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‘The Dark Horse”’ Is Sparkling Comedy On Political Operations
The first of the Presidential year political films to reach the local sereen, “The Dark Horse,” which hecan’ a, Tun abe thes. ote ee Theatre yesterday, also has the distinction of being one of the finest comedy dramas since the advent of talkIng “pictures:
It was produced by First National Pictures from an original screen story by an anonymous author and was directed by Alfred E. Green, who gave us “Union Depot,” “The Rich Are Always With Us” and “It’s Tough To Be Famous.” Joseph Jackson and Courtenay Terrett, two former newspapermen wrote the dialogue and the adaptation.
As a contribution to the excitement of the election period, “The Dark Horse” carries a certain satirical message, but it is really fast and frolicsome entertainment that will give ma and pa and the kids who are casting their first vote a splendid evening of laughs.
Through a comedy of errors a dumbbell gets the nomination for governor. It then becomes a real job to elect him and, for this purpose, a high powered promoter (Warren William) is rescued from the alimony prison.
With the entrance upon the scene of William the story moves rapidly, with comedy and melodrama mixed in liberal portions.
In telling the story Director Green has done a bang-up job, but he had able assistance from one of the best balanced casts seen in months.
Warren William, who topped a year of fine performances with a tremendous job of acting in “The Mouthpiece,” again turns in a splendid performance. Bette Davis, who has the lead opposite to him, gives one of the best characterizations any young woman has shown in Hollywood this year.
Besides the two featured leads, the cast includes Guy Kibbee, Robert Warwick, Frank McHugh, Sam Hardy and Vivienne Osborne.
This picture may well be tabbed as 100 per cent entertainment, with added interest because of its timeliness and the realism that has been injected into it.
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Opening Day Story
First Political Film Of Year At soo Today
a Sisandcign sa dbaiN Theatre patrons will have their chance to see the first political picture of this election year when “The Dark Horse,” in which Warren William, Bette Davis and Guy Kibbee are featured, opens today.
“The Dark Horse,’ adapted by two former political correspondents from a story by an anonymous author, said to be a _ prominent political figure, concerns the difficulties encountered when a_ political party cannot reach an agreement on its candidate for governor and compromises on a “dark horse,” who turns out to be difficult to handle because of a tendency to do the wrong thing at the right moment— for the opposing party. Warren William is called in to manage the candidate’s campaign and steer him in the proper channels. The situation is productive of a brand of comedy rare on stage or screen.
Alfred E. Green, who directed the picture, handled 97 “name” charaeters in “The Dark Horse,” a record for Hollywood casts.
The picture is set against the fastpaced, hectic background of a political convention. Treating the situation from a humorous angle. “The Dark Horse” elicits every drop of the story’s comedy possibilities.
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Warren William Has Become Popular Star
Warren William, First National player now at the.......... Theatre in “The Dark Horse,” with Bette Davis, Guy Kibbee, Vivienne Osborne and Frank McHugh in the supporting cast, has proved one of the most successful stage actors ever to have been brought from the New York stage.
So many inquiries regarding him have been sent in to the studio, and to the various theatres, where his pictures have played, that the attention of Warner Bros.-First National officials has been called to his popularity.
“We have never had any player who stepped to the front so rapidly as has Warren William, said Gradwell L. Sears, Warner Bros.’ Executive in charge of Western and Southern Sales. “It takes many players years before theatre-goers give them anything but routine recognition. William’s first year has been a phenomenal exhibition of a player catching the publie’s fancy. His work in “The Mouthpiece” unquestionably proves that his future on the screen is brilliant.”
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Football Star Helped Make ‘‘Dark Horse’’
A curious state of affairs existed during the filming of “The Dark Horse,” a timely First National political comedy drama now at the Sr Uh ios, AT eta Theatre, which had as its second assistant director a man whose name is fully as famous as that of any member of the cast.
Visitors to the set would ask to be introduced to the stars of the picture, and then in the next breath would ask also to be presented to the second assistant director.
The personage in question was none other than Russ Saunders, famous University of Southern California half-back, and All-American football star. Upon his graduation recently from college, Russ went into the picture game. While he was still in school he had served as_ technical director for many football films.
“The Dark Horse” is Saunders’ seeond picture. Alfred E. Green directed “The Dark Horse” and Warren William, Bette Davis and Guy Kibbee have the leading roles.
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Bette Davis Won Fame Without Usual Hardship
The rocky road to success in the movies is strewn with the tales of struggle of those who attained fame. One of the most recent of the newcomers, however, has no such tale to tell.
She is Bette Davis, First National featured player, playing the lead, opposite Warren William in “The Dark Horse,” a timely political comedy dramawad thei she ON Theatre.
Graduating from an exclusive New England Academy, where she had played in most of the school plays, Bette went at once into the John Murray Anderson school of the drama in New York City. One of her teachers at the dramatic school who was also the director of the Provincetown Players, soon singled out Bette to take part in the plays given by this company.
Later, there were parts with Richard Bennett. In all, she played three years in New York and her parts were all leads.
When she came to Hollywood George Arliss selected her for a leading role opposite him in “The Man Who Played God.” Her work was so good that she was placed under long term contract by Warner Bros.
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Vivienne OG sborne Won’t Change 10 A Blonde
Here’s one actiress who’s not going blonde! |
“When the rest of Hollywood has
faded to one Color, a few of us
brunettes are going to be noticed— if only by contrajst,” laughs Vivienne Osborne, who, Nevertheless, wore a blonde wig in Filward G. Robinson’s “Two Seconds,” but reverted to her natural dark beauty for “The Dark Horse,” the political comedy drama, now at. there iai Theatre, in which she appeals with Warren William, Bette Davis and Guy Kibbee.
Not that Vivienne ig likely to be passed up wher |the average eye is travelling over any screen on which she is appearing — no matter how many blondes may be forming a background.
She has played n only five pictures, but you have seea her in such recent hits as “The Fam)us Ferguson Case” and in the feminite lead opposite Edward G. Robinsoy in “Two Seconds.” ase” is one of the fires ever to have been attempted jy the motion pictures. It was.vritten and adapted by Joe Jackson ind Courtenay Terrett, a brace of &-newspapermen who know their politis. Alfred E. Green directed.
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Guy Kibbec Renews 26 Year Frienc hip
Twenty-six yeas ago, Guy Kibbee was a red-headed7zoung juvenile and J. Farrell MacDnald was a handsome leading mi: in a little repertory company plaing out of Denver, Colorado. The copany played about ten weeks on the ha and then folded, leaving the indidual members to make their way ack home as best they could. 1
Kibbee and (| ‘Donald, though both remained q the stage, never met in the time nce then.
Recently, they et on a First National set where bbee was working in “The Dark Hc |:,” a timely comedy drama with a ~** \] story which is now at the \Theatre, with Warren Willi: ‘Betta Davis.
Kibbee didi MacDonald, but MacDonal¢ 2 ed the name of Guy Kibbee ; ‘tle memory probing mck th association.
Bette Davis Formerly Worked As Life Guard
Bette Davis, playing opposite Warren William in the First National picture “The Dark Horse” FeN rik (2 ane Rah ct Theatre, was once a life guard, and a good one. She is one of the finest swimmers in Hollywood and complains because the swimming pool at her Toluca Lake home, a lake almost half a mile in length is too small.
Warren William Grew His Fifth Moustache For “The Dark Horse”’
Warren William, who plays opposite Bette Davis in “The Dark Horse’ now. af the. Theatre, holds some sort of championship in Hollywood. He has grown, and lost, via the razor, five different moustaches in the past few months. The necessity arose through various Sequences in his pictures where he played with the upper lip adorned, or unadorned. In “The Dark Horse” it’s “adorned.”
Guy Kibbee Uses Dummy To Fool His Neighbors
Guy Kibbee, who is “running for governor” in “The Dark Horse,” a First National picture now playing EO 9: aR Theatre, has a number of exact dummies of himself that are used in the picture. One of these he has taken home to keep. He wants to shove it in front of the window so the neighbors will think he stays at home nights.
Owner Of Racing Stable Thought “Dark Horse’”’ A Story Of The Tracks
The day before his wonder horse died, David J. Davis, Australian owner of the late Phar Lap, winner of the Agua Caliente handicap, was visiting Alfred E. Green, First National Pictures director at the Burbank studios.
Davis thought he was really going to have a treat on Green’s set where Green was directing a picture called “The Dark Horse,” which is now playing ab thé. 0 Theatre. He learned to his astonishment, however, that it is not a racing pieture but a political picture. He enjoyed
his visit, anyway.
CURRENT FEATURE FOR SATURDAY OR SUNDAY
Screen Alone Cannot Train Actors, Says Warren William
‘“No matter how big the sereen grows, it can’t afford to let the stage die.’’
The speaker was Warren William, First National’s featured player in V The Dark. Horse,’ now atthe 707) Theatre, a political comedy-drama in which the hit of ‘“‘The Mouthpiece,”’
William arrived in Hollywood from Broadway a year ago. He celebrated his first anniversary on the set of ‘‘The Dark Horse. And during that year—a year spent in unremitting
hard work, and which includes such pictures as ‘‘Honor of the
Family” “Woman from Monte Carlo,” “Under Eighteen,” “Beauty and the Boss,” “The Mouthpiece” which really made him a star, and “The Dark Horse”’—he believes he has learned something about acting for a motion picture camera. Some of his observations, which may be taken as one man’s view of the present Hollywood situation, are as follows.
“At present, the stage actor is expected to make a picture part equal in dramatic power to a stage part for which he has had a great deal more preparation, and for which, on the stage, he alone is responsible.
“Actors for the screen can never be trained in Hollywood, but will always be brought from the stage as long as talking pictures are popular.
“The stage actor brought to Hollywood should have a vacation in New York, either to see or preferably to play in a play before an audience to freshen his viewpoint, at least once in every two years. The player who continues to play for a camera and microphone without contacting an audience from time to time, loses something very valuable — namely, his ability to create and sustain suspense by his acting alone, without aid of the sound machine, the cut or the camera.
“On the stage, an actor is required to build his own play. He works up to climaxes, sustains them, and lets them down at will—but he has always the opportunity to complete them. On the screen, the actor builds his climaxes all right, but when he comes to see them he learns that his efforts have been frustrated by the sound man, who has dropped the sound at that particular time, for very definite and good screen reasons; by the cutter, who may have cut into his scene by putting another player in closeup on the screen, leaving only his voice to carry the scene; by the director, who may have all along intended to bring out some other point more forcibly than the one the actor was trying to make.
“All this, naturally, means a great deal of wasted effort on the actor’s part before he learns where and when to expend himself and where and when to conserve himself,
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“T do not say, of course, that the actor should have the function of the director or the soundman or the cutter. But I do hold that, in order adequately to deliver what he has to give of experience and talent, some greater cooperation of these other workers with the actor is necessary.
“Tt may be, of course, that out of thé motion picture as it is now produced will grow another type of actor entirely, one who can at will whip himself into this emotion or that emotion, and cut them off as shortly as may be demanded by the exigencies of the mechanism with which he is working. But I am of the mind that some sort of contact with audiences will always give an actor a truer perspective, a more realistic knowledge of his effectiveness, than any acting for a camera and microphone can ever do.
Bette Davis and Vivienne Osborne
play opposite William in “The Dark Horse.”