He Was Her Man (Warner Bros.) (1934)

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Joan Blondell Likes Any Film Role That’s Human Feminine Lead In “tHe Was Her Man’? Draws Line At Playing Cheating Women HAT every actor and actress has a favorite part, a ‘‘dream role’’ is the popular belief and it’s very largely true. In some instances, they’ve been able to realize their dream and play their ideal character. Those instances are dis tinetly in the minority. The late Eddie Foy, famous stage comedian, longed all his life to play Hamlet, but never did. Richard Barthelmess has always wanted to do Napoleon. Leslie Howard has had his ears cocked for years, waiting for an enterprising producer to invite him to play ‘‘ Peer Gynt.’’ Hobart Cavanaugh is crazy to do one of Dicken’s comedy characters. Jean Muir’s secret ambition—and it isn’t too great a secret—is some day to emulate Bernhardt in Rostand’s ‘‘L’Aiglon.’’ On the other hand, take Joan Blondell. There isn’t a single character Joan can think of that she’d give her right eye to play, as the saying goes. She so thoroughly enjoys human nature in any of its reasonably decent, normal, interesting aspects that almost any part that fits her is grist for her mill. Dishwasher vs. Duchess ‘<There’s only one thing I insist upon,’’ said Joan, as she sat beside Jimmy Cagney on the set of her latest Warner Bros. picture, ‘“He Was Her Man’’ which comes HOE EEL» ot aie eer Theatre on Sa eee ‘¢The women I play, no matter where they start from, or where they land when they fall, have yzot to be square shooters. I wouldn’t attempt to play the part of a cheat or a double-crosser, because I couldn’t make an audience believe me in it, and I couldn’t believe myself in that kind of a part. ‘“‘The thing that makes a character interesting to me, is the struggle that character is making to get somewhere, and her desire to play the game, whatever it is, on the level. Whether she succeeds or fails, it’s drama and it’s real. ‘““Take the part of Rose in ‘‘He Was Her Man,’’ Joan continued. ‘‘To me, it’s the most interesting part I’ve had to play since ‘Union Depot.’ There’s terrific drama and pathos in the dilemma that confronts this little waif of the San Francisco streets, when love, real love comes into her life too late to do her any good, unless she is willing to break the heart of the devoted, simple-souled Portuguese fisherman she has promised to marry. No Role Haunts Her ‘In more ways than one, ‘He Was Her Man’ is a bigger, deeper, more unusual story than ‘Union Depot’ and it’s one that I am certain is going to strike home to motion picture audiences. ‘‘T’m not impressed by parts that call for a lot of “beautiful clothes,’’ said Joan. ‘‘ Naturally, I like to wear stunning clothes and outfits as well as any girl, but clothes don’t make drama. I7’1 turn my back on a smart wardrobe any day for a chance to do some real acting. I’m not unusual in that. Every actress feels the same way. But as for having any particular part or character that has haunted me ever since I began to act, that I hoped to get the chance to play some day, I’m afraid I ean’t be guilty.’’ Based on an original story, from the pen of Robert Lord, ‘‘ He Was Hier Mans, oshas ano ables cast. grouped around Joan Blondell and James Cagney, which includes such experienced players as Victor Jory, Sarah Padden, Frank Craven, Ralfe Harolde, Harold Huber, Russell Hopton and George Chandler. Lloyd Bacon directed. _ Bros. She's Jimmy’s Joan Again! Cagney Smacks Nary A Gal In New Film James. Cagney, screen tough guy and smacker of women, smacks nary a smack in his latest Warner picture, ‘‘He Was Her Man,’? -which comes to the ...:........ Re ee INOS OMe. sens toes cs Jimmy is plenty tough in this picture, and ruthless enough with women. But he is something of the polished villain and does not use his fists once, either on a woman or a man. Joan Blondell plays opposite Jimmy, a woman of the streets whom he _ doublecrosses, but afterwards makes up for it by stepping out of her life to his own death. Lovely Joan Blondell, who cavorts through drama and comedy with equal success, returns with Jimmy Cagney in the Warner Bros. drama, “He Was Her Man,” coming Wednesday to the Strand. Mat No. 11—20e Weeks Spent in Building Fisherman Home for Film Character Sets In ‘“‘He Was Her Man”? Take Far Longer To Construct Than Palace T IS said in Hollywood that one can give a studio set dresser | four walls, an armful of drapes, one gd6od rug and seven pieces of furniture and that within two hours he will have a palatial drawing room ready for the cameras. If it is not a palatial drawing room which is needed but a character interior, such as the living quarters occupied by Portuguese fisher folk in the Warner Bros. picture, ‘‘He Was Her Man,’’ which comes to the Soaitecene eet AGREE ON ccc, then it may take that same set dresser two days or even two weeks to get ready for the camera. Any set dresser whose heart is in his work, welcomes an opportunity to ‘‘dress’’ a character interior. Such a job is a challenge to his ingenuity, and a fisherman’s cottage with its collections of curios, its medley of furniture and its quaint assortment of souvenirs, bric-a-brae and wall decorations is something that a dresser like Fred McLain ean ‘‘get his teeth into.’’ Nick Gardella’s cottage in which much of the action of the picture takes place, was built in duplicate. One was set up on a sound stage where the interior scenes between James. Cagney, Joan Blondell and Victor Jory, the three principals of the picture, take place. The other was shipped to a location near Monterey, California, where it figured in the exterior scenes made there. No attempt was made to duplieate the furnishing, however. These were assembled and used first in the interior acts at the studio and then packed and rushed by truck to the Monterey location. There were five hundred and twenty-nine separate pieces of furniture and ‘‘hand props’’ used in the five room Gardella cottage and they varied all the way from a high backed walnut bedstead to a hand beaded bird which serves as a pin cushion on a_ bedroom bureau. ““TIn the first place,’? McLain explained, ‘‘we visited several similar cottages in fishing settlements up and down the coast. The typical not poor but neither is he wasteful. He saves everything and as a consequence his home is generally stuffed full of odds and ends which have been gathered through several generations. ‘“These people are deeply religious and this is reflected in their homes, in the decorations and furnishings. Learning these things helped us provide the proper interior settings.’’ Every one of the five hundred odd articles which went to furnish the Gardella cottage, was handpicked by McLain. Taking a room at a time he searched the studio storerooms, the ‘‘poor prop’? department, the rental houses and the second hand stores for items to use. Portuguese fisherman is _ James Cagney Calls Wife Biggest kvent of Life Star Of *“‘He Was Her Man”? Enumerates Nine ; Turning Points In His Career BY JAMES CAGNEY (Star of the Warner Bros. picture, ‘‘He Was Her Man,’’ which COMICS C0 THE a ee DG ORION de eos Bee ) F I WERE to set down the ten events in my life which have exerted the greatest influence on it, they would probably be these: (1) Going to work as a schoolboy after hours. It gives any kid who does it a slant on life and an acquaintance with the world that the average child doesn’t get until after his schooldays are over. (2) Going to Columbia University. Even if a boy never graduates, as I didn’t, college gives him attitudes, points of view and interests he wouldn’t otherwise acquire. (3) Trying to be an artist. Important, because I stuck at art long enough to discover that I didn’t have what it took to be a successful one, particularly in terms of dollars and cents. And dollars and cents were quite important in the Cagney household at that time. Seven Hungry Mouths (4) Going on the stage. There were seven mouths to help feed just then, and vaudeville—I’m not talking about ‘the big time,’ .either—was the only practical so lution to that problem. I’ve been an actor ever since, which shows what a turning point in my life that step was. (5) My first chance to appear on Broadway. That’s a turningpoint in any actor’s life, and I didn’t get it until I had played every tank town, or so it seemed to -me,—inthe country. -‘The—play, which was ‘‘Outside Looking In’’ (and deseribes exactly how I felt) wasn’t a success, and I went back to the sticks. Later another chance at the Great White Way came and that one kept me there. (6). Getting a part in ‘‘Maggie The Magnificent.’’ It didn’t seem like a turning-point at the time, but looking back upon George Kelly’s play, it was important because there Joan Blondell and I played together for the first time. And secondly, because of the sequel. (7) Getting into the cast of ‘“Penny Arcade.’’ Perhaps the most important turning-point since I first went into the theatre, because this was the play that Warner Bros. bought, the play that brought both Joan and me our first motion picture contracts, and the play that was made into our first motion’ picture production, under the title of ‘‘Sinners’s Holiday.’’ (8) The picture, ‘‘Public Enemy.’’ Modesty forbids me to do anything but quote the producers of this picture on the subject, but they insist that it definitely established me at the box-office. Certainly it has influenced every story and role I have played ever since. (9) My marriage. In reality, I met Mrs. Cagney years before some of the events I have related, so as a ‘‘turning-point’’ my wife is not in chronological order. I’ve UPPER Paris t PANAMA! * SEBO + James Cagney in “He Was Her Man” at the Strand Mat No. 6—10e saved her until the last because she is probably the most important turning-point of all. ‘“He Was Her Man’’ is an intensely dramatic story of a play girl who wants to go straight and is given her chance by a no-good lover whose one act of decency is to go to his death without her. There is a strong cast which includes besides Cagney, Joan Blondell, Victor Jory, Frank Craven, Harold Huber, Russell Hopton and Ralfe Harolde. AA / v7 here s fo You. Jimmy Cagney, Joan Blondell and Victor Jory, the bibulous threesome seen above, are present at the Strand this week, in Warner Bros.’ drama “He Was Her Man.” Mat No. 5—20e Page Fifteen