Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Georgian Terrace Hotel, Pt. 2

Back at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta…my room was on the 17th floor.

It was easy to see that this had once been used as an apartment building (during the 1991-1997), as the room itself was quite spacious. The decor included a tightly cropped vintage photo of a headless woman speaking into a number of radio microphones. I knew immediately that it was Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind” on the night of the Atlanta premiere in 1939.

The living room, complete with writing desk:

Even a dressing room was included in this suite:

The bathroom had been modernized, so unfortunately my love for vintage tile was unfulfilled here.

The balcony off the living room provided a lovely view…well, that might be a little strong. Let’s just say it was a view. Peeping into other people’s apartments can be a bit creepy. Or “spooky” as Dame Edna would have said.

A view of the modern spiral tower facing down from the 17th floor:

You can see the historic Fox Theatre below, distinguishable from its Moroccan domes:

The view at night:

There was a rooftop pool, which unfortunately I did not have time to use since I only stayed one night and my flight home was at the crack of dawn.

A well-appointed fitness center:

And back to the main level, where my tile obsession was somewhat quenched!

Still more photos of the Georgian Terrace to come!

See more Georgian Terrace Hotel photos at my main website.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Temple Tuesday: Corliss, David Niven, and Ry-Krisp

“A Kiss for Corliss” (1949) was the last film of Shirley Temple’s movie career and a sequel to her 1945 box office hit, “Kiss and Tell.” Both films were about Corliss Archer, a fun loving teenager who always seems to get herself into trouble. “Kiss and Tell” was based on a series of short stories by Hugh Herbert in Good Housekeeping that were combined into a novel called Meet Corliss Archer, which then became a hit Broadway play followed by the movie at Columbia starring Shirley. Herbert had nothing to do with “A Kiss for Corliss,” which had a lackluster script by Howard Dimsdale.

The word “contrived” does not even begin to describe the plot of this misfire; Corliss Archer’s dad (Tom Tully) is handling the divorce of Kenneth Marquis’ (David Niven) third wife. Corliss meets him and is smitten by his charms. Marquis uses this to exact revenge on the quick tempered Mr. Archer, and through a series of convoluted plot twists, pretends that he is engaged to his beloved daughter, using a fake diary as proof. Tully was better suited as Shirley’s father in “I’ll Be Seeing You” (1944). In that film, he was the calm voice of reason. As Mr. Archer, he plays the poorly written character as a loud-mouthed hothead, and quickly becomes a bore.

The Breen Office (Hollywood’s self-imposed censorship arm headed by Joseph Breen from 1934-1954) disapproved of the film’s “extremely light attitude toward marriage.” A compromise was reached when the number of Kenneth Marquis’ divorces was reduced from six to three. Corliss was also made to explain in the movie that she “could never think of marrying a man with all those wives.” It was not the easiest material for Shirley to tackle at a time when her own marriage to her first husband was falling apart.

From Shirley’s fan club newsletter:

Shooting began on June 16, 1949 by Enterprise Studios at General Service. Erskine Johnson [a Hollywood gossip columnist] wrote, “Shirley…arrived at the studio at 7:30a.m., drove her black convertible to the makeup department, sat down in a barber’s chair and went back to sleep as the makeup artist and hair dresser went to work.” The same columnist wrote that in “A Kiss for Corliss” Shirley feigns amnesia and acts like a 9 year old for one sequence. Her director [Richard Wallace] ran off movies Shirley made at that age to show her how to act!

Above, Shirley shows George Chasen how to play the game of jacks, which she needs to do when she is faking amnesia for her parents (in the publicity still below) to avoid getting into trouble for being out all night with her boyfriend.

David Niven was not a willing participant in the film; he had been engaged in a battle of the wills with his boss, Samuel Goldwyn, ever since the actor had been forced to do “The Elusive Pimpernel.” Because of his behavior during the production of that movie, Goldwyn punished Niven with “A Kiss for Corliss.” As Niven recalled, “I was immediately loaned out to play the heavy in a Shirley Temple picture, a disastrous teen-age potboiler.” According to an October 17, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, independent financier Henry G. Kuh entered into negotiations with Colin Miller to produce a third “Corliss Archer” picture. Other newspaper rumors of the time included this one reported in Shirley’s fan club newsletter:

Shirley may co-star with Louis Jordan in “The Frenchman and the Bobby-soxer” in Paris. Shirley is said to be studying French of which she already has considerable knowledge, but is not sure she could stay away from Linda Susan [her daughter] that long…OR the picture has also been mentioned as “Corliss Goes to Europe” to be shot in England and France. It’s a comedy idea about a bobby-soxer who upsets fashion trends in London and Paris by introducing American teen age fashions to famous couturiers. We also read that Shirley will go into a college picture at Warner Bros. next.

Tired of subpar scripts and films that used her famous name to increase their sales receipts, Temple instead retired after the release of “A Kiss for Corliss.”

The world premiere was held in Des Moines, Iowa on November 16, 1949. London Sunday Observer film critic C.A. Lejune wrote in his unfavorable review:

Sometimes I think that David Niven Should not take all the parts he’s given. While of the art of Shirley Temple, I, for the moment have had ample.

This film was later retitled “Almost a Bride.”

In this publicity still, Corliss (Shirley is hiding from the police in the basement of a nightclub with her boyfriend Dexter (Darryl Hickman). I wonder how much Ry-Krisp paid for this product placement?

The production of Ry-Krisp was discontinued in 2015. Ballantine’s Scotch Whiskey is still in business, but their placement in the film was not as prominent. 

Did “A Kiss for Corliss” effectively kill Ry-Krisp?

Shirley will never tell!
See more Shirley Temple “A Kiss for Corliss” photos at my main website.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Georgian Terrace Hotel, Pt. 1

My first visit to the Georgian Terrace Hotel was in 2007; I didn’t stay there, but did tour the property. I managed to take a few pictures WITH A FLASH; I still shutter at the thought (pun intended). Obviously, when I returned this year I had to spend the night and get some decent photos! The descriptive historical marker in front of the hotel remained the same:

Built by Atlanta native, Joseph Gatins and designed by New York architect, W.L. Stoddard, the Terrace opened October 2, 1911. over the years, most of Atlanta’s famous visitors have chosen the Georgian Terrace Hotel as their temporary home on Peachtree Street. The Terrace served as headquarters for the Metropolitan Opera when it visited Atlanta each Spring in the early 1900’s. The great opera singer, Enrico Caruso stayed here in 1913 and sent a gracious thank you from London complimenting the excellent food and accommodations. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and most of the “Gone with the Wind” cast stayed here when the film premiered in Atlanta in December 1939. The Terrace served as host to Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Arthur Murray once operated one of his early dancing schools here while he was attending Georgia Tech. Over the years “The Grand Old Lady of Peachtree” becmae known as oe of the great hotels of the Southeast because of its elaborate ballroom, the Terrace Outdoor Cafe, marble lobby, and elegant furnishing.

Despite the signage claiming that Vivien stayed at the Georgian, that is not completely true. Since she and beau Laurence Olivier weren’t married yet (and Leigh was still married to her first husband), they had been booked separate rooms at the Georgian to avoid a scandal. This was not acceptable to the lovers, so they stayed at a private residence instead.

Walt Disney also stayed here in 1946 when “Song of the South” premiered across the street at the Fox Theatre. The hotel’s website gives very little information about the history of the hotel or its renovations. In 1991, a 19-story wing was added, followed by renovations in 2000 and 2009. The outside looked very much the same from my 2007 visit.

The classic and modern elements work surprisingly well together…

including this incredible spiral tower, guaranteed to induce vertigo!

The lobby desk:

While there were no staff in these photos (many which were taken at 5am!), I can assure you that everyone that worked there was incredibly kind and helpful. Below is the plaque outside the ballroom where the gala party for the “Gone with the Wind” premiere was held:

You could almost feel the ghosts of the attendees.

Come back for more photos of the Georgian Terrace!

See more Georgian Terrace Hotel photos at my main website.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Temple's Turkeys

Temple Tuesday is two days late, but these photos go perfectly with today’s celebration of Thanksgiving. Whether you get riled up about the origins of the celebration or not, EVERYONE would benefit from slowing down and taking at least one day to focus on what they can be thankful for. Just getting the disclaimer out of the way first, folks, cause that’s how I operate.

Photo #1 is from 1935 and shows Shirley in the duds that she wore during the orphanage sequences from “Curly Top.” Even though the film was shot from May 25, 1935 through July 10, 1935, the publicity department was thinking ahead by shooting photos that could be used during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. From the accompanying (now) gruesome caption:

“You eat now, and I’ll eat Thanksgiving Day,” seems to be the idea Shirley Temple, little Fox Film star, has as she watches one of her turkeys go after the corn supply.

One of Shirley’s semi-notorious stories from her childhood film career took place during the filming of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” Early in the film, Rebecca (Shirley) goes to visit neighbor Tony Kent (Randolph Scott). Her cousin Gwen (Gloria Stuart) eventually joins the two as Rebecca dines on some turkey that Tony’s butler (Slim Summerville) has served the little girl. The photos above and below were taken during the filming of this sequence.

Shirley’s brother Jack was hired as third assistant director, to which she would later say, he “spent time thinking up things to take care of, one of which was me.” Director Allan Dwan fired him after a dispute over a roasted turkey prop. The turkey had been sprayed with insecticide and Jack loudly ordered her not to eat it, which she had no intention of doing. Out of spite, she popped the turkey in her mouth, prompting her brother to shake her to dislodge it. “Despite a slightly bitter taste, it was good turkey and my disobedience was immensely satsisfying.” Below, Shirley calms down between takes of the sequence by doing a little crafting:

In the 1938 film “Just Around the Corner,” Shirley and Bennie Bartlett share some turkey in the kitchen as their characters play matchmakers for their family. Do their attempts work? Of course they do!

The film was released just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 11, 1938. From the Sunday, November 20, 1938 Milwaukee Sunday News-Sentinel:

Hollywood’s little dream-girl-come-true (Shirley Temple, of course) is pictured having a dream of and for herself…and Shirley’s vision should come true Thanksgiving Day. As for the forthcoming holiday, seems to us Shirley has quite a few things for which to be thankful. Only 9 1/2 years old, she has earned a sizable fortune…should be able to enjoy a bright and bountiful future. On the other hand, millions of moviegoers might well remember to be appreciative of the happiness and cheer she has given them from the screen. Then there are the thousands outside the motion picture industry for whom her fame has been a source of livelihood…employees of doll manufacturers and children’s clothing concerns, etc. Doesn’t the title of her next picture, “The Little Princess,” fit Shirley to a ‘T’? The film a 20th Century-Fox production, will be her first full-length Technicolor vehicle.

The dress Shirley wears while carving the turkey was seen in “Just Around the Corner” and is known as the Lucky Penny dress, named after her character in the film, Penny Hale.

“The Blue Bird” (1940) was shot from September to October of 1939, so it stands to reason that Shirley would be photographed carving yet another turkey, wearing her peasant garb from the movie.

After a brief retirement in 1940, Shirley was back in the kitchen with a turkey again in 1941 during the filming of MGM’s “Kathleen.” These publicity shots were taken in Shirley’s Brentwood kitchen.

In the above and below shots, you can see the Morgantown Ruby Red goblets on the top shelf, as Shirley happily pretends to munch on her Flintstone-sized turkey leg.

I hope you all have a joyous, reflective, and relaxing day. I’ll be out this morning running the Turkey Trot, attempting to earn whatever calories I take in! And while I’m at it, I’d like to wish a VERY happy birthday to faithful Daveland reader and stellar Shirley’s Army member, SJR!!
See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The Swan House, Pt. 3

Many windows give a great view of the gorgeous grounds and landscaping of Swan House. Because of my first post, I learned from a reader that in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013), Swan House was used as President Snow’s Mansion. Filming lasted for about three weeks, which used both the grounds and the interiors.

Fortunately for me, the property did not have very many guests wandering around that day; I was able to go at a leisurely pace and enjoy the solitude and take my photos without having “the unaware” step into the frame.

I love all the nooks and crannies on the property.

If the large mansion does nothing for you, maybe the Victorian Playhouse is more your style. From the nearby signage:

The Victorian Playhouse was built ca. 1890 in downtown Atlanta. The playhouse has resided in Inman Park, Ansley Park, Brookwood Hills, and Buckhead, reflecting Atlanta’s residential growth northward. In 1980, the William D. Ellis family donated it to the Atlanta Historical Society. The playhouse is typical folk Victorian building - a simple house type with applied Victorian decoration common in Georgia from 1890 to 1920. The house provides an architectural link between 1840s Tullie Smith Farm and 1928 Swan House.

The interior was adorable; I can only imagine being a kid and having something like this for playtime! Wow!

More shots of the surrounding property: 

Ambrose the elephant once sat in front of the White Elephant Saloon on Alabama Street; when the saloon was sold in the early 1900s, the sculpture moved around a few times (including to Charlottesville, Virginia), and eventually was gifted to the Atlanta History Center in 1971 by the sister of its previous owner, Hunter Perry (thus, the plaque).

Also on the property is Wood Cabin:

Edited from the Atlanta History Center website:

Originally located about one mile to the south of the Chattahoochee River and approximately two miles from the site of the Creek Indian settlement of Standing Peachtree, Wood Cabin is noteworthy as an example of a log structure constructed during the time this area of North Georgia was the frontier. The cabin currently stands in a meadow in Swan Woods. Elias Wood purchased Land Lot 251 in District 17 in 1847, but the cabin might date to decades before that. Carl Hartrampf Jr. and his son Carl III located the cabin in 1996 concealed inside the Victorian home on Hollywood Road in Northwest Atlanta. Carl purchased the rights to remove the cabin from the house. The logs were disassembled and relocated to Winfield Farm at Scaly Mountain, North Carolina. In 2014, the cabin was relocated from North Carolina to the Atlanta History Center’s campus. Wood Cabin is used to tell the story of Native Americans, white settlers, and folk traditions of the rural South.

The interior:

Me attempting to be artsy-fartsy with lighting and angles:

I cannot say enough good things about the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. Being able to wander the expansive property and “stumble” upon all these treasures is magical.

Next to the museum itself are Olguita's Gardens, which celebrate the life of honoree Olga “Olguita” C. de Goizueta.

One more post to go on The Atlanta History Center! See more Swan House photos at my main website.