Week of November 9th, 1918

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People came downtown to read the special edition.

One hundred years ago this week, world events crowded entertainment news out of the newspaper for the most part. On Monday, November 11th at 12:10 a.m. the L.A. Times announced on its public address system that German representatives had signed the armistice. A special edition of the newspaper quickly followed. Hostilities officially ended at 11 a.m. Paris time, which was 3 a.m. Los Angeles time. Naturally, nobody bothered to go to bed that night or went to work the next day. As the Times’ November 12th article, “Bedlam is the Kaiser’s Dirge As All Los Angeles Celebrates Peace” said, “The war is over. Nothing else mattered.” It continued:

Los Angeles has had many great days. Yesterday was her greatest day. Through the dark hours when enemies sore pressed she maintained her poise and smiled through her tears…All that time her emotions were damming back a great lake of feeling, and when The Times siren roared the news to a waiting city that the war was over the dam burst and out into the glorious morning of Victory Day the people poured to give their outward expression to the joy that came with daybreak.

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Fifth and Broadway

There were no plans for an official celebration, but the mayor declared the day a holiday and prohibited all alcohol sales. The crowds were amazing:

By 8 o’clock in the morning the downtown streets were jammed and flags were being placed. Everywhere the Stars and Stripes were floating, apparently they had risen with the sun…. Gradually the crowd grew. By 9 o’clock Broadway, Spring, Hill, Seventh and the cross streets were filled.

After noon Broadway was a solid mass of color waving north and south like some sublimated ribbon counter on a spree, while at every intersection a cross current of humanity struggled against the tide, finally to be caught up in its flood and carried on whither it flowed and ebbed and flowed again.

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Sixth and Broadway

The whole police force was on duty, but crowd control was impossible. They estimated that half a million turned up (two years later, the census said that only 576,673 people lived there!)

The streets were so congested that they had to shut down the trolleys in downtown. The noise was astonishing, too. Every car horn was being honked, “tens of thousands of portable horns, rattles, pans, cans, hanging chunks of pig iron, skillets and wash basins from the kitchen pantry added to the tremendous din.”

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Workers from the Boos Brothers cafeteria celebrate

The Times report concluded:

The wonderful day was so filled with incidents that it was impossible to acquire more than a passing impression. The spectacle was en masse. It had no beginning, no middle, no end. It was unlike everything which ever was before, and its like may never be seen again.

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Cartoon by Ted Gale

There was one unfortunate consequence of the massive public celebration: it caused an uptick in flu cases, so re-opening the theaters was delayed.

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Chaplin speaking at a Liberty Bond rally

Grace Kingsley did manage to write a few columns this week. She told how one person celebrated:

This is a story of Charlie Chaplin, some hell-bent cowboys and a peace celebration, and it all happened in the wee small hours of Monday morning.

The cowboys had been celebrating peace all Sunday night by shooting up the town and, while tearing down Seventh street, one of them happened to look through the window of a little all-night restaurant. There sat Charlie Chaplin, eating chop suey and cogitating on the success of Shoulder Arms. Those cowboys yelled in chorus—“Oh, you Charlie Chaplin?” but didn’t wait for Charlie to answer. Instead they swung their trusty lassoes, with the result the noose slipped over his famous head and landed him in their midst in a jiffy.

“Well, boys?” demanded the little comedian good-naturedly.

“Speech! Speech!” yelled the boys, and rapidly hoisted Chaplin to the top of an automobile, where he made a speech that ought to rattle down through the corridors of time even if it doesn’t. A crowd speedily gathered, even at 3 a.m. and when it was all over the cowboys heaved the comedian to their shoulders and bore him home.

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Mildred Harris

Kingsley didn’t remark on one reason it might have been odd to find Chaplin alone in a Chinese restaurant in the early morning: two days earlier, news had broken that he’d secretly married seventeen-year-old actress Mildred Harris on Oct 23rd. This was a bad idea for both of them from the start. On November 13th, the Times reported she was in the hospital with a nervous breakdown and Chaplin was once again living at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The two formally separated in autumn 1919 and divorced in 1920.

 

 

Week of September 21st, 1918

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One hundred years ago this week, Grace Kingsley used her Sunday column (usually devoted to an interview) to write an appreciation of Roscoe Arbuckle in The Sheriff:

Up the street gallops Fatty’s steed with the whooping cowboys close at his heels. They’re gaining on him, and he wants to escape, so he does exactly what you’d never expect a man built like Fatty to do. He makes a flying leap right up the side of a church and bounces onto the roof. After which you realize that Fatty isn’t really fat at all—that he’s made of India rubber. He bounces to the belfry and hangs on to the church spire.

Then you laugh until you weep, probably. For the spire suddenly bends in his grasp, then sways this way and that under Fatty’s weight, while the chubby comedian dodges the bullets from the guns of his pursuers.

And right there is where you “get” Fatty, and realize there are other ways to Boswell a man besides using long words to write about him. For in The Sheriff, Fatty admittedly give us a perfectly delicious and at the same time the most kindly and gentle of satires on the world’s most famous athletic comedian. In fact, Arbuckle takes the ‘ire’ out of ‘satire.’ And to Roscoe Arbuckle’s genius must go a huge share of praise for his radiant and cheerful comedies, in which he provides the warm glow of humor around which humanity eagerly hovers in these stressful days.

Unfortunately, this cheerful comedy can’t help our current stressful days: it’s a lost film. So Kingsley’s description of his impressive stunt work, as well as the publicity and other materials written about the film, are all we have left. It seems that Arbuckle’s sheriff was a Douglas Fairbanks super-fan who must rescue his kidnapped sweetheart. I’m sorry we don’t get to see that!

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Arbuckle and Betty Compson

Kingsley had a point about what makes Arbuckle films so enjoyable: they aren’t mean, the way some slapstick comedies can be (I’m not sure I’ve recovered from a Ham and Bud short I saw a few years ago that involved gassing a houseful of people). I’m glad that Kingsley called the character he played Fatty, but the filmmaker was Roscoe, which was exactly what he wanted.

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After months of anticipation, Kingsley got to see a preview of Charlie Chaplin’s new film:

I have no hesitancy in saying the world is going to pronounce it is the greatest picture comedy that has ever been made. And the preview was perfectly ‘dry’, too! If one were disposed to go into a high-brow analysis of it, one would say that Chaplin has succeeded by his artistry in fairly creating a new art form. For, despite the fact that Shoulder Arms has a ripple of laughter running all through it, which rises to the happy crescendo of laugher in its boisterous moments, it has all the time a resonant undertone of war’s rumblings and war’s mighty pathos.

Chaplin was clever to let her see it early – he thought she was important, even if her editors didn’t let her review the big films. Kingsley was one of the first critics to call Shoulder Arms great, but other film writers at the time admired it nearly as much. Peter Milne in Picture-Play Magazine said it was “proof conclusive that Charles Spencer Chaplin is the king of all comedians” (February 1919) while Film Daily gave it the highest praise possible from a trade paper: “if you don’t clean up with this Chaplin, you should get out of show business.” (November 17, 1918)

 

Kingsley’s favorite film in the theaters this week was yet another re-release. The intervening three years had turned it into an unusual film for its leading lady:

My goodness, how we used to sob over the sorrows of those lovely and hapless virgins, The Two Orphans, in the good old days of beer-barrel thunder and paper snowstorms! But there was something vital and fascinating in the old drama, else it never would have played all through the years. And now screen magic has touched it, as it touches so many of the beautiful old stories, and has turned it into quite a fresh new play by reason of the showing of the scenes that heretofore we’ve been obliged merely to conjure up in our imaginations, due to the limitations of the stage. The Two Orphans is on view at Miller’s this week, with no less a persona than Theda Bara in he leading role. The story is beautifully played—even if it is hard to imagine Miss Bara an orphan after the opulent orgies of Salome.

Orphans was made a few months after Bara made such an impression as a vamp in A Fool There Was in 1915, but before her studio typecast her. This lost film was based on the same play as Griffith’s Orphans of the Storm (1921); Bara played Henriette, the sighted orphan who gets kidnapped. The blind orphan, Louise, was played by Jean Sothern, who’d already quit acting in films by 1918. Bara’s popularity in 1918 must have been immense, because the film hadn’t done well at the box office when it was originally released, so it’s a little surprising they’d try it again. Maybe wartime austerity was another reason Fox mined their back catalog. Bara’s next picture in 1915 was a return to bad women with Sin, which was a great big hit and sealed her fate as a vamp.

Kingsley mentioned an unusual contribution to the war effort:

That athletic hero, Douglas Fairbanks, set a wartime example of abstemiousness by disposing of his automobile, and will be the first star in Los Angeles to go riding in his own handsome carriage. He has a fast trotting and racing pony, which will draw his equipage down Broadway.

It’s a shame that they didn’t print a picture of him and his carriage, navigating the streets of downtown Los Angeles. But here’s a nice one of Fairbanks in 1918 with the car he wasn’t using instead.

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Week of June 29th, 1918

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Harry Barndollar, L.A. Times sketch artist and political cartoonist, came along for the visit, too.

One hundred years ago this week, Grace Kingsley took another trip to Charlie Chaplin’s studio to watch him at work. She happened to be there for when he was drinking tea and brainstorming a name for his next film. She recorded the scene:

All the name had to suggest was patriotism and fun, and drama and punch and a few other things like that. Of course, the christening wasn’t effected without a lot of skirmishing. Syd Chaplin must have his joke, for one thing.

“Call it The Bums of Berlin!” he suggested.

But Brer Charlie wasn’t going to have any low-comedy names, because his bright necklace of laughter is really strung on a stout little thread of seriousness.

The Fat Comedian, who is inclined to be sentimental, suggested it be called Hearts of Fate. [this was probably Henry Bergman]

“Hearts of Lettuce.” parodied Syd Chaplin.

“Why not call it Charlie Carries On, suggested the thin heavy, which sounded reasonable, too. [Albert Austin, perhaps]

But the comedian took a reflective munch on his third slice of cake and a quick glup of tea, got up and walked into the door of a set, emerged on the other side and triumphantly announced:

Shoulder Arms.”

Which you must admit has punch in its sound, suggests either comedy or pathos, and altogether, like the mother hubbard of the senator’s speech, ‘covers everything and touches nothing’.

 

And that was that. Maybe if we all eat more cake, we can have Chaplin-caliber ideas, too!

However, the film was far from finished. A bit later, this happened:

“And now, Syd,” said Charlie, “tell this lady the plot!”

Syd looked perplexed.

“Don’t you just wish you could!” laughed Charlie. “The story is a sketchy thing,” explains Charlie seriously.

 

Eventually they did figure it out, and the film came out in October. I imagine there was more cake and tea involved.

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Kingsley’s favorite film this week was a two-reel comedy.

Fay Tincher, glory be, has returned to the screen, with her professional chewing gum and her trade-mark stripes. Filled with all her old pep and drollery she is appearing at Miller’s this week in a whimsical little comedy entitled Main 1-2-3, in which she is a shop girl, who, longingly gazing into a furniture shop window showing a furnished flat, is hired to live in the window for advertising purposes.

 

Tincher had been away from the screen for over a year. In 1916, she starred in Triangle two-reelers, wearing her trademark black and white striped costume and playing everything from a traveling saleswoman to a socialite. According to Steve Massa in Slapstick Divas “the unifying theme in these roles was Fay’s no-nonsense demeanor and feistiness, which were in comic contrast to her tiny stature.” Main 1-2-3 was her first film for her own production company. The Fay Tincher Comedy Company made three shorts, then she abandoned her striped outfit and went to work for Christie Comedies in 1919.

 

Week of June 8th, 1918

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One hundred years ago this week, Famous Players/Lasky Studio held a very successful auction, show, dance and carnival to raise funds for the families of solders and sailors who had been studio employees. A good time was had by all. Not only Lasky stars turned up; Motion Picture News wrote, “Virtually every star of importance in California was present and did something to aid.” Grace Kingsley was there too, and she reported on the highlights:

Clara Kimball Young, who appeared in evening dress and wearing a magnificent hat, auctioned off her wearing apparel, delivering the hat and gloves at first hand, and thereafter retiring behind a screen, over the top of which she sold her dress and some other garments, and whence she emerged following the sale, mysteriously clad in street clothes. Charlie Chaplin purchased a bit of lingerie for $80, and thereafter wore it about his neck.

Even dignified dramatic actresses got to join in the fun. Of course Douglas Fairbanks was there, doing Fairbanksian things:

Douglas Fairbanks offered to box Kid McCoy, but the fight closed after the second round for the simple reason that Mr. Fairbanks, in the heat of the contest, fell into the swimming pool on the platform adjoining which the dance was held.

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William S. Hart in Every Inch a Man

In addition to the auction, they sold food and drinks; the “booths were presided over by Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Constance Talmadge, Gladys Brockwell and many others.” But the most popular area was no surprise:

The bar, which was presided over by William S. Hart and his cowboys, took in a small fortune, and sister Mamie Hart sat near by as a sort of guardian angel to see that nobody drank too much, but even at that Fred Stone reeled away following his fifth chocolate ice cream soda.

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Fred Stone

Moving Picture World added more details, including the reason Stone drank so many sodas: Fairbanks had challenged him to a drinking bout, and he had to quit after five. They reported that it was the first time the studio had ever been open to the public, 1500 people attended and it was “so crowded it was almost impossible to turn around.” They took in $9,000 to assist the families of the 91 men from the studio serving the country, and they had a good time while they were at it. If you ever build a time machine, this might be a fun night to visit.

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Life or Honor?

Kingsley’s favorite film this week wasn’t a timeless classic, but just another pleasant little movie that’s been forgotten.

Getting a criminal to confess by using the spiritualistic medium’s tricks is the unique and fascinating feature of Life or Honor?, which is the offering at the Symphony this week. An incidental exposé of those tricks makes this phase of the story additionally absorbing. There are the old familiar cabinet, the illuminated hand, the floating ghostly forms, and even in the picture these are eerie enough to make you confess anything anybody might want you to confess if used upon you.

She thought the plot was “unusually adroit” and “all the parts are well and humanly played,” and everyone involved continued to work, but nobody became very successful. The film survives at Gosfilmofond in Russia.

 

Kingsley gave a rare negative review to A Soul for Sale, the new Dorothy Phillips film. She pointed out “they are always selling souls in picture plays—usually pretty young women’s souls.” Nevertheless, she liked well enough until the last reel:

Then, alas, it tumbles. The scene, which doubtless the author intended as the great denouement, when the heroine, returning from a midnight visit to the hero’s room, here she went to restore money which had been stolen from him by her mother, meets the two old rakes who have been bargaining for her, takes on the aspect of cheap comedy, and yesterday the audience actually laughed where it should have been spellbound with suspense.

Also in the last scenes it is hard to believe that a steel fireproof skyscraper would be gutted by fire and in addition would show not a single broken window. Here again, the suspense should be extreme, with the lovers in danger of perishing as they stand on the roof, a cheap comedy effect is obtained when firemen tear them apart as they stand oblivious to death clasped in each other’s arms.

Then as now, a critic’s opinion didn’t affect the box office. Later that week the Times said the film “continues to prove a box office attraction extraordinary” and the theater planned to hold it over a second week.

Four of its six reels survive at the Library of Congress (they were part of the Dawson City trove). The last reel didn’t. Maybe that improves it?

 

 

 

G.P. Harleman, “Carnival at Lasky Studio a Success,” Moving Picture World, June 29, 1918, p.1846.

“Lasky Dance and Carnival a Big Success,” Motion Picture News, July 13, 1918, p.2

“Studio Plans Big Home Folks Fete,” Los Angeles Herald, June 6, 1918.

Week of June 1st, 1918

One hundred years ago this week, studio head Jessie Lasky made an announcement:

At last the secret is out. The mystery is solved. For behold, the identity of the new Lasky-Famous Players’ star, about whom there has been so much speculation and to whom Jessie Lasky has been making such mysterious, smiling but inscrutable allusion, is discovered.

It was ‘Cuddles’ Edwards, a featured singer and dancer in Gus Edwards’ vaudeville act, Bandbox Revue. She had been touring with the troop of children who performed musical comedy for six years. Lasky caught the act at the Palace in New York City and gave her a two-year film contract. Befitting her new stature, she got a new name: Lila Lee (her birth name was Augusta Appel).

She arrived in Los Angeles on June 7th and went to work on her first film, The Cruise of the Make Believes, which told the story of a slum-dwelling waif who meets a wealthy young man. Even though she was only sixteen, the studio decided to shave two years off her age, probably so she keep playing that sort of girlish part for as long as possible.

However, after the war ended stories about innocent girls being rescued from poverty by rich men stopped selling tickets. Lee was saved from Violet Mersereau’s and Ella Hall’s fate by Cecil B. De Mille when he cast her as a maid in Male and Female in 1919. She made the most of her first adult role, and she went on to a solid career in films ranging from Blood and Sand (1922) with Rudolph Valentino to The Unholy Three (1930) with Lon Chaney. Remarkably, Jessie Lasky had actually found a new star.

Kingsley’s favorite film this week wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough:

One of those adventures of the huge adventure of Russia is chronicled in The Firebrand at the Alhambra. It’s really thrilling, almost Tolstoian in its portrayal of human passion and mixed motive, up to the last reel, when alas, in a scene in which the heroine, pointing a revolver, declares to the hero whom she thinks has betrayed her family, ‘We’ll both fire when the clock strikes eight’ the story descends to Fox melodrama at its Foxiest. Nevertheless, its bigger moments are big enough to leave the picture drama in the topmost niche of this week’s photodramas.

Unfortunately, it’s a lost film, so we can’t see what melodrama at its Foxiest looks like. It’s surprising how little Kingsley worried about spoiling the film. Maybe, because according to the AFI Catalog the heroine only slightly wounds the hero, it wasn’t such a big deal.

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He didn’t look quite like this

A story from the Chaplin studio this week demonstrated how almost any story could be turned into publicity. Kingsley tactfully left the names of the two actors, who, knowing of Chaplin’s fondness for animals,

went forth for a ramble in the near-by foothills. They were tramping along, when one of them discovered a beautiful little kitten. It was dark, with a lovely white stripe down its back.

‘Let’s get it for Charlie,’ suggested one actor.

‘Right,’ said the other.

So, sneaking up on the poor little creature, the two Thespians finally cornered it and made the capture.

Returning toward the studio, it was remarked by the two actor-hunters that the fertilizer used this year is of a peculiarly pungent odor. When the studio was reached, the overwatchful gateman refused admittance to the trophy-bearers, suggesting they bury their clothes in a near-by lemon grove.

Chaplin’s publicity people were true professionals. I hope Mr. Le Pew got back to the foothills.

Week of May 25th, 1918

One hundred years ago this week, Grace Kingsley was already reporting on Charlie Chaplin’s next film, which he started shooting on May 28th:

Yesterday he completed the casting of his picture. While the fact may or may not be considered a clue, still it is known that ten children, ranging from 3 years old to 12, have been engaged to appear in the picture with Chaplin; all day yesterday the Chaplin studio was besieged by youngsters who had heard about the chance that ten happy kids were to have to work with their idol. Kids to the right of Charlie, kids to the left, they swarmed up the steps, and two of three of the bravest even tumbled over the fence.

Chaplin’s publicist certainly did a good job of keeping him in the paper between films. As usual, Chaplin was cagey about the new film’s plot:

’So the new picture may turn out to be an educational feature,’ Mr. Chaplin smiled quizzically, ‘or it may be a war feature. Who knows?’

It was indeed a war film, Shoulder Arms. Chaplin played a private who dreams of doing heroic deeds. Unfortunately for the eager children, they didn’t appear in the final version. Chaplin said in his autobiography that originally planned to have three sections: home life, the war and a post-war banquet, but in the end he cut all but the war. He did shoot some of the first part, which included three of the boys. The Chaplin Office has footage on their web site.

Boardman and Lee were almost in a Chaplin movie

Even without the deleted scenes, when it was released in October it was around 40 minutes long, or double the usual length a comedy short. It seems like it was time for him to start making feature length films.

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Kingsley’s favorite film this week pleased her simply because it was different. “William Farnum appears at Miller’s this week in a story as un-hackneyed as any the screen has seen in some time. It is entitled True Blue and presents half a dozen fresh angles.” Farnum played Bob, “the disowned cowboy son of an English lord.” He runs in to his half-brother racking up gambling debts, so he drags him to his ranch to work them off. Hard work does reform him, and their father the lord is impressed enough to make Bob his heir. He refuses, preferring to stay on his ranch. Kingsley concluded that it was “a very refreshing story,” and she was right–it isn’t a plot that turns up often. It’s a lost film.

Triangle’s glory days

The beginning of the last phase of Triangle Pictures was in Kingsley’s columns this week. On Monday Kingsley mentioned that lay-offs were coming, and the next day the company announced “radical changes” including firing their 30-member stock company and hiring actors for only one film at a time. They also replaced studio manager and the head of the publicity department.

Triangle Motion Picture Corporation had quickly gone from being a major studio with directors like Griffith, Sennett and Ince and stars like Hart, Fairbanks and Arbuckle to being on the brink of bankruptcy after they left for better contracts. They completely stopped producing films in 1919 and sold the studio facilities to Goldwyn. It’s stunning how quickly fortunes can change in Hollywood.

 

 

 

 

Week of May 4th, 1918

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Billie Rhodes and ‘Smiling Bill’ Parsons in Dad’s Knockout (1918)

One hundred years ago this week, Grace Kingsley enjoyed a new two-reeler from “Smiling Billy” Parsons:

Of course, nature endowed Mr. Parsons with his make-up, but that elusive something called “personality” is his own. Billy’s Baby, which, I believe, is his initial comedy production, is funny enough to make into a stage farce, and has to do with an engaged young man who has gambled away the engagement ring he was to give his fiancée, and who steals a baby to put into a baby show in order to win a prize and buy another ring. Billy is a newspaper reporter who starts out owing $500—which in itself is, of course, funny enough to get a laugh.

Some comedy shorts had a real mean streak in the good old days – now baby theft doesn’t seem funny. Nevertheless, William Parsons was not a typical aspiring comic. Born in in 1877 or 78 (sources differ), he studied medicine then he became a successful life insurance agent and executive. By 1910, he and his wife Bertha had moved to Los Angeles where he was a manger for the Prudential Company. Then in his late 30’s he got bitten by the movie bug. He became an actor for the Lubin Company and appeared in short dramas like A Girl of the Cafes (1914) and Love’s Savage Hate (1915).

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In the spring of 1915, he became even more ambitious and with five partners and $100,000 he co-founded the National Film Corporation. They signed contracts with up-and-coming stars Norma and Constance Talmadge. Unfortunately, the first films they made weren’t successful, including the short comedy Parsons made with Constance, You Can’t Beat It. Moving Picture World quite liked it:

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His wife divorced him in 1917, but he kept acting and producing films. Film historian James Neibaur wrote “Parsons had a strong reputation for being a rather dazzling and persuasive salesman and his success was often based on his friendliness and likability resulting in a successful deal.”

In 1918 Parsons had his greatest success: he produced Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan film. It was such a hit that the National Film Corp made a sequel, Romance of Tarzan. They also launched the “Smiling Billy” series, which sold well enough that they made over a dozen of them. Parson’s co-star was comedienne Billie Rhodes, and they soon married.

 

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Sadly, Parsons died suddenly on September 28, 1919 either in a diabetic coma or due to kidney problems – source differ on that, too. At least he got to realize his ambitions – not many people get to be a successful film executive and comic film star!

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Madame Sphinx

Kingsley demonstrated how hot gossip was written in 1918:

Nowadays, declares Wallace MacDonald, who is playing opposite lovely Alma Rubens, Triangle star, in Madame Sphinx, whenever there is a love scene between himself and the charming Alma, a mysterious interruption always occurs. In other words, whether due to thought transmission or what not, a certain ardent suitor in Los Angeles always seems to be tipped off at the psychological moment, with the result that Miss Rubens is invariably wanted on the phone, and when she returns her thoughts are always far away (Franklyn Farnum please confirm).

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Alma Rubens

The story of two single people courting wasn’t particularly scandalous, and Rubens married Farnum a month later. Unfortunately it was an unhappy marriage: they were together only for a few weeks and she accused him of physical abuse in her divorce petition. She went on to star in successful dramas like Humoresque (1920), but her life took a turn for the worst after she became addicted to heroin. She died in 1931 of pneumonia, only 33 years old.

 

Kingsley reported on one of the biggest hits of 1918:

Charlie Chaplin continues to play the Pied Piper to the fans at Tally’s Broadway this week in A Dog’s Life, every show being packed.

Since it was three reels long, it had a different co-feature each week. This week it was running with a Constance Talmadge film (her career had improved since her National Film days). The Shuttle was based on a Frances Hodgson Burnett story and Talmadge played “the smart American girl who flies to the aid of her sister married to a bullying English lord.” Kingsley declared it one of the best films of her screen career, and one of the best films Tally’s had shown.

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This was the last week

Tally’s ad warned that this was the last week for A Dog’s Life, but it lied. The film played one more week (on the 15th, Kingsley noted that people were seeing it two or three times), then it got replaced by a Clara Kimball Young film, The Reason Why.

 

Sources for William Parsons:

1910 U.S. Census

“Billie Rhodes,”

“Clothes Cost Her Fortune,” Los Angeles Times, October 23, 1917.

“National Film Capitalized at $100,000,” Motion Picture News, May 29, 1915, p. 65.

Neibaur, James L. “Women in Silent Comedy: Billie Rhodes.

“Roll of States,” Motography, May 29, 1915, p. 895.

“’Smiling Bill’ Parsons, L.A. Film Producer, Dies,” Los Angeles Herald, September 29, 1919.