Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Evening News. April 20, 1926. p. 6


by J. P. L.

This afternoon at the picturesque J. A. Gayton residence on High Street the big Irving Cummings unit of the Fox Film Company is "shooting" the first exterior scenes of "Pigs"--a production destined to be one of the year's outstanding film releases. As foretold several days ago in these columns, the big troupe, forty strong, arrived early this morning on its own special train of Southern Pacific railroad cars. One and all, they were glad to get here, and immediately went into training quarters at Bob Jones' St. George Inn for weary wayfarers.

Spectator lines were drawn taut about the set this afternoon. Not that Mr. Cummings and co-ordinates are not deeply appreciative of Santa Cruz' warm interest in Fox's local work, but because private grounds and carefully prepared settings were in need, perforce, of protection. Following the completion of the work at the Gayton residence the company will work on Catalpa Street and then move to the Hotel St. George Duroc-Jersey hog ranch.

"Good morning, Santa Cruz--glad as the gosh-all-mighty dickens to be back," was Director Cummings' greeting as he stepped off the company train this morning. "The Johnstown Flood" made by us here on our last visit is going over big--and we're glad of the opportunity to do some more." After which Charles Woolstenhulme, business manager of the company and personal assistant to Mr. Cummings for the past four years, took over the reins of the interview. He told us much--a great portion of which must be continued in our next. But now go on with the story.

Janet Gaynor, as we've already made known, is again with us. This sensational ingenue has been accorded the leading feminine role of "Mildred Hastings" in "Pigs." She scored roundly as ingenue in "The Johnstown Flood." She is again accompanied by her mother.

Then there is Will Walling--male lead--to whom a real story attaches itself. Will was "still" cameraman with Mr. Cummings on the latter's last picture. "Rustling For Cupid," which was made in Texas and Mexico. In fact, during his movie experience, Will has always been a cameraman, and his portraying the leading role in "Pigs" is his first acting venture. Remarkable? Most decidedly. "Pigs" came along and with it the question of a satisfactory male lead. Mr. Cummings made more than twenty screen tests and was satisfied with none. Then he turned to Walling--a nice-looking chap with distinctive features. "Would you like a test?" Cummings asked. Walling consented. He satisfied. He has kept on satisfying. And Mr. Cummings is enthusing over his work thus far done in the studio interiors. "I'm pinching myself every morning as I awaken to make sure it's not all a dream," Will told Charlie Woolstenhulme this morning.

Art Housman, our very good friend, leading heavy in Schertzinger's "Thunder Mountain," taken here, is returning with the Cummings unit to play the comedy lead in "Pigs." He is motoring and will arrive tomorrow.

There is also Doris Lloyd, eminent young English character artist, who created a furor in the demi-monde characterization of the much-discussed "Spring Cleaning"--a legitimate offering. Bodil Rosing, well known Swedish character delineator, is with the unit to play the part of the maid. Gladys McConnell is ingenue, playing her first Fox part. Tempe Piggott is here in the characterization of a grandmother. Gene Cameron, a Fox newcomer, also has a prominent part. George Irving, remembered from "The Goose Hangs High" and "The Air Mail," is with the company in the portrayal of the father of Walling--the latter's production name being "Tommy Atkins." Herb Prior, veteran screen artist, is accorded another important role.

Manager Earl Amos of the New Santa Cruz Theater, co-operating with the company's business manager, Charles Woolstenhulme, is arranging for a "Fox Night" at his theater. It is planned to show Cummings' "Johnstown Flood" on this occasion, together with a personal presentation of the entire Fox cast of "Pigs."

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