to England with the aim of carving out a career there but was induced to return to Australia shortly afterwards by Hugh D. McIntosh, General Manager of Harry Rickards Tivoli Theatres Ltd. Pearce made her return to the Australian stage in November 1914 as one of the stars of the Tivoli Follies revue, remained with the show throughout its two and a half year tour around the country. Among the other productions she appeared in over the next seven years were The Beauty Shop, My Lady Frayle, The Officers' Mess, His Little Widows and Chu Chin Chow, in which she played Zahrat-al-Kulub opposite Charles H. Workman.
Pearce moved to the UK with one of her earliest shows being Love's Awakening. She went on to work on the London stage in musicals and pantomimes up until her death, her last notable appearance, was in a 1957 New York City production of Georges Feydeau's farce Hotel Paradise. She appeared in at least 16 films between 1931 and 1966. Pearce was in a long-term relationship with Hugh D. McIntosh, her nephew Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia. Pearce won two beauty contests in Australia; the first was promoted by West's Pictures in Sydney in 1911. The second event, the 1916 White City Beauty Competition, created controversy when it became known that the judges were linked to the vaudeville industry; the revelation led to a number of 100-1 bets being placed by well-known "sporting gentlemen" for Pearce to win. When she was announced the winner the huge audience went "frigidly silent too astounded to take the result seriously" The Shepherd of the Southern Cross The Martyrdom of Nurse Cavell Just My Luck Yes, Mr. Brown That's a Good Girl So You Won't Talk Royal Cavalcade Heat Wave Southern Roses Please Teacher What a Man!
Yes, Madam? Nicholas Nickleby One Wild Oat The Men of Sherwood Forest The Night We Got the Bird The Night We Dropped a Clanger Nothing Barred Vera Pearce on IMDb Australian theatre credits at AusStage
British and Dominions Imperial Studios
British and Dominions Imperial Studios was a short-lived British film production company located at Imperial Place, Elstree Way, Hertfordshire, active from 1929 to 1936, when it ceased production after the studio facilities were destroyed by fire. British and Dominions Imperial was a successor to British National Pictures, which began operations in 1925 and was taken over by British International Pictures in 1927. British and Dominion Imperial was incorporated for the purpose of physically producing sound films, the new studio at Borehamwood was the first purpose-built sound studio in Europe. Blackmail, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and the first British talkie, was made at the facility by the company. Other filmmakers who worked for British and Dominions Imperial included producer Anthony Havelock-Allan, who made Lancashire Luck there. Alexander Korda's London Films produced The Private Life of Henry VIII, which featured an Oscar-winning performance by Charles Laughton, at British and Dominion Imperial.
The studio was destroyed by fire on 9 February 1936. The Herbert Wilcox production London Melody had to be completed at Pinewood Studios. In 1996, a plaque was placed at the location of the former studio; the Private Life of Henry VIII Associated British Picture Corporation List of British and Dominions films
Herbert Sydney Wilcox CBE, was a British film producer and director, one of the most successful British filmmakers from the 1920s to the 1950s. He is best known for the films he made with his third wife Anna Neagle. Wilcox's mother was from County Cork and Wilcox considered himself Irish, but he was born in Norwood, south London, his family moved to Brighton. His family were poor and Wilcox had to do a number of part-time jobs, including some work as a chorus boy at the local Hippodrome, his mother died of tuberculosis when she was 42. Wilcox left school before the age of fourteen to find work. Shortly afterwards, his father died at the age of 42. Wilcox began earning money as a professional pool player at the Metropole in Camberwell Green; the First World War broke out and Wilcox enlisted in the army. He was training cadets in County Cork when the Easter Rising broke out in 1916 and Wilcox was wounded, he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps to earn more money and trained as a pilot. A case of appendicitis kept him away from the front for a time but he wound up serving in France and serving as a flight instructor in England.
After the war, Wilcox went to work for his brother Charles as a film salesman. He began selling American films to Yorkshire exhibitors working with Victor Saville. In 1919, Wilcox used his war gratuity to found his own distribution company, Astra Films, in association with his brother and a colleague, Jack Smart. Wilcox contributed £117, the others made up the rest, it was based in Yorkshire. "Owing to the war, there were no British productions", said Wilcox. "They were all American films." The company was successful so they expanded into London. Astra had a lot of success with a British film, A Peep Behind the Scenes so Wilcox decided to produce a British film himself, he raised £1,400 to make The Wonderful Story. It was directed by a Newcastle exhibitor who shared Wilcox's enthusiasm for D. W. Griffith, Jack Graham Cutts. Wilcox sold the film for £4,000 and the premiere got excellent reviews; this enabled Wilcox to raise funds for a slate of films, before The Wonderful Story was released and flopped at the box office.
However the next Graham-Wilcox production, Flames of Passion, starring imported Hollywood star Mae Marsh was a big hit, among the first British films sold to the USA. The success of the film inspired Wilcox to steer away from realistic drama and focus on escapist entertainment. Wilcox optioned the screen rights with imported American star Betty Blythe; the film was shot in Germany at UFA's studios in association with Eric Pommer with a huge budget but was only a moderate success. He followed it with shot in Vienna, again with Blythe. Wilcox launched the film with a mock bull fight in Albert Hall and says the film returned a profit in England alone. Pommer asked Wilcox to collaborate again and they made Decameron Nights. Back in Britain he made Paddy the Next Best Thing. After what he described as a "series of unimpressive films" he made The Only Way, based on a stage play, based on A Tale of Two Cities, he followed it with Nell Gwyn. This was a big success around the world; the world rights to Nell Gwyn were purchased by British National Films, a company established by J.
D. Williams, who signed Wilcox and Gish to make three more films, all financed by Paramount: Madame Pompadour, the first film shot at the newly-built Elstree Studios, it was revealed in a court case that Wilcox's fee was ₤3,000 a film plus 25% of the profits, but there were no profits for the three films. Wilcox ended up leaving British National and founded the British and Dominions Film Corporation with Nelson Keys with capital of half a million pounds. HIs first film for them, via Herbert Wilcox Productions, was Mumsie, starring Pauline Frederick and, in his debut, Herbert Marshall. Wilcox wanted to make another film with Frederick and suggested Noël Coward's The Vortex but Frederick disliked the role. Wilcox instead decided to do a version of Dawn. Frederick dropped out of the film, was replaced by Sybil Thorndike. Filming proved difficult but the resulting movie was a big hit. In 1928 British and Dominion Films insured Wilcox for £100,000. There was some talk he would make a film of the Wills story.
Instead he made what he described as "a series of unimportant but profitable films": The Bondman, The Woman in White, Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail is regarded as the first film with sound, but Wilcox's Black Waters was trade-shown several weeks earlier in May, 1929. He produced more than a hundred films. "His film production team were never laid off during the worst depressions of the British film industry. They were on full salary 52 weeks of the year."Wilcox built and equipped sound studios next to the British International Pictures studios, which they bought from John Maxwell. Wilcox signed up top stage artists such as Jack Buchanan, Tom Walls and Ralph Lynn and Sydney Howard, with C. B. Cochran and Albert de Courville as producers, he announced plans to make nine talkies. He produced and directed the first British all talkie made, with Charles Laughton and Dorothy Gish and produced Canaries Sometimes Sing, he made an arrangement to produce a series of films in association with His Master's Voice gramophone company, with the aim of using their celebrity recording stars.
Among the films they were to make together were Cochran's Talkie Revue, a f
Clifford Heatherley Lamb was an English stage and film actor. Little Nellie Kelly The Desert Song Glamorous Night Clifford Heatherley on IMDb
Three Maxims is a 1936 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Tullio Carminati and Leslie Banks. It was released in the United States under the alternative title The Show Goes On. Separate French and German language versions were filmed 1935 in Paris; the film's sets were designed by Wilcox's regular art director Lawrence P. Williams. A love triangle causes major disruption to the harmony of a trapeze act. Anna Neagle – Pat Tullio Carminati – Toni Leslie Banks – Mac Arthur Finn – Hiram K. Winston Olive Blakeney – Mrs Winston Miki Hood – Valentine Anthony Ireland – Val Nicolas Koline – Niki Gaston Palmer – Juggler Leonard Snelling – Prodigy Winifred Oughton – Prodigy's Mother Beatrix Fielden-Kaye – Madame Thomas Laurence Hanray – Thomas Tarva Penna – Doctor Vincent Holman – Cafe Proprietor Henry Caine – Stage Manager Horace Hodges – Mike Variétés with Jean Gabin and Annabella Varieté with Hans Albers and Annabella Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927–1939. British Film Institute, 1986. Three Maxims on IMDb
This'll Make You Whistle
This'll Make You Whistle is a 1936 British musical comedy film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Jack Buchanan, Elsie Randolph and William Kendall. The film was based on a stage play. A man-about-town accidentally finds himself engaged to two woman at the same time, the horse-mad Laura and the sweet-natured Joan, dominated by her disapproving mother, his attempts to convince the guardian of the former that he is unsuited to marriage, while trying to persuade the mother of the latter that he is are further complicated by the behavior of his two friends and the appearance of an attractive life model named Bobbie Rivers. Further confusion ensues. Jack Buchanan as Bill Hoppings Elsie Randolph as Bobbie Rivers Jean Gillie as Joan Longhurst William Kendall as Reggie Benson David Hutcheson as Archie Codrington Maidie Hope as Mrs Longhurst Anthony Holles as Sebastian Venables Marjorie Brooks as Laura Buxton Bunty Payne as Betty Miki Hood as Clarice Scott Harrold as Gendarme Irene Vere as Mrs Crimp Frederick Burtwell as Hotel Manager The musical was first performed on stage at Southsea in December 1935, before a long run at the Palace Theatre and Daly's in London's West End.
The cast included Jack Buchanan as Bill Hoppings, Jean Gillie as Joan Longhurst, Sylvia Leslie as Laura Buxton, Maidie Hope as Mrs Longhurst, Elsie Randolph as Bobbie Rivers, Diana Lonsdale as Betty, Irene Vere as Mrs Crimp, Jill Ricarde as Clarice, Eunice Crowther as Dora. In Australia, the show was known as The Melody of London; the New York Times wrote, "It isn't enough. "This'll Make You Whistle" was the tag on it. We're whistling all right—one of those audible sounds made by pursing the lips and exhaling. Herbert Wilcox, who should have known better, launched the projectile, first charging it with people like Jack Buchanan, Elsie Randolph and Antony Holles and detonating it with a slow-burning musical comedy plot about a man with one fiancée too many. Typical line: "You're the bigamist fool in London." Typical scene: Mr. Buchanan and a pal, disguised as bearded gendarmes, being chased by twenty bearded gendarmes. Typical reaction. This'll Make You Whistle on IMDb
Tip Toes is a 1927 British silent film comedy-drama, directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish and Will Rogers. The film is a loose adaptation of the stage musical Tip-Toes, with the action transferred from Florida to London. Tip Toes and her two partners Uncle Hen and Al have a struggling music-hall act; when they go for auditions, theatre managers are keen on Tip Toes as a solo, but do not want the men. Tip Toes turns down offers to go it alone out of loyalty to her fellows. In deep financial trouble, they decide as a last throw of the dice to book into a suite at a high-class hotel and put the story about that Tip Toes is a sophisticated heiress, while she tries to snag a wealthy gentleman. Tip Toes attracts the interest of a young peer, but the plans of the trio are on the point of being undermined as Hen and Al get into a series of scrapes. Dorothy Gish as Tip Toes Kaye Will Rogers as Uncle Hen Kaye Nelson Keys as Al Kaye Miles Mander as Rollo Stevens Dennis Hoey as Hotelier John Manners as Lord William Montgomery A writer was paid £2,000 to do a script but Wilcox threw it out.
Paramount contributed only £20,000 of the production cost. Tip Toes was the last in a four-picture deal between Wilcox and Paramount to star Gish in British films; the earlier films had all been favourably received by contemporary critics. The Bioscope dismissed it as "feeble", while Variety accused the film of being "not only a libel on Americans, but on American vaudeville and its artists"; the film lost money. No print of Tip Toes is known to survive, the British Film Institute include it on their'"75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films, it is considered of great potential interest to silent cinema historians, not only as a prestige production involving star names, but to assess whether it was a disastrous misfire justifying its terrible reception, or whether a modern perspective would view the film more kindly. Tip Toes on IMDb BFI 75 Most Wanted entry, with extensive notes