From a number of high-quality auditions, we have selected our narrator for Tula, my novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Amelia Mendez is a voice actor with over fifteen years experience in storytelling, acting, and producing. She has a lovely voice and we think she is ideally suited to narrate Tula’s story. We anticipate that it will take around two months to produce the audiobook. I’m very excited about this project and can’t wait to get started 🙂
The opening chapter of my Golden Age of Hollywood novel, Tula, takes place in Kings County Asylum, Brooklyn, where Tula introduces her story. The asylum looks bleak, and it was. The building was smaller when Tula was there; additional storeys were added in the 1930s.
Research for Sunshine, book two in my Golden Age of Hollywood series.
Marie Meyer (January 17, 1899 – May 24, 1956) was a barnstorming pilot, a wing-walker and a parachutist. In the 1920s, she created the Marie Meyer Flying Circus. Her pilots included the man who made the first transatlantic solo flight, Charles Lindbergh.
📸 Marie on the top wing, 1924.
Clara Bow’s thirty-fifth movie was Mantrap a silent comedy directed by Victor Fleming. Fleming also directed The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and many others.
Mantrap was produced between April 7 – May 12, 1926 with location shooting at Lake Arrowhead, California, and released on July 24, 1926. Clara played Alverna, a flirtatious manicurist.
Clara and Fleming had an affair, at the same time that Clara was conducting a relationship with actor Gilbert Roland. Indeed, affairs were commonplace during this phase of her life.
In the silent era, through no fault of her own, Clara Bow was the most undereducated star to make the grade. Furthermore, she was the only star at Paramount without a morals clause in her contract. Ironically, she was the star in greatest needed of one.
Clara needed guidance and Fleming, a much older man, offered that to some extent. But for Clara the person to thrive, someone at Paramount should have devoted time to her wellbeing. Instead, the studio’s focus was on the millions of dollars Clara was making for the company.
My ancestor Thomas Brereton was buried on 25 July 1817. His death seems to have triggered a series of tragic events.
Thomas’ son, Francis, was born on 24 January 1796. On 18 February 1818, Francis found himself at the Old Bailey, indicted for stealing, on the 13 November 1817, 60 printed bound books, value £10, the goods of Thomas Davies, Esq. A full transcript of the trial can be read here https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t18180218-18
Aged 22, Francis was found guilty and transported to Australia for seven years. On 23 March 1818, he was placed on the prison ship Retribution, moored at Woolwich. In July 1818, he set sail on the Morley, destination Sydney. He arrived on 7 November 1818.
A clerk, Francis had a florid complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. He obtained a certificate of freedom on 10 March 1825. I have found no record to suggest that he returned to Britain.
Madeleine Carroll’s second British film was What Money Can Buy (1928) a story about a man who makes a bet that he can seduce a woman, a tale about “a woman’s soul.”
At this stage of her career, every newspaper report of Madeleine’s movies included a mention of her B.A. from Birmingham University. The column writers promoted her as an example of “the modern intelligent woman who seeks to combine a career with a family.” However, this was a challenge that lay ahead for Madeleine.
Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill did not get on during the making of City Lights. He was a perfectionist, she was casual about acting; he fancied her, she didn’t fancy him. Nevertheless, in this article dated December 1933 Virginia was full of praise for Chaplin describing him as a ‘genius’, ‘unorthodox’ and a ‘colossal worker’ who understood what audiences wanted.
In 1933, Hedy Lamarr featured in Ecstasy, a movie that would shape her life and career. Banned in America and Germany, the film won awards in Europe where it was regarded as a work of art.
Ecstasy received its first mention in the British press on 22 May 1933. The reaction? Members of the Leicester Film Society found the film “of absorbing interest”. However, Hedy’s, and Ecstasy’s, story had only just begun…
May 1933, and a good concise report on Hedy Lamarr’s film career and personal plans. Given Hedy’s anti-Nazi stance during World War II, the last paragraph is particularly fascinating.
Arms manufacturer Fritz Mandl’s (futile) attempts to suppress Hedy Lamarr’s controversial movie, Ecstasy. He married her after she’d made the film, then objected to it. Mandl also insisted that Hedy should retire from screen and stage acting, and refuse to have her picture taken. Needless to say, the marriage did not last.
In the spring of 1937, Hedwig Kiesler, disguised as her maid, made her escape from her first husband, Fritz Mandl. She made her way to London, then on to Southampton. On September 25, 1937, she boarded the Normandie, (pictured) and set sail for New York.
On her travel documents, Hedwig described herself as 5’ 7” tall, fair complexion, brown eyes, brown hair. She claimed that she had no intention of seeking citizenship in America.
Hedwig boarded the Normandie with actress Sonja Henie. Earlier that day, in Le Havre, movie producer Louis B. Mayer also boarded the ship. Over the following five days Hedwig and Mayer became well acquainted to the extent that when Hedwig stepped off the Normandie in New York she was ready to embrace a new name, Hedy Lamarr, and a career in Hollywood.
Mastodon 1970s Mega Movie Poll
Capricorn One 40% v 60% The China Syndrome
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 25% v 75% Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A Clockwork Orange 80% v 20% THX 1138
The Sting 78% v 22% McCabe and Mrs Miller
Slaughterhouse-Five 56% v 44% Time After Time
The Godfather 82% v 18% Marathon Man
Catch 22 57% v 43% Kelly’s Heroes
My latest article for the Seaside News, about Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, appears on page 40 of the magazine.
Social media https://toot.wales/@HannahHowe
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