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British Superstar's Last Film Role Marred by Overtight Clothes, Fake Accent

Ivor Novello last film: 'Autumn Crocus' (photo: Ivor Novello and Fay Compton in 'Autumn Crocus') Can a plain looking, naive spinster school teacher ever find real love in faraway places? This was a question asked by Shirley Booth in Arthur Laurents' 1952 stage play The Time of the Cuckoo; Katharine Hepburn in the 1955 David Lean-directed film version, Summertime (1955); and Elizabeth Allen in the 1965 Richard Rodgers-Steven Sondheim musical adaptation, Do I Hear a Waltz? Can such a woman's yearning for romance ever be satisfied? "Yes" and "No," according to Basil Dean's fine 1934 British film Autumn Crocus, which marked the last film appearance of British stage and screen superstar Ivor Novello (Alfred Hitchcok's The Lodger). Autumn Crocus starts out during the holiday season, when two British schoolteachers decide to spend their vacation together on the Continent. Soft-hearted Jenny Grey (Fay Compton) longs to see the Austrian Alps,
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Frederica Sagor Pt.2: Women Screenwriters in 1920s Hollywood

Screenwriter Frederica Sagor Dead at 111: Wrote Movies for Norma Shearer (photo), Clara Bow, Louise Brooks Now, whether Frederica Sagor's Hollywood Babylon-like tales bear any resemblance to what actually happened at studio parties and private soirees, I can't tell. But on the professional side, one problem with the information found in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim is that studios invariably used numerous writers, whether male or female, in their projects. Usually, in those pre-Writers Guild days, only two or three contributors received final credit, not because of the uncredited writer's gender but in large part because the final product oftentimes had little — if anything — in common with the original source. While doing research for my Ramon Novarro biography, I went through various drafts, written by various hands, of his movies. A Certain Young Man, for instance, went through so many changes (including director, cast, and title), that the final film
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