Posts Tagged With: Thomas Meighan
Thomas Meighan was a silent film actor, patriotic Irishman, and a extraordinary cook loved sharing recipes with others as well as enjoying home cooked meals versus dining out like other movie stars of the day did. In March 1923, Douglas Gerrard, in need of help bailing his friend and fellow actor Rudolph Valentino out of jail for bigamy, called up a fellow Irishman named Dan O’Brien who happened to be with Meighan at the time. Meighan barely knew Valentino, but put up a large chunk of the bail money with the help of June Mathis and George Melford, Rudolph Valentino was eventually freed on bail. Valentino never forgot the kind gesture of those who came to his defense when no one else would help in his time of need. They remained friends for the rest of Valentino’s life.
Fans and Exhibitors Agree that Gloria Swanson, Thomas Meighan and Rudolph Valentino are the biggest drawing cards in the industry and lead the “Regular Program Stars” in popularity. A “program star” is one who produces pictures at intervals of three or four months. The public in liking Thomas Meighan and Rudolph Valentino in the same breath, show two distinctly different sides. Thomas Meighan represents the red-blooded, two-fisted he man sort of person. The men like him because he lacks any sign of being effeminate or foppish. And the women like him because – oh, well, he’s just the kind of big, strong man women like. Valentino on the other hand, represents the great lover, the perfect escort. He dresses faultlessly, he dances divinely and makes love to perfection. He is the sort of man dreamt about by women with five children and a husband with the manners of a stevedore. He represents perfection of culture and refinement and it’s no wonder that women with a round of household duties think he’s simply grand. And flappers too, get their idea of the perfect man from the hair oil advertisements. The men don’t like Valentino so much. That is, they don’t “just adore” him. But they have to admit he’s a good actor and is there when it comes to the haberdashery. Gloria Swanson is popular with women because she represents what most women would like to be; she is the embodiment of al seductive, irresistible womanhood. She wears magnificent clothes and plays the wicked vamp. And has not almost every woman a secret desire to be exactly this? When they see Gloria beautifully gowned, faultlessly groomed, making one attractive man after another fall victim to her charms, does not Fanny Fox from Farmingdale see herself in Gloria’s place, the fascinating woman of the world, greatly desired, greatly loved? And of course the men like Gloria. She is so beautiful and so fascinating and seems to possess all the characteristics that men are attracted to – not necessarily the characteristics they look for in a wife and housekeeper, but, you know, the things that make them forget about what a sordid business life is. It was a movie magazine that first took up seriously the problem of finding out what actors and actresses were the most successful form a box office point of view. So they asked exhibitors to rate the various stars according to their ability to draw crowds. This result was rather a shock to movie fans, and many of them wrote in expressing resentment that their particular favourite was not in the ranks. So the magazine invited the fans to send in their own ratings on a chart and curiously enough the ratings were practically the same in most cases. But there were many others that fans indignantly demanded to be put at the top of the list. Many fans considered Pola Negri, Bebe Daniels, and Nita Naldi all had many strong defenders. In some other cases, the fans ratings were found to be considerably lower than the exhibitors. As we thought the fans were the enthusiastic ones, while the exhibitors were the cold, calculating ones that judge only from box office receipts. But it seems that there is a decided difference in the point of view, which makes the exhibitors seem more lenient. No player was rated at zero by an exhibitor because he judged the drawing power knowing nothing of the ones who stayed away. The fan, on the other hand, dragged down averages by giving zero to the other players whose presence in a picture would keep them away. Blanche Sweet was the only one on the fans list who received no zeros. Out of the hundred ratings compiled Barbara La Marr receiving many rating of 95 percent, but she also received many zeros.