Star-dust in Hollywood (1930)

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Hollywood — First Days on the Movie Lot support, since eight stone of relaxed womanhood, wholly de- pendent on the arms alone, might be a serious inconvenience to concentrated acting. Besides, it is confoundedly difficult to arrange an unconscious girl well in real life—she sags too much. Betty Compson now took the double's place, and her Nujol-soaked skirt was carefully arranged to hide the seat. Then she was draped in a becoming faint. A workman gave the two a final spraying with Nujol, and, while the violinist struck up appropriate music, buckets of water were dashed over their heads. At each bucketful Bancroft grimaced and blew the spray from his face. " Cameras." Slowly, heavily, the soaked and grumpy star stalked away, bearing his fair, dripping burden through the arc-lights into the darkness. "What," cried Von Sternberg, when he heard of our difficulties at the gate, "they wouldn't let you through? But I gave my secretary orders ..." " The boy said there was no authority," we repeated. " No authority," he growled. " I'll soon see to that. Call up my secretary to-morrow before you come." But his autocracy was, it seemed, limited. For the clear voice of his secretary told us that we must first see Mr Dick, of the Publicity Department. Hitherto we had been admitted by the door to the right of young Cerberus, the door which always celebrated our passage by a noise like that of a gigantic cockchafer. This time we were shown through the left-hand door, a silent, secretive opening that led into dark passages dimly lit by office doors. Passing a wicket-gate, we came into a small hall surrounded alternately by doors and by baize-covered [95]