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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, October 22, 1950, Image 59

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A Woman of Science
Scans Hollywood
Tribal Rites, Terrors, etc., of Colony
Make Lively, Readable Volume
By Jay Carmody
Hortense Powdermaker has written a book on Hollywood and
if it did no more than introduce an anthropologist named Hortense
Powdermaker, this would be something.
One does not run across anthropologists named Hortense
Powdermaker every day. In fact, they occur once a millennium and
they obviously do not have to write books on Hollywood to attract
attention.
This entrancement with Miss Powdermaker’s name implies no
irreverence toward her achievement in “Hollywood, the Dream
Factory." It grows out of the circumstance that until now the
most titillating by-line in contemporary writing has been that of
Clementine Paddleford, whose subject is food. Miss Paddleford
may put it down as treachery if she will, but hereafter this
correspondent shall be going around dreamily with Miss Powder
maker.
It Makes a Readable Critical Volume
She is our girl as well as an anthropologist keen enuogh to find
fascinating tribal rites right here at home. True, she served an
anthropologist's formal apprenticeship in Melanesia—whose natives
apparently were created for anthropological study—but she con
served her strength to accomplish her greatest work at home. This
implies a sharp sense of the dramatic not to mention a nose for
muse which no reporter could fail to admire.
What has come of this?
In three words, a readable book.
“Hollywood, the Dream Factory,” is the work not only of a
scientific mind but of a woman with an effective style. It probably
will not become a best-seller on the non-fiction list, but it will be a
more readable work than many which achieve this distinction.
Miss Powdermaker is writing about the same people who dribble
daily through several hundred Hollywood columns. What is more,
she has a new angle, or perspective, on these glamorous creatures.
Hollywood's Neurosis and You
It is a dramatic angle, top; namely, the effects of the movies and
the movie people upon us,millions of innocents exposed daily to
both. By making a mass analysis of these occupants of her dream
factory—their taboos, conflicts, frustrations, customs, etc.—Miss
Powdermaker sounds a dramatic alert to them and their work.
As community case histories go, this is fascinating stuff. It
left, this reader with a feeling that Miss Powdermaker might find
a lively sequel in Washington if she cared to come here to analyze
the private lives of another group of public creatures. Our taboos,
frustrations, conflicts and tribal rites are as good as Joan Craw
ford's and Darryl Zanuck’s any day.
The contents which spill out of Miss Powdermaker’s Hollywood
dream factory are not new. They add up rather to an orderly
display of a thousand fragmentary revelations made by other
critics of the movie capital. Interest in them is intensified by an
original point of vievr. This is illustrated in her reference to the
sexual mores of the film colony, to single out a detail, the promis
cuity which she found to exist as many have chareed in the nest
She Reports It Simply Doesn't Pay
Miss Powdermaker treats this not with the standard moral
Indignation of other writers. She observes with cold scientific
objectivity that an ambitious girl is crazy if she thinks over
generosity gets her anywhere.
This same aloofness toward moral judgment is what made
one read Aldous Huxley with so much enthusiasm when you and
he were younger.
Miss Powdermaker (whose name consumes a lot of newsprint)
was clearly warmly welcomed in Hollywood. Its anxiety-ridden
residents fairly flung themselves upon her anthropoligist’s couch,
or whatever. Out of the “all” they told her, an anthropologist's
method has made lively reading.
Money is the sturdiest root' of the evil that besets Hollywood.
Miss Powdermaker finds. It has split the community in half a
dozen conflicting forces, producers who loathe writers, writers who
despise actors, actors who regard every one as their natural enemies.
None of these can get along with, or without, one another.
Not a Typical Capital-Labor Quarrel
Miss Powdermaker sees this not as a traditional capital
labor conflict but as something more harrowing because the capital
is, willy-nilly, more tyrannical, the labor more creative, sensitive,
and subject to more acute neuroses.
She gives the individual case histories to show the effects of
these intramural conflicts; telling the stories of Mr. Rough-and
Ready, Mr. Mediocre and a dozen others. Not all the characters
in her book are thus masked behind labels. She names names,
Bergman, Crosby, Rosselini and scores of others and on her type
writer they have connotations that are not to be found in the
daily columns or in the fan magazines.
“Hollywood, the Dream factory,” is’ not an unsympathetic
report on the communal misery. Its objectivity does not imply
mercilessness. Miss Powdermaker’s intimate contact with the
intimate aspects of the movie colony's life left her aware that
singular intelligence is at work here and there within the system.
It has its normalities as well as its abnormalities and she does
not close the door to the possibility that the former may begin to
operate to the advantage of the glamorous tribe among whom she
lived. And of whom she writes more interestingly than so many
others.
Steinbeck Gives Stage
A Slow, Studious Play
By William Glover
NEW YORK. ,
The romantic middleaged male,
who got such a terrific buildup a
while back with Ezio Pinza in
“South Pacific,” isn’t going to be
very happy at what Broadway is
doing to him now.
In the week's lone opening,
Novelist-Playwright John Stein
beck has applied his scalpel pen
to dissecting an unhappy example
of the fiftyish husband with a
young wife in a three-act drama
“Burning Bright.”
With a bit of real Broadway
irony, too, it is the team of Rich
are Rodgers and Oscar Hammer
stein 2nd, who composed “South
Pacific,” which this time is cast
as producers of the offering at the
Broadhurst.
It’s a relentlessly studios and
slow-tempoed evening, this study
of all the complications which set
in when the young wife (Barbara
Bel Geddes) coldly sets out to
have a child by another man in
order to bring contentment to the
sterile husband (Kent Smith)
In the several metamorphoses
which the play requires of him as
a circus acrobat, farmer and ship
captain, Smith is a tragic and
pretty sorry fellow who shatters
when the truth of the evening’s
eve- s is revealed. A final scene
wii.ii the wife after the child is
born, allows him to redeem him
self, but the fancy bedside oration,
with flowery allusion to all men
being the father of every child and
vice versa, doesn’t do much to
vindicate him as an individual.
By then he has become the mouth
piece of Steinbeck.
r--—-—
It is Steinbeck's determined use
of rather stiff and unnatural prose
that is an audience handicap un
less you happen to be in the
mood for things people might
say but never do. The stylized
dialogue is coupled with the
switching scenes and some simple
but again symbolic sets by Jo
Mielziner to produce an over
all effect of theatric make-be
lieve.
Besides Miss Bel Geddes, who
registers effectively throughout
the proceedings, and Smith, suc
cessful as the unfortunate spouse,
the cast includes Howard Da
Silva as the eternal friend and
Martin Brooks, the other man in
the obstetrical triangle.
Turning to what’s ahead in the
immediate future, on Tuesday a
comedy, "The Curious Savage,”
sets up at the Martin Beck The
ater,. and on Thursday “The Day
After Tomorrow” arrives at the
Booth.
The box office situation on the
shows which have reached town
since the season formally launched
just four weeks ago has at least
three topflight sellouts and a
healthy outlook for all the other
survivors. One, “Southern Ex
posure,” locked up last week end.
The arrivals which are packing
them in include in top spot “Call
Me Madam,” with “Season in the
Sun” and “Affairs of State” set
tled down to capacity trade.
“Black Chiffon,” which started
out at a fast clip only to sus
pend in order to permit Star
Flora Robson to undergo surgery,
reopens tomorrow night at the
I Forty-eighth Street Theater.
★ ★ ★ Nationally Famous★ ★ ★
BARBERSHOP QUARTETS
WE£!??TH£US[ the antlees
QUART tl Flint, Mich.
Pittsburgh. P*.
THE COLUMBIANS ™E N?T£BLES
Washington. D. C. Newark. N. J.
THE CAPITOLIANS THE KENSINGERS
Washington. D. C. Kensington, Md.
THE D. C. KEYS THE COLONIALS
Washington. DC. a Quartets Plus Washington. D. C.
THE SINGING CAPITAL CHORUS—THE PRECISIONISTS
Constitution Rail—Friday, Oct. 27—8:30 P.N.
Prices: $3, $2.40, $1.80, $1.20—Order Note
SNOW CONCERT BUREAU
1108 G St. N.W. (In Campbell Music Co.) RE. 4433
■■ i ii—w"mn — ■TOWTOW.ww.v/ww.vawoy-y'WWWWWWWWWWWBBliIBWWWWWmwwW
THEY HAVE TIME FOR COMEDY — Cyril Ritchard, Madge
Elliott, John Emery and Ruth Matteson play the important
roles in John Vanbrugh’s “The Relapse or Virtue in Danger,”
which opens tomorrow night at the Gaj/ety. The Restoration
comedy, second play in the Theater Guild-American Theater
Society subscription series, is scheduled for two weeks here.
Horse Opera Trust-Buster
Reno Browne Says There's Room for a Cowgirl in Hollywood
By Jack Quigg
HOLLYWOOD.
Reno Browne is a slender, gold
blond beauty who has spent the
last three of her 26 years trying
to convince Hollywood it has
overlooked the cowgirl as a highly
exploitable commodity.
From William S. Hart, Tom
Mix and Buck Jones right down
to Roy Rogers and Gene Autry,
the horse opera has been a male
monopoly. The ranch owner's
daughter traditionally ranks after
the hero's horse in his affections.
Miss Browne, who has played
the daughter of ranchers from the
Pecos to Portland in a score of
films, believes the time is right
for a woman to invade the Holly
wood range.
True, the screen has had its
Belle Starrs and Calamity Janes.
But they were played by actresses
who went western only for those
roles, then limped, saddle sore,
back to the drawing room.
A gal willing to buckle on her
guns, climb into the saddle and
stay there could make a million
rounding up the dogies. says Reno.
“I hope it’s me. If not me,
it’s bound to be some one else.
The spot is there to be filled.”
Why is she so sure?
Girls Have Nothing.
Because little girls like to play
Wild West. too.
“Cowboys,” Reno says, “have
become big business. They make
more from commercial tie-ins—
cap pistols, costumes, comic books
—than they earn from pictures.
But it’s all for little boys. The
girls have nothing.”
To tap this market, all that's
necessary is a cow-girl star. That’s
where Reno comes in.
Having wound up her film con
i---1
Today s Schedules
AMBASSADO R—“Copper
Canyon”: 1:10, 3:20, 5:30,
7:35 and 9:50 p.m.
CAPITOL—“The Furies”:
1:40, 4:25, 7:10 and 10 p.m.
Stage Shows: 3:35, 6:25 and
9:10 p.m.
COLUMBIA — “Mister 880”:
1:45, 3:45, 5:45, 7:45 and
9:45 p.m.
DUPONT — “The Outsider”:
1:25, 3:30, 5:35, 7:40 and
9:45 p.m.
KEITH'S — “Saddle Tramp”:
1:40, 3:40, 5:40, 7:40 and
9:45 p.m.
LITTLE—“The Original Sin”:
1:15, 3:20, 5:25, 7:30 and
9:35 p.m.
METROPOLITAN—“Dakota”:
1, 3:55, 7 and 9:45 p.m.
NATIONAL—“The Great Vic
tor Herbert”: 3, 6:15 and
9:30 p.m.
PALACE—“Two Flags West”:
1:40, 3:45, 5:45, 7:50 and
9:50 p.m.
PIX—“Grand Illusion”: 3:05,
6:40 and 10:20 p.m.
PLAYHOUSE—“State Se
cret”: 1:15, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40
and 9:50 p.m.
PLAZA — "Faust and the
Devil”: 1, 2:40. 4:30, 6:25,
8:15 and 10:10 p.m.
TRANS-LUX—“The Bad Lord
Byron”: 1, 2:40, 4:30, 6:15,
8 and 9:50 p.m.
WARNER — “Copper Can
yon”: 1:15, 3:25, 5:30, 7:40
and 9:50 p.m.
2 SENSATIONAL
HITS! X
I ‘SOUTH PJCiFIC'STAh
MARY VICTOR
MARTIN ,I*,VB"
HERBERT
LOVE ME CHEVALIER
TONIGHT Jeanette MjcDomld j
NOMINATES HERSELF—Reno
Browne thinks there's gold in
them thar Hollywood hills for
a coicgirl, too, and she also
hopes she is the girl for the
job. —Wide World Photo.
tract with Monogram Studio,
where for three years she was the
kissless sweetheart of Johnny
Mack Brown and Whip Wilson,
she is preparing a series of tele
vision films which will find her—
not the boy friend—chasing the
rustlers. The series is backed by
a merchandising firm which hopes
to capitalize on her popularity
with the sagebrush set. If it
clicks a movie version will be the
next step.
Any other candidates for the
job of western queen will have to
hustle. For besides being will
ing—"I have no ambition to be in
anything but westerns”—Reno Is
able.
A Glamour Horse, Too.
She’s a crack rider. She can
rope, shoot, even play a guitar.
And in case it’s ever required,
Reno says she’s practicing knife
throwing anti cracking a bull
whip. As all Hollywood cowhands
must, she has a glamour horse,
lyfajor, $6,000 worth of prancing
Palomino. Her closets contain
some 20 gaudy cowgirl outfits for
parade and rodeo appearances.
She has a fan club of 5,000.
Relaxing in her living room in
the brushy Hollywood hills, Miss
Browne said she got into the cow
boy business by chance.
Born Ruth Josephine Clarke,
the daughter of a wealthy Reno
(Nev.) attorney, she came to
filmland "on speculation,” after
___
Mightiest of All Western Adventures
. RAY HEDY MACOONAU)
MILiAND LAMARR CAREY
Copper Canyon
_Color by TECHNICOLOR
j [mmiii
Two Adventure Hits on One Show
L HjjSt SHOWING IN WASHINGTON f—
graduation from the University of
Nevada.
“I wanted to be a dramatic ac
tress. I’d studied ballet. So I
spent a year at the Pasadena
Playhouse. Then I hired an agent.
When I told him I had learned to
ride on a Nevada ranch, he wasted
no time. The next thing I knew
I was performing in an ’eight
day wonder’ at Monogram.”
That was three years ago.
Since then she has galloped
through more than 20 flyweight
“oaters,” always playing second
Addle to the hero.
“They wouldn’t even let me
ride Major. He would have drawn
attention from the star.”
Will the fans accept heroics
from a woman?
“The little girls will,” Reno said,
"And there are a lot of boys in
my fan club. The oldest is 97.
I can give them action. In the
television series I’m to shoot and
rope—everything but hand-to
hand fighting. After all, it
wouldn’t be gallant for a rustler
to sock a lady.”
Her No. 1 Fan.
Miss Browne, who lives alone
and likes it, said she devotes most
of her spare time to her fan club.
When she receives a request for
a picture, she sends back with
it a request for a photograph of
the fan. These she flies, along
with his name, age, hobbies and
the name of his dog or cat.
The club has a quarterly maga
zine and chapters in every coun
try outside the iron curtain.
Its expenses are borne by the
founder, Reno's father, who also
bank-rolled her house, private
plane, automobiles and lavish
wardrobe. Next to his daughter
he is most interested in seeing
Reno Browne become “queen of
the westerns.”
“Dad is my No. 1 fan,” she
said.
NOW YOU WILL BB ABLB
TO SBB/TATOUA
POPULAR PRICES
|
Hollywood's
Mightiest
spectacle by
crowds sod
critics tbs
world orsr!
JOAN-ARC
starring
Ingrid Bergman
A VICTOR FLEMING PRODUCTION
S UIT V MOVtlM Mi in NMI
WEDNESDAY
Nov. First
RKO KEITH’S "
It's the Public
That Makes
Hit Tunes
ly tht Associated Press
NEW YORK.
The little man named Irving
Berlin hunched back In his chair
to explain how you write tunes
that get whistled and sung into
the folk music of a nation.
"Nobody writes popular songs,”
he says with what sounds like
oversimplification.
"Popular songs are songs that
become popular. That’s all there
is to it. Schubert's ‘Serenade’ and
’Pagllacci’ are popular music in
just the same way as any other
songs that strike a chord in the
people. When it fills a need of
the people, when it strikes that
chord, never mind whether it's a
commercial success. Then it is
popular music and maybe it be
comes folk music.”
No More Wan.
Berlin leans forward to tap a
forefinger on the desk:
“If you could hit on a tune that
strikes the same responsive chord
in every one in all the world, there
would be no wars. Music is the
greatest force that draws people
together.”
Right now Berlin is resting up
from the rigors of creating the
music for Broadway’s new success,
"Call Me Madam.” He thinks it
is Ethel Merman’s "greatest
show,”—but the music?
"Of course, I’m grateful to the
critics who said it is one of my
best scores. But no one can tell
everything about a score the first
time they hear it. I say, let's wait
a year and then we’ll know
whether it is music the people
want.”
SPECIAL"
- CARMODY
STAR
SUSPENSE FILM”
— SCHIER
TIMES
“CHILLING CHASE”
— COE.
POST
x
ENTERTAINMENT”
— O’REILL
Douglas
FAIRBANKS,jr.
JOHNS HAWKINS
the PLAYHOUSE
ISth AND H STREETS
ST ISOO
'Good-By, Gregory,'
Says Granger Fan
* >
And Others, Too, Will Swoon -for New
British Star, Columnist Predicts
Bv Sheilah Graham
HOLLYWOOD.
At the preview of "King
Solomon’s Mines,” I sat next to
a critic’s wife. After five minutes
of watching Stewart Granger, the
new star, she exclaimed: "Good
by, Gregory Peck!” Don’t get
the lady wrong—she loves Gregory.
But Stewart is something new in
masculine pulchritude. And a lot
of women, millions of them, in
fact, will swoon for him.
The best part of being a lady
columnist in Hollywood is that
when you fall for a movie hero,
you can meet him for an inter
view. So this gal makes an ap
pointment with Granger in his
$40-a-day suite at the Beverly
Hills Hotel. And this is what
ensued:
“Did you fly back from New
York?” Stew has been in the big
city to impress the press for the
premiere of his picture.
“I’ll tell you what it is, darling,”
says Granger, whom I am meet
ing for the first time. “I’ve flown
a hundred thousand miles in one
year. I came back by train be
cause I’ve had enough time in
the air.
Wants Those Dollars.
“You know, I went back to
Africa because when we were
making the picture there I didn’t
have any private time for hunt
ing. This time, I got lion and
buffalo. I told the hunter, ‘I
want to get close enough to an
elephant to take a photograph.’
We got close to elephants and,
among other things, to a lion.”
Granger, now looking for a
home near the beach, plans per
manent residence in California.
“I won’t go back officially to Eng
land for three years,” he said.
"Otherwise they could take away
my dollars.” Stew’s contract with
Metro is for a straight four years,
at the pretty salary of $4,500 a
week. “Unless I go back for Metro,
to make a picture, I stay here.”
"Are you going to marry Jean
Simmon^?” I ask.
“Yes, we are—but she is under
contract to Arthur Rank for the
next year and a half. That means
she lives in England. I have my
contract here at Metro. Jean
was 17*4 when I met her.” At
that time Granger was separated
but still married. He has two
children by his previous wife.
Jnst a Coincidence.
“Did you plan the meeting with
Jean in New York?” I asked the
Briton.
“Believe it or not, that was a
coincidence. Paramount had its
premiere of ‘Trio.’ Jean is one
of tne stars. They asked her to
come over from England. Metro
sent me to New York for ‘King
Solomon’s Mines.’ If Jean hadn't
been there, I’d have fought
against going to New York. Now
we’re both hoping that Para
mount will tell Jean, ‘You worked
hard—we’re going to give you a
six-week holiday.’ If they do,
she’ll spend it in Hollywood. They
"... GENUINELY FUNNY"
—MocArthur, Stor
unig^r,%:to
f "Exceptionally,finev"TN. r. r*/» 1
1 dupont z^s I
Joel McCREA • Wanda HENDRIX
-u/ I5TH AT G
i^RKO KEITH’S
OAEM I0i4l A.M, SUM. I2;I0 P.M.
I might, you know.” (P. S.—They
did; for two weeks instead of six.)
"We’ve been asked about our
marriage plans on an average of
three times a week,” Granger con
tinued. "Maybe if we hadn’t been
asked so often, we’d have decided
sooner. Jean is now 22. She’s old
enough to make up her mind. But
I didn’t want her to be influenced
by public opinion.”
“How are you feeling now?” I
inquire. Stew picked up a mys
terious malady in Africa, some
thing like malaria, only worse.
But He Looks Fine.
"Still have it,” he tells me. “only
not so badly. I got sick during the
shooting of the picture and stayed
sick after it. Even here, when we
did some extra scenes in Death
Valley, I had to be rushed to the
hospital. A beautiful ambulance
arrived at 10 at night to drive me
back to Los Angeles. I got here at
6 in the morning. I had a tem
perature of 103. But, strangely, I
felt wonderful! We stopped at a
drive-in where it said. ‘Here we
make the best doughnuts in the
world.’ I was ‘dying,’ but 1 ate a
doughnut!”
Granger lost 16 pounds as a re
sult of his illness—but he has
gained some of it back now and
looks fine ... to my female eyes,
anyway.
“Are you going to entertain
and all that sort of thing?” I
wondered, thinking of the big
parties given by Errol Flynn, who
is somewhat like Granger in type.
Finds Judy Attractive.
“I don’t want to compete,” re
plied Stew. “I just want to live
quietly and save my money.”
Whom does the handsome star
consider the most attractive fe
male? “My 4l/2-year-old daugh
ter,” he said quickly—adding:
“Got you there, didn’t I?”
“Well, then, who would you
most like to have dinner with?”
said I, determined. “Judy Gar
land,” declared Granger. "She’s
the most attractive girl in Holly
wood. She’s beautiful; she has
humor, femininity, personality
and sex appeal.
“I admire Betty Hutton, too.
It was awful, the first time I went
i out to her house to take her to
[dinner. I was trying to make a
[hit with her two children. I
i patted one little girl’s head, and
my nose started to bleed. Betty
was sweet.”
Metro is going to be sweet, too.
They obviously expect Granger
i to bowl over the entire population.
| The pictures lined up for him read
[like Clark Gable’s at his best—
[“Ivanhoe,” “Scaramouche,” “Rob
; inson Crusoe” and his next,
I “Soldiers Three.”
North American Nowspapor Alliance
!
1 '
Op«» 12:45
Ill PERSON- I
o^CALHOUnI
! & utaBARONlI
I >«<•■ Holl.-oa4 Sian )
THUMOAY---^
0* Stitt... In HntN 4
PICK HAYMtS ■ EILEEI IART0I §■
THE THREE PTOQCES M
— ■ - Oa Serna - 41
"THE PESERT HAWK” M
>■«« OaCarlt Riekirt IniH UM
NEWGAYETY *hNSAtion*M586.7* ? j
2 WEEKS BEG. TOMORROW EVE. at 8:30
—MATINEES WEDNESDAYS A SATURDAYS AT 2:30—
End Play at Theater Gulld-Amerlean Theater Society Subscription Series
THE THEATRE OUlU) presents
CYRIL RITCHARD
~ onYifCri/E ^ i
JOHN VANBRUGH’S UPROARIOUS COMEDY
JOHN IMERY MADGE ELLIOTT RUTH MATTESON
THE BRATTLE THEATRE COMPANY
and Murray Matheson • Philippa Revolts
Directed by MR. RITCHARD
Associate Director Albert Morre • Settings end Costumes by Robert O’Hearn
Production Under tbe Supervision of THERESA HEIBURN and LAWRENCE LANGNER
Eves. Orch. A Boxes $3 60; 1st Bale. $2.40, $3.06; 2nd Bale. $1.26;
Mats. Orch. $3.66; 1st Bale. $1.36 A $2.46; End Bale, $1.20 (All
prices Include tax). .
2 WEEKS BEG. MON., NOV. 6th
After 58 Weeks on Broadway
iftt 8»3sA f/itMotto/
Uni-far
Eves.; Orch. A Boxes $4.20; 1st
Bal.: $3.66 3. E.46; 2nd Bal., $1.20;
* Mats. Weds. A Sat.: Orch. A Boxes.
$3.60; 1st Bal., $3.00, 2.46. 1.36; 2nd
Bal. $1.20. (All prices Include tax).
- ; ►
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