What Were the Stars Doing in 1931?

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I stumbled upon a rather intriguing article in the December 1931 issue of Photoplay, entitled, “News and Gossip of All the Studios.”  Essentially, it is multiple pages of the latest gossip and action taken by some of Hollywood’s notables.  While some of the blurbs appear dull or refer to individuals that I know nothing of, others are quite entertaining.  I will share a few of them in this post.  Enjoy!

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The first section regards the activities of miss Thelma Todd.  “When Thelma Todd was rented from comedy-producer Hal Roach by Roland West for a part in ‘Corsair,’ her named was changed pro tem to ‘Alison Loyd.’  ‘To keep any taint of comedy from clinging to her skirts.’  Mr. West explained.”  Before completing the rest of this blurb I want to interject a little fact.  Thelma Todd at this point was known primarily for her comedic short subjects (generally with Zasu Pitts), and was thought to be an up and coming star in the comedy genre.  Despite her gift for comedy, she had set her sights on breaking free from that genre and embarking on the journey of being a notable dramatic actress.  The little article continues with, “Hal Roach is burned up by this reflection on his business.  He threatens to change Thelma’s name to ‘Susie Dinkleberry.’ when she comes back home to the lot so that ‘no taint of drama will cling to her skirts.'”

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“Corsair,” was the dramatic vehicle that Thelma embarked on with Chester Morris as her leading man.  While it is an interesting film to watch, with Thelma looking even more stunning than normal, it is rather luck-luster and proved at the time to be a flop.  She was never to achieve her dream of being a revered dramatic actress.

 

 

 

Next, we will investigate the mystery of who ended the relationship:  Cooper or Velez.  “The question seems to be:  Did Lupe Velez give up Garee, or did Gary Cooper give up Lupe?

http://www.acertaincinema.com/workspace/media/velez-cooper-train-travel_opt.jpgLupe claims volubly that the break came from her, and quotes burning letters and telegrams from Gary to prove it.  But no one can be found who has seen these missives.  Gary’s friends say that it was he who broke off the attachment of three years’ standing, yielding at last to the pleas of his mother – and that Gary, like a gentleman, is telling people he was jilted.  At any rate, says Lupe speaking of Clark Gable:  ‘Yes, he’s going to be one beeg sheik, but let me tell you, baby, Garee Cooper  he is more romantic, more handsome, a better actor.  He is still my favorite movie star, Garee–”  While reading this article, I have no idea why Gable was brought up at all.  Possible love triangle?  Who can say?

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Later in the article there is an incidental blurb concerning Gable.  “Metro is letting its news about its new screen sheik, Clark Gable, trickle out slowly to a breathless world.  The latest bulletin is this:  Clark’s dressing room is filled with books of poetry with many underlined passages.”  This bit of information just goes to show that you can never judge an actor by the on-screen performances that they give.

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Additionally, there is a small blurb beneath a photo of two incredibly well-dressed women.  “Who’s the better dressed – Lilyan Tashman or Kay Francis?  The girls get together in ‘Girls about Town,’ which may settle the long-standing argument – and again may not.”  In the early thirties, both of these women were known not only for their beauty, but for their incredible fashion sense.  Looking at the two of them side by side, it is nearly impossible to decide who indeed is best dressed.

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What better way to close a post out then including the gossip of the ever legendary Jean Harlow.  “The owner of a chain of magazines went to a party at a movies star’s home recently and during the evening lost heavily at dice.  Jean Harlow was the reason.  Attired in stunning blue satin pajamas, setting of her platinum locks, Jean sat on the floor watching the game – and the publisher simply could not take his eyes off her.  The dice would rattle from his nerveless hand within his glancing at them.  At the end of the evening, he paid his considerable losses still in the same bemused state.  He probably doesn’t know yet whether he won or lost.  Jean’s romances by the way, seem to be languishing temporarily.  Maybe she’s too busy studying stenography.  That’s what she says she’s doing in her spare time!”

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