Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

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drednm

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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 7:09 pm

Simply stating that 2 obvious sources make no mention of the Arbuckle connection to the Davies film, but that the Davies memoir does.....
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 7:24 pm

You obviously consider this significant, so the question arises as to how much mention of Arbuckle is made elsewhere in these biographies. I might be interested in the overall view of Hearst. evinced in these works. A claim that Hearst had a direct hand in the persecution fo Arbuckle without mentioning this apparent act of generosity or the telegram that Frederica mentioned earlier in this thread might indicate cherry-picking data.

Certainly the idea that Hearst would frame up situations to increase circulation is not a new one. Welles has Kane wire his reporter in Cuba that if he will supply the stories, Kane will supply the war. Yet I seem to recall that the same claim was made of Joseph Pulitzer.

To accept these stories, we wind up with a self-contradictory monster. Of course, we all have conflicting impulses. I simply think we should rely, when available, on primary sources and after we have established our hypotheses, test them against additional data. Dealing, as we are, with a larger-than-life figure in a millieu in which if fact and myth conflict, they print the myth, we should be very conservative in our conclusions.

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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 7:32 pm

I don't consider it significant, simply following up on the tangent of Arbuckle and also indicating this Wiltermood guy is not mentioned in the various biographies I have on hand. That's all.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostMon Oct 07, 2013 7:44 pm

Ah, sorry, Ed. These threads wander a bit so that I am sometimes wrong about what sub-thread is being discussed.

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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 8:25 am

boblipton wrote:You obviously consider this significant, so the question arises as to how much mention of Arbuckle is made elsewhere in these biographies. I might be interested in the overall view of Hearst. evinced in these works. A claim that Hearst had a direct hand in the persecution fo Arbuckle without mentioning this apparent act of generosity or the telegram that Frederica mentioned earlier in this thread might indicate cherry-picking data.
Bob


I'm confuzzled, what is the issue? There isn't any doubt that Arbuckle directed The Red Mill. It doesn't matter who made the final decision to hire him, it's extremely unlikely that Hearst was not aware of it and didn't have final say.

There are several biographies of Hearst out there, all of them based on the warehouse of paperwork he left behind (that is not an exaggeration, btw, Nasaw mentions being given access to a warehouse of records) and as I recall, none of them mentions Hearst's alleged campaign against Arbuckle. You'd think they would, since such a concerted campaign would have left documentation behind--directions to managing editors, telegrams, letters, reports of phone conversations, etc. The Arbuckle thing is not a standard story in Hearstian story-telling, it's unique to silent film mythmaking.

I haven't done any serious looking at when Hearst's villainy became such an important part of the story, but like much else we accept as "fact" it probably gained currency in the mid-50s when Minta started babbling to anyone who would listen. A lot of old silent film people were being interviewed at about the same time and boy, were they a gossipy bunch. Didn't know diddly, but they thought they did. Most of the weird disconnects I find between what we understand now and what people understood when events occurred seem to stem from right about that time.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 9:13 am

IMO the Hearst-as-monster stuff started during a bizarre event that involved Marion Davies (0f course). Her sister held a party for Marion (home from Europe) on Long Island in late June 1922. A neighbor named Oscar Hirsch got drunk (during Prohibition) and was eventually shot by his wife. He was only wounded but Hearst stupidly has lawyers call the press to say that Marion had NOT been at the party (but of course she had been). A small matter but Hearst was already trying to keep Marion's name from being touched by scandal. The Hearst papers buried the news item but others trumped it up into a "wife shoots husband because of her jealousy of Marion Davies" story.

In her memoir, Davies still insists she wasn't at the party, But she tells about writing letters to newspapers, trying to get a retraction and then bringing a lawsuit against the various newspapers for $1M each. The whole thing turned into a fiasco when Davies refused to take the stand, afraid her stutter would be mistaken for nervous lying. She lost her case but claims she eventually got retractions. She refers to this as the Marion Davies Murder Case.

This was a few years before the Ince scandal and was likely the first scandal Davies was publicly involved in. But it was just after the Roscoe Arbuckle murder trials (three trials from November 1921 to April 1922); it was also soon after the William Desmond Taylor murder in February 1922.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 10:27 am

drednm wrote:IMO the Hearst-as-monster stuff started during a bizarre event that involved Marion Davies (0f course). Her sister held a party for Marion (home from Europe) on Long Island in late June 1922. A neighbor named Oscar Hirsch got drunk (during Prohibition) and was eventually shot by his wife. He was only wounded but Hearst stupidly has lawyers call the press to say that Marion had NOT been at the party (but of course she had been). A small matter but Hearst was already trying to keep Marion's name from being touched by scandal. The Hearst papers buried the news item but others trumped it up into a "wife shoots husband because of her jealousy of Marion Davies" story.


Ed, Hearst had been a high profile bad guy for years before he met Marion. The LA Times had been squawking about him since the mid-1890s, and I'll bet the SF Chronicle was, too. Even Pulitzer tottered to the fainting couch every time Hearst's name was mentioned (which is pretty darned funny) but that's probably because Hearst was poaching his reporters and underpricing him in his own market. Although, by the 20s the glory days of press moguls shooting each other was long passed, sadly.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 10:49 am

Fred but he had no personal interest in any of it until his own methods started to backfire and threaten 1) his political aspirations; and 2) the career of Marion Davies. His advice about scandal was usually to simply ignore it.

Arbuckle is mentioned exactly once in the Nasaw bio, massive as it is, as only as an example of the fear of scandal in the movie business.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 11:17 am

And it's mentioned obviously only once, because there's no other documentation about it in the Hearst records. End of story.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 11:43 am

Here's a bit that gives Keaton the credit for Arbuckle's selection:

As Kevin Brownlow wrote in his book The Parade's Gone By, "Keaton approached the matter subtly; he talked to Marion Davies, pointing out that Arbuckle was in a terrible state after the trials, and that one directing job might make all the difference. 'Roscoe and I are such close pals that getting the job from me wouldn't mean anything,' explained Keaton. 'He'd think it was charity' [...] Arbuckle was placed in a dilemma when Marion Davies persuaded Hearst to hire him; he was anxious not to let Keaton down, but he dared not miss the chance of an expensive picture. Having Hearst choose Arbuckle was ironic, because Hearst's papers had been instrumental in destroying Arbuckle during the trials. According to Andy Edmunds in her book Frame Up!, Hearst asked King Vidor to do re-takes as he was not happy with the result."
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 12:12 pm

drednm wrote:Here's a bit that gives Keaton the credit for Arbuckle's selection:

As Kevin Brownlow wrote in his book The Parade's Gone By, "Keaton approached the matter subtly; he talked to Marion Davies, pointing out that Arbuckle was in a terrible state after the trials, and that one directing job might make all the difference. 'Roscoe and I are such close pals that getting the job from me wouldn't mean anything,' explained Keaton. 'He'd think it was charity' [...] Arbuckle was placed in a dilemma when Marion Davies persuaded Hearst to hire him; he was anxious not to let Keaton down, but he dared not miss the chance of an expensive picture. Having Hearst choose Arbuckle was ironic, because Hearst's papers had been instrumental in destroying Arbuckle during the trials. According to Andy Edmunds in her book Frame Up!, Hearst asked King Vidor to do re-takes as he was not happy with the result."


Which means the Hearst paper thing was being bruited when Kevin was interviewing people for TPGB, which was...what, late 60s, early 70s?

I wonder if Mr. Wiltermoot wrote any outraged...outraged, do you hear?...letters about Adolph Zukor or Michael De Young? I get the impression he was fixated on one Captain of Industry. I did rather enjoy Hoover's closing to one letter, something like "Rest assured, we will treat this letter with all the consideration it deserves."
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Oct 08, 2013 12:21 pm

I wonder if Mr. Wiltermoot wrote any outraged...outraged, do you hear?...letters about Adolph Zukor or Michael De Young? I get the impression he was fixated on one Captain of Industry. I did rather enjoy Hoover's closing to one letter, something like "Rest assured, we will treat this letter with all the consideration it deserves."


.... or DeMille
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostWed Oct 09, 2013 2:24 pm

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:No mention at all of Arbuckle directing The Red Mill in the Hearst biography in in Guiles' bio of Davies....



I don't understand what this indicates to you. Absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence. I have not read Mr. Guiles' biography and have no opinion of how compelling he is in terms of research and mentioning every detail of pillow talk.

Bob


Some years ago, when I was researching Eddie Cantor's film career -- and more specifically, Arbuckle's direction of SPECIAL DELIVERY -- I came across a series of articles in several 1926 issues of Variety stating that most of Arbuckle's work on THE RED MILL was unusable and would be reshot by another director, probably Hobart Henley. One article states there were two other uncredited directors working alongside Arbuckle on that film, King Vidor and Ulrich Busch. Arbuckle was shooting Marion Davies' scenes, Vidor shot the interiors, but didn't elaborate on Busch's work (exteriors, or crowd scenes?).
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostWed Oct 09, 2013 2:39 pm

I article that I quoted from went on to say that most of what remained of Arbuckle's direction in The Red Millwere the comic bits ... certainly NOT what Hearst would have been interested in. In her memoir, Davies claims to remember that George Hill and Eddie Mannix had turns at directing among other she couldn't remember. The film was not a success.

Hearst was not pleased and demanded an A-list director for Davies' next film, The Fair Co-Ed. Mayer agreed but hired Sam Wood, whom Hearst considered to be a hack. Hearst never forgave Mayer and considered the finished film to be a cheap-looking B film. It may have been the beginning of the fallout between the 2 which culminated years later when Mayer refused to give Davies roles he had lined up (via Thalberg) for Norma Shearer.
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSat Aug 06, 2016 5:47 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:No mention at all of Arbuckle directing The Red Mill in the Hearst biography in in Guiles' bio of Davies....



I don't understand what this indicates to you. Absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence. I have not read Mr. Guiles' biography and have no opinion of how compelling he is in terms of research and mentioning every detail of pillow talk.

Bob


It indicates that there was no mention. Why does a mention need to indicate something? It's just interesting that neither biographer pursued Arbuckle's connection to this specific film.

Watched The Cat's Meow last night and still dislike it. The depiction of Chaplin as a totally boorish and humorless clod just seems wrong. But then all the characterizations are off somehow. I only re-watched to see the faux footage of Yolanda. Most irritating are the two composite actresses Celia and Didi.
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Thomas Ince Death Mystery Solved

PostSat Apr 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Click first Image for link to broadcast excerpt
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSat Apr 14, 2018 9:05 pm

I was wondering if anyone else heard that this morning.

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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostSat Apr 14, 2018 10:47 pm

An hour ago, i was watching GETTING MARY MARRIED and i now find this old string revived. The movie did leave me with a question that may be appropriate here. When did the public know that Hearst and Davies were having a relationship/affair? Was this known from the beginning or was it something that just leaked out? Did the public know at all or just assume that Hearst was Davies' producer?
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Re: Thomas Ince Death (statement of Frank Wiltermood)

PostTue Apr 17, 2018 3:14 pm

greta de groat wrote:I was wondering if anyone else heard that this morning.

greta

I heard it too and was surprised that they were treating this as a fact rather than speculation.
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