The Night of Love (United Artists) (1927)

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After^Your Opening INSIDE THE STUDIO Behind The Screen When “The Night Of Love” Was Being Made By DAVID HASTINGS Humor, they say, is like beauty— only skin deep—but in the studios of Hollywood, humor is what keeps the wheels of progress turning; keeps the hero making love, the vamp vamping and the villain “menacing.” George Fitzmaurice, one of Holly¬ wood’s leading exponents of humor, acted as my personal guide when I visited stage No. 3, where he was shooting the big ballroom scene for his latest production, “The Night of Love,” for Samuel Goldwyn. “Fitz,” as he is known to everyone, is a big, heavy-set, jovial-looking chap, and is entirely, absolutely and always accompanied by one of the smallest wire-haired Scotch terriers in existence. “Buddie,” the dog, was at Fitz’s heels when he met and greeted me at the studio gate. Samuel Gold- wyn’s statisticians have figured that Buddie costs the studio at least $1,000 per picture, and as he has played (around) in five pictures, it can easily be seen that by this time he is a quite expensive dog. Bob McIntyre, the production manager, explained Buddie’s cost to me as follows: It costs the studio an average of $400 per hour to oper¬ ate. “Fitz” spends at least one hour and a half of shooting time per picture playing with Buddie and the other hour and a half per picture is taken up by the stage hands halting the camera while they chase Buddie off the set. This makes no allowance, McIntyre said, of the number of scenes which have been ruined because Buddie broke his leash and rushed furiously into the middle of things in the mistaken idea that he was helping out. As “The Night of Love” is a picture of Spain of 400 years ago, it can be seen that a modern wire-haired terrier would be out of place and any scene wherein this canine interloper ap¬ peared would have to be re-taken. But to go back to our visit. Fitz met me and led me down to the big Zeppelin-shed looking structure which housed the main hall of Duke de La Garda’s feudal castle. The first person we met was the duke himself, whom I recognized, after our introduction, as Montagu Love. He was reading a copy of “Jurgen,” to get, he said, into character. Over at one side was Miss Vilma Banky, regarding her blonde beauty in a full length mirror while a maid sewed a sleeve on her thousand-dol- lar wedding gown. “I am pleased to meet you,” she greeted me. “We have had—what you call eet—an accident—yes?” And she dangled her half-sewn sleeve in my direction, disregarding her imminent peril of getting stuck by the seamstress. “Mr. Love is—oh, so strong,” she explained. “We play a scene to¬ gether and he pull so—and off it come. Now we must sew to put it back. It is lucky for Vilma he have my sleeve and not my hand, yez?” And she laughed friendly at the idea. “Villains are always unfortunate,” lamented Mr. Love, looking up from his book, “because they always get killed off before they have a chance to complete their villainy. Now heroes are different”—and he looked off across the stage toward Ronald Colman’s portable dressing room. “Mr. Love, he is a flatterer,” an¬ nounced Miss Banky. “One must nevair, nevair believe what he say. He is one good villain.” We laughed together and I looked off across the set. It was a huge banquet fyall filled with heavy medi¬ aeval furniture and with the walls decorated with heavy tapestries and velvet hangings. Awaiting camera- call were hundreds of courtiers, servants and beautiful ladies, some of them regarding their costumes dubiously as if wondering how in the deuce they were to walk and act naturally in them. In one corner Marion Morgan was training her dancing girls for their sequence, which, it was explained to me, was to be something unique in motion pictures—a Moorish bachan- nalian orgy. Looking at the cos¬ tumes of the girls it was easy to believe the dance was well named. Curiously, however, no one on the set paid the slightest attention to their, to say the least, abbreviated costumes. “All in the day’s work,” laughed Fitz, interpreting my amazement. “We would pay $20 to see them in the Follies, but no one thinks anything about it here.” At that instant George Barnes, the cameraman, announced that chey were ready to “shoot,” and 1 moved to one side to get out of Hie way. They were shooting the sequence where the bandit soldiers under the leadership of Ronald Col- man storm the castle of the duke and stage a magnificent fight on the staircase. As I watched the shooting a group of the fighters were shoved willy- nilly over the side of the steps for a sheer 60-foot fall to the floor of the castle below. I gasped in amazement and then chuckled, for “Fitz” had taken precautions for just this sort of occurrence by placing at least five tons of hay in a huge rick beside the stairs. The movie cavaliers picked themselves up, wiped the hayseed out of their eyes and grinned as though a 60- foot fall was all in the day’s work —as indeed it was. The scene finished, the cavaliers separated into little groups to await the next call of “camera” and the stage was given over to the Marion Morgan dancers to rehearse for their dance sequence. At Miss Morgan’s call, the group of barefoot girls leaped wildly down the long staircase to escape from the cracking lash of the giant Moor who pursued them. At the blast of a whistle they stopped instantly and threw themselves upon the stone steps in a statuesque group of bare legs and bodies. Above them tow¬ ered the Moor, his biting lash snap¬ ping to and fro. HYMAN WANTS TO MAKE A MILLION Playing with every beautiful lead¬ ing lady on the screen and never kissing one of them is the record of Bynunsky Hyman, the merry undersized comedian, who has a prominent role in George Fitz- maurice’s production, “The Night of Love,” for Samuel Goldwyn, which comes to the .The¬ ater . Hyman was born at Vilna, Russia, in July, 1882. He came to the United States in 1910, and started acting for the camera in 1918. Hyman has had a high school edu¬ cation and is not married. At the present time, he says, he is looking for a blind blonde. He is four feet ten inches in height, weighs 108 pounds, has brown eyes, and the color of his hair is “none.” BRAND NEW BRAND FOR MONTY LOVE “Monty” Love was branded in the face every day for 30 days. It was not that Hollywood is reviving the tortures of the Spanish inquisition, out for his role in Samuel Goldwyn’s “The Night of Love,” the well- known screen villain was required to exhibit a branded countenance through several sequences. How che scar was made is a trade secret of the studio make-up man, but Monty confessed that after a few nours of “wearing it,” the scar hurt nearly as much as the real article. “Cut,” called Miss Morgan, and .he girls relaxed instantly. “That’s great,” she added, cheer¬ fully, “let’s try it again.” Without a murmur, the girls, rightly called “the most beautiful in Hollywood,” turned to climb the steps. Maids darted in and out among them, busily repairing rents in their sheer and scanty finery, and I saw more than one paint pot and strip of court-plaster applied to cover bruises and cuts where the rough stone or the flying whip of the Moor had flaked bits of flesh from the girls’ bare shoulders and arms. But they went up the steps to do it over again—and as they went, they grinned! Ronald Colman came over to ac¬ company me on my walk back to the studio gates. “It’s a great life,” he said. “If we couldn’t laugh, we couldn’t live. We had a good one the other day. A girl came out to watch me doing a sequence on hcfrseback. She watched us all afternoon. “When she went out, I walked to the gate with her just as I am with you. Naturally, I asked her how she had enjoyed watching the horse and I doing our stuff. “ ‘Oh, Mr. Colman,’ she said, ‘the horse was simply marvelous.’ ” ALL MEN WANT TO HE GALLANTS By RONALD COLMAN I suppose that deep in the heart of every man is a desire to turn himself into a swash-buckling gal¬ lant,and to fight valiant sworn duels and rescue beautiful ladies in dis¬ tress. At least I know that there is such an urge deep in myself. When it is my good fortune to play in such a picture X have the double enjoy¬ ment of revelling in my work and at tbe same time getting paid for it. When George Fitzmaurice and Lenore Coffee first approached me with the idea of “Tne Night of imve,” the story of the gypsy who sought revenge and found love, in¬ terested me mightily. Then when the story was selected and they led me to the array of cos¬ tumes which I had to put on I very nearly balked. Imagine a twentieth century man accustomed to loose- ritting tennis trousers and soft flan¬ nel shirt having to wear hip boots, doublet and heavy weight hose through scorching days in the Cali- . forma sunshine. However, I finally decided that I could put up with this and then uhey showed me a ruffled shirt which, m my estimation, made the wearer look like a combination of Lord Fauntleroy and Little Boy Blue. The shirt was banned, but the rest of the costume went “as was,” al¬ though it took me the better part of a week to get used to it. That once accomplished, I found it not so oad and have concluded that the old .Spanish dons were not such foolish people about their costumes as we may suppose. Actual shooting of the picture was a joy from start to finish. I have always liked to handle the sword, and the many outdoor shots of the picture were always inter¬ esting as well as being decidedly good exercise. Also, no man in his right senses could reasonably object to playing- in a picture with such charming women as Miss Banky, Miss Natalie Kingston, Miss Laska Winter and Miss Sally Rand. They are all capa¬ ble actresses and deserve credit for beautiful and sustained perform¬ ances, which I know they will re¬ ceive. The interior shots were al¬ ways interesting and the antics of Hyman, who plays my lieutenant, always managed to divert us be¬ tween scenes. I never saw a picture which pro¬ ceeded as easily and with as few difficulties. The reason for this, I believe, was because the story was true to life and natural. “The Night of Love,” I believe, will always be my favorite picture and I am more satisfied with my performance in this picture than in any other in which I have played. Cotton waste soaked in kerosene was used as torches to illuminate the many night scenes of Samuel Goldwyn’s “The Night of Love,” which is now at the . Theater. The natives of Spain at the period in which the picture is staged, used a variety of resinous pine wood for the purpose, accord¬ ing to the Samuel Goldwyn research department, but the modern substi¬ tute served the cinema even better.