Photoplay (Jul - Dec 1936)

Record Details:

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tells Lowe to make it part of his dialogue — to shout it at Kennedy as he leaves. It will give an amusing snap to the end of the scene. Some players mangle dialogue. Others improve it. Sometimes unintentionally, like Eddie Lowe in that scene. Sometimes intentionally, like Claudette Colbert in one of the opening scenes of " Maid of Salem." W/E visit her the first day of shooting. Long before we round the corner of the set, we hear Claudette laughing. She just has to laugh Now she is having a struggle, hooking a snap on her tight-fitting Puritan dress. And very pert she looks in it, too topped as it is by a Dutchy cap. Under the cap, she is wearing a light-colored wig — to make her look a bit more Anglo-Saxon. But there is no changing those lively dark eyes. She tells us, "This is the first picture I've made in seven and a half months, and I'm scared stiff. I don't like vacations — particularly long ones. It's too easy to get out of the swing of things. I was wide awake at five-thirty this morning, anticipating everything that might happen today. I'm like this at the start of every picture; you'd think I had never acted before." Claudette doesn't look scared, or even stiff, as she goes into the scene with Louise Dresser and young Bennie Bartlett (the youngster of "The Texas Rangers") The setting is the interior of a small house in the early Puritan settlement of Salem, which later burned some "witches." The time is 1650. Bennie comes in from school, makes a few remarks, and Claudette, commenting on them as she puts on a cape, prepares to go out. As originally rehearsed, she says nothing as she leaves; she just goes. Claudette feels that this departure falls flat. She adds, "I'll be home before sundown" — and looks inquiringly at Director Frank Lloyd. He nods that the few simple words give the scene something that it needs. I hat's how seriously Claudette Colbert takes her acting And this role is serious and dramatic. So is the role played by Fred MacMurray, her partner in two previous comedy hits. We miss seeing the newlywed Fred in garb a la Miles Standish. They are shooting "around" him until he finishes "Champagne Waltz" with Gladys Swarthout. Leaving the Colbert set, we discover something on the Paramount lot that we never knew existed. It is called "the Ttank." Supposedly, the "T" stands for "torrent." That's where the outdoor rain scenes arc filmed. It is a large open rectangle of ground, roofed over with canvas i" diffuse California sunlight. Suspended at intervals high above the ground are parallel rows of perforated iron pipes, to Above, Douglas Scott and Freddie Bartholomew rehearse for "Lloyd's of London" with dialogue director, Lionel Bevans. Lower, Rudd Weatherax, animal trainer, on the set of "Theodora Goes Wild" with Irene Dunne. He holds "Inkie" while "Corky" looks on. Both animals appear in the film which hoses are attached. Thence falls the "rain." We see twenty-two football players and a referee get a drenching, and twenty-three mud baths, for a scene in "Rose Bowl." Before the shot, we spot Tom Brown on one of the teams; after the shot, he is anonymous Buster Crabbe isn't in this scene. That's too bad. He could give a swimming exhibition. According to Paramount, this is practically the millenium in football films. If only because: There are no seventy-five-yard passes, no last-minute touch downs, no pep talks by a coach, no girl running on the field with a message for Her Hero, and no famous football players in the cast. Something different, too, is Mae West in "Go West, Young Man" — which started its riotous life a year ago, on Broadway, as "Personal Appearance." It is a burlesque of a touring movie star, whose car breaks down in front of a Middle West farmhouse, where she goes on the make for the nearest available male — while her harried press agent tries to head off a scandal. We find Mae in the interior ot the farmhouse, which is a prime example of rural domesticity. Picture Mae in that setting — if you can — upholstered in clinging satin and sapphires, a burlesque of a glamor queen on parade. Hip swinging and quip slinging. We can't divulge any of her laughlines. It would be like revealing the clues of a mystery play pUT we can repeat one ^she said — between scenes. thing We asked her if she thought movie stars should keep diaries. "Yes — if they keep them in code." Warren William, Randolph Scott, Isabel Jewell. Alice Brady, Elizabeth Patterson, Lyle Talbot and Margaret Perry help to make up the strongest supporting cast that Mae has ever had. Margaret Perry is a young New Vork actress, married to the white hope of the Broadway stage, Burgess Meredith. He is making his movie debut this month at RKO in the screen version of his stage hit, "Winterset." This will be one of the most unusual pictures of the year — a melodrama, with a slum setting and dialogue in blank verse. Arty? Xo. It packs a punch. Most of the action takes place in a sloping cobblestone street, abutting on Brooklyn Bridge, and in the interior of a waterfront hovel. The street set is a masterpiece of realism. Even such small details as old dirty scraps of paper on the cobblestones, and stone-damp on the bridge abutment, are there. Meredith and Margo, who also played in the stage version, stand in a grotto under the bridge, making love, while a mist falls between them and the camera. (It's certainly the rainy season in the studios!) f please turn" to page 114 1 5?