New York Nights (United Artists) (1929)

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Joseph M. Schenck presents NORMA TALMADGE in “NEW YORK NIGHTS” Directed by LEWIS MILESTONE PUBLICITY SECTION- NORMA TALMADGE TALKS FROM THE SCREEN FOR FIRST TIME IN "NEW YORK NIGHTS” Favorite Star Interprets Spunky Show Girl Heroine in Rapid- Fire Romance of Modern Stage Life; Sings, Talks and Dances in Best Role of Career Norma Talmadge, whose popularity as one of the ten most successful screen stars has never waned, comes now in a pro¬ duction that promises new revelations of her talent. In “New York Nights,” the musical, all-talking picturization of the stage play “Tin Pan Alley” by Hugh Stanislaus Stange, which opens at will not only appear in a role particularly suited to her gifts—the role of a chorus girl—but she will be seen dancing and will be heard sing¬ ing the newest A1 Jolson-Dave Dreyer composition, “A Year From Today.’ The chorus girl role is not alto¬ gether unfamiliar to the star. One of the most successful pictures she ever made, “Kiki,” presented her as a typical Broadway chorine. In ( "New York Nights” under Lewis Milestone's direction, however, she offers even a more convincing and likeable portrait of those glamorous show girls that infest the Tin Pan Alley of New York City. j The story centers about the per¬ sonality of a show girl who contin¬ ues a marriage with a worthless song writer in the hope that she can reform him. In the process she runs the full Broadway gamut of night life, adventure and resplen¬ dent apartments. Playing the lead opposite Miss Talmadge, for the fourth consecu- tive picture* is Gilbert Roland as the song writer. John Wray, actor- playwright, is the "heavy;” Lilyan Tashman is a hard-boiled chorus girl. Others in the cast are Roscoe Karns and Mary Doran. It was expressly stipulated by Miss Talmadge before "New York Nights” was begun, that the old motion picture technique of telling a story in pictures was not to be sacrificed. The star felt. that the theatre was a separate institution with a formula that belonged to the theatre, and that motion pictures likewise were a separate entity with methods of presentation after years of experience. She did not want the tried and true pic¬ torial dramas in which she has made her great reputation subordinated to the theatre, just because dia¬ logue has been injected into pic¬ tures the last two years. "What I want to make,” said the star before camera work began, "is a fast-moving motion picture, with plenty of sets and interesting action. Then, when we are sure of getting that, let us think of making it more personal by putting talk into it. "I don’t want to stop and pose when I’m supposed to say some¬ thing; catch me on the fly. Make it natural. Above all make it a motion picture that won’t stand still just because someone has got to say something.” The result is that “New York Nights" promises the season’s most convincing drama of metropolitan hopes and heartaches. In the cast with Miss Talmadge are Gilbert Roland, her leading man; John Wray, actor-playwright; Lil¬ yan Tashman, Roscoe Karns and Mary Doran. NORMA TALMADGE IN FIRST TALKER N! EW^<^R VC* bU GW 4—One Col. Scene (Mat 5c; Cut 30c) Norma Talmadge Does Table Dance in Newest "Bits of business” are the little gems of action that stand out like jewels in a motion picture and lift it from the rut of mediocrity to greatness. One of these "bits" that seems destined to take its place in screen tradition is enacted by Norma Tal¬ madge in United Artists "New York Nights," her first talking and musical picture, now showing at the. . . . theatre. In the wild party scene Miss Tal¬ madge, who is supposed to be de¬ pressed because of the fickleness of her husband, suddenly throws off her mood and does a frenzied bac¬ chanalian dance atop a piano. The action was not called for in the script, but is a purely inspira¬ tional act on Miss Talmadge’s part that occurred to her as the scene was being taken. Needless to say, the "bit” stands out and is clearly the most striking part of this epi¬ sode. It is of such things that motion pictures are made. No script writer would have considered it important enough or could have sensed it in words as the star expressed it in Novis Sings in “New York Nights” Donald Novis, winner of the At¬ water Kent national contest for sing¬ ers under twenty-five years of age, has an important singing role in "New York Nights,” Norma Tal¬ madge’s starring debut in talking pictures, showing at the.. theatre. Novis won a grand prize of $5000 in cash and two years tuition abroad after approximately 60,000 contest¬ ants were eliminated in regional try-outs. He possesses a classical tenor voice and introduces the theme number, "A Year From Today," the picture. He is remembered action. In “New York Nights," Miss Tal¬ madge portrays one of the most colorful roles of her career. As Jill, the old-fashioned, up-to-date chorus girl of Broadway, she is obliged to portray the whole gamut of human emotion. The role of Fred Deverne, one of the "fattest” semi-character roles of recent years, is played by Gilbert Roland, who makes his fourth consecutive appearance on the screen opposite Miss Talmadge. Norma Exposes Show Life Norma Talmadge’s first talking picture which is coming to the .Theatre on.. "New York Nights,” brings the world of song writers and chorus girls to the screen in one of the most elab¬ orate productions ever made at the United Artists Studios. The picture waa directed by Lewis Milestone and has a strong supporting cast made up of Gilbert Roland, Miss Tal- adge’s_ leading man; John Wray, the singing hit in "Bulldog Drum- Lilyan Tashman, Roscoe Karns and mond” starring Ronald Colman. Mary Doran. Screen Star Makes Bow in New Medium with Stage Story— "New York Nights” As the initial vehicle for her talking picture career, Norma Tal¬ madge, star of “Camille,” * The Woman Disputed,’’ “Smilin Through” and other big successes of the silent screen, has chosen a story of the Great White Way, its haunts, its escapades and its gay, colorful aons and daughters who make up the famous show world of Broadway. The picture is "New York Nights" and will open on .at the. Theatre. This racy, dynamic tale of c<urr ageous little chorus girls, struggling song writers, scheming racketeer producers, and the rank and file of human oddities who evolve this glamorous atmosphere, is taken from the Broadway stage success en¬ titled “Tin Pan Alley,” by Hugh Stanislaus Stange. Directed by Lewis Milestone, maker of "Two Arabian Nights,” and “The Racket,” this United Artists picture is played by a cast of prominent stage and screen notables including, beside Miss Tal¬ madge, Gilbert Roland, John Wray, Lilyan Tashman, Mary Doran and Roscoe Karns. The plot treats of the marital hard¬ ships of Jill Deverne (Norma Tal¬ madge,) a pretty chorus girl, mar¬ ried to a well meaning but weak- kneed husband, Fred (Gilbert Ro¬ land,) who has a passion for liquor and writing "flop” lyrics. Irritated by the fact that her salary is the only thing between them and star¬ vation, Jill, though deeply in love with Fred, pretends she is going to go away. Fred counters however by playing the latest number he and his partner Johnny Dolan (Roscoe Karns) have written. Forgetting her resentment in her enthusiasm over the piece, Jill turns the number over to Joe Prividi, the racketeer producer of her show. As Joe is after Jill hammer and thongs, he jumps at the chance to win her favor. Jill however discourages Prividi’s attentions until one night the rack¬ eteer stages a raid on Fred’s hang out while the latter is having t private little party with a chorus girl from the show. Jill sees the story in a sensational theatrical weekly and in a passion of anger, denounces Fred telling him she is through. Jill becomes Prividi’s girl. Jill seeks to forget by going to one "wild” party after another. At one affair a "drunk” forces his atten¬ tions on Jill. Prividi interferes and shoots the man in self-defense. At the courthouse where she has been taken as a witness, Jill meets a ragged, broken-down Fred. At first he tells Jill he is a big success, but later breaks down and confesses to the truth. He’s a failure. Jill bails him out and puts him on his feet. They plan to go away and start life anew. Learning of this, Joe, who has been bailed out, arranges to “get" Fred. He has two "plants" waylay the couple at the railroad station. The scheme doesn t work and Jill and Fred make their train before it pulls out. Joe has prepared for such a turn of events and iconfronts them with a revolver. There is a strong scene in which the men struggle for su¬ premacy. An unexpected turn of events brings the story to a surprise finish that leaves the spectator thrill¬ ed and happy. JOSEPH M. SCHENCK presents NORMA TALMADGE with GILBERT ROLAND “NEW YORK NIGHTS” A Lewis Milestone Production Based on the Stage Hit “Tin Pan Alley” by Hugh Stanislaus Stange Produced under the supervision of JOHN W. CONSIDINE, JR. Scenario by Jules Furthman Cameraman Ray June UNITED ARTISTS PICTURE CAST Jill Deverne.NORMA TALMADGE Fred Deverne.Gilbert Roland Joe Prividi.John Wray Peggy .Lilyan Tashman Ruthie Day.Mary Doran Johnny Dolan .Roscoe Karns THE STORY Jill Deverne is a pretty chorus girl. Her husband, Fred, is a song writer, with not enough will power to resist liquor. Jill is tired sup¬ porting him on her small salary and hints she is going to leave. Fred and Johnny Dolan, his partner, have finished a song, and he tries to soften Jill's anger with a picture of a glowing future for them both. She enthuses over the song and finally consents to show it to Joe Prividi, the racketeering producer of the musical show in which she is appearing. Fred objects on the grounds that he “wouldn’t ask that guy for any favors,” but he is overruled. Prividi, who has an eye out for Jill, consents to place the song in his show. As Jill brings the news to Fred and Dolan, who are waiting in the wings, she sees Fred embracing Ruthie Day, a chorus girl. Fred tells Jill he will meet her at the Footlights Club after the show. Jill is at the "whoopee palace” on time. She meets Prividi there, and refuses to listen to his claims that Fred is drunk. She waits until two, and goes home. A few minutes later Fred and Dolan stagger into the night club. Seeing Fred is helpless, Prividi calls Ruthie Day and whispers to her, then tells the club’s manager, his lieutenant, that he will have to stand for a raid. The police enter and discover Fred and Ruthie in a room and take them to the station house. Prividi bails Fred out and sees to it that a scandalous theatrical weekly gets a scoop. The next morning Jill reads the lurid headlines naming her husband and Ruthie. At this point Fred arrives and Jill flies Into a frenzy of disgust and anger. She says she will go to Prividi and have caraculs and sables like the other girls. Six months later Jill and Prividi are returning to their elaborate apartment where another one of their “wild parties” is in progress. As the party progresses, a drunken gambler attempts to make love to Jill. Prividi, after a scuffle, shoots the man in self defense. The police arrest Joe, taking Jill along as a witness. As the bars close behind Prividi, a man staggers in between two burly detectives. It is Fred. Jill pleads to bail him opt and the sergeant agrees. Fred tells Jill that he is a “wow” of a success. His ragged clothes belie the statement and finally he breaks down and confesses he has been bluffing. This demonstration touches Jill’s heart and she plans for a new future with her errant husband. Prividi, who has been bailed out, hears they are leaving New York. He engages four thugs to shoot Fred down as they board the train. The plan miscarries. During the melee one of the gangsters fires, and plants the gun in Fred’s pocket. Johnny, Fred’s pal from Tin Pan Alley, hurries the couple through the gate and as the police arrive, crumples in a heap, saying, “Don’t shoot, I’ve got a stomach full of lead already.” Nabbing one of the conspirators at the phone while talking to Prividi, the police learn Prividi is going to entrain at the next stop and put Fred away himself. Prividi surprises the pair in their compartment and Fred, in his bewilderment, puts his hand in his pocket. Feeling the revolver, he commands Joe to stop where he is. Joe tries to make light of it but Fred says, “You’re a big shot gamb¬ ler, come on, call me! Take a chance!” “Don’t rush me, Freddie,” parries Joe, “I’m trying to figure you out.” As the train plunges into a tunnel, Joe barks, “I call!” A shot is fired. When they come into the light again, Prividi is nowhere to be found. A moment later the police enter with Prividi a prisoner. Luekily Fred had missed. With Joe out of the way on a charge of murder, Jill and Fred are able to begin their lives anew. Broadway Stage Hit Provides Norma Talmadge with Plot for First Talker—"New York Nights” ’New York Nights” the fast-paced drama of Broadway back-stage life which will enliven the screen at the .theatre on. presents Norma Talmadge, star of some of the screen's foremost suc¬ cesses, in her first talking picture. Sponsored by Joseph M. Schenck and released by United Artists, the picture is based on the famous Broadway stage success, “Tin Pan Alley,” written by Hugh Stanislaus Stange. Enthusiastically heralded by the country’s leading critics as one of the best examples of the new^ cell¬ uloid art, “New York Nights” un¬ folds a tale of the show people who help to characterize city life. The pivotal character is a young chorus girl, Jill, who is the sole support of Fred, her lovable but quite irrespon¬ sible song-writing husband. Fred parries her threat to leave him by interesting Jill in his latest number. The song gives Prividi, a racketeer producer, an opportunity to win his way into Jill’s favor. The girl repels him however, but later, upon dis¬ covering Fred involved in a scandal with another girl, leaves her hus¬ band and encourages the racketeer's attentions. Endless wild parties follow till one night the racketeer shoots a drunken gambler who has been over-attentive to Jill. At the court¬ house Jill meets Fred, her husband, now but the wreck of his former self. She pities him, puts up his bail and plans to begin life with him anew. Upon his release, the racketeer learns of what has happened. The action from this point on, builds up to a terrific climax replete with surprises and strong situations. Norma Talmadge as the hapless little chorus girl has one of the most colorful roles of her career. Her speaking voice, from all ac¬ counts, is rich with feeling and to¬ nal color and gives added strength to a characterization pulsating with reality. Miss Talmadge is surround¬ ed by a galaxy of stage and screen favorites including Gilbert Roland, John Wray, Lilyan Tashman, Mary Doran and Roscoe Karns. Lewis Milestone was the director.