Friday, July 31, 2020

Silent Films On TCM: August Is Summer Under The Stars!

8 August 6AM [Year: 1914] Film Information

8 August 6:15AM [Year: 1914] Film Information

8 August 7AM [Year: 1923] Film Information

8 August 7:45AM [Year: 1918] Film Information 

8 August 8:30AM [Year: 1921] Trailer

8 August 9:30AM [Year: 1925] Trailer 

8 August 11:15AM [1928] Trailer 

8 August 8PM [Year: 1931] Trailer

8 August 9:45PM [Year: 1936] Trailer (partial silent)

9 August 2:15AM [Year: 1922] Film Information

9 August 2:45AM [Year: 1919] Clip

   9 August 3:30AM [Year: 1921] Clip

9 August 4:15AM Hilarious Tree Clip

9 August 5AM Dancing Clip

9 August 5:30AM [Year: 1914] Film Information

10 August  6AM [Year: 1927] Clip

10 August 8AM [Year: 1929] Warner's Clip (talkie) 

13 August  6AM [Year: 1920] Clip

13 August 7:15AM [Year: 1926] Clip 

 13 August 9:15AM [Year: 1927] Clip

19 August 6AM [Year: 1928] Trailer

19 August 8PM [Year: 1928] (Partial Silent, Recovered Film!) Film Information


Aug 2: Rock Hudson IMDb  

Aug 3: Rita Hayworth IMDb 

Aug 4: S. Z. Sakall IMDb 

Aug. 5:  Ann Miller IMDb

Aug. 6: Burt Lancaster IMDb

Aug. 7: Sylvia Sidney IMDb 

Aug. 8: Charlie Chaplin IMDb

Aug. 9: Goldie Hawn IMDb 

Aug. 10: Norma Shearer IMDb  

Aug. 11: Sammy Davis Jr. IMDb

Aug. 12: Lana Turner IMDb 

Aug. 13: John Barrymore IMDb  

Aug. 14: Steve McQueen IMDb

Aug. 15: Nina Foch IMDb

Aug. 16: Cary Grant IMDb

Aug. 17: Maureen O'Hara IMDb

Aug. 18: Warren Beatty IMDb

Aug. 19: Dolores Del Rio IMDb

Aug. 20: William Powell  IMDb

Aug. 21: Diana Dors IMDb

Aug. 22: Natalie Wood IMDb 

Aug. 23: Bette Davis IMDb 

Aug. 24: George Raft IMDb

Aug. 25:  Anne Shirley IMDb

Aug. 26: Laurence Olivier IMDb

Aug 27: Claudette Colbert IMBd

Aug. 28:  Paul Henreid IMDb

Aug. 29: Eva Marie Saint IMDb

Aug. 30: Charlton Heston IMDb 

Aug. 31: Alain Delon IMDb 

Born Today July 31: Marjorie Chard

Lovely photographic portrait taken by Bassano (glass plate negative)--located in the National Portrait Gallery, in London.


British actress Marjorie Chard was born Marjorie Nancy Brand on this day in the Chiswick area of London, England; her stage surname was borrowed from her own mother--a famous opera singer--whose maiden name it was. Her mother's career was no doubt an early influence on her eventually becoming an actress, though she did not make a lifelong career out of it. She did appear both on the stage and in films, with her appearance in the melodrama  The Veiled Woman  in 1917 marking her film debut.   Her only other silent film appearance came in the 1921 comedy  The Fortune of Christina McNab.  In both of these films, she was in supporting roles. She is known to have done quite a lot of stage work during the 1920's, with 1923 being a particularly busy year. She did not appear in another film until 1935, when she appeared in a lesser know crime thriller whodunnit in an old dark house: Inside The Room.  She acted in just three more films; with Bed and Breakfast in 1938 the last of them. She seems to have retired from acting altogether at some point. Certainly, World War II would have put a strain on any stage career. Add to that, the death of her mother in 1942, she does not appear to have acted in any capacity (on the stage or other wise) past 1940.  She did continue to live in London and died in Paddington on the 29th of April in 1964 at the age of 76, I can find no burial information. In 1909 she married fellow actor Langhorn Burton, they had one child and at some point divorced. 

[Cover of The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News 6 March 1909]

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Born Today July 30: Ada Karlovsky


Czech actor Ada Karlovsky (birth name: Adolf Netrefa) was born on this day in Prague (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire). From some limited research that I was able to conduct on Czech sites, it appears that Karlovsky actually appeared in more films than are listed on English language sites like IMDb, All Movie, etc., but it does appear that the Czech film Prazstí Adamité, which dates from 1917, was indeed his first film appearance (listed on a at least 5 websites).  That we know of, Karlovsky appeared in at least seven films in the silent era, one of which--Ada se ucí jezdit (1919)--he also directed. Almost all of the others were directed by Václav Binovec. His last silent film was Ve dvou se to lépe táhne in 1928--a comedy directed by Svatopluk Innemann. The first full sound film in which he appeared came in 1931 with the spy drama Aféra plukovnika Rédla. His last credited role was in the 1943 musical Fond Dream, while his last film appearance came in an uncredited role in the romantic drama Spring Song in 1944.  Karlovsky passed away in Prague just two years later on the 11th of October at the age of 61.  I can find no information as to his burial.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Born Today July 28: Ann Doran


Prolific actress Ann Doran was born on this day in Amarillo, Texas. A child actress who aged into a very successful character actor, she made her debut at age four (sources that cite 11 are dating her career from her earliest film appearance that we know of). There is a mystery here.  She herself said that she appeared in a number of silent films under different names (I think reports of "hundreds" are probably grossly exergerated), yet the only credit that we have of her childhood work in silent film dates from 1922 in Wallace Beery's Robin Hood. According to the credits that have come down to us, her first role in a talking picture (and, also, her next film appearance) came in a very small part in Universal's One Exciting Adventure in 1934, a remake of a German comedy released the year before.  She then spent the next ten years or so in small or even uncredited roles.  When she came under contract with Columbia, she ironically wound up working with famous comic players from the silent era in short comedies in the new era of sound; players like Harry Langdon, Roscoe Karns, Andy Clyde and  Charly Chase (and Andy Clyde directed by Charly Chase). In the 1940's, despite her younger age, she started to get a bit type cast as "the mother" or matronly types in roles with "Mrs." in their names. In a late set of serial films, she played Ethel Mitchell--the mother--to Danny Mitchell, played by a young Ted Donaldson, the serial ran for 6 films (the "Rusty" in question was a canine character played by a cute pooch named Flame).  Doran made her television debut in 1950 the The Hurricane at Pilgrim Hill episode of The Magnavox Theater in which she played "Katie/Johnny's Mother." By far her most famous "mother role," or film role for that matter, came in the role of Mrs. Carol Stark, the mother of Jim Stark (James Dean) in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). By this time, she was making quite a name in supporting and guest roles on various television series. She also made appearances in a couple film in the popular atomic horror genre of the times, including Them! (1954) and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958). In 1962, she got a recurring role on National Velvet and she had a recurring role on the crime series Longstreet.  Although she had hundreds of actors roles later in life--most of them in television--she only had one other major series television recurring role, that of Charlotte McHenry on the short lived series Shirley, a show created for Shirley Jones she had also been cast in The Legend of Jesses James in 1965, but the show only ran for one season_. She, was though, such a great supporting actor--a real actor's actor--that she was a frequent guest star on many series in different roles. Some of the MANY shows on which she appeared are (in no particular order): Ironside, The Virginian, Leave It To Beaver, Perry Mason, The Streets of San Francisco and Highway To Heaven (and there were a lot of "Mrs." roles among them). In fact, her last role came on a guest appearance on the crime drama Hunter in the episode Dead on Target: Part 1 which aired on the 12 of November in 1988. She then retired from what was a VERY long acting career. She passed away on the 19th of September in Carmichael, California. She was 89 years old.  Upon her request, she was cremated and scattered at sea.  Doran was the daughter of actress Rose Allen, whose real name was Carrie Alma Barnett Doran. She strictly used a performance name due to strong objections of her husband's family--the same applied to her daughter until adulthood. Allen was likewise said to have been at least dozens of silent films in small parts; so this may go some way toward explaining why a mystery persists surrounding exactly how many silent films Doran appeared in.


Find A Grave entry

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Born Today July 25: Johnny Hines


Young comedic actor of the silent era John F. (Johnny) Hines was born on this day in Golden, Colorado.  Despite his relatively young age, the vast majority of his career was spent during the silent era. But during this time, he was in a number of films of note and was directed by a number of notable figures of the era. In fact, his debut came in a 1914 Ralph Ince film:  Lincoln, the Lover, a short that Ince wrote, directed and starred in as Lincoln.  He then landed a role in an early Maurice Tourneur feature Man of the Hour (1914); Tourneur then hired him for his next film The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England (1914); both parts were in supporting roles, but they certainly got him noticed (Tourneur would go on to use him as a stock player throughout the teens). He next showed up in a Emile Chautard film (after appearing in another Tourneur effort): The Arrival of Perpetua was a feature length comedy starring Vivian Martin. Some of the other directors that he worked with during this part of his career include: Frank Hall Crane, James Young, Travers Hall, George Archainbaud, Romaine Fielding and Dell Henderson. His older brothers were actor Samuel E. Hines and director Charles Hines.  In fact, Johnny began the new decade of the 1920's by agreeing to star in a series of shorts featuring a comic character name "Torchy"--some (or all) of them were directed by his brother Charles, the first of which was Torchy Comes Through in 1920. The Torchy series ran through 1922 and numbered over 20 small films (he only had two credits during this time that were not in the character: Burn 'Em Up Barnes & Sure-Fire Flint).  By the time he "emerged" from the role, he was considered solid leading man material.  He landed the leading role in the 1923 film version of Little Johnny Jones and adaptation of a George M. Cohan play that had been a huge hit on Broadway; Hines even got the opportunity to direct some of it (it was not his directorial debut; that came in 1917 on A Rag, a Bone and a Hank of Hair, a comedy short; he was also rumored to have directed a small portion of Barnes as well).  He added writing to his credits the following in year with Conductor 1492, a film that was co-directed by his brother Charles (this would be his only writing credit during the silent era).  After this, he became Charles' go-to leading man, who made a cottage industry out directing his younger brother in films (mostly comedies) that featured Johnny's face on the posters. The first of these was The Speed Spook in 1924.  Some of them, like White Pants Willie (1927), contained a few new film innovations like early technicolor sprinkled in; and most of these were made for C.C. Burr Productions. The last film that he appeared in during the 1920's was the early talkie Alias Jimmy Valentine in 1928 (the second remake of the famous film--Hines had appeared in the first version in 1915); the film was the first all sound film for MGM.  His first film in the new age of sound came in another comedic short Johnny's Week End (this was one of Al Christie's little comedy shorts that were produced during this time for Paramount to compete with other studios putting out similar all talking material--please see the entry for Evelyn Preer for more about these little films)--the film was directed by Christie Film Co. stock director William Watson. RKO's The Runaround (1931) was his first feature film of the new decade; but, for whatever reason, his transition to sound did not fair well.  His last major film appearance came in the Clark Gable/Myrna Loy adventure comedy Too Hot to Handle in 1938.  He kicked around in the business for a little while in 1940's--doing some writing and directing--before retiring. The fact that both of his brothers died in the 1930's could not have helped. He, on the other hand, made it the age of 75, when died on the 24th of October of a heart attack.  He buried at the Catholic Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles (for a goodly part of the 1930's, Hines was also a vice-president for the Catholic Motion Picture Guild of America).

Friday, July 24, 2020

Born Today July 24: Marc McDermott


Handsome Australian born actor Marc McDermott was born in Goulbum, New South Wales on this day ("Marc" is simply short for Marcus).  As a young adult, McDermott found himself working in a Sydney hair salon, where he developed an interest in theater through various theater workers who frequented the shop. Starting out as an amateur, he got pulled further and further into stage acting, until he found himself on tour professionally.  This work eventually took him to the London stage and on to to New York in 1902 for stage work there. It was not long before he made his official Broadway debut in 1903. He spent the next six years performing in both London and New York. In 1909 he was approached by the then expanded Edison studio for film acting work, and made his film debut in a J. Searle Dawley directed and adapted Lochinvar opposite Marry Fuller (another film made at the Edison facility in 1909 starring McDermott and Fuller--The House of Cards--was included in the Kino/MoMA 2005 release Edison: The Invention of the Movies and yet another Edison short from 1910 featuring McDermott--The Stenographer's Friend can be found in the box set More Treasures from American Film Archives released in 2004) .  McDermott would remain at for years at Edison, though he does appear November 1909 release of Vitagraph's Les Misérables, directed by J. Stuart Blackton.  Probably his best known early film role came in Edison's 1910 version of Dickens holiday classic A Christmas Carol in the role of Scrooge himself (yet another film preserved for a our viewing pleasure today and released on a disc of silent Christmas classics put out by Kino Video). McDermott was again teamed up with Mary Fuller in 1912 in the very first serial ever produced in the United States in What Ever Happened to Mary was a series of 12 one-reelers; the cast included Bliss Milford and Charles Ogle (McDermott was also a player in another Edison serial: The Man Who Disappeared released in 1914). By 1915, he was appearing in feature length Edison productions--mostly melodramas.  Edison's film company shuttered it's film production operations in 1918, but McDermott left for Vitagraph permanently in 1917, with Builders of Castles, released in spring of 1917, being his last Edison appearance.  He did not stay with the studio long, soon moving on the Fox (he did make one film with Norma Talmadge and her production company in 1919: The New Moon). His first contract film with Fox was a Theda Bara vehicle, Kathleen Mavourneen (1919); the film was directed by Charles Brabin, who would go on to add McDermott to his frequent cast of players.  Throughout the 1920's he was mostly a supporting player in roles ranging from very small to quite large. A few of theses films stand out, including: Hoodman Blind (1923) a lesser known John Ford, Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1924) a Mary Pickford film, The Sea Hawk (1924), The Lady (1925) another Norma Talmadge film (he was actually in a number of her films in the 1920's), The Temptress (1926) with Greta Garbo and The Taxi Dancer (1927) a New York melodrama with Joan Crawford. By far the biggest production of his career during this time came in Victor Sjöstrom's He Who Gets Slapped in 1924, in the role of Baron Regnard.  His final film was another Charles Brabin project, The Whip; released in September of 1928. McDermott had been visibly ill during the filming of The Whip and succumbed to an illness that eventually was admitted to being cirrhosis of the liver on the 5th of January, 1929 (there appears to have been some odd combination of a misdiagnosis combined with a half-hearted cover up that failed no long after his passing that has led to several different versions of contributory death factors--including an operation, that appears to have never taken place).  He was cremated and interred at the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial in Glendale. He was 57 years old. From 1916 to 1921, he was married to actress Miriam Nesbitt. [Note: there are sources that cite his birth year as 1881, but a number of other sources, along with events in his life in Australia point to his birth year actually being ten years earlier--so I will go with that for now, as his burial plaque contains none of this information]. 

[Source: A.J. (Find A Grave)]

[Source: A. J. (Find A Grave)]


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Born Today July 22: James Whale


If you are not, as I am, a horror hound, or even a super fan of older Universal studio releases, you may be unfamiliar with James Whale. Even if you are a fan of the Frankenstein director, you may not know that he was the director of dialogue on one lone film in 1929.  The Love Doctor was a 1929 talkie produced by Paramount (there was a silent version for release outside major urban areas); the film was directed by Melville W. Brown and starred Richard Dix and June Collyer in the leading roles.  Whale had very recently signed with the studio and his very first assignment was serving as dialogue director of the film; Whale, along with several others, went uncredited for his trouble. James Whale, despite that he invented a fictional narrative of his origins, was born in Dudley, England--right in the middle of working class Black Country--to a nurse mother and blast furnaceman father; he had six siblings, of which he was next to the youngest. Amongst the schools that he attended was a charity school, but as the semi-fictional film Gods and Monsters, in which Whale is played by Ian McKellen, recounts truthfully, Whale was pulled out of school and put to work as a teenager.  He was, though, artistically inclined and generated extra income by painting lettering and numbering signs of various sorts--the income he put to good use by paying his way through evening classes in a local arts and crafts school. Though the film Gods and Monsters gets his service in France during World War I correct, what it does not depict is his being taken as a prisoner of war. He remained so until the end of the war, and it was during this time that he took up acting (he also picked up the art of playing poker, which he would go on to use as a skill to generate income).  Knocking around Birmingham after the war, he drifted into theater work (after an attempt to become a cartoonist). He eventually, in 1928, had the opportunity to direct a play--which was so successful that it was produced on Broadway the following year--this is the catalyst by which Whale came to the United States and stayed. The play was was such a success that it was not long before movie producers were almost literally knocking down his door.  After just the one film with Paramount, his contract expired and he returned to theatrical work--this time in Chicago.  Impressed with his work, he was next hired by Howard Hughes for another round at dialogue direction on his Hell's Angels; and this brings me to Whale's only other connection to silent cinema (aside from his personal love of the partial silent Show Boat from 1929 that he would remake).  The entire production of Angels was a late fully silent film--almost at the last minute, Hughes decided to bring sound to it--which is the time during the production that he hired Whale. Whale worked as the "dialogue stager"--but also got some hands-on experience with film direction at the same time--it was not long before he had the needed to call on that knowledge.  His most important moment in 1929, by far, came when the men who had purchased the film rights to Journey's End, the play that Whale had directed and made such a sensation and set during the Great War, asked Whale to direct the film version. Filming started in early December 1929; by the end of January of the following year, filming wrapped.  Heavily billed as "All Talking," the film debuted on the 9th of April, 1930.  Whale was now a full fledged film director.  Film studios took serious notice and Whale was signed to a fateful five year contract with Universal in 1931.  He is most famous for the direction of Frankenstein in 1931 (a project that he chose from a list of projects presented to him), he was first handed another war picture by the studio: Waterloo Bridge (1931).  He was already at work directing the screwball comedy The Impatient Maiden--released in March of 1932--when it was clear that he was being hailed as the best new thing to happen to the horror genre (still in it's infancy in film at the time).  It is no surprise then that he is best remembered for his horror films. So, in 1932, he directed The Old Dark House, a first rate horror comedy that also featured "the Monster" himself Boris Karloff (the film was thought lost forever until 1968, when--thankfully!--a print was discovered).  He next tried his hand at the mystery genre in A Kiss Before Dying (1933), probably his least remembered effort; the film was a failure at the box he returned to horror. He next directed The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains and introduced the world to the wild, zany antics of one Una O'Connor; the film was a huge box office hit for Universal. Whale, by this time, had a half formed rule that he would not direct two horror films in a row, so there were actually two films between Invisible Man and the film that many consider his masterpiece:   The Bride of Frankenstein. The film was released in May of 1935 and out-did The Invisible Man to such an extreme degree, that Universal boss of bosses Carl Laemmle tried to force Whale to helm Dracula's Daughter; this, of course, broke Whale's "horror film rule," and so concerned him that he was being "typecast" as a horror director, that he never directed another horror film (the project eventually went to Lambert Hillyer).  Whale's burning desire was to remake Show Boat as a full sound film, which he was able to convince the studio execs to allow him to do so; the film was released on the 17th of May of 1936 (this, and One More River 1934, were reportedly among Whale's personal favorites of his own films).  After this, Whale's career began to wilt. He made a number of genre flicks, from crime to comedy, but settled on the adventure film for his last few films. The one that stands out (at least for me) is Green Hell, released in 1940, starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and features quite the cast that included Joan Bennett, Alan Hale Jr. (aka The Skipper) and a young up and coming actor named Vincent Price (Price hated the film and by all accounts, he ranked it by far the worst acting experience that he had on a set).  His last feature length film was The Dare Not Love in 1941, made for Columbia.  Terribly bored with his dimininshing film career, he retired; eventually taking up painting at the urging of his long time partner producer David Lewis.  Whale returned to directing only twice in his life, and both of those films were non-studio efforts. The first was for the the United States military: Personnel Placement in the Army in 1942; and his final film--Hello Out There--in 1949, which was never commercially released. Whale did return to directing the theater; on Broadway in the 1940's and in Europe in the early 1950's (his last directed play was closed early due to it's star, Hermione Baddeley's heavy drinking).  In 1956, Whale suffered two strokes, the second of which was much more serious than the first. It left him impaired and depressed with failing mental faculties. He wrote a suicide note and drown himself in his swimming pool (a pool that he had never himself used) on the 29th of May in 1957. A concerned David Lewis, who was by this time estranged from Whale as a partner and living next door, found Whale and his note.  Lewis kept the note until his death in 1987, when it was published--finally clearing up what many had long suspected, that Whale had ended his own life some 30 years earlier (Whale's death had officially been ruled accidental). He was 67 years old. Whale was cremated and interred at the Columbarium of Memory in the mausoleum of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale (his plaque lists the wrong year of his birth as 1893).  

[Source: AJ (Find A Grave)]

[Source: Denis Svoboda and Anneabe (Find A Grave)]



Find A Grave 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Born Today July 20: William Crowell


Another actor working with director/writer Oscar Micheaux's group of film makers in the 1920's, African American actor William Crowell (not to be confused with the actor from the 1930's with the same name) was born William Benjamin Franklin Crowell on this day in Asheville, North Carolina. Crowell did not start his acting career with Micheaux, but when he went to work for him, he was in more of the business end of Micheaux's production company.  Mr. Crowell's first credit comes in an Arch Heath film Beyond the Great Wall in 1920; the film was also marketed as House of Darkened Windows. All of his other four film credits that have come down to us are related to Micheaux productions. His first direction by Micheaux came in 1922 in a take on the Bluebeard story, presented as domestic melodrama in The Dungeon. All of the other films that he acted in were also directed by Micheaux, save one that is a bit on the strange side.  Ghost of Tolston's Manor, released in 1923, was most likely also directed by Micheaux, but I looked it up in my handy Horror in Silent Film guide by Roy Kinnard and, though he attributes the film to the Micheaux Film company, he had Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita down as helming the project and list Japanese actors as the cast. This is most likely just a mistake, but a weird one to be sure, as Kinoshita never made a silent film; he first directed a film in 1943. It is really no big deal, just one of those oddities that one encounters from time to time tooling about in the world of silent cinema. The last film that Crowell appeared in was The House Behind the Cedars in 1927, starring Shingzie Howard, who was largely a replacement actress for such roles after the departure of Evelyn Preer.  A United States Army veteran of the Spanish American war (rank of Corporal), Crowell held a lot of different jobs in his lifetime, including an insurance agent; but it was his job(s) with Micheaux Film that he held the longest and brought him the most success. In a addition to working as an actor, he was--most importantly--Vice President of the company, and probably should have been credited multiple times as a producer as well.  Crowell died suddenly on the 30th of July from heat exhaustion/heat stroke, just ten days after his 52nd birthday. I can find no information as to his burial, though he is listed as dying in Roanoke, Virginia. He was variously credited as W.F.B. Crowell and William B.F. Crowell in his acting roles.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Born Today July 18: Gene Lockhart


Canadian born actor Gene Lockhart was born Edwin Eugene Lockhart in London, Ontario on this day. His father was an accomplished singer and thus encouraged his young son when the later showed an interest in performance.  He began acting as a child and made his professional stage debut at the age of just six; he also said that he made his professional dance debut a year later.  He was educated in both London, Canada and London, England and as a young adult became a professional football player in Toronto.  His very long association with the theater was the most pervasive portion of his career; movies came second--but when he appeared in films he always shone through--even in bit parts; this is especially true of the villains and "heavies" that he played so well (so much fun to watch!).  Early on, his career in theater took him to New York, while there he actually taught at Julliard. There, he made his Broadway debut in 1916 at the age of 25.  His film debut followed six years later in 1922.  It would be his only appearance in a silent film.  The film was a Norma Talmadge vehicle (made by her production company)--Smilin' Through --and directed by Sidney Franklin.  His part was rather small--that of "Village Rector"--he was credited as Eugene Lockhart.  Returning to the stage, Lockhart did not appear in film again until 1933 in a little known comedic short called The No Man  (an example of a "Broadway Brevity"--you  can read more about them here).  The first major production that he acted in was RKO's 1934 comedy By Your Leave; an accomplished singer and songwriter--Lockhart contributed to the soundtrack by singing a rendition of  "Far Above Cayuga's Waters." He was by this time transplanted to Hollywood and his film rolls increased exponentially. He made appearances in such well known films as: the 1938 Reginald Owen rendition of A Christmas CarolHis Girl Friday (1940), Capra's Meet John Doe (1941), Curtiz's The Sea Wolf (1941), The Devil And Daniel Webster (1941), Northern Pursuit (1943) starring Errol Flynn, the film noir The House on 92nd Street (1945), and Miracle on 34th Street (1947).  He made his television debut in 1950 the series Lights Out -- a horror/mystery/science fiction affair that was a fore-runner of The Twilight Zone (episode:  Dr. Heidegger's Experiment). He also made an appearance on the similar series Tales of Tomorrow.  In the 1950's, he divided his time between television and the big screen, with the film Jeanne Eagels starring Kim Novak and based on the life of the silent film starlet of the same name as the film, being his last film. It was released several months after his death on the 31st of March in Santa Monica of a heart attack. He was 65 years of age. He was buried at Holy Cross in Culver City.  During his career, Lockhart became a naturalized U.S. citizen, wrote several plays and was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in Algiers.  If Lockhart's last name rings a bell that you can't quite place, that is because he was the father, with his actress wife Kathleen Lockhart, of well known actress June Lockhart of "Lost In Space" fame (she strongly favors her father).  All three of them appeared in A Christmas Carol

[Source: Scott Michaels (Find A Grave)]



Find A Grave entry                   

Friday, July 17, 2020

Born Today July 17: Jakob Christoph Heer


Swiss novelist Jakob Christoph Heer was born on this date in Töss in the Kanton of Zurich (a village still located on the the outskirts of Zurich proper).  Heer was educated at Winterthur and became a teacher by profession. He had worked as a Vicar until 1897 when he obtained his teaching certificate and then worked in as an educator full time after 1882. All the while, he wrote novels in the romantic style, focusing on a sub-genre of "Domestic Romance." Writing in Swiss German, his theme heavily eschewed the increasing advance of technology and the increased removal of populations from rural life, focusing instead on the "idyllic" in living in natural settings surrounded by the pastoral rather than advances in technology (even in pursuits like farming).  In 1902 he was finally able to take up full time free lance writing. Heer's work has not been adapted for film often, but all the four films have been features; including the very first film made in 1929. This film was, though, was no small deal. It was a partial silent American production directed by none other than Ernst Lubitsch. Eternal Love would be the last "silent" film that he made (it actually featured sound effects by MovieTone).  It also starred Camilla Horn and John Barrymore in the leads and was based on Heer's novel Der Koenig der Bernina. The other three productions have all been German language films of Austria, Germany and his native Switzerland. The first full sound film made from his work was the 1932 German Sacred Waters; this was followed some 25 years later by the Austrian Der König der Bernina in 1957. The most recent use of his work for an adapted script came just three years later, way back in 1960 with the joint Swiss/West German production of Secred Waters. Though Heer is known as a novelist, he was also a prolific writer of short stories, poems and--not surprisingly--local travel literature (though he is said to have very much disliked the concept of tourism). Heer died in Zurich on the 20th of August, a little better than a month after his 66th birthday. A huge stone memorial was put up in his honor at Winterthur, the village where he recieved his education and began his writing career.