Mae Murray, silent film actress, caused a minor sensation in Justice Aaron Steuer’s part of Manhattan Supreme Court this afternoon when she struck an attorney opposing her in the trial of her $300,000 suit against Tiffany Productions INC. The action had been dismissed and Justice Steur had just left the bench when the lawyer, Bertram Mayers, whispered to her: “Now you’ve got justice”. Tears streaming down her face Miss Murray slapped Mayers on the jaw and screamed “God will attend to you. You’ll get yours”. Her attorney, Harry Sitomer, sprang between them and quieted her as the crowd in the courtroom was dispersed. “I did not get justice. I never got justice in my life” the tearful actress told reporters. “I advise all my brothers and sisters in the profession to beware of percentage contracts and be content with salaries”. In dismissing the action, Justice Steur held that she failed to prove the Motion Picture Company had defrauded her. Miss Murray testified that in 1920 she contracted to make her eight pictures in return for 25 % of the earnings. In 1924, after the pictures had been completed, she said the company gave her $12,500 and induced her to sign a release. It was not until 1930, she added, that she learned the pictures had netted $2,000,000. Herbert Crowenweath, President of Tiffany Productions, testified that the first two pictures, “Fascination and Peacock Alley” made money but that no profit was realized on the other pictures.
Monthly Archives: Jul 2016
Every year on 23 Aug at 12:00 p.m. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA is the annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service. I have been privileged to attend that last two events and I will be back in Los Angeles next month reporting for the 89th Annual Valentino Memorial Service. Mr. Tracy Terhune does a spectacular job in putting together a memorial service that is tasteful and reverent to the memory of a Silent Film actor that is beloved by thousands today.
This event is free and I hope to see everyone there.
What the average man calls death; I believe to be merely the beginning of life itself. We simply live beyond the shell. We emerge from out of its narrow confines like a chrysalis. Why call it death? Or, if we give it the name death, why surround it with dark fears and sick imaginings? I am not afraid of the unknown –Rudolph Valentino
The papers leaped at the story which he gallant Rudy pulled as the cause of the separation which, by the time this appears, will have developed into a Parisian divorce decree. Natacha, he says, was not a home body. She didn’t want children. She would not cook the spaghetti. She was fond of dogs. She wanted to work. His reflected glory did not satisfy her. She wanted her own career. Bunk! Bunk served with piffle sauce. Publicity for Rudy. But old stuff. Do you remember the way Gloria Swanson set the dear old souls of Paris wild over her when she said she wanted five or six children? I believe she meant it, because I have seen her with her two children. She adores them. Her own baby, little Gloria, was not enough, and so she adopted a boy and named him Joseph Swanson, after her father. But I have never heard of Mr. Valentino hanging around an orphan asylum, and I cannot quite visualize the picture of the sheik walking the floor of a cold California night crooning the junior to sleep. It was not, in my opinion, playing the game to midst an effort for sympathy and publicity at the expense of the woman, even if it were true – which I doubt. And we must hand Mrs. Valentino credit for her attitude in the whole matter. She would not live with him and his friends, told him so, got out, leaving her belongings to him, and went on her way, avoiding any opportunity to publicise her- self at his expense. Divorce is no joking matter, but I cannot hold back a little snicker at Rudy crying on the shoulders of the public and yearning for kiddies. THERE is nothing vindictive or downright mean about Valentino. He’s a pleasant chap and a fine actor, whose delusion is that he is also a business man. Natacha has been criticized for managing his business affairs. But we have got to admit that in this case her management was much more commendable than his. To add to her troubles, the F. B. O. Company, for whom Miss Rambova made a picture because she needed the money, changed its name to “When Love Grows Cold” after it was finished, with the frank purpose of capitalizing her marital troubles. Miss Rambova protested that it would harm her and create the impression that she was the one who was profiting by deceiving the public into believing it was a screen revelation of their love wreck.
“The Sheik” a 1925 Rudolph Valentino romance, was revived yesterday at the Brooklyn Strand Theater as the first attraction on a double bill. This reviewer wasn’t movie-conscious in 1925. We can’t say how the average audience in those days received Mr. Valentino – whether they wept hot tears over the fate of the hard-put heroine at the hands of the threatening sheik, or whether they chuckled quietly at the ridiculous antics taking place on the screen. They didn’t have the opportunity to know now valuable good direction could be in bringing realism to the portrayals of the actors. But anyone who had previously watched a legitimate stage production, or who had looked about him in his everyday life, should have realized the gross exaggerations of Valentino’s passion and Agnes Ayres overwhelming self-pity. Whatever their reactions might have been, today you will either accept “The Sheik” with a smile and the appropriate hoots and boos and thereby have an enjoyable time or you will be thoroughly bored to tears. Adolphe Menjou, considerably thinner plays a featured role and even he expresses his emotions with quick, stiff actions and alarming shiftiness of eye, although he indicates through it all that he is actually a better lover than Valentino himself. To the somewhat fuzzy photography and soundless mouthing’s of the actors, a piano sound track has been synchronized. It replaces the pit pianist and carries through the atmosphere of the old-time flickers that will be an amusing revelation to the uninitiated and a nostalgic occasion for those who have mastered with the screen.
General Admission $1.00 tickets are on sale at Armory or American Society for Devastated France 4 West 40th Street or Irving Bank Columbia Trust 276 Park Ave. For the past six weeks Rudolph Valentino with his famous Argentine “Four Horsemen” orchestra has been touring the United States and Canada in his luxurious private car “Colonial”. In addition, to giving his special exhibition dances and his famous “Four Horsemen” Tango with Mrs. Valentino he is conducting in each city the Mineralava Beauty Contest seeking to find the most beautiful girl in America, lie hopes to have as the leading lady in his next and greatest picture. His appearance on Saturday evening at the Seventy-First Regiment Armory will be a notable affair, conducted, for the benefit of the fund for Devastated France and the Maternity Center Association of which Miss Anne Morgan is the Chairman. After giving a number of exhibition dances Mr. Valentino will with the committee, Howard Chandler Christy, Harrison Fisher and Walter Russell, select the most beautiful girl in New York. Every young lady should enter this Beauty Contest and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Send your photograph with your name and address to the Valentino Editor, New York Morning Telegraph, so that it will reach that newspaper no later than Saturday morning of this week. Fifty of the most likely candidates will be selected, a telegram will be immediately sent to them to appear at the Seventy-First Regiment Armory, Saturday evening at eight o’clock. A large part of the evening is to be given over general dancing and there will be continuous music by Valentino’s own Argentine Orchestra and the Seventy First Regiment Band.