Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Evening News. Nov. 12, 1925. p. 4


by J. P. L.

The great Fox "Johnstown Flood" company rolled into Santa Cruz early this morning on its own special train and immediately went into winter training quarters at the St. George Hotel. They, incidentally, lost not an awful big lot of time in "falling to" on Bob Jones' best Coffee Shoppe "ham and."

We had to get this story on the fly because Council meeting took an awful lot of time today. Really, we could only talk to two or three--but there are other days coming.

First of all we looked up our friend of San Francisco days--George O'Brien, filmdom's youthful sensation, son of San Francisco's popular Police Chief, and starring in "Johnstown Flood" in the part of Tom O'Day. "I've been on a veritable Cook's tour these last few months," he explained to us. "Been making pictures in about every place except Los Angeles. Have just now returned from Wyoming, where, under Director Jack Ford of "Iron Horse" fame I made "Three Bad Men"--yet to be released."

George, though, is really having lots of fun and is tickled pink to be in Santa Cruz. In kid days he came here every summer with Dad and Mother, made lots of friends and had good times. He can't get police stuff out of his mind, however--born in him, probably. Yes, he's heard of Police Chief Kalar and former Chief Frank Hannah. His Dad has a high regard for the efficiency and dependability of the Santa Cruz force, he says.

And then, too, we have Jim Holohan as Sheriff here, George O'Brien reminds. Jim was United States Marshal in San Francisco when George's Dad was in the earlier days of his Chief of Police work. Tomorrow morning we're all going to take a walk around and say a genial "hello" to Sheriff Holohan. Also, tomorrow, Chief of Police O'Brien and Mrs. O'Brien are coming to Santa Cruz to visit with their scintillating son.

"Meet Miss Gilbert," suddenly said George, as conversation in the St. George lobby proceeded.

Then we exchanged introductory greetings with none other than Florence Gilbert, lead of the "Johnstown Flood," exquisitely blonde. Miss Gilbert's most recent outstanding success filmatically has been in the starring part of the Van Bibber series. She has other excellent parts in films already completed but yet to be released. She has been prominent in filmdom for over four years.

Before leaving the hotel lobby we were greeted by Clint Uturbees, grip, here a few months ago with Vic Schertzinger's "Thunder Mountain" unit. "Tickled to death to be back--had a peach of a time here last summer and have been homesick for Santa Cruz," enthusiastically exclaimed Clint. He, by the way, has also just returned from Wyoming, handling the artificial lighting for O'Brien's "Three Bad Men."

"Grip," it may be explained, applies to the person charged with the handling of the screen reflectors which are Old Sol's all-important aids in the securing of photographic perfection in movie filming.

In addition to the chief technical and property staff there are thirty-five company members coming who, in the official roster, are classified "atmosphere and bits."

Following are the principals, with character titles to be used in the screen story: Anders Randolph, "J. Hamilton"; Florence Gilbert, "G. Hamilton"; George O'Brien, "Tom O'Day"; Janet Gaynor, "Ann Burger"; Paul Nicholson, "Peyton Ward"; Paul Panzer, "Joe Burger"; Max Davidson, "David Mandell"; Walter Perry, "Pat O'Day"; Elmo Billings, "Freckles"; Mrs. Billings, "Mother to Freckles"; Mrs. Geddes, "School Teacher"; J. Tant, "Double for Miss Gaynor"; Sid Jordan, "Mullins."

The following are the principal members of the technical and property staff: Irving Cummings, Director; G. Woolstenhulme, Assistant Director; Leo Houck, script clerk; Geo. Schneiderman, cameraman; Joe Valentine, second cameraman; H. Tappenback, assistant cameraman; Lefty Hough, property man; Tom Plews, assistant property man; Lyle Leonard, second property man; Clint Witubees, grip; A. McDonald, wardrobe; Shorty Kline, stock; Tony Travers, music; Joe Zito, music; Chet Davis, electrician; H. Hoffner, electrician; C. Adams, electrician; Ben Wurtzel, business manager.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz County Sentinel. Reproduced by permission.