Star-dust in Hollywood (1930)

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Hollywood — First TDays on the Movie Lot Sternberg's salary, was the man who gave him permission to give us permission. The rudder is less remarkable than the figurehead. Mr Dick was little more than a youth, smoothly haired, neatly dressed; not the person whom you might well imagine with a metaphorical trumpet under his arm, a trumpet that could resound the full width and length of the United States. He listened to our demand with the official, easy good-humour, with that readiness to consider a question fairly, that makes the American business man so pleasant to deal with in contrast with the business men of so many other nations, including our own. And this easiness was not bred by any sympathy with our desire. At last he decided it was too serious a matter for a single decision. He called in a superior publicity man, one a little less spick-and-span, who heard us through and then called in a yet higher panjandrum, still less carefully clad. For, in parenthesis, we noticed often that the higher one climbed in the scale of Hollywood the less meticulous the costume had to be. Von Sternberg took more sartorial liberties than the camera-men, and they than the sub-director. One day, as I was watching D. W. Griffiths directing, a voice sounded in my ear: " D'you know who that is over there ? " "Who?" I said. " That man over there. I'll tell you; it's D. W. You know, D. W. Griffiths," said the young man, a studio messenger called in movie slang the * grip.' " I know," I answered. " But, hell! " he said. " Can't you see he's wearing an old coat?" "Well, why shouldn't he?" " But, gosh, man ! It's D. W., I'm telling you. He don't have to wear old coats." G [97]