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The Cat Creeps (1930) - a new cast portrait find!

Rupert Julian (seated on floor, left) with the dual cast of The Cat Creeps.

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle’s remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.
— IMDB summary of The Cat Creeps (1930)

So this is an interesting one - another find on Ebay, this time from Rupert's very last film in 1930 (and perhaps his only talkie), The Cat Creeps. I'd heard of the film, but what I'd never heard (until now) is that there were two casts, and two directors!

There's a trailer for it online - which seems to be most of what survives of the film, unfortunately - but what I hadn't heard about was the Spanish language version, made at the same time on the same sets, directed by someone else entirely.

Here's the label on the back of this image:

So here we've got both casts, possibly in mirror image, with both directors together on the set! I can't say I knew anything about George Melford before, but he had a long career in parallel to Rupert's - starting in the early teens, and continuing until 1937. His version of this film seems to have come out under the title 'La voluntad del muerto', which translates as The Will Of The Dead; but it's definitely based on the same original novel.

Here's a few posters for both films, mostly from the IMDB:

I'm not sure I can guess the names of everyone in the images, but it's interesting to see Rupert towards the end of his career at very least! I don't know what made him finish with this film - many silent directors didn't transition well into the talking picture business, but that's pure speculation of course. I'd love to find out, one day!

One last thing - here's the cover of Film Daily magazine from October 1930, showing the film on the front page. Nice to see Rupert back at Universal, if nothing else; obviously he & Carl Laemmle had made peace after Phantom Of The Opera, by then!

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A brief history of Krotona Court

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A brief history of Krotona Court

During the more sedately spiritual Krotona occupation, the front building housed a kitchen, dining room, vegetarian cafeteria and lecture rooms until Krotona relocated to Ojai in 1924. The building, then called the Krotona Court, was designed by San Diego-based architecture firm of Mead & Requa. Every era at Krotona seems to bring a fresh interpretation of the Theosophical Society’s mission: to explore the inexplicable...

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New postcard of Rupert Julian, found on eBay!

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New postcard of Rupert Julian, found on eBay!

I got a little excited about this one - it's not every day a new image of Rupert crosses my desk! Just at a guess, I'd say this one is probably from around 1914-15, when he was an up & coming actor in Hollywood, but not the moustached director he would become later...

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"My god - he's making a Dietrich out of her!" Lighting Masterclass w/ director Josef Von Sternberg (1969)

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"My god - he's making a Dietrich out of her!" Lighting Masterclass w/ director Josef Von Sternberg (1969)

How wonderful - I'd read about one of Von Sternberg's masterclasses years ago in Kevin Brownlow's (AMAZING) book on the silent era, The Parade's Gone By, but I never expected to be able to watch one!

For anyone with an interest in the history of Hollywood and filmmaking in the early days, I can't recommend that book highly enough; Brownlow doesn't just deal with the dates & places, he interviewed surviving cast & crew in the fifties and sixties, and got their first-hand stories of life at the time. It's a wonderfully engaging read.

Thanks to the Australian Cinematographers Society for posting this!

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Winter Hall quoted in the Auckland Star, 1926

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Winter Hall quoted in the Auckland Star, 1926

"The main objection I have to the picture work is the amount of idle time which one has to put in during the filming of a picture. The 'waits' are appallingly burdensome. On one occasion I was told to be ready, in full evening dress, for a scene at 9 o'clock on a Monday morning. I waited all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. The scene was 'shot' finally at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The delay was apparently unavoidable, but, to me, exceedingly irksome. This was an unusual case, but it illustrates to a large degree what picture actors have to put up with in the way of idle time..."

(Plus ça change!)  This one's not specifically Rupert-related, of course, but an interesting comment on the industry of the time - from the Auckland Star article referred to in his biography at NZ On Screen.

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