Thursday, July 04, 2019

Blind Items Revealed #38 - Old Hollywood

June 7, 2019

Not too long ago, a studio changed hands. A long established studio with a library dating back to the studio system years of Old Hollywood. Several archivists were brought in to see if anything could be found that was uncatalogued and to make sure everything was cataloged correctly. Sporadically they found new films or different versions of films. They found some interesting clips taken from behind the scenes of several movies shot by an A+ list director that are actually being turned into a documentary. One of the most interesting finds was of a movie that people knew existed at one point, but was always assumed to have been destroyed.

It starred a permanent A list mostly movie actress who was almost as well known after her death as she was during her death. All of you know who she is. She has always been at the top of the list of Old Hollywood scandals. My favorite is the dumping of the secret husband because she was not allowed to be married and be an actress at that time. Prior to her hitting it big while she was with her secret husband, the actress was introduced to some friends of the husband. Her husband was also in the entertainment industry, but in a different capacity. He had run into some guys who were producing a movie and thought our actress would be wonderful for it. The husband talked her into it and our actress made what today would be soft porn, but back then was something which would get her immediately fired from the studio and never get a chance to work for another. This was especially true when her main rival, who was having sex with the studio head would love to see the actress out the door.

Anyway, the studio did find out about the movie. How? The producers made it specifically thinking the actress would be a big star and held on to it until she was A list. They threatened to release it unless the studio coughed up some money. About $1M in today's dollars. The studio paid the ransom and supposedly the film was destroyed. The archivists found it though. Like I said, it is tame by today's standards and the thought is they might try to release the movie to a classic cable channel.

Studio: MGM
Permanent A list mostly movie actress: Joan Crawford
Movie: "Velvet Lips" 
Secret husband: James Welton 
Main Rival: Norma Shearer 
Studio head: Irving Thalberg


Andi said...

I'd pay to see it, mainly out of curiosity. Remember Joan was a hottie when she was a young starlet.

Sparkster said...

Brings a whole new meaning to "I'm ready for my close-up"

Andi said...

You wouldn't see those kind of close ups, they didn't do that kind of thing back then, as enty said it's tame compared to today's standards.

E said...

Just for the title alone this is a must-see

Miss Teak said...

Ah, Joanie’s infamous stag film.

Vita said...

Those old studios were something else! Control, manipulate, coerce, repeat.

Lucky ducks with the job of rooting through those archives! Too fun!

Aoife said...

I agree with "E". The title alone!

COWPIE said...

Bob Thomas’ biography of Crawford claims that the movie didn’t exist, but if it did, it was likely called The Casting Couch. There’s an IMDB entry for The Casting Couch that was filmed in 1924, but Longworth is skeptical that has anything to do with Crawford. Over the years, the movie has gone by several other names including Velvet Lips, She Shows Him How, The Plumber, and perhaps the most provocatively named Coming Home.


Popular Posts from the last 30 days