william desmond taylor

Hollywood and self censorship.

March 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

  Right from the earliest days of the silent picture era the moving picture moguls were aware that, more than any other commodity, sex sold. And, until the Hays Office reared its censorial head in 1922, they sold plenty of it. After a string of risqué films and several off-screen scandals in the industry, studio heads became increasingly fearful of government intervention in the movie business, [...]

DRUGS IN THE SILENT ERA PT 1.

January 20, 2018 // 3 Comments

  If you have ever wondered about the origins of drug use in Hollywood, when it started and how widespread its use may have been, then this article should provide at least a partial answer to those questions. These days, the practice of snorting coke at parties, even on some sets, is probably presumed by most fans to be a product of the wild seventies and eighties. Far from it. Try, instead, the [...]

Hollywood Mysteries Pt 1.

July 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

                        There has been a number of mysterious deaths in Hollywood and the movie (and TV )business over the past hundred or so years. Over the next week or so I shall briefly look at the most interesting of these. Of course, on the Internet there is no end of gory photographs of the victims and crime scenes, but I have no intention of including any of those pictures [...]

The Silent Movie Era – a few observations.

November 30, 2016 // 6 Comments

                                                             Here are a few unrelated ‘snippets’ from the good old days of the ‘Silent Era’. Some of them you may already know about; others you may not. But each one contributes to our knowledge and understanding of that long ago age when the movies were still a thing of wonder and the [...]

W.A.M.P.A.S. Baby Stars 1922 – PT 1.

October 21, 2016 // 0 Comments

  Between 1922 and 1934 (except for 1930 and 1933) the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) annually selected 13 up and coming young actresses as ‘The WAMPAS Baby Stars’ amid considerable media publicity and fanfare. No doubt, being selected must have given these young ladies visions of future screen fame and possible immortality, yet not all of them had successful [...]

Hollywood – tales from the dark side.

December 14, 2015 // 6 Comments

  Mabel Normand was one of the wildest of the silent stars whose off-screen antics ultimately wrecked her career and contributed to her early death. Mack Sennett credited her with inventing the pie-throwing gag that came to be used extensively throughout the silent picture era, claiming she threw one in comedian Ben Turpin’s face while the cross-eyed star was struggling to get a laugh from [...]