Monday, November 30, 2009

Vintage News Article 1930

Here is a little vintage news article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette from December 31, 1930.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Benson Murder Case (1930)

Sadly my copy of this movie isn’t very good, but this is all I have, I don’t think TCM has ever shown it, and it’s not commercially available, so you get what you can get. Natalie had a somewhat major role this time, William Powell is the only real star in this movie, the others are all about the same. This one of William Powell’s many “Philo Vance” movies, much like the “Thin Man” series, fun little whodunits. William Powell is my hero, he is always so cool, always looks cool, so sly yet elegant, and he gets all the good looking ladies, what a lucky man. Just think of all the beautiful women he got to make love to (on screen of course, then again some off screen too), Marion Davies, Bebe Daniels, Evelyn Brent, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Arthur, Fay Wray, Carole Lombard, Wynne Gibson, Joan Crawford, Kay Francis, Joan Blondell, Myrna Loy, Verree Teasdale, Jean Harlow, Hedy Lamarr, Lauren Bacall, Jean Harlow and of course Natalie Moorhead, I would trade places with him any day. Natalie has a few scenes and she makes the most of them, she is dressed in great early 30’s clothes, very sexy and chic. She plays Fanny Del Roy who has a secret and is of course one of the many suspects in the Benson murder, for a while I was sure she was the murderer, but in the end she was innocent. All the suspects lost money in the stock market, and Mr. Benson was their stockbroker, Natalie wanted her jewel case back that she gave Mr. Benson as collateral, there was something special in that jewel case and it wasn’t the pearls. This movie was fun, a great mix of mystery and comedy, adding Eugene Pallette in the cast was great, he is always funny, I really want a better copy, Natalie and William Powell work great together, I can’t wait to watch “Shadow of the Law” another Moorhead and Powell movie.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Illicit (1931)

Another small but important role as the “other woman” in this ok movie starring a young Barbara Stanwyck. Natalie plays “Margie True“, the woman has always been in love with Barbara’s husband “Dick“, the three are all friends, but when the couple’s marriage gets a little tired, they start seeing other people and the husband starts seeing Natalie. All kinds of trouble start, and Natalie confronts Barbara about her love for Dick, and that she plans to run away with him if she doesn’t love him anymore. Dick plans to go abroad with Margie, but at the last minute returns to Barbara and the makeup and live happily ever after. Natalie makes the most of her few scenes, like usual she looks great and plays the role very well, to bad my copy is pretty rough. Natalie may have never been a big star but she got to play along side some of the greats, like this one with Barbara Stanwyck, she also got the work with William Powell, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Bebe Daniels, Hedy Lamarr, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, John Wayne, Lewis Stone, Buster Keaton, and even the Little Rascals.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What Becomes of the Children? (1936)

This was a very interesting movie to say the least, it shows us that some things never change, but it has a very unrealistic ending. Sadly I don’t have this movie on DVD, and I would love to have a copy, I saw this on the Internet Archive site, what an awesome site. This is one of the few movies Natalie gets to star in, well ok, maybe she isn’t the lead, but a very major character. The story is about a Boston tycoon who dreams of building the “Great American Railway” while his family is falling apart. His wife(Natalie Moorhead) spends all her time on social endeavors, leaving the caring and love of their children to their nanny. The children seek the love and attention of their parents but they are never there. While the two are out the kids sneak out of bed to play hide and seek, the daughter falls down the dumbwaiter and is hurt. When the parents rush home they blame each other, and they soon file for divorce, the daughter goes with the mom, and the son goes with the father. A few years on, The father’s dream of his great railway is happening, while his son gets kicked out of another college, the daughter leads a similar rebellious life, while the mother runs off for a vacation in Europe. The kids get into all kinds of problems, then they both get caught up in a murder rap, the parents rush to help them and of course the kids get off when the real murderer is found. The whole family is back together and the parents agree they made a mistake, and they still love each other and they all live happily ever after. Yeah right, not a very believable ending, but it’s a movie that tries to show parents what could happen if they don’t care and love their children. For the most part the acting is sub par, it’s not a great movie, but I thought Natalie did a great job, she looks great, and for a low budget company she wears some great clothes, it’s just great to see her in a bigger role with more than one little line.

You can watch the FULL movie at this link

Friday, November 6, 2009

“The Feud” Natalie Moorhead vs. Lilyan Tashman

According to the book “Whatever became of..?” it says that before she even made it to Hollywood, silent film star Lilyan Tashman was threatening to “run her out of town”. Natalie said she never met Lilyan, but supposedly she was worried because they seem to be after the same type of roles, they both had very similar hair styles, and similar manners and style. Natalie claims she had the hair style first because of the play she was in, she also said she was sorry to upset Miss Tashman, because she was a fan of hers. Now this is a fun story I would love to find more about, I too love Lilyan Tashman, I’ve seen a few of her movies and she’s great, she was known as the best dressed woman in Hollywood during the early thirties, but sadly she died in the 1934 due to cancer. What to do you think do they look to similar, I don’t care they both looked great to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Natalie Moorhead Quick Facts

Born: Nathalian (Natalie) Morehead, July 27, 1901 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Died: October 6, 1992 Montecito, California

Height: 5’ 2”

Father: James Vincent Morehead (b 1869- d ?)

Mother: Anna Katherine (Katie) Messner (b 1872- d ?)

Sister: Dorothy Regina Morehead (b 1898- d ?)

Education: St. John’s School
Peabody High School
Seton Hill College

Theater: Trenton, New Jersey stock company, and Plainfield, NJ
Henry Duffy company in Los Angeles “The Best People“ (1928??)

Broadway: Abie’s Irish Rose (small role) 1922???
Cape Smoke ???
A Lady in Love (1926) 16 performances
The Baby Cyclone (feature role, with Spencer Tracy 1927)

Hollywood: Thru Different Eyes 1929 (first movie)
Margie 1940 (final movie)

Marriages: Alan Crosland (director) 1930-1935 Divorced
Robert J. Dunham (Chicago Parks Commissioner) 1942-1949 his death
Juan Torena (Spanish actor, soccer player, diplomat) 1957-1983 his death

According to publicity she was discovered on a shopping spree in New York City in the mid 1920’s
During the run of the play “Baby Cyclone” her hair style became all the rage and it became known as the “Baby Cyclone Bob”

Murder on the High Seas (1932) (aka “Love Bound”)

This was the movie that got me hooked on Natalie, I purchased this movie because it was a part of a two pack, I didn’t care about this movie I wanted the other (The Sunset Murder Case), but what a surprise I got when I finally watched Murder on the High Seas. This time Natalie has a leading part, it’s basically her movie, although Jack Mulhall gets top billing. Natalie plays Verna Wilson, a woman who makes money buy black mailing rich men. She wins a lawsuit against Mr. Randolph, which threatens his marriage, when his son Dick finds out, he comes up with a plan to get back at Verna and save his parents marriage. Dick gets on the same ship as Verna and plans to get her to fall for his friend who is posing as a rich oil man, and bust her, that way he can prove to his mother that his father was innocent. The plan seems to be working but slowing Verna is falling in love for real this time with Dick. But just when everything seems to be going ok, a former victim of Verna is also on board and wants her dead, along with her accomplice. Verna accomplice kills the former victim during a fight with Dick, and when the police come to take Dick because they believe he did it, Verna comes clean with everything, and she leaves. Not a great ending, you see Dick had a fiancĂ©, so we figure he was happy that his plan kind of worked and he goes back to his fiancĂ© and his parents get back together, but what happened to Verna? At one point she was planning on killing herself because she loved Dick and she didn’t want the other guy to get his revenge and kill her. So when she walks off into the shadows at the end does she go to kill her self, or does she go to jail, or does she go away and live a good life, who knows. This of course was a fairly low budget movie, but it did have some good moments, for the most part the acting wasn’t bad, there where some bad cut jobs from scene to scene, but I’m not sure if that was really like that back then or was this a part of trying to save the film now. There was two fights scenes that were awful, the two guys looked more like they were just slapping each other, and at times I swear they were just bumping chests, it was so bad it was funny. Natalie did a great job, she looked great, you can see why all those men would fall for her, she had that great look. There was some cool scenes with some good interesting lighting, and for a low budget studio Natalie had some great clothes, for the most part this was a very good movie, and it was only an hour long.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Natalie Moorhead Filmography

Thru Different Eyes (1929)
Trusting Wives (1929)
The Unholy Night (1929)
The Girl From Havana (1929)
The Furies (1930)
The Benson Murder Case (1930)*
Spring is Here (1930)
Show Girl in Hollywood (1930)
The Runaway Bride (1930)
Shadow of the Law (1930)*
Hot Curves (1930)
Manslaughter (1930)
Ladies Must Play (1930)
The Office Wife (1930)
Average Husband (1930)
Divorce Among Friends (1930)
Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)*
Captain Thunder (1930)*
Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)*
Illicit (1931)*
Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931)*strong>
Women Men Marry (1931)
My Past (1931)*
The Phantom of Paris (1931)
Morals for Women (1931)
The Deceiver (1931)
Maker of Men (1931)
Strictly Dishonorable (1931) (scenes deleted)
Discarded Lovers (1932)
Three Wise Girls (1932)*
The Menace (1932)
Cross Examination (1932)
Murder on the High Seas (1932)*
The Stoker (1932)
The King Murder (1932)*
The Fighting Gentlemen (1932)
Forgotten (1933)
The Mind Reader (1933)
Private Detective 62 (1933)*
Corruption (1933)*

Dance Hall Hostess (1933)
The Big Chance (1933)
Curtain at Eight (1933)*
Gigolettes of Paris (1933)
Secret Sinners (1933)
Only Yesterday (1933)
Dancing Man (1934)
Long Lost Father (1934)
The Thin Man (1934)*
Fifteen Wives (1934)
Washee Ironee (1934) short
The Curtain Falls (1934)
Two in a Crowd (1936)
Fifteen Maiden Lane (1936)
What Becomes of the Children? (1936)*
King of Gamblers (1937)
The Adventurous Blonde (1937)*
Heart of Arizona (1938)
The Beloved Brat (1938)
Letter of Introduction (1938)*
When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
Lady of the Tropics (1939)
The Women (1939)
Old Hickory (1939) short
I Take this Woman (1940)*
Flight Angels (1940)
All this and Heaven too (1940)
I want a Divorce (1940)
Margie (1940)

* I own a copy on DVD/VHS

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A great find!!!

Although I have just began to do the research, I stumbled upon a major find that I didn’t even know existed, it was like being a kid on Christmas day. I went to New Philadelphia, Ohio on Sunday to the Riverview Antique mall, hopping to find some cool old sports stuff, old beer cans, and of course some cool old Hollywood stuff. I was amazed to find a guy who had a bunch of old NASL soccer pennants, what a find, but a few minutes later I found the jack pot. I have seen a few of these books, called “Whatever became of..?” , they are great books, they have a few pages on old Hollywood and TV stars and it gives a little info on their life, and what they are doing now, plus a before and after photo. I have wondered if they ever had Natalie Moorhead in any edition, well I guess the answer is YES!! I stumbled upon the eighth in the series from 1982(I was only 1 year old) and sure enough there she was on page 214, two pages on her with a great photo with her and her husband. Not only did it have Natalie, but some of my other favorites, Binnie Barnes, Mary Brian, Joyce Compton, Irene Dunne, Arthur Lake, Joel McCrea, Una Merkel, Esther Ralston, Gene Tierney, and another great find and future research project the extremely beautiful Toby Wing. It lists Natalie’s birthday as 1901, I have also read it was 1898 and 1905, I don’t believe the 1905, but the 01 and 98 are the two I see listed the most. It’s not much, but it a step in the right direction, the fun has just began, I hope.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)

Sadly the copy of this movie I got is pretty rough, but what do you expect I got it for 50 cents at a Dollar General store. It stars the not so funny, almost annoying comedy team of Woolsey and Wheeler. Kind of like a mixture of Laurel and Hardy with Burns and Allen, a little to much slap stick for me, but I don’t care I bought it for Natalie, she again has a small role but a fun one. Woolsey and Wheeler come to help their frequent co star Dorothy Lee turn an old house into a hotel for the rich and famous. But instead of the rich they also get the attention of two rival gangs looking to rob the place of all the valuables the rich patrons will have. Natalie plays a member of one of the gangs whose job it is to seduce Bert Wheeler and get the keys to the safe. Of course all hell breaks lose, a gang war breaks out in the hotel but all ends well. Natalie has a few small scenes but she does have a great scene with Robert and Dorothy and a gun, a little silly, but fun. If you like slap stick comedy and can stand bad picture quality, pick this one up, you can find it usually for a dollar at most dollar stores.

You can watch the whole movie here, thanks to the Internet Archive