Fonts can suggest an atmosphere and sense of time. With Tula, my novel about an actress, I’m looking to invoke the 1920s, so I’m experimenting with Snell Roundhand and American Typewriter.
Brooklyn Bridge is a location in chapter two of Tula. She goes there to deliver a parcel for her father and notices a cameraman filming. While she’s engrossed in the filming, someone steals the parcel.
At the time of its opening, on May 24, 1883, Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world with a span of 1,595.5 feet.
🖼 Chromolithography of the “Great East River Suspension Bridge” by Currier and Ives, 1883.
Was Clara Bow a good actress? On a human level, this question is irrelevant – Clara dragged herself out of abject poverty and pursued her dream; that’s all that matters. On an artistic level, it would be nice to answer the question, so here’s my opinion.
First, what other people said about Clara’s acting ability. Fellow actress Louise Brooks: “She was absolutely sensational in the United States … in Dancing Mothers … she just swept the country … I know I saw her … and I thought … wonderful.”
In 1981, producer Budd Schulberg described Clara as “an easy winner of the dumbbell award” who “couldn’t act.” Furthermore, he compared her to a puppy that his father B. P. Schulberg had trained to become Lassie.
Director Victor Fleming compared Clara to a Stradivarius violin: “Touch her, and she responded with genius.” Another director, William Wellman said, “Movie stardom isn’t acting ability – it’s personality and temperament … I once directed Clara Bow (Wings). She was mad and crazy, but WHAT a personality!”
While Grace Kingsley of the Los Angeles Times said; “Don’t miss Wine. It’s a thoroughly refreshing draught … there are only about five actresses who give me a real thrill on the screen – and Clara is nearly five of them.”
Clara Bow didn’t require direction: she required background about a particular scene, then a wise director would light the set and allow her to go with the flow. She understood character, and how to convey that character to an audience, not en block, but with subtle asides that would convey different messages to males and females, to those who would love her character, and to those who would disapprove. The net result: (nearly) everyone loved her performances.
Brought up in the silent era, Clara knew how to convey emotions through facial expressions, particularly through her eyes. Her glances were worth a page of dialogue, while her ability to cry on demand was legendary.
My opinion: Clara Bow was a great emotional actress. She knew how to get inside a character, how to portray a character, and how to connect with an audience. I agree with Victor Fleming – on the silver screen, Clara Bow responded with genius.
Continuing my research into Eva Marie Saint’s ancestry using public records. I’m looking to answer two questions: was Eva’s talent the result of nurture, or nature? And why am I drawn to her as an actress? Can I find the answers to these questions in her roots?
Eva Marie’s grandfather was John Q Saint, a postmaster from Indiana, living in Iowa in 1900. What did the Q stand for? This document provides the answer, and a whole lot more.
The Q in John’s name stood for Quincy. Furthermore, his parents were Jonathan and Emily, and they were Quakers.
|John Quincy Saint|
|Birth Date:||19 Dec 1847|
|Birth Date on Image:||19 1847 Twelfth|
|Birth Place:||Henry, Indiana|
|Monthly Meeting:||Duck Creek Monthly Meeting|
|Yearly Meeting:||Philadelphia Yearly Meeting|
So, my next task is to discover more about Jonathan and identify when his family became Quakers – did they join a Quaker community in America, or were they persecuted Quakers in Britain, seeking a new home?
Sleight of Hand, Series 1, Episode 15 of The Rockford Files is different to all previous episodes. The main reason for the difference is Sleight of Hand was based on a novel, Thin Air by Howard Browne.
This episode is Rockford noir with little in the way of humour. Rockford becomes seriously aggressive on a couple of occasions too, both justified.
In long-running series, writers are always looking for new angles for their characters, so it’s easy to understand why the Rockford writers were drawn to this story, but did it work as an episode of The Rockford Files?
I reckon the radical nature of this story would divide fans. Some would recognise that the story was built on an interesting premise – a baffling disappearance – while others would appreciate that the story was written for a different main character, a married man.
Georgian London established itself as a place for fashionable living with new streets and squares in Westminster, plus plush palaces for entrepreneurs and aristocrats. It fashioned a society based on exploitation and profit. It became a city without a soul.
Through the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and a network of coffee houses, fortunes were made – and lost. Money, stocks and shares were king. However, the financial pie is of limited size, and for every big time winner there were scores of big time losers. For every palace, scores of slums blighted the city, and ruined peoples’ lives.
Two new bridges across the Thames linked the north and south of London. The city spread into the countryside. Houses sprang up. The landscape altered beyond all recognition.
Workshops and manufacturing centres fed the need for essentials, and luxury goods. Breweries quenched thirsts – alcohol was safer to drink than London water – while artisans displayed their skills in pottery and porcelain production, in clock and watchmaking, in furniture making, and in silk weaving.
London was a cosmopolitan place. But, as someone might have said at the time, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Westminster Bridge, depicted by Joseph Farrington, 1789. 🖼 Wikipedia.
Roy Clarke was born on 1 June 1925. A winger, he played professional football for Cardiff City, Manchester City, Stockport County and Wales.
A natural sportsman at school, Roy served his country during the Second World War as a coal miner, digging the ‘black gold’ that kept British industry going, which in turn kept the war effort alive.
In 1942, Roy signed for Cardiff City as an amateur. When league football resumed in 1945, he turned professional.
Cardiff City won promotion from Division Three (South) in 1946 – 47. In May of 1947, Roy signed for Second Division Manchester City for a fee £12,000.
At that time, Manchester City secured promotion to the First Division. This meant that Roy achieved the unusual feat of playing in three different divisions in consecutive matches.
Roy secured a regular place in the Manchester City team. Over the next decade he made 349 league appearances scoring 73 goals. He was also an FA Cup winner in 1956. During that match his friend, Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, broke his neck, but played on.
In 1958, Roy wound down his professional career at Stockport County. On the international stage, he won 22 caps for Wales.
After his retirement from football, Roy became the manager of the Manchester City social club. Along with his wife, Kathleen, he provided an environment for fans, management and players to forge closer bonds. The club ran for nearly 25 years.
Independent Press-Telegram, Long Beach, California, October 21, 1950. “Lady Stars Gain Height.”
Highest grossing film of 1920: Way Down East.
A silent romantic drama, directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lilian Gish, Way Down East is best remembered for its climatic scene in which Lillian Gish’s character, Anna, is rescued from doom on an icy river (pictured).
Way Down East was heavy censored. The Pennsylvania film board demanded over sixty cuts, rendering the story meaningless. The mock marriage and honeymoon between Lennox and Anna had to go, along with any hints of her pregnancy. Other cuts included scenes where society women smoked cigarettes and an intertitle, which featured the words “wild oats”.
Clara Bow Quotes: “When I was ten years old I knew what I wanted – to be a screen star was my idea of heaven. But what chance had I? My family was poor. We lived in a not too pleasing section of Brooklyn, and my only contact with the screen was an occasional visit to a neighbourhood theatre, paying my admission with pennies and nickels earned by taking care of neighbours’ children when not looking after my (sick) mother.”
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