Monday, March 4, 2013

The Hollywood Girls Series

The Hollywood Girls series featured three girls in a series of two reel comedies. The "Three Stooges" angle went further than that. One of the girls in this series would go on to be a regular in the early films of that team.


Phyllis Crane, Rita Flynn, Virginia Brooks in  THE LURE OF HOLLYWOOD.
"The Hollywood Girls" series revolved around the efforts of three young ladies to make it in the movies. These films are full of slapstick and can be seen as similar to silent movie comedies, with the addition of sound.
The series was directed by Fatty Arbuckle, who had turned to directing after being barred from acting due to a scandal in the 1920's. He was credited as "William Goodrich" and so audiences at the time would not have been aware of his participation, although his alias was known throughout the motion picture industry.
There were some changes in the cast over time, but the series would continue pretty much the same reguardless of the changes.
Leota Lane
Leota Lane, who appeared in the first film of the series, was one of the famous Lane sisters
( she is second from left in the photo above ), but this would be one of her only film appearences. During the second World War she would enlist in the Wacs.
Phyllis Crane
Phyllis Crane appeared in the first three films in the series. In 1931, shortly after the series began, she appeared in ALOHA with Thelma Todd, who soon began a series of her own with Zasu Pitts. She was also in Pat DiCicco's only movie, NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS, in 1935. But today she is best known for her work with the Three Stooges at Columbia.  She can be seen in several of their early films, including A PAIN IN THE PULLMAN, which was a remake of the Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd comedy SHOW BUSINESS. Perhaps her most famous role was as Professor Nichols' daughter in HOI POLLOI who Moe Howard tries to romance. While talking to him, she coos that he will find the "eternal spring", unaware that he has already found it. A spring sprung from the couch, which he shortly shares with Curly, leading to further complications.
Rita Flynn

Rita Flynn in a still from THE PUBLIC ENEMY, her most famous movie. She appeared in every episode in the "Hollywood Girls" series, but her career seems to have ended with the close of that series.  Prior to entering the movies she had been Miss San Francisco of 1925.  
Betty Grable
Betty Grable appeared in CRASHING HOLLYWOOD, HOLLYWOOD LUCK, and HOLLYWOOD LIGHTS. At that time she was billed as "Frances Dean", as in the picture.  Betty Grable also worked with Wheeler and Woolsey in the 1930's. She would become the top pinup girl of the second World War and was a top star at the box office during the same period. In private life she was associated with George Raft, who has sometimes been mentioned in connection with Pat DiCicco and others allegedly associated with the underworld.
Addie McPhail
Addie McPhail was in HOLLYWOOD LUCK, 1932. Here you see her with Fatty Arbuckle, who directed that film. They would later marry and she was Arbuckle's last wife: he would die in 1933 after making a successful comeback in Vitaphone comedies. Like Phyllis Crane, Addie McPhail was in the movie ALOHA with Thelma Todd: she would also appear with her in CORSAIR the same year.

1932Hollywood Lights (short)
1932Hollywood Luck (short)
1931Crashing Hollywood (short)
1931Three Hollywood Girls (short)

Although the Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd series at Roach was conceived as a sort of female Laurel and Hardy series which teamed two women, the tail end of the series would see Rosina Lawrence as a regular along with Lyda Roberti and Patsy Kelly. So that they might also be thought of as a trio. And the last movie that they were in together had a story that saw the three girls becoming involved in making movies in Hollywood.
Fatty Arbuckle:
Virginia Brooks:
Phyllis Crane:
Rita Flynn:
Betty Grable:
Lane Sisters:
Leota Lane:
Addie McPhail:

No comments:

Post a Comment