Critical Moments by George Joel
Menu JTA Search

Critical Moments by George Joel

Download PDF for this date

It is really a dirty trick to poke fun at the mimeographed sheets that come so faithfully to this desk from moving picture companies and theatrical producers, especially since only too often they are the last stand between a column of type and an empty space. But then, to wax mildly philosophical, man is by instinct an ingrate and it is difficult to resist the temptation making a wise crack or two.

Today I learned among other things that:

“Joan Crawford makes her own bed each morning, a habit maintained since childhood.” Perhaps. And I know a lot of fellows who claim they take a stinging cold shower every morning!

“Jean Harlow probably gets her writing ability honestly. She is directly related to Edgar Allan Poe.” Not even having seen any of Miss Harlow’s prose in print I can’t argue with the first part of the statement. As for the second, her “direct” relationship to Poe is something which should cause a literary sensation, since Poe died childless.

“Maurice Chevalier as a child worked for a carpenter shop, later for a joiner in a furniture factory and then in a nail factory.” Which probably accounts for the rasping quality of his voice.

“Wallace Beery has a special parachute all ready for his daughter, Carol Ann, when she is old enough to fly.” I should like to hear Mrs. Beery’s thoughts on the matter.

“Jackie Cooper is a founder member of “The Beverly Hills Gents Roller Skate Club.’ In order to become president, a candidate is required to tear the seats out of at least two pairs of trousers while skating.” Cute?


Not only does Ye Harrassed Editor receive little spots of scintillating information as instanced above, but he also is cursed with jokes. The following is a sample.

“An extra player was called upon to dismount from a horse in a scene for ‘Operator 13’.”

“Do you know how to dismount?” Director Richard Boleslavsky, a former Polish cavalry officer, inquired.

“Yes, Mr. Boley, I read all about it in your book, ‘The Way of a Lancer’.

“That means nothing!” the director snorted. “I read the Ladies Home Journal–but I’m no lady!”


Henry Hull who in “Tobacco Road” has earned more praise than any one actor this season, has signed a five-year moving picture contract. The great character actor has thrown in his future with Universal Pictures. Under his contract Hull will appear in at least two pictures a year. He was last seen in “Midnight,” a Chester Erskin production which was written by the Siftons.

Rian James, who forsook columning in Brooklyn and went Hollywood arrived in New York yesterday. In his pocket was another long term contract calling for his services on the Universal as a writer, director and assistant producer.

“Swiss Family Robinson,” which excited us when we were younger, will be made into a picture. This classic by Johann David ## which was first published in 1813, has never lost its appeal

Lionel Barrymore will play the part of Bill Bones in the M.G.M. picturization of “Treasure Island,” another childhood favorite, Incidentally Mr. Barrymore has been acting in pictures for twenty ## years.


A construction program, the most extensive since the construction of sound stages, and the start of twenty-four new pictures within the next month, was announced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

This statement came following the completion of conferences between Nicholas M. Schenck, president of Loew’s Incorporated, Louis B. Mayer, Irving G. Thalberg, and other studio executives.

Stars now at work or for whom pictures are in immediate prospect include Marion Davies, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, Marie Dressler, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Helen Hayes, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, Ramon Novarro, and Gloria Swanson, newest addition to the star group.

James R. Grainger, general distribution manager for Universal Pictures, will arrive in Universal City this week for a conference with Carl Laemmle and Carl Laemmle Jr., on the make-up of next season’s program. This program will consist of forty features, an increase of four over this season’s quota, in addition to a series of western features. Of the list of forty, twelve have been definitely chosen.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund