Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. July 21, 1925. p. 8


Schertzinger Pays Tribute to Bob Jones

by Preston Sawyer

"Through the columns of the Sentinel, I wish you would tell the good people of Santa Cruz how deeply we appreciate the treatment we have received and the co-operation we have met with, during the filming here of "Thunder Mountain." But above all, let me say that we owe a particular debt of gratitude to Bob Jones, your St. George hotel proprietor."

The speaker was Victor L. Schertzinger, famed artist, musician and director of motion pictures--he who wrote "Marcheta," and who has given to the screen such photoplays as Jackie Coogan's "Long Live the King," "The Kingdom Within" and many of Charles Ray's greatest successes.

We were grouped about the cameras on location early Sunday afternoon. All was in readiness to shoot the final "exterior" for "Thunder Mountain"--an explosion, the great thrill scene of the picture. While awaiting the arrival of the powder man to pass upon the charge and connect the wires preliminary to touching it off, Schertzinger had called me to him.

"Bob Jones has certainly done his utmost to help put our efforts across," the director was saying. "He has co-operated with us in every way, has aided us in finding these wonderful locations and has opened the way for us to spots we could never have secured alone. Bob made us at home at his popular hostelry, going out of his way to keep us satisfied and happy during our month here, and he has entertained us and dined us in our spare time.

"If there were more Bob Joneses around the country, fewer 'sets' would be constructed in Hollywood. There would be far more incentive to work away from the studios as often as possible. It has been a great pleasure to work among the wonderful people of Santa Cruz, who somehow, in their goodness, seem to match up with the wonderful scenery," Mr. Schertzinger concluded.

"All is ready now, Say when!" called the explosion expert. Tapping his photographers on their shoulders, Schertzinger breathed "Camera!" and all was tense silence for a moment. In an instant there was a blinding flash. A roar shook the ground beneath our feet, and surging billows of smoke rolled upward. The boys at the cranks ground on until the rolling smoke columns began to disperse, when came the call to "Cut!"

The final "exterior" was shot. "Next call, Tuesday morning at the studio. Interior of Sam's cabin." So read the instructions in the hands of Billy Tummel, assistant director.

Players Depart

Throughout the day Sunday, various members of the Schertzinger company, their work here completed, were departing for Hollywood. One group left by machine at 4 a.m., among them Ben Walker, Tiny Jones, Walter Robbins. Later Madge Bellamy and her mother and ZaSu Pitts departed, also by machine, as did Director Schertzinger and party.

The remainder of the group toured south on the evening train.

Paul Panzer, Emily Fitzroy and Ernest Butterworth had already returned. Duke Goux, business manager, was yet on hand Monday morning, clearing up business details.

Arthur Housman Leaves

Arthur is a very interesting fellow--Arthur Housman, we mean. He returned with the others to continue his role of Joe Givens, villain in "Thunder Mountain." We remember Arthur back in the days when the films and us were young. He was then a featured player with the old Edison company.

In a recent interview he was questioned concerning the old guard of players who are now scattered to the four winds.

"What has become of Mary Fuller?" we asked him, first of all. "Mary is definitely out of picture work and is happily married. She is living, I think, in Washington, D.C.. Mabel Trunelle? She is Mrs. Herbert Prior, you know. The Priors have a home in Hollywood, and Herbert is free-lancing," Housman informed, growing interested.

And then he proceeded to chalk up some of the others, as follows:

"Yale Boss is in Hollywood, I believe.

"Harry Beaumont is directing.

"Charles Ogle has been with Lasky for years, but is now free-lancing.

"Viola Dana and Shirly Mason--well, you know all about them.

"And Dan Mason--yes, here we are together again as in the old days. Dan is going to be a knock-out in 'Thunder Mountain'," Housman said, his mind wandering over the days of yore.

Housman spent many years in eastern studios before coming west to Hollywood. He was with the old Lubin and Kalem companies. Appearing later with many independent concerns he eventually signed up with Goldwyn. Following this engagement and just prior to starting for California he worked in an Allan Dwan production for Famous Players-Lasky, "Night Life In New York," with Rod La Rocque, Ernest Torrence, Dorothy Gish and others. He also worked in "Manhandled," with Gloria Swanson.

Maine (Bud) Geary

Maine Geary, who is Dick Babb, sweetheart of ZaSu Pitts in "Thunder Mountain," is returning to his Hollywood home to greet a new member of his family, a son born a week ago. Geary has two boys now. Greetings!

This sterling young star is perhaps best known for his work as Will Scarlet in "Doug" Fairbanks' "Robin Hood."

Yearsley a Type

A striking and unusual type is Ralph Yearsley, who is playing a character role in the Fox production.

Born in England and trained in a medical school, he came to this country as a youth. Becoming interested in films, he secured an extra part in John Barrymore's "Jekyll and Hyde." Since then his rise has been rapid.

An outstanding role was that of the "Baby Buzzard"--the younger Hatburn, brother of Ernest Torrence in "Tol'able David," with Dick Barthelmess. Yearsley has also worked in "Pardon My French," with Vivian Martin and in "The Hill Billy," with Jack Pickford. In Fox's "The Village Blacksmith" he was the cruel squire's son. He was prominently cast in "Reported Missing" with Tom Moore, and more recently he played in "Anna Christie" and "Peter Pan."

"Oh, yes! And I worked in Elinor Glyn's "The Only Thing," recently," he told me.

Yes, girls, he admits he is married, and happily. His wife and a little daughter live in Hollywood.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Reproduced by permission.