A Blog For Thelma Todd
Thelma Todd was a star of silent movies and later the talkies. She is remembered as much today for her mysterious death as she is for her films. In this blog, we take a look at Thelma Todd, her movies, and various commentaries.
Other books have discussed these films, but this is the first book devoted to the series. Neibaur examines each film in chronological order, and for each he provides credits, plot information, an analysis noting any common themes, and offers as much background information as he could find.
Zasu Pitts left the series, to be replaced by Patsy Kelly, after which the it became necessary to replace Thelma Todd. Thelma Todd was replaced by Pert Kelton and later by Lyda Roberti.
Neibaur refers to the death of Thelma Todd as a "crime". That's what the usual opinion is, but then again there are some who would not agree. Neibaur's thought was that since he was concentrating on the films, any further study should be done with other books that cover her death more specifically.
I was able to assist him with this book, and such familiar names as Richard W. Bann, Leonard Maltin, Michelle Morgan, and Charles Stumpf are mentioned in the acknowledgements.
This is Neibaur's 24th book.
James L. Neibaur is a film historian and educator with more than 20 books and hundreds of articles appearing in Cineaste, Classic Images, Film Quarterly, Films in Review, Filmfax, and Encyclopædia Britannica.
Sally Blane and Thelma Todd on the cover of POLICE GAZETTE, December 10, 1927 issue.
Sally Blane was in the movies, but was better known for being the sister of Loretta Young.
Mercedes Gleitze was a channel swimmer whose accomplishment was questioned afterward. She said she'd do it again, then failed to make it all the way across and had to be pulled out of the water into a boat.
Clara Bow was a top star, but she wasn't usually described as a "vampire', a term which had been associated with Theda Bara. The reference to "leap year" is due to a story that in leap year women proposeto men rather than having itthe usual way.
Ruth Elder ( top right ) made some movies when she wasn't attempting to set new records in an airplane.