A Quote on Thursday

Louis LumiereLouis Lumiere

Louis Lumiere:

The cinema is an invention without a future.”

 

Tom HanksTom Hanks (Castaway)

Tom Hanks (Regarding Castaway):

There was nothing to react to except wind and trees. It was like making a silent movie.

 

W. C. Fields with Mae WestW. C. Fields with Mae West

W. C. Fields:

The movie people would have nothing to do with me until they heard me speak in a Broadway play; then they all wanted to sign me for the silent movies.”

 

Walter MurchWalter Murch

Walter Murch:

When I’m actually assembling a scene, I assemble it as a silent movie. Even if it’s a dialog scene, I lip read what people are saying.”

 

George Sidney (MGM Director)George Sidney (MGM Director)

George Sidney:

I’ve had 79 to 80 years of show business. I started when I was 5 with a man called Tom Mix. I didn’t have time to go to school because I was in silent movies; I was in radio; I was in burlesque; I worked with the circus. I’m all show.”

 

John DoyleSilent Film Scene

John Doyle:

Imagine a silent movie studio.”

 

Slavoj ZizekSlavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek:

Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what you desire – it tells you how to desire.”

 

Martin ScorseseMartin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese:

Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.”

 

Werner HerzogWerner Herzog

Werner Herzog:

Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read…if you don’t read, you will never be a filmmaker.”

 

Cecil B. DeMilleCecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille:

I might have remembered what my father once wrote to Henry George, “I never do anything by halves, and am half-hearted in no cause that I embrace.”

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

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Friday Facts

The Squaw ManThe Squaw Man Poster

I’ve come across another article from way back in the 1930’s and this one is by Mr. Robert E. Sherwood. This one was published in a publication called America As Americans See It back in 1932 and the title of the article was Hollywood: The Blessed and the Cursed! Over the next couple of weeks or so I’m going to reproduce this article and at the same time learn some more about life during the pioneering days of the Silent Film Era! This is another edition of Friday Facts:

HollywoodEarly Hollywood

“The Discovery of Hollywood, like most epoch-making discoveries, was accidental. It happened that, in 1912, Jesse L. Lasky, a vaudeville magnate, joined with his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfisch, a glove salesman, in the formation of a motion picture producing company. Their first offering (and, they assured themselves, probably their last) was to be “The Squaw Man“. They engaged Cecil B. DeMille as director and Dustin Farnum as star, and sent them to Flagstaff, Arizona, to make the picture. Flagstaff was selected because it sounded as though it would provide suitable backgrounds for the enactment of a vigorous Western melodrama, but when DeMille and Farnum arrived there, and took one look at the prospect from the station platform, they stepped back on the train and continued on to the Pacific Coast. A chance acquaintance happened to mention to them a hamlet called Hollywood, a sleepy suburb of Los Angeles, which is itself the largest suburb on Earth, and they made that their objective. They rented a barn on Vine Street, and there produced “The Squaw Man“, the first feature picture to be born beneath the California sun.”

Early HollywoodProgressing Hollywood

“(I do not know whether there was actually any holly in Hollywood when the first adventurers arrived there, or whether that Christmassy, Dickensian name emerged from the imagination of some pioneer realtor. There is no holly in Hollywood now, nor any green thing that grows by the will of God as opposed to the artifice of man. The water which irrigates the gaudy gardens about the villas of the stars is imported from far distant sources, just as is the supply of talent, ingenuity and sex appeal which animates the cameras.)”

Mary PickfordMary Pickford in ‘Tess of the Storm Country’

“After “The Squaw Man“, came the first of the immortal Keystone comedies, produced by Mack Sennett, with Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin, Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, Marie Dressler and eventually, Charlie Chaplin; then Adolph Zukor moved his Famous Players organization to Los Angeles to make “Tess of the Storm Country“, starring little Mary Pickford, and David Wark Griffith arrived with his company of Biograph players to produce the first of the epics, “The Birth of a Nation“. In the year 1915, the second gold rush to California assumed colossal proportions.”

CleopatraCleopatra

“As vast prosperity came to Hollywood, so did scandal, and with it, fame unbounded. The sensational stories, printed in the less scrupulous newspapers and magazines, of Byzantine orgies in the film colony – stories of immorality on the grand scale – conveyed to the avid public the assurance that life in Hollywood was a veritable bed of orchids to be shared with the most desirable, the most god-like representatives of the opposite sex. As a direct result of this misconception, Hollywood became the goal toward which traveled the hopes and dreams of all the frustrated morons: it was recognized as the fountainhead of romance, wherein the frailest, pimpliest ribbon clerk could be converted into a devastating Don Juan and the sorriest slavey into a voluptuous Cleopatra.”

Flagstaff 1882Flagstaff Picture from Back in the Day (1882)

Well that’s that for this week. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s article and sure I’ll have the second part of it for you next week. It’s amazing though how fate led the film industry to Hollywood, but now you know how it happened and why, and I’m sure you’ll agree that Flagstaff doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.

 

Posted by Michael “Charlie” McGee

A Quote on Thursday

ver_hardy_&_Mrs_HardyOliver Hardy about to be chastised by the Mrs in Blockheads

Oliver Hardy in Blockheads (1938):

Oliver Hardy: But, Dear, I haven’t seen Stan in 20 years.
Mrs. Hardy: I couldn’t see him in a hundred years.

dore_schary_portrait_lgDore Schary

MGM Production Chief  Dore Schary when asked who he thought were the great Hollywood Pioneering Directors :

D. W. Griffith, Rex Ingram, Cecil B. DeMille, and Erich von Stroheim – in that order.”

Playwright Robert SherwoodRobert Sherwood working through all the hardships of having a painter over his shoulder

Playwright Robert Sherwood on Rex Ingram and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

… the grandiose posturing of D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille appear pale and artificial in the light of this new production.

stan_laurel___sons_of_the_desertStan Laurel in Sons of the Desert

Stan Laurel:

You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.

 

D. W. GriffithD. W. Griffith

D. W. Griffith:

I am fond of depicting the lives of young folks for one thing, and if you don’t have parts for girls or young men, you must absolutely have young people to fill them – that is generally acknowledged now.”

Lillian Gish

 

Lillian Gish with her ‘Come and get me eyes!’

Lillian Gish:

Young man, if God had wanted you to see me that way, he would have put your eyes in your bellybutton.”

 

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

A Quote on Thursday

Buster KeatonQuoted by Buster Keaton:

“Is Hollywood the cruelest city in the world? Well, it can be. New York can be like that, too. You can be a Broadway star here one night, and something happens, and then you’re out – nobody knows you on the street. They forget you ever lived. It happens in Hollywood, too.”

Paulette GoddardQuoted by Paulette Goddard:

You live in the present and you eliminate things that don’t matter. You don’t carry the burden of the past.”

Charlie ChaplinQuoted by Charlie Chaplin:

Failure is important. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.”

Fatty ArbuckleQuoted by Fatty Arbuckle:

Life is a pie fight and then you die.

Clara BowQuoted by Clara Bow:

We had individuality. We did as we pleased. We stayed up late. We dressed the way we wanted. I used to whiz down Sunset Boulevard in my open Kissel, with several red Chow dogs to match my hair. Today, they’re sensible and end up with better health. But we had more fun.”

Cecil B DeMille

Quoted by Cecil B. DeMille:

What I have crossed out I didn’t like. What I haven’t crossed out I’m dissatisfied with.