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Friday, May 12, 2006



Here In Person!


It’s a balmy New York summer in 1932, and we’ve come to the station to greet visiting Warner celebs Bette Davis and Warren William as they arrive for a personal appearance at the Strand. Talk about workhorses! These two never get a rest. Between six-day a week schedules, overlapping film assignments, and non-stop stills and publicity, now they’re clocking 3000 miles on the Chief. Just thinking about it makes me want to reach for the Valium. Maybe the engine that kept these two running was shared memories of what it was like to be hungry --- I mean hungry for food, not stardom --- I suspect that’s what drove all those Warner contractees. So what if you collapse with exhaustion from time to time? At least the audience got their money’s worth. Hey, I’d part with thirty-five cents to watch Warren William and Bette Davis live on stage introducing Bill Powell and Kay Francis in Jewel Robbery anyday! Wonder what kind of skit Bette and Warren performed … you suppose they took questions from the audience? I remember Bette saying once how unnerving it was to go on the 42nd Street junket (same year as this). Every time they stopped that cross-country train, she and the rest of the glamorous movie stars came face to face with poverty-stricken depression-wrought faces looking up at the platform. Even after all those decades had passed, the recollection of it creeped her out.

3 Comments:

Blogger East Side said...

Another case of pulling together for a good cause...

"Jewel Robbery" is one of the great "unknown" movies of that time. Very funny and sexy. And after robbing some people of their jewels, Powell forces them to smoke marijuana so they're unable to chase him down!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I AGREE 100% WITH "EAST SIDE"!! This is one cool old movie--great snappy innuendo-laden dialogue with the ultra-cool Powell and the sexy Francis...`

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jewel Robbery" is in Turner Classic Movie Channel's library, and turns up from time to time...would be great to see it on a nicely transferred DVD...

4:49 PM  

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