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NEWS FEATURE STORIES
Current Saturday or Sunday Feature
Joan Blondell Spins Yarn of Her Girl Scout Days
Joan Blondell, you know, is the girl who stuffed the strings of the school piano with cotton and voided a solo by.a prissy miss who’d been calling her tomboy because she preferred playing baseball with the boys to playing house with the girls.
It was quite a scandal in the San Diego school cireles about a dozen years ago.
She’s pretty much the same sort isi Tania who tee love uterent of practical joker today, even though in the picture. During a love scene, she’s a gr-r-rand and gug-gug-gloriBad a Stik Taka
they long pose
ous screen star and the prize package of the Warner Bros.-First National lot. Her latest starring picture is ‘“Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Bros. production now “at=the 5 vn snake:
swaying at about a 45-degree angle
and Erie bending toward her, one
arm about her waist, his other hand
entwined with one of hers,
a ““Now hold her firmly, Hric,’? cauETE: tioned LeRoy as they went into the While
working in ‘‘Big City | scene. Linden nodded.
Blues,’? under direction of Mervyn Came the big scene and the crucial
LeRoy, she was called upon to do a} moment. Sound and picture cameras
dance and a _ hot-cha embrace with | were rolling. Blondel] was bent back
ward and in imminent danger of plopping to the floor. Spoiled the Shot ‘¢Hey, &:
bird’s holding me all right,
“<this but I get somebody to
Mervyn,’’ she eried,
think you better hold him up so he doesn’t fall on me,’
LeRoy, who is the best audience for a new story or laugh line in Hollywood, got ready to shoot the scene
again, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a shot at the impish
Blondell. ‘‘What’s the matter, he inquired solicitiously,
little girl,’’ ‘is this your first picture??? cé No 9 = , ture experience was long before I ever
said Joan, ‘‘my first pic
came to Hollywood—like to hear about it??? ‘*Sure,’’? urged LeRoy, ‘‘take old
man Mervyn into your confidence.’’
‘“Tt happened in San Diego,’’ prokid about ten years old. I was a member of the Girl Scouts, Troop 13, anyone wishes to know.
ceeded Joan, ‘‘when I was a
‘So a motion picture outfit came | jqea
down there and started to make a picture called ‘A Day in the Life of a Girl Scout.’ ments was when one of the kids fell
One of the large mo
in the river and was rescued. ‘“Blondell was the best swimmer in the troop—’’ ‘“Best what?’’ interposed LeRoy. ees: of
medals to prove it. anyway, I
and I’ve got a bunch So, was supposed to dive off a little boat little girl.
Then I was to drag her to shore and
dock and grab the other
we were to resuscitate her.
Her Pants Caught “¢ Well, Blondel] jumped a bit too high and got caught
when dove she
on the limb of a tree and hung by the pants—I mean bloomers, and—’’
‘(And they had to have a retake,’’ prompted LeRoy.
ecYes, Mr. retake.
“«Then, ORK; other kid and I fixed up a stretcher The
Sareastic, they had a
after we had to have one where an
we got that scene
to carry the reseued child home.
to take off our middie
blouses, stretch on two long sticks, then place the rescued child on the stretcher and carry her away. ‘“Tt was a swell piece of business, except for one thing.’’ *‘And that was?’’? suggested Mr. LeRoy. ‘Well,
you see these middie blousall the way down the front and the sticks were run through from neck to belt. But Blondell forgot to lace her middie and when we lifted the stretcher with the rescued child in it, the poor kid fell out because my blouse wouldn’t hold her, and she hit her head something awful—’’
‘All vight,’’ said LeRoy, rising’, ‘fall ready for the retake,’’ thus ending Joan’s recital and resuming ‘‘ Big City Blues’’ where they had left off a few minutes before.
The picture is a melodramatic romance dealing with a small town boy and a girl caught in the vortex of metropolitan night life. It was written by Ward Morehouse, author of ‘“Gentlemen of the Press,’’ and was adapaed to the sereen by Lillian Hay
ward and Morehouse. Mervyn LeRoy, of ‘‘ Little Caesar’’ and ‘‘ Five
Star Final’’ fame, directed.
Advance Saturday or Sunday Feature
Joan Blondell Called the “Be-Yourself-Baby”
She is the Great-American-Hoyden, the Arch-Enemy-of-Dignity, the one, only, and original Be-Yourself-Baby. She also is Joan Blondell, star of ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ Warner Bros.’ metropolitan, melodramatic romance which opens at the.....0000.00000000..... Peagtre Nek 3 oe
Joan is one of Hollywood’s most feared picture stealers,
use her fellow players can’t figure out what tricks she has
ee “ext scene,
so mene tS ened ie at ee _——
ase way reople
sent OU E per It’s all a matter of dignity—or, in Joan Blondell’s case, a lack of it.
fectly at ease and always her own
One of her pet aversions is ritzy people. Another is women in evening gowns who carry themselves as though they were made of brittle glass. ‘<Tf a woman can’t feel as free and easy in an evening gown as in a pair of beach pajamas,’’ Joan said, ‘‘she shouldn’t be allowed to wear one. I always feel like giving them a resounding smack on the back to see if they will really fall to pieces.’’
When it comes to women, not one can put anything over on Joan because this very feminine young lady knows all the answers. And as for the men, Joan can outguess the smartest of them any day of the week and
twice on Sundays.
1 = a ‘ 2 an] 3 =
She prefers men as companions, be Whether her followers see her offcause they are a lot of fun. screen in a sweat shirt and duck
Men see in Joan the ideal woman, | Pants or in a formal gown, Joan is
always the same.
She is the favorite of electricians, carpenters, prop boys—and especially cameramen and still photographers on the Warner Bros. lot. She holds the
made for love and jolly companionship, while the women sigh over this prototype of what they would hke to
work where T_
record of having been photographed more often than any other player on the Warner payroll.
The reason for this is that she will go anywhere, do anything—and do it for hours on end—just to help the boys get some good stills.
Popular With Crews
It is all fun to her. She does not stop to worry about whether a certain pose may or may not be dignified. Cameramen with Joan not only get good pictures, but also have a hilarious time getting them.
‘‘What’s the use of working,’’ she
said, ‘if you can’t get fun out of it, too. That’s why I lke working in
pictures rather than anything else I can think of. It is the only line of
get paid for it.’’
It is with this same spirit of abandon that she romps through ‘‘ Big City Blues’’ to give what is considered the finest screen characterization of her career. With her as leading man is Erie Linden, who played opposite her in ‘‘The Crowd Roars.’’ Others in the cast are Walter Catlett, Ned Sparks, Thomas Jackson, Guy Kibbee, Inez Courtney, Jobyna Howland, Humphrey Bogart, Lyle Talbot, Josephine Dunn, Sheila Terry and Clarence Muse.
The picture was adapted from a play written by Ward Morehouse, New York columnist and author of ‘‘Gentlemen of the Press,’?’ Lillian Hayward being the adaptor. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy, maker of “¢Tittle Caesar,’’ ‘‘ Five Star Final,’’ ‘‘High Pressure’? and other suc cesses.
ean he myself —and_})
Birth Notes Concerning
‘Big City Blues’
By WARD MOREHOUSE
Famous Columnist, Author of Warner
“Broadway After Dark,” Bros. Picture Starring Theatre
and “Big City Blues,” Blondell, Coming
“Big City ee = was born ‘‘ New York Town.’
It was started on July 4 and finished on Christmas, 1931. Being sold to Warner Brothers on February 20, Washington’s birthday, another holi
= at a ‘‘grind house’’ near the New London hotel where I was struggling: with the play. To kill an evening’s time, and forget lines and entranees, I dropped into see it and thought that Blondell was swell. Im
day, featured in the colebiation of agine my surprise upon arriving in
the SAlc. = aes
wi n Ye gee ee a al ©
=Wood-to 1¢al ~
‘¢Big City Blues’’ was u.vout to go | play wy featured role in ‘‘ Big into rehearsal as a stage play three | Blues.’ 3
different times. frightened off the producers, they said. The day after the deal with
First National was closed two producers called me and said they had
intended producing it as a anaes play all the time.
The first seene of the play dashed off at the Chateau Frontenac, Quebee, on July 4. of the play was finished by giving, so the author
Mohiean, New London, and
Up to the time I came to Hollywood, I had seen only two talking One of them Joan This. was show
pictures in my life. was ‘Blonde Crazy’? Blondell appeared.
The cost of the thing
was Only one-fourth
swore off on night clubs, took himself to the Hotel there, after six days of peace and quiet, fin
The story is crammed with the atmosphere gathered from the author’s rounds of Manhattan, and at least six of the characters are actual persons. Perhaps I have attended 2,019 parties similar to the one given in the Hotel Hercules in the play. Also, I knew at least a dozen Jo-Jos, several hundred Jackies, and a half a million Gibbys, all characters in the story.
Other items of possible interest:
Tommy Jackson, who plays a cop in the screen story, was the producer of the author’s first play, ‘‘Gentlemen of the Press.’’
Jean Dalrymple, the author’s wife, has a line to speak in the speakeasy scene, and is only so-so.
Further deponent saith not.
Thomas Jackson Famous For His Detective Roles
Thomas Jackson, the Central Office detective in Warner Brothers’ ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ which stars Joan BlonORESaT Sti Gs 6 sete green. Theatre this
week, is probably the creator of the modern detective on the stage and screen. His ‘fDan MeCorn’’ in the New York production of ‘‘ Broadway’’ was hailed everywhere as something new and real in detective characterizations. Jackson had, as_ his model, his brother, William Jackson, one of the best-known members of the Homicide Squad of the New York Police Department.
Jack Dempsey Watched “Big City Blues’? Made
During a visit to Hollywood, his
former home, Jack Dempsey, whom many fight fans still call ‘‘champ,’’ Bros.’
dios for a visit with director Mervyn
went out to the Warner stu
LeRoy, who was directing Joan Blondell in ‘*Big City Blues.’’ He ar
rived on a day when they were shoot
ing one of the biggest night club scenes ever made in Hollywood.
‘‘Tooks like the al
the Manassa Mauler observed to Joan.
‘good old days’,
It was during this trip to Hollywood that tween Dempsey and Hstelle Taylor
rumors of a reconciliation bewere started.
‘“Big City Blues,’’ made from a is now at Miss
play by Ward Morehouse, the ee er ee Theatre.
Blondell is starred,
. ‘ . e 99 Dog in “Big City Blues, A Real Movie Veteran ‘<Beans,’’ who plays a very inmportant part in ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Brothers picture starring
Jal lond Gl at LUC 654 4 Theatre, has been in pictures ever
since he was a pup. As the last one to bid Erie Lindin, his young master, good-bye when the boy starts for the big city, and the first to welcome him home when he comes back broke but happy, everybody agrees that Beans gives a doggone good performance.
Evalyn Knapp Flew 500 Miles for Single Scene
Evalyn Knapp, appearing with Joan Blondell in ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Brothers’ feature now at the Theatre, was on a week-end party on the desert 250 miles from Hollywood. She got a telephone eall that she was needed at the studio for an added scene. Miss Knapp was having lots of fun on the party, but duty is duty. So she chartered a plane, flew to the studio, made the added scene and flew back to the party, all in four hours.
Author Helped Adapt “Big City Blues”
Ward Morehouse, New York
umnist and author of ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ which Warner Bros. will PECSEN Gen lsLhe= o.oo eee Theatre NOM ee traveled by plane
from New York to Hollywood to collaborate with Robert Lord on _ the adaptation of the original stage play.
‘‘Big City Blues’’ is a rapid-fire romance of the metropolis, showing how small town youths and girls may be caught in the whoopee and whirl of the big cities. Joan Blondell is starred and Eric Linden, of ‘‘ The Crowd Roars’’ fame, is her leading man at the head of a powerful supporting cast.
Lots of Cracked Ice Used| Admirer Offers Blondell On Set in “‘Big City Blues’? | Large Diamond—by Mail
Director Mervyn LeRoy used
600 pounds of cracked ice in making
a whoopee party sequence City Blues,’’ a Warner Bros. ture of which
star. It comes to the
PheAthe sss es so The a melodramatic tropolis, reveals what happens to small town boys and in
whirl of the big city.
Gloria Shea Plays First Role in “Big City Blues”
up in| Spree pic
Joan Blondell is the
picture, romance of the me
Joan Blondell, wise-cracking little star of ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Bros. feature which comes to the
Theatre. = ss. save
it certainly pays to do your own fan mail reading!
going through a great bulk of it, she came
Recently, while Joan was
across a letter containing a piece of quartz about the size of a hazlenut. ‘*T have a diamond: that I want you to have,’’? the writer said. ‘‘If you’ll
just write me a letter, signing it yourself and giving me your correct address, I’ll send it to you.’’ The
quartz was enclosed to illustrate the exact size of the diamond!
Gloria Shea, 19-year-old stage and
radio actress who made her sereen deJoan Blondell’s Role in but in Vitaphone short subjects, is | ** sas
seen in her first feature-length picBig Rity Eres, Easy ‘tBige City. Blues,’’ Bros. production starring Joan Blondell at the She is in Hollywood under
ture, a Warner
Joan Blondell is pase a role in Warner Brothers’ ‘Big City Blues’’ at the Theatre, Morehouse’s dynamic story of a big city,
that required no research work on the
Se nae eee Theatre. tra tecye natn own nu
term contract with th producing :
= = Ree DOC IE star’s part. For Miss Blondell plays company. Miss Shea appeared in the} show girl in the story, and since Broadway production of ‘Blind | she was born, practically in a stage
trunk, Joan has known little but
Miece’’ before acting in shorts at the Vitaphone studio in Brooklyn.