The Mystery of
FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.
HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 30.
NEARLY two years ago Samuel Gold-
wyn produced a screen play entitled "The Hurricane." It made a fortune for him, and not only won the plaudits of critics for the biggest wind ever to blow across the silver sheet, but made stars of its two unknown principals.
One of the principals was Dorothy Lamour who had appeared in a few minor roles in other pictures, but who was first launched on her starring career in Goldwyn's drama of wind and sea. Dorothy sang in that sultry voice of hers and wore a sarong. The latter did more to make her a star than her voice or her looks, because she wore that sarong as it had never been worn before.
Since then Miss Lamour has gone on to further screen triumphs and bigger pay cheques, and the sarong has become synony- mous with Lamour. It is estimated that her jungle movies have earned Paramount some four million dollars, and Sam Gold- wyn's "Hurricane" started the flow of gold
to her studio.
The other principal in "The Hurricane" was Jon Hall, as handsome a boy who ever stepped before the cameras, with bronzed body, a charming smile, and with a slight flair for acting. Jon, if you remember, had one of those figures that adorn swimming suit advertisements.
FOR weeks after the picture was released
Hall was the screen personality of the
moment. His fan mail reached enormous
proportions (mostly from impressionable young girls), and there was hardly a fan magazine in the country that did not carry his picture wearing only a loin-cloth. He made a triumphal personal appearance through the country, and his autograph was sought after as eagerly as that of Robert Taylor, a firmly established favourite.
Following these triumphs, Goldwyn immedi- ately announced grandiose plans for Hall's future. The publicity department ran wild and had Hall set to appear in as many as a dozen movies at the one time.
But what happened? Nothing.
Hall's meteoric rise to celluloid fame and his fall into oblivion constitute one of the oddest stories of Hollywood.
Hall, at present, lives in Brentwood, a suburb of Hollywood, with his wife, Frances Langford, well-known radio star, who makes periodical excursions into movies. They married at a time when Hall's stocks were high and he
looked like becoming a famous movie star. At that time he was earning (or at least he was on Goldwyn's pay-roll) 200 dollars a week, while his wife had a salary of 3,000
dollars each week.
The Waiting Game.
EVER since he finished work in "The Hur-
ricane" he hasn't done one stroke of work. He's spent his time waiting, waiting, wondering when Mr. Goldwyn will decide to put him to work.
He's been on Goldwyn's pay-roll ever since "The Hurricane," drawing his 200 dollars a week as regular as clockwork. He received only 175 dollars a week for making "The Hurricane." which probably makes him the lowest-paid star in Hollywood. After the picture he asked Goldwyn for an increase, and his salary was made to the 200 dollars he now draws for doing nothing.
Alexander Korda signed Hall for the lead in "The Thief of Bagdad," and the deal was so definite that Korda gave Hall 1,000 dollars to buy a new wardrobe. Hall got the clothes, but again Sam stepped in and stopped the deal. This may have been be- cause of the bitter row that split Korda and Goldwyn over the United Artists' sale.
Later Hall was offered a job in Pago Pago, a picture to be made by Edward Small. This was not unlike "The Hurricane," and should have been ideal for Hall, but again Goldwyn vetoed it.
And so it has gone on. He is contracted to Goldwyn and cannot make a picture any- where else without his permission.