New Men Wanted in Hollywood (1931) 🇺🇸

March 11, 2024

We want good leading men — and we want them bad! Here we have all these new girls — Dietrich, Tallulah, Elissa Landi, Sylvia Sidney, Carman Barnes, and soon Lil Dagover — to keep up the feminine tradition. Grand new girls — exciting — glamorous — lovely.

by Delight Evans

But where, oh where, are the new Colmans and Coopers, the Powells and the Barthelmess’s (we simply can’t spell that out), the Holmeses and Montgomery’s and the Ayreses? Yes, I know these are tongue-twisters; but we’re terribly, terribly serious about all this. Something has got to be done. And soon.

Out in Hollywood today there are very few new and dashing heroes to play with these new and lovely ladies. Oh, there are enough actors — there always have been and always will be. But where among them will you find the male equivalent of our Garbo or our Dietrich or our Landi? Is there a thrill in a carload? Look them over and see. [Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, William Powell, Richard Barthelmess, Phillips Holmes, Robert Montgomery, Lew Ayres]

In the interests of all the eager young ladies of the moving picture audience, we have asked the young men of Hollywood to assemble more or less in a body and be reviewed. It isn’t at all fair to them — we know that; but what can they do? They aim to please or they wouldn’t be in pictures. Besides, among them are some glowing exceptions who may turn into potential Colmans and Coopers [Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper] before our very eyes. And they are just the boys we have been looking for!

Don’t be bashful, boys. And don’t crowd, girls. We’re all just one big quarrelsome family. Some of us like that grinning young man in yon upper left-hand corner; others may prefer that soulful-eyed gentleman to the right. Let’s all get together and have an argument. But no biting and scratching, please.

To begin, Mr. Pat O’Brien, step right up here, please. Will you move your head just a little bit to the left? There, that’s better. Now! Mr. O’Brien will tell us all about himself. What? Oh, you won’t, Mr. O’Brien? Well, then we’ll have to tell on you. And how will you like that? It doesn’t matter. You can’t deny that you were born and brought up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and educated at Marquette U, where you studied law and starred in football. Then — stock companies and finally Broadway, where you won plaudits in The Up and Up and Overture, until Howard Hughes bought your contract from a stage producer and brought you to Hollywood and “The Front Page.” You look very good to us, Pat, and if “Personal Maid” with Nancy Carroll gives you half a chance, you’re with us to stay. Married? Yes.

It isn’t Joel McCrea’s fault that he has been most widely publicized as Connie Bennett’s current crush rather than as a good actor. He’s such a big, good-looking kid that we’re apt to overlook his ability as a trouper. But in Born to Love he shows signs of acting talent. He’s a Hollywood boy who has made good in his own home town.

A far, far different type is Spencer Tracy. From the stage, where he scored in The Last Mile, Tracy brings a real punch to pictures as you know if you saw him in “Up the River,” “Quick Millions,” “Six Cylinder Love,” or the forthcoming “Goldie,” with Jean Harlow. He prefers heavy leads. Threw his hat away as soon as he came to Hollywood. He’s married to Louise Treadwell and they have one son, five years old. The real thing, Spencer Tracy.

Ivor Novello has made the girls’ hearts beat a little faster — a little faster? pardon us, a whole lot faster! — by his Latin good looks, his English accent, and his fine technique in stage plays. He made one silent movie in America, D. W. Griffith’s The White Rose, with Mae Marsh; and many movies in England. He should be good in M-G-M films if he has the right sort of romantic role. He’s an older, wiser Novarro, if you want comparisons. Not married.

Two of the most promising and picturesque new young men in Hollywood today are James Cagney and Clark Gable. In fact, they are so darned good they get stories by themselves, because we’re getting so many letters crying for information about them. If you want to know our private opinion, these are the two boys most likely to succeed in 1932. But we don’t like to play favorites. In fact, we flatly refuse. So — on with the show!

There’s Charles Starrett. It’s hard to tell about him. because he has always been pretty much part of the background in every picture in which he has appeared — not that it’s his fault, you understand. Remember him in “The Royal Family of Broadway?” He can do better than that. He played football at Dartmouth, made his screen debut in Richard Dix’s “The Quarterback,” had his best part so far in “Fast and Loose” with Miriam Hopkins, and is hoping his Paramount contract will give him his big chance.

Warren William, who makes his bow in Expensive Women, Dolores Costello Barrymore’s come-back picture, has had a long and honorable career as a Broadway leading man with famous stars. William went on the stage to escape being what his father ordered — a newspaper man. He’s from Minnesota, and served in the war, and after the armistice he stayed in France for a while with a theatrical troupe. He’s suave and rather subtle, and he just may develop into a Powell-Lukas menace.

As we have said elsewhere in this issue of Screenland, Leslie Howard hasn’t been done right by so far in Hollywood. In Norma Shearer’s “A Free Soul” he is somewhat submerged by the more brilliant roles of Lionel Barrymore and Clark Gable, while to Broadway audiences who raved about “Berkley Square” it comes as something of a shock to see their Leslie in “Never the Twain Shall Meet.” But sooner or later they are sure to cast the clever Mr. Howard in a properly poetic role, and then watch him. He is an Englishman, married and a devoted father, and writes clever satire in his spare time.

“Don’t say Geoffrey Kerr. Say Jeffry Karr. Not that June Walker’s charming husband is a stickler for pronunciation. He doesn’t care so much what you fans call him just so you call him. He’s a well known actor from Broadway with an impressive English stage background, and his father is that delightful old actor, Frederick Kerr, whom you liked in Ronald Colman’s Devil to Pay.

Another stage recruit is Hardie Albright, who has made his mark in pictures with his performance in “Young Sinners.” He is scheduled to play opposite Janet Gaynor. Albright hails from Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Carnegie Tech. He isn’t married.

You liked Kent Douglass in “Paid,” with Joan Crawford, “Daybreak” with Novarro, and “It’s a Wise Child,” with Marion Davies. He was born in 1907, in Los Angeles, and began acting as a boy in community theatres, performing in everything from classics to musical comedy. No wonder he’s good! He’s six feet tall and prefers character leads to straight. A lad of promise.

William Boyd — we refuse to designate him as William (Stage) Boyd, because the other Pathé Boyd is known definitely now as Bill — is hardly a newcomer. He’s a veteran from Broadway with years of experience. He likes to play bold, bad roles. Paramount has him under contract and will present him next in Murder by the Clock.

And then there’s Donald Dillaway. Donald was born in New York City on March 17, 1905. He went to Cornell University and the University of Buffalo but he did not graduate from either university. Donald studied law but quit to go on the stage. His first talking picture role was in Min and Bill, his next is “Over the Hill.” He is six feet tall, weighs 150 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes and is a bachelor!

Another comer is Ray Milland who was born in Drogheda, Ireland, and who played in “Bachelor Father” and “Strangers May Kiss.” His first stage experience was in London which accounts for his grand British accent.

Probably the most colorful new man on the screen is Metaxa — first name Georges, but call him Metaxa — programs do. He plays with Claudette Colbert in Secrets of a Secretary and if you like him he’ll be shoved into more and more important roles. Metaxa’s father was a judge in Bucharest. His grandfather was General Metaxa of the Russian army, and his antecedents were of Greek origin, having migrated from that land through Russia and into Roumania. Plenty of picturesque background, you see, to say nothing of a grand voice and genuine acting talent. He is married, and has a seven-year old daughter, Yvonne. And admits it. You like Metaxa — yes, no?

New Men Wanted in Hollywood (1931) |

Joel McCrea — Connie Bennett’s [Contance Bennett] boy friend on, and, some insist, off.

Below, Spencer Tracy likes heavy leads, and how he can play ‘em!

Above, Pat O’Brien, right off “The Front Page,” now with “Personal Maid.”

Ivor Novello, above, is something of an older and wiser Novarro. English— and very nice, too.

Left, James Cagney. See Page 21 for full particulars.

Above, Warren William from the Broadway stage, who makes his screen bow in “Expensive Women.”

Right, Charles Starrett, whom you met in “Fast and Loose” and “The Royal Family of Broadway.” Like him?

New Men Wanted in Hollywood (1931) |

Above, Leslie Howard, waiting for a role to make him as popular on the screen as on the stage.

You saw Hardy Albright in “Young Sinners” with Dorothy Jordan. He’s good.

Right, Kent Douglass, a tall, blonde lad who won plaudits in “Paid.”

Boyd of Paramount who isn’t the Bill Boyd of Pathé. Seen in “Murder by the Clock.”

Metaxa plays opposite Claudette Colbert in “Secrets of a Secretary.” He was a succession the Continent. First name, Georges.

New Men Wanted in Hollywood (1931) |

Ray Milland has a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Remember him in “Bachelor Father?”

Donald Dillaway’s work in “Body and Soul,” with Charlie Farrell [Charles Farrell], resulted in a Fox contract. His next picture is “Over The Hill.”

Collection: Screenland Magazine, August 1931

Delight Evans, Screenland Magazine, 1930s, 1931