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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Pickford’

Douglas Fairbanks Sr.'s personal copy of "The Mark of Zorro," to be auctioned in New York next week.

 

DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR. ESTATE AUCTION SEPT. 13th

Doyle New York will hold a major auction of items from the estate of the late Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. on September 13th at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

In addition to rare personal items of Doug Jr.’s, the auction catalog also contains several pieces that once belonged to his father, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

One interesting example is Doug Sr.’s own personal copy of the novel that inspired one of his most famous films: The Mark of Zorro (1920). This leather-bound volume was personally inscribed to Fairbanks by the author Johnston McCulley in 1925, at around the same time Fairbanks was producing the sequel Don Q. – Son of Zorro.

Doug Sr.'s copy of "The Mark of Zorro," with a heartfelt tribute by the author.

 

The book remained at Pickfair after Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford divorced in 1936. Fairbanks Sr. died on December 12, 1939. Many years later in 1951, Mary Pickford gave Doug Sr.’s copy of this book to his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.,  as a Christmas present. Her Christmas card and personal note to “Jayar” (Douglas Jr.’s nickname) are included as part of this auction lot.

Mary Pickford gave this book to Fairbanks Jr. at Christmas, 1951

 

This is just one of hundreds of must-see (and for many classic film collectors, must-HAVE) items from the Fairbanks Jr. estate that will be auctioned Sept. 13th. A pre-auction exhibit runs Sept. 9-12 for viewing and inspection of all items. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Estate of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. auction page at Doyle New York.

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THE MUSEUM’S FALL 2009 DONATION DRIVE RUNS THROUGH OCT. 31

ulmanexhibit3

WHY A MUSEUM FOR AN OLD SILENT FILM STAR, ANYWAY?

Donation Drives for the Douglas Fairbanks Museum’s relocation effort have been considerably more difficult since the American economy went into a recession. Like all small nonprofits; libraries, museums and performing arts/cultural organizations, we’re faced with dramatic drops in funding sources and donations. Right now we need your help more than ever in order to meet our goal of securing a suitable new building to house and exhibit our collections.

In these turbulent economic times, we sometimes hear people say: “but why does an old silent movie star need a museum? And why should taxpayers foot the bill?”

We’ll tackle the second part of the question first: throughout the entire 11-year history of the Douglas Fairbanks Museum, we have never asked for nor accepted any public funding.

Our operating costs have always been funded by donations from private individuals, businesses and foundation grants, in addition to our own funds raised though film screenings, events, workshops, publications, admission fees, licensing/loan fees and sales from our gift shop. We strongly believe that small museums like ours should not be a drain on our taxpayers or our government, and that if silent film lovers and the local community believe that we provide a valuable service, they will contribute financially.

Now – for the most important part of that question: why should people care about an old silent movie star, anyway?

Let us pause for a moment to consider a world without “Doug”.

If it weren’t for Douglas Fairbanks, the history of cinema may have been written very differently indeed.

  • We have Mr. Fairbanks to thank for giving independent film producers power over the production and distribution of their own films with the creation of United Artists in 1919.
  • We can give our thanks to him for ensuring long-term health care and housing for elderly members of the industry with the Motion Picture Relief Fund and Hospital in 1921.
  • Thanks to Fairbanks’ efforts to found the nation’s first film school at USC in 1929, young and aspiring filmmakers can learn their craft in universities around the world today.
  • We can also thank him for helping to found the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who have brought us the Oscars every year since 1927.
  • And above all, we have to thank him for giving us all those wonderful films which continue to inspire and influence us.

Now, let us stop for a moment to consider a world without the Douglas Fairbanks Museum (perish the thought!):

Had it not been for the Douglas Fairbanks Museum over these past 11 years, Doug’s fans, cinema scholars, and silent film enthusiasts would have no other place on earth to learn about his immense contribution to movie history.

Anyone looking for biographical information, research materials, photographs, copies of his films, or answers to questions about Mr. Fairbanks have come here to find what they were looking for. Our educational programs, workshops, lectures, film screenings, free web resources and virtual online galleries, news blog, books and other publications all provide a valuable service to the community of movie lovers everywhere.

We hope to continue providing these services in the future, but we can’t do it without your financial support.

With the economy as it is, small museums like ours rely mostly on donations from people like you to survive. Nonprofits, educational institutions, libraries and museums across America are seeing our annual donations plummet to record lows, and many of us are being forced to cut back on programs and staff or face permanent closure.

The Douglas Fairbanks Museum has been particularly hard hit by the financial crisis, as we are still trying to recover from the flood damage which forced us to close our doors last year. Over the past three quarters, the amount of financial contributions from individuals and businesses who have been our strongest supporters has dropped significantly due to the unstable economy, but we are hoping to get a much-needed boost from our fall donation drive this year.

Please don’t forget that our dedicated staff and volunteers make it all possible. Without their efforts, we would not have been able to make it through the storm (literally!), nor would we be able to continue making our collections available to the public while our doors remain temporarily closed.

Without YOU, a new library and exhibit space may not be in our future. We really do need your help now as we continue to raise funding for a new location. Please show your support for silent film, as well as your appreciation for Douglas Fairbanks and the many dedicated individuals who keep his museum going with a financial contribution today!

Your financial support helps us achieve our mission, enables us to acquire new artifacts, and to provide the very best care and conservation for our existing collections. As these items are now approaching or over 100 years of age, they need increasing amounts of attention and preservation.

You can make a donation quickly, easily, and safely through PayPal using a credit card, debit card or bank account below.Every donation, small or large – even just dropping $5.00 in our Virtual Donation Box – brings us one step closer to accomplishing our mission. That goal is establishing a permanent place in history for Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., to ensure that film historians and fans have his work, his extraordinary life and legacy to study and enjoy for many generations to come.

Make a financial gift through safe, secure Pay Pal International below:

 

 

 

 

Thank You.

 

 

(*) – Donations may not be tax-deductible.

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Throughout the month of March, we’ll be featuring a 9-part online film festival on the life of Douglas Fairbanks as part of our Spring Donation Drive. Continuing with another episode from the 2005 documentary film, “The Great Swashbuckler,” produced by Delta Entertainment with the assistance of the Douglas Fairbanks Museum.

Pt. 8 continues from Pt. 7 with the onscreen pairing of Fairbanks and Pickford in Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” (1929), a project which widened the growing rift between these two great stars and signaled the beginning of the end for Hollywood’s first power couple. Tells the story of Doug’s affair with Lady Sylvia Ashley and Mary Pickford’s quiet romance with Charles “Buddy” Rogers. (They would both marry their respective partners soonafter the Pickford/Fairbanks divorce was finalized in 1936.) Also explores Fairbanks’ talking pictures in the 1930s: “Reaching for the Moon,” (his only musical with music by Irving Berlin and a cameo by Bing Crosby), the 1931 travelogue “Around the World With Douglas Fairbanks,” 1932’s “Mr. Robinson Crusoe,” and Alexander Korda’s “The Private Life of Don Juan” (1934), which would be his final film.

Featuring rare Fairbanks film clips, photographs and other materials from the museum’s archives. Also includes interviews with museum curator and Fairbanks biographer Keri Leigh, film historian Sparrow Morgan, and Annette Lloyd of Hollywood Forever.

90 minutes, available in 9 parts on YouTube or on DVD through the museum’s online gift shop at http://DouglasFairbanks.org

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Douglas Fairbanks Documentary Pt. 8 -…“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Enjoy this episode? Please support the museum during our annual donation drive. We need your help this year!

You can make a donation quickly, easily, and safely through PayPal using a credit card, debit card or bank account below. Every donation, small or large – even just dropping $5.00 in our Virtual Donation Box – brings us one step closer to accomplishing our mission. That goal is establishing a permanent place in history for Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., to ensure that film historians and fans have his work, his extraordinary life and legacy to study and enjoy for many generations to come.

Make a financial gift through safe, secure Pay Pal International below:

Thank You.

(*) – Donations may not be tax-deductible.

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We continue our month-long series on the life of Douglas Fairbanks with an excerpt from the 2005 documentary film, “The Great Swashbuckler,” produced by Delta Entertainment with the assistance of the Douglas Fairbanks Museum.

Pt. 3 begins with Doug’s swift rise as the movies #1 box office star in the 1910s, examines some of his oddball films such as 1916’s “Mystery of the Leaping Fish” (with Tod Browning, who would later work extensively with Lon Chaney and direct the 1932 cult classic “Freaks”) and 1919’s “When the Clouds Roll By.” Also focuses on Doug’s efforts to raise money for the Allies during World War I, the Liberty Loan bond drives, and his secret affair with America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford.

Featuring rare Fairbanks film clips, photographs and other materials from the museum’s archives. Also includes interviews with museum curator and Fairbanks biographer Keri Leigh, film historian Sparrow Morgan, and Annette Lloyd of Hollywood Forever.

90 minutes, available in 9 parts on YouTube or on DVD through the museum’s online gift shop at http://DouglasFairbanks.org
Category: Education

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Douglas Fairbanks Documentary Pt. 3 -…“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Enjoy this episode? Please support the museum during our annual donation drive. We need your help this year!

You can make a donation quickly, easily, and safely through PayPal using a credit card, debit card or bank account below. Every donation, small or large – even just dropping $5.00 in our Virtual Donation Box – brings us one step closer to accomplishing our mission. That goal is establishing a permanent place in history for Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., to ensure that film historians and fans have his work, his extraordinary life and legacy to study and enjoy for many generations to come.

Make a financial gift through safe, secure Pay Pal International below:

Thank You.

(*) – Donations may not be tax-deductible.

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Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford

“A KISS FROM MARY PICKFORD” ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Description

Saturday, February 14, 2009
2:40pm – A KISS FROM MARY PICKFORD (1927)
Co-Presented by The Mary Pickford Foundation and The San Francisco Film SocietyMovie stardom gets a gleeful once-over in this madcap slapstick farce from Russia. Goga is a brash young ticket-taker smitten by aspiring actress Dusia, but she only has eyes for movie idols like Douglas Fairbanks. Goga decides to become a famous screen star himself, starting with a stunt man job at a movie studio. But when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford arrive on a promotional tour, (with rare footage of the Hollywood couple which only exists in this film!) Goga gets all the fame he could ever want – at his own peril!
Live translation of Ukranian intertitles read by Steven Jenkins from San Francisco Film Society.
Live piano accompaniment byPHILIP CARLI

Written & Directed by Sergei Komarov Starring: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Igor Ilinsky and Anel Sudakevich 35mm Print Source: The Mary Pickford Institute

Preceded by short, Alice Guy Blanche’s MATRIMONY’S SPEED LIMIT (1913)
Admission Price: $12 Member/$14 General

Notes
Children 12 and under admitted FREE!
No ticket necessary. 

For tickets and more information, visit http://silentfilm.org

 

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Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, original founders of the MPRF in Los Angeles

Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, original founders of the MPRF in Los Angeles

NOTE: The Motion Picture Relief Fund and Home was founded in 1921 by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and other movie luminaries for the purpose of providing long-term assistance and nursing home facilities for elderly veterans of the film industry. Story from the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 15, 2009.

MOTION PICTURE FUND DEBACLE: IS HOLLYWOOD REALLY THAT CHEAP?

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Hollywood hates dealing with the past. It’s the one thing you can say amid the uproar over the news that the venerable Motion Picture & Television Fund is closing down a vital long-term care unit and acute care hospital by year’s end. The hysteria has gotten a little out of hand, since many people are under the mistaken assumption that the residential retirement community–popularly known as the Motion Picture Home, whose residents have included producer Stanley Kramer, western actor Joel McCrea and “Star Trek’s” DeForest Kelley–is closing as well. It’s not. But hundreds of people who’ve needed essential care are going to be affected, along with 200 or so workers who will lose their jobs.

The problem, as I’ve learned, is that the Motion Picture Fund now has a yearly shortfall of $20 million, roughly half of that coming from the hospital and long-term care unit. With the hospital deficit widening each year, the fund’s leadership decided to shed itself of its biggest money-loser in the hopes of saving the overall fund, which spends roughly $120 million a year on various healthcare services.

That brings us to that queasy little issue of Hollywood priorities. It would take raising additional millions of dollars to keep the long-term care unit and hospital going. But where could that money come from? Hhmm, let’s look around the landscape a little. In today’s Hollywood, we have hundreds upon hundreds of millionaires who take the money and run, rarely devoting themselves in any meaningful way to giving back to the business that made them such a huge success. We have six major movie studios who all tell me every year how profitable they are and who happily spend millions of dollars every year buying “for your consideration” ads, throwing parties and premieres, all in search of the prestige of winning an Oscar. We also have untold affluent actors, filmmakers and studio executives who cough up plenty of dough for political candidates and environmental causes but rarely make sure that they’ve first done something for charities closer to home like the Motion Picture Fund.

There are plenty of exceptions, starting with Jeffrey Katzenberg, who’s chairman of the MPTF Foundation Board and has been a tireless fundraiser for the Fund. But too often Hollywood has rarely shown any passion for anything involving its past, be it preserving old movies, creating a first-class museum or caring for its elders. But don’t listen to me: Here’s an excerpt from a letter to me from Jill Schary Robinson, whose Hollywood bloodlines run deep. Her father was the fabled writer-producer Dore Schary, who ran MGM in the 1950s. Her son is Jeremy Zimmer, a partner at the United Talent Agency. Her concern about the home’s future is firsthand–her husband has been at the home’s long-term care unit since last March. He won’t be there much longer, unless Hollywood changes its priorities. Here’s what she has to say:

“[If it wasn’t for the home] my husband would have been dead by now.  The Motion Picture Home isn’t about glamour, unless you call medical excellence glamour. Without question, it is the example of medical ingenuity and sensitivity for elderly people.  Young volunteers from all over Los Angeles come here learning how to be comfortable with elderly people. The Home defines dignity and teaches how the spirit of these last years can even thrive.

“To close the Motion Picture Home is to turn our backs on our own futures. We will be that old. We will have infirmities. We will need care. But we’ll want superb caregivers who know we’re still there inside– who have the skills and gifts to be there for us, even when our families have given up. There are serious alternatives to closing the Motion Picture Home which need to be explored and I am willing to spearhead a grass-roots effort in the Hollywood and Entertainment community to sustain this unique model for quality health care for an expanding aging population.  I will devote my full time to working on this. Will you join me?”

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From the Los Angeles Times

Jury bars auction of Mary Pickford’s Oscar

If heirs want to sell the actress’ 1930 award, they must give the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences the first chance to buy it, for $10, jurors decide.
By Bob Pool

December 16, 2008

Mary Pickford with her Oscar for the 1929 film, Coquette

Mary Pickford with her Oscar for the 1929 film, "Coquette"


And the Oscar for best Hollywood courtroom drama goes to . . . the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The golden statuette was awarded Monday by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury, which ruled that if Mary Pickford’s heirs want to sell it, they have to offer it to academy officials for $10 instead of auctioning it off for as much as $800,000.

Academy leaders took a Rancho Mirage woman, her daughter and a cousin to court after the women announced plans to sell the Oscar presented in 1930 to the silent-movie star known as “America’s sweetheart” and donate the proceeds to charity.

Marian Stahl, daughter Kim Boyer and Boyer’s cousin Virginia Casey are disposing of Pickford’s estate, which at one time filled the legendary Beverly Hills estate known as Pickfair.

Along with the best actress Oscar for 1929’s silent melodrama “Coquette,” the estate also includes an honorary Oscar bestowed upon her in 1976 and a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, presented to actor-bandleader Buddy Rogers in 1986.

Rogers married Pickford in 1937 after her divorce from actor Douglas Fairbanks. After Pickford’s death in 1979, Rogers married Beverly Rogers. He died in 1999 and she died in 2007, leaving the estate to Stahl, who is her sister, Boyer and Casey.

Jealously guarding the Oscar trademark, the film academy has since 1951 required recipients to sign an agreement giving the group the right of first refusal to buy back any unwanted Oscar for the token price of $10 (though that amount was later reduced to $1).

That has made pre-1951 Oscars a hot commodity. The best picture statuette for 1939’s “Gone With the Wind” was purchased for $1.54 million nine years ago by Michael Jackson. The best picture Oscar for 1941’s “How Green Was My Valley” sold for $95,000 four years ago.

Because Pickford signed the agreement when her honorary Oscar was presented to her and because she was a founder of the academy who remained a member until her death, academy officials contend that the 1930 Oscar was grandfathered into the rule on right of first refusal.

During an occasionally theatrical two-week downtown trial, an unidentified pair of 1930s-era Oscars were displayed to jurors, and a recent Pickfair estate auction catalog displaying hundreds of Pickford movie memorabilia items was brought to court.

The heirs sought to prove that the signature on the academy’s 1975 honorary Oscar agreement was not Pickford’s, who they suggested was too infirm to have signed it. The academy argued that she had her personal secretary, the late Esther Helm, sign her name for her.

Jurors only deliberated about an hour Monday before returning with their academy award on an 11-1 vote. Judge Joseph Kalin is expected to hear further arguments next Monday on equitable and legal issues not ruled on by the jury.

“We’re arguing that the receipt is an unenforceable agreement. The case is not over yet,” said Mark Passin, a lawyer for the heirs.

“The academy has tried to bury us in this litigation. The academy spent hundreds of thousands of dollars so the charities specified in Beverly Rogers’ will won’t receive any money. My clients are very upset. They pretty much spent their entire inheritance to fight the academy.”

Passin said Boyle had offered to donate the Oscar to the academy if the group would help find academy members willing to donate its worth to the Buddy Rogers Youth Symphony in the Coachella Valley. The 1930 Pickford statuette could have sold for $500,000 to $800,000 on the open market, he said.

David Quinto, a lawyer for the academy, said the organization on principle would never ask a member to donate money for the benefit of a third party attempting to flaunt current rules and sell an old Oscar.

“Every other heir out there would be saying, ‘What do you gimme for it?’ ” when disposing of a deceased Oscar winner’s property, he said.

Prior to the trial, the academy offered to make a direct charitable contribution of $50,000 if the heirs turned over Pickford’s 1930 statuette. Later, they increased the offer to $200,000 “only because Mary Pickford was a founder” of the academy, Quinto said Monday.

Word of the ruling was greeted glumly in the Coachella Valley.

“It’s a shame money intended to help children has been squandered,” said Eric Frankson, a La Quinta musician involved with violin lessons for 332 students through the Buddy Rogers Youth Symphony.

Outside the courtroom, the melodrama continued, with Quinto suggesting the heirs would have spent proceeds from any statuette sale to cover their attorney costs.

Not so, countered Passin.

All three Oscars from the Pickford-Rogers estate will permanently remain with the heirs, Passin said.

Or maybe not.

Quinto asserted that the academy is entitled to buy Pickford’s pair for a total of $20.

Passin shot back: “There was absolutely no ruling to that effect.”

As with every good courtroom drama, the plot thickens.

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