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‘Accidents Will Happen”’ Stunt Men’s Field Day
Insurance companies got a double play from the filming of Warner Bros.’ melodrama ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ starring Ronald Reagan and Gloria Blondell and opening next Friday at the Strand Theatre.
The picture exposed the fake accident racket, whieh has been costing insurance companies millions of dollars yearly.
In addition, due to the unusually dangerous nature of a large number of the fake accidents shown, ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen’’ cost more to insure against accidents in the filming than any reeent film.
Nearly all of the numerous ‘‘dangerous trades’’ of the stu
dios — and any major film plant can reveal at least 14 of these on its job list — were used in film
ing the picture.
Doubles who portrayed real and fake accident victims headed the list both numerically and in point of the risk involved in some of their stunts. Close behind them came the explosives experts, then the fire-and smoke effects department — not to be confused with the regular studio fire department.
Automobile drivers (stunt men) were another class of extra-risk employees used on the _ picture. Then there were specialists who tinker gaily with high-tension eleetricity, who let buildings fall on them (even plaster bricks and balsa-wood beams in sufficient quantities are dangerous) and so on, through a long lst of surprising sidelines full of headaches for insurance men.
But it was Gloria Blondell of the stage’s ‘‘Three Men on a Horse’’ fame yes, she’s Joan’s sister! — doing her very first film,
who had the most dangerous work
of all. She embarks on a career as a fake accident victim, throwing herself in front of speeding autos and so on.
““Tn real life that may be thrilling work — but you can have it! ’’ the pretty brunette declares with a shiver.
OFTEN TAKES ROLE INTO PRIVATE LIFE SAYS FILM ACTRESS
You ean talk yourself into being ill, according to Sheila Bromley, the movie actress, and it’s even easier to talk yourself into earrying a film role into your private life.
When you’re sufficiently aequainted with the character you’re playing to put it on the sereen effectively, you’re fifty per cent habituated to act and think as that character does, for the time being.
““So, when you’re a meanie like I am in my current part at Warner Bros., for example — a doublecrossing wife to star Ronald Reagan in ‘Accidents Will Happen’ — you ean hardly avoid taking some of the mean character away from the studio with you.
““Tt’s a matter of mental suggestion, just as illness often is. My family and friends find I’m a lot better to get along with when I’m playing heroines than ‘vamps.’ So I’d recommend to any man to marry a heroine, rather than a gitl who has to spend most of her time playing meanie roles.’’
Gloria, Blondell is the heroine in “* Accidents Will Happen’’ which is an expose of the fake accident racket. The picture, which is due at the Strand Theatre Friday, was directed by William Clemens from a_ screenplay by George Bricker and Anthony Coldeway.
RONALD REAGAN EX-ANNOUNCER
Look to the movies for proof of the wisdom of some old proverbs.
Take that wheeze about ‘‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good!’’? Small comfort, perhaps, it is to hear that when you’re down on your luck — but if it hadn’t been for somebody else’s misfortune the screen might be deprived of some of its brightest stars today.
And there’s another saying — ““Some are born to greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’’— which doesn’t reflect on those achieving greatness but is true nevertheless.
If Ronald Reagan hadn’t just happened to have been broadeasting the 1937 spring training of the Chicago Cubs at Catalina Island, he probably still would be a radio announcer. Instead, Max Arnow, Warner Bros. talent scout, heard his voice on the air, a screen test was given and followed by a long term contract.
Now Reagan is playing the leading role in ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen,’’ his third picture, coming to the Strand on Friday, and is ready to declare that there is something in a title after all. But while it was through chance he won his opportunity, sheer talent made it possible for him to make good and it made him one of the outstanding discoveries of recent years.
Dick Purcell Fordham Man
At least one actor’s life-long handicap is enjoyment of pick and shovel work, chopping wood or drilling rock.
Dick Purcell lost several chances on the legitimate stage and in vaudeville because he’d take manual labor jobs — by preference between engagements. More than one manager or scout, remembering some nice thing he had done in a production on Broadway or the road, would look him up, and find him at some such task.
Convinced that there was a mistake — an actor simply wouldn’t do things like that — the manager would eliminate Dick from consideration in casting his show.
But young Pureell, a Fordham athlete, got on anyway. A Broadway hit in ‘‘ Paths of Glory’’ won him a contract with Warner Bros., and since that time, a little over a year ago, he has played featured leads or heavies in many a picture. His latest is one in the villain category — in ‘‘Aceidents Will Happen,’’ which stars Ronald Reagan, features Purcell, Gloria Blondell, and Sheila Bromley.
““ Accidents Will Happen,’’ now showing at the Strand Theatre, exposes the fake accident racket which has defrauded many insurance companies. It was directed by William Clemens.
Warner Bros. Again In Headline ‘Scoop’
According to Warner Bros.’
young director, William Clemens, his employers again “scooped” the actual news of a headline sensation in Ronald Reagan’s current starring picture, “Accidents Will Happen,” which will open next Friday at the Strand Theatre. The picture was under production before the recent wholesale indictments against the fake accident racket were being headlined in the newspapers all over the United States.
Country of origin U.S.A. Copyright 1938 Vitagraph, Inc.
Gloria Blondell gets a word of encouragement from her famous sister Joan as she waits for her cue to step in front of the cameras for a scene in Warner Bros.’ “‘Accidents Will Happen” coming to the Strand Thea
tre on Friday.
Stage, Screen Now Easier To *‘Crash,’’ Says Gloria
Both pictures and the stage are sasier to ‘‘erash’’ today than ever before, according to Gloria Blondell. Gloria, a former stage actress now on movie contract at Warner Bros., is the famous Joan’s sister.
She got on the stage and later in pictures without Joan’s help, except in the way of advice and encouragement. And now she’s leading lady in her very first picture, ‘““Aceidents Will Happen,’’ in which she is playing opposite the new star, Ronald Reagan. This melodrama opens next week at the Strand Theatre.
She got her chance on the stage when she finished school, under another name, and attracted the attention of the movie moguls with her outstanding hit in the New York stage production of ‘‘Three Men on a Horse,’’? about the time Joan was prepariny to play it on the sereen in Tollywood.
Pictures and the stage are easier for the beginner to enter says Gloria, because both have learned to respect the products of acting schools, amateur theatres and community drama groups.
“Once they had a very snooty attitude toward players with no professional experience,’’ Gloria explains. ‘‘Now success after success on stage and screen, has hammered into the minds of producers the idea that it isn’t always neeessary to have full blown Bern. hardts and Barrymores.
““They’re taking chances on school products that show real talent. They are trusting their judgement to select actors and actresses rather than trying to let ‘the other fellow’ always take the risk cf giving them a tryout.’’
Gloria Blondell, Ronald Reagan, Dick Purcell and Sheila Bromley are featured in ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen’’ which opens next week at the Strand Theatre.
Black Eye For Reagan
Ronald Reagan, featured Warner Bros. player, got his first black eye while playing in ‘‘ Accidents Will Happen.’’
Your Rambling Reporter
Edward G. Robinson has returned from New York to start ‘‘ The
Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse,’’ reject
ing a handsome stage deal in favor of the film...
Claude Rains balking all news photographers’ efforts to get pictures of Mrs Rains and the baby, “Publicity for one member of the family is enough,” he says . . . Patrice Knowles vacationing in the snow at Camp Baldy in the Sierras...
Penny Singleton (Swing Your Lady) has a pair of goldfish which hide in their underwater castle and sulk everytime swing music is played on the radio... Humphrey Bogart recognized and stopped on the Warner lot by a woman visitor whose life was saved by Bogart’s father during a se.ious illness in New York some years ago...
Wayne Morris probably will buy Hugh Herbert’s ranch, The papers are all ready to be signed... . Dick Powell wants to sell his home and build a new one in Brentwood ...
Patric Knowles has become so expert an archer that he recently won a match at El Segundo in competition with some of the best archers on the coast... George Brent, now in ‘‘Jezebel,’’ so completely sold on Mexico that he says he will spend all his vacations there from now on...
Rudy Vatiee and Rosemary Lane sipping plain soda from the same glass but through two straws. May mean nothing, though, even if Rudy and Gloria Youngblood seem to be on the outs now...
Kay Francis has been seen at the Westside Tennis Club almost every day for the past few weeks without an escort—which is very unusual for Kay...
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TRUE TO FORM
Gloria Blondell possesses the same piquant charm which first brought her sister Joan to the top. She is playing opposite Ronald Reagan in “Accidents Will Happen,” expose of the fake accident racket.