graumanschinese.org

graumanschinese.org The most famous and greatest movie theatre deserves a fan site on its history; the past, present, and future.

I'M NO ANGELPremiered at the Chinese, Thursday, October 12, 1933 @ 8:30 PMPlayed the Chinese from Friday, October 13, 19...
09/17/2014

I'M NO ANGEL
Premiered at the Chinese, Thursday, October 12, 1933 @ 8:30 PM
Played the Chinese from Friday, October 13, 1933 to Sunday, November 19, 1933 (5 Weeks)
Sid Grauman Prologue "Under the Big Top"

"I'm No Angel" is certainly an interesting curio. In the early 1930s, there seems to have been a lot of interest in films which had the circus as their setting. Mae West as a shimmy dancer keeps the atmosphere light, while Wesley Ruggles, a couple years after directing the very atmospheric "Cimarron," paints the darker aspects of the story with feeling.

Even though there is a story and other players, it is West's picture every bit of the way. Personally, I found her performance "fascinating" as an admirer at the sideshow puts it. West reminds me of a more commanding version of the black women she surrounds herself with as her attendants once she makes the Big Time. I don't know why I get that, but it just strikes me that way. Her whole joie de vivre is played with a laid back insouciance that seems quite Afro-Centric to me.

Perhaps I am the only person to ever get this from the picture, but her performance is so mannered that it constantly grabs your attention. One minute by its artificiality, the next by its sincerity. Where did the Mae West act come from? As a vaudeville performer, you used what worked for you, so just exactly how West arrived at there persona is anyone's guess. Comedians find it useful to mix the outrageous with the realistic, and West was no exception.

Where this is contrasted the best in in the courtroom trial at the end. West's revealing (and reveling) in the motivations of the witnesses set against her is just great.

The film is justifiably famous for its ripostes, but the one I recall the best is:

TIRA: What do you do for a living?

ERNEST BROWN: I'm - I'm in politics.

TIRA: I don't like to work either. . .

I can totally see why these Mae West films caught on in the 1960s in that they are strongly reminiscent of R. Crumb's obsessions, characters and settings. It's like a Crumb strip come to life.

The print is gorgeous - really good shape. It's too bad they didn't A&B roll the dissolves, as they seriously degenerate in transition. I thought that effect was only something M-G-M subjected Vincete Minnelli to in their Eastmancolor days - guess not.

It is interesting to note that the Chinese ran "I'm No Angel" 2-a-day for 5 weeks, charging 50¢, 75¢ and $1.00 for matinees and 75¢, $1.00 and $1.50 in the evenings. A program for this engagement has yet to surface.

Summer is not quite over on Hollywood Boulevard, and the excitement around the Chinese Theatre is like that of a backsta...
09/12/2013

Summer is not quite over on Hollywood Boulevard, and the excitement around the Chinese Theatre is like that of a backstage musical, as the theatre prepares to re-open and to wow the public with both the new version of "The Wizard of Oz" and the new IMAX screen.

We took a walk-through yesterday, and it really is as though someone had placed an IMAX theatre into the Chinese! All the hallmarks of IMAX theatredom are there, but the fabulous old Chinese is still there, cleaned up, with lots of new accent lighting - all looking very sharp. Keep your fingers crossed!

Pictures of this vintage of the Chinese are difficult to date with certainty. Unless you have the actual slide, in which...
09/09/2013

Pictures of this vintage of the Chinese are difficult to date with certainty. Unless you have the actual slide, in which case, when you place it under the microscope, one might be able to tell what the blobs in the poster cases might say. In this case, we have determined that this was taken the week of February 24, 1950, for a double feature of "Mother Didn't Tell Me" with Dorothy McGuire, and a Republic "B" "The Blonde Bandit."

http://www.graumanschinese.org/1950.html#mother

A controversy swells, as we are trying to determine when the Chinese has been painted. The Los Angeles Public Library has some pictures they say were taken in 1950. This shot was taken in early 1950. The theatre looks a bit weathered - perhaps it was painted later that year. Again, pictures from this era are rather difficult to date with certainty.

At Last!We have finally figured out when that shot of Grauman's Chinese in "The Godfather" was taken. We had thought tha...
09/09/2013

At Last!

We have finally figured out when that shot of Grauman's Chinese in "The Godfather" was taken. We had thought that it was lifted from the 1937 "A Star is Born," but when looking closely at our Blu-Ray of the film, one can easily see that it was shot after the first paint job covering the original paint (we are still looking for the correct date of this), while the readerboard shows that "The Climax" with Boris Karloff was playing with "San Diego I Love You." This means it was shot during the week of November 9, 1944 - in the afternoon.

http://www.graumanschinese.org/1944.html#climax

graumanschinese.org
09/02/2013
graumanschinese.org

graumanschinese.org

The most famous and greatest movie theatre deserves a fan site on its history; the past, present, and future.

We are part of the crew which gets to roll the 40 foot long monster out for photo ops. MONA's goal is to raise $35,000 t...
09/02/2013

We are part of the crew which gets to roll the 40 foot long monster out for photo ops. MONA's goal is to raise $35,000 to restore this sign, which has been stored outdoors for a number of years prior to MONA getting it. Read all about how it all went down at:

http://www.graumanschinese.org/marquee.html#dragon

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08/30/2013

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