Don't forget to refer to my Contents page for a more convenient reference to past articles.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010


In continuation of a former post I wrote regarding the progress of Hollywood from a small town to a booming movie metropolis, I have prepared a few more interesting facts:

Former Hollywood resident, Mary Moll, lived in a farmhouse that bordered a strawberry orchard while she taught at the Pass school on Sunset Blvd. When her husband died, she decided to subdivide her property and build a commercial block at Hollywood and Highland. She also built herself a new home where the Roosevelt Hotel (above) now stands. Her donation of land and contribution to development made the now famous Highland Avenue an official street!

The first celebrity in Hollywood, before the invasion of moviestars was another type of artist: a painter. Paul de Longpre was known as the "King of Flowers." A Frenchman who began painting when he was twelve, he found much success and in 1889 settled with his wife and three children in Los Angeles. He met Daeida Wilcox Beveridge, who had remarried after Harvey Wilcox's death, and she offered him her own home in order to get him to move to the Hollywood area. The site of his home consisted of 36 lots at Cahuenga and Prospect Ave (below). He was always seen bicycling around the area, looking for the rarest flowers, and became even more famous for his beautiful garden. Because of this, his home became one of the biggest tourist attractions. There is now a street named for him just above Sunset.

Before the scandals and cover ups of the studio era, which was filled with rumors of drugs, prostitution, and murder, Hollywood was a fairly quiet little town. Not to mention a dry one! Surprisingly, Hollywood was a bit prudish in its formative years, with many a church and nary a bar. The small population also limited the amount of criminal behavior that occurred. For this reason, policing the area was not a heavy task. The first police station consisted of one room and one cell, and was situated at Cahuenga and Hollywood behind a rose arbor-- not very intimidating. Two policemen were hired, first surveying the town on horseback and then on bicycles. The only real criminal behavior was speeding on the traffic absent Sunset Blvd. Many times, one of the officers took a snooze at Hollywood and Vine and awoke to children throwing lemons at him! That was probably the closet he ever came to dealing with a gang.

The first "country club" or space for social gathering appeared at Wilcox Hall. Daeida Beveridge turned the upstairs into a space that would become known as The Hollywood Club. It was composed of a dance floor and billiard room, and also became the first real theater space where people could come to watch the latest plays, though they were certainly amateur productions. The first of its shows was a minstrel production. It also served as a space for educational programs, but mostly was an area for hardworking people to come and have a smoke or enjoy a game of cards after a long day.

Friday, January 22, 2010

MENTAL MONTAGE: Hollywood Rivalries

Everyone loves a good cat fight! We even buy t-shirts in support of them: Team Aniston vs. Team Jolie, Team Simpson vs. Team Lachey... The new reality stars give us an especially hefty bag of trash to tote, with Lauren Conrad pitted against the forever mutating Heidi Montag, or Paris Hilton and Best Frenemy Nicole Richie sometimes at each other's throats and sometimes hugging it out. In the real world and in the reel world, we actually can't all just get along. Celebrity feuds run rampant in Hollywood, whether the tiffs are behind-the-scenes or out in the open, slight distates or out-and-out hate-fests. It's nothing new. Here are a few of the classic rivalries in La La Land history:

What's Eating Gilbert?

There is a marked difference between the quarrels between men and the battles between women. The girls seem to snarl and bare their fangs whereas the dudes usually just shake their heads and say, "I don't like that guy." So it was with Lon Chaney and John Gilbert, two of the biggest stars in the early MGM stable. The two men starred together in While Paris Sleeps and the first MGM production, He Who Gets Slapped, and didn't like each other at all. There were no punches thrown, no on-set arguments, just a mutual dislike that kept the men on opposite sides of the fence in their personal lives and professional careers. Lon was a serious man, who was a consummate professional on the set, constantly thinking of his character and his work. John was a play-boy who, though he took his work seriously, was more interested in the game of things and having a laugh than getting the job done. Lon thought John was immature and irresponsible; John thought Lon was uptight and no fun. For this reason, they had little to say to each other and kept their distance. Truthfully, the fun-loving Gilbert was probably intimidated by the legendary character actor. He once said of Lon, "I have nothing to say to that man. He always looks right through me."

This situation included no fireworks, just underbelly grumblings, which stands in stark contrast to the feud Gilbert had with the MGM "Man" himself, Louis B. Mayer (right). LB loved his mother, and he had an almost religious admiration for motherhood in general, despite the fact that he could be described as a misogynistic womanizer. In fact, he hired boy wonder Irving Thalberg as his right hand man partly because Irving had spoken reverently about his own mother in his "interview." If one was insulting about one's mother or motherhood in LB's presence, it pissed him off. Thus, Gilbert, who had a less than flattering opinion of his own mama, did not stand much of a chance in winning the studio head's good graces. He once told a story that ended with, "and that was the last time I saw my mother's ass!" Upon hearing this, Mayer became enraged, and hated the "disrespectful" actor ever after. It was rumored that LB was henceforward out to get Gilbert. When Gilbert was left at the altar for the fourth time by Greta Garbo, he was sobbing in the men's room when LB walked in and said, "What's the matter with you, Gilbert? Don't marry her. Just f*ck her and forget about her." With than, John threw a punch and knocked LB on his rump! LB swore revenge, and in the end many think he got it by maliciously destroying Gilbert's career. It was said he ordered the treble to be turned up on John's first sound film, His Glorious Night, which resulted in John's squeaky and pathetic exclamations of "I love you, I love you, I love you!" His career was over, and he dead, by the age of thirty-six.

Switchblade Sisters

A little healthy sibling rivalry is present in all families, but there was nothing healthy about the blatant animosity Olivia DeHavilland and Joan Fontaine had for each other. As children, their mother and father, and later step-father, pitted them against each other in a competition for love and attention. The mother sided with Olivia, the father figure with Joan, if at all. They learned at an early age to consider themselves enemies and not friends, and sadly never caught on to the trick or learned to rely on each other. Both grew up willful and brainwashed, and their rivalry only increased when both entered the entertainment business. Olivia had enjoyed success with A Midsummer Night's Dream when Joan came on the scene at RKO, which she probably did only because her new career path would surely annoy her sister. To estrange herself from her sister, Olivia and her mother insisted that Joan change her last name, which she did. The fight reached a climax at the Academy Awards of 1942 when both sisters were nominated: Olivia for Hold Back the Dawn and Joan for Suspicion. Joan would win, but Olivia would get even, winning in 1947 for To Each His Own and coldly turning her back on her sister's offered hand of congratulations. 

Feigning Friendly

The sparring continued in their private lives, where they tried to beat each other to the altar, wealth, and motherhood, (usually Joan emerged victorious-- even if it meant she had to adopt to do it)! Throughout the years, the two would never make peace, the wedge between them firmly solidified when their instigating mother, Lilian, passed away, and to this day they do not speak to or of each other. Apparently, they are waging a final war of "who will live the longest," so until one of the legendary ladies takes her final bow, it looks like the rift will continue. (For more on the battle between Joan and Olivia visit my old blog here.)

The Trouble with Joan

It seems that the name Joan is cursed. Along with Ms. Fontaine, Joan Crawford is infamous for her battles and rivalries with other starlets. The most predominant war was with the incomparable Bette Davis, of course. Just how the rift started is up for debate, but many assume that it occured when Joan made the move to Warner Brothers, Bette's turf, to make Mildred Pierce. Bette was the reigning female star on the lot, so to have the equally notorious Ms. Crawford suddenly appear made the two a prime target for gossip, which created a false problem between the two before a real one even existed. They had no real relationship, and Bette tried to avoid her supposed nemesis in an attempt to dodge the possibility of fiction turning into fact. Joan did the opposite, supposedly wooing Bette like an ardent lover, sending her flowers and letters of flattery in the hope that the two could become friends. As Joan was a circumspect and puzzling person, it is unknown whether she did this to truly endear herself to a woman she considered a professional equal, or to overcompensate for the abundant rumors that they did indeed hate each other, or to play a cunning game of killing with kindness. 

To make matters more interesting, there was a rumor that Joan was a bisexual and that she at one point made a pass at the flabbergasted Bette, who refused in disgust! Whether it's true or not, we'll never know. In retrospect, it seems that the two did have a bit of a professional feud going on for the Hollywood Queen's crown, but never actually had any real conflict. Though they may not have particularly like each other, their bitterness was more of a distaste than a founded hatred. In later years, when Joan's eldest adopted children would defame her memory in the scandalous book, Mommie Dearest, Bette even jumped to her defense, saying that no mother deserved such treatment from her children. But, the tension between the two did help make their collaboration, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (above), a classic. Whether the animosity between the two was real or imagined, on-screen it was electrifying.

In truth, Joan's real foe was Norma Shearer. Before Joan was supposedly trying to be Queen Bee at Warner's, she was trying to do so at MGM. Of course, the big Mama at that studio was Shearer, who was married to LB's Boy Wonder, Irving Thalberg. Joan would complain that with Norma married to the big-wig, she didn't have a chance at the better material. All the real meat went to the woman with an "in," and she didn't agree with the special treatment. When filming began on The Women, these two women delayed production, making George Cukor wait as they both circled the lot in their cars, determined to make the other actress enter the sound stage first. Surprisingly, Joan buckled, allowing Norma to make her diva's entrance. Norma is remembered today for her goody-two-shoes roles, but she was actually quite the controversial leading lady in films like The Divorcee and A Free Soul. Many agreed that she married Thalberg only to secure her position at the studio and #1 leading lady status, and that he in return had only married her because Constance Talmadge wouldn't have him. This, of course, was something Joan agreed on, and she probably smirked to herself at the knowledge that the both of them (as rumor has it), in one way or another, had slept their way to the top.

The Sultry Norma Shearer

Coop the Pacifist

Good-Guy Gary

If there was one actor who came close to being universally liked, it was Gary Cooper, the easy-going ladies' man from Montana. Coop had a bottomless pit of friends and admirers, despite his tight-lipped, "aw, shucks," demeanor, which he fully took advantage of to charm the ladies. His list of conquests was lengthy, including Clara Bow, Lupe Velez, and Patricia Neal. Tallulah Bankhead bragged that she came to Hollywood solely to sleep with Gary Cooper and that she got her wish. Another starlet he supposedly "got to know" was Carole Lombard, who in her typical Carole way, expressed annoyance that, despite his incredible sexual prowess, she couldn't get him to say a word to her in conversation. Perhaps that's why she took up with a more talkative chap, Clark Gable.

Coop and Gable were rumored to be friends (left with Van Heflin and Jimmy Stewart), albeit not very close ones, perhaps because there was definitely an unspoken rivalry going on between the two of them. Though they would go hunting together, the knowledge that Gary had bedded his wife was certainly irritating to Clark. In addition, the two men were in a constant public battle in the press as to who was the bigger star. As Gable was a naturally more insecure individual, he probably liked to have Gary around so he could keep an eye on his competition-- keep your friends close and your enemies closer-- and Coop, who needed the validation less, simply enjoyed the undercurrent of masculine competition. He didn't take the whole thing too seriously, as he didn't seem to take anything too seriously. Gable took everything seriously. Though both were likable men, Coop carried less of a chip on his shoulder in general, and had few problems with anyone. Another example: both Gable and Cooper worked with Charles Laughton, on Mutiny on the Bounty (below) and The Devil and the Deep respectively. Charles despised Gable and vice versa, but adored Coop and would extol his understated acting for years.

Another man's man with a bone to pick with Cooper was fellow cowboy John Wayne. Both men were acknowledged republicans, but Coop, as in all things, seemed to tow a middle line when it came to politics. Generally speaking, he kept mum. During the great witch hunt HUAC hearings, Cooper was called in as a "friendly witness," but though he answered the panel's questions, he failed to give away any information that would incriminate his friends. (Fellow celebs Robert Taylor and Elia Kazan would not be so diplomatic). Gary didn't hold grudges or pass judgments, and when he went to work on High Noon, written by the blacklisted Carl Foreman, he would fight for the project and Foreman's credit in it. John Wayne was a staunch anti-communist, and spoke out against the film for its "red" ties, as well as what he believed was its underlying liberal political allegory. He felt that the portrayal of a cowardly town and the final image of the Sheriff stepping on his badge was un-American. Coop stuck to his guns, literally, and churned out a classic that some hail as the greatest western every filmed. The clincher?? When Coop was absent at the  1952 Academy Awards, he asked Wayne to accept his award on his behalf. During his speech, Wayne even said that he wished he had been offered the part himself. Looks like Coop won that round! 

Gary Cooper was just an all-around nice guy. Flawed, certainly... but unhampered by whatever issues he may have carried beneath his silence. For this reason, no real rivalry could spring up between him and anyone else, because he wouldn't allow such things to affect him. The others I have mentioned, were not so inclined. Insecurity is the basis for every human flaw, and this weakness reveals itself in jealousy, lashing out, and even downright cruelty. If you cast the eye of scorn upon someone else, perhaps it won't come back to you. Some people just never grow up and never fully leave the playground back in grade school where it belongs. Stars are no different. In the end, it is funny and entertaining to watch them be as childish and catty as the rest of us. All the backhanded compliments and behind-the-scenes cat fights allow us to ease up on our own personal quarrels. We're too busy laughing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Gary Cooper on the set of Farewell to Arms

I spend a great deal of my time reading. A very, VERY great deal. Most weeks when I come to the computer, the topics I discuss are a result of deductions I have made from different source materials. The more I read, and the more films I watch, the more I am able to pull together a thorough analysis of a given individual or situation. When I see a person surrounded by the layers of context they survived within, it makes him or her much easier to understand and flesh out. 

I have been impressed by many biographies or novels of historical analysis, and nonplussed by a handful as well, but there are a few that stand out in my mind as particular favorites. This week, instead of drawing personal conclusions based on what I've read, I shall introduce the materials themselves! Here are the books that currently fill my "Top Three Faves" slots:

1) A Cast of Killers by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick: This book is amazing!!! I stumbled upon it at the Los Angeles Library when looking into the William Desmond Taylor murder. Curious about the unsolved case, I decided to investigate and was thrilled to find that a book existed told from the perspective of acclaimed Director, King Vidor. This book reads like a crime novel, with Vidor standing in as Sherlock Holmes. It passes like fiction, but is non-fiction, based totally upon the diaries and findings of the director himself as he plunged headfirst into the life and death of his dearly departed friend. Kirkpatrick weaves together the facts of the Desmond case along with Vidor's personal investigation of it. Along the way, you get to know Vidor himself, including the romantic and enduring friendship he shared with business partner and former flapper, Colleen Moore. Light is shed on the effect the case had on Mabel Normand, Mary Miles Minter, and all of Hollywood, and recorded interviews with the people who were there give you a first-hand look at the death that knocked the film world off its Olympian pedestal. I won't give away the ending to those who wish to experience it for themselves, but for a spoiler and a recounting of the case as exposed by Kirkpatrick, go to my past blog on Taylor. I can't say enough about the pacing, the suspense, nor the fascinating approach to history that Kirkpatrick presents. I think I set a record for how quickly I read this one! For murder, mystery, scandal, and heart, this one is a must.

2) Hollywood's Hellfire Club: The Misadventures of John Barrymore, W.C. Fields, Errol Flynn, and the Bundy Drive Boys by Gregory William Mank: I bought this book on a whim when killing time in a Joseph-Beth Booksellers. I already had a stack of books at home and had no reason to make a purchase, but this one was pulling me to it like a moth to a flame! The jubilant, horrendous, mischievous, and down-right dirty lives and shenanigans of the group of friends who used to meet and mingle at the former residence of John Decker is brilliantly recounted in this novel. The 'Boys' include: Barrymore, Fields, Flynn, Decker, John Carradine, Sadakichi Hartmann, Thomas Mitchell, Anthony Quinn, William Fowler, and a few more. Since misery loves company, it only makes sense that these fun-loving, drunken fools find each other, and the trouble they get into is legendary. There are stories of Decker and Flynn hi-jacking a mannequin, Barrymore flashing a matronly woman in the ladies room, and the eccentric Hartmann wetting his pants because he's too lazy to get up from his seat. But with the laughs comes the tragedy, and while you chuckle at the general merriment of these troublesome fellas, you also find yourself weeping at their tales of self-destruction. Most die too young, mere fragments of the men they once were. Though their flaws are displayed openly and without apology, you cannot help but wish you had been a fly on the wall to witness even one night of their debaucheries! For all the mud slung at these men over the years, something has to be said for each of them-- if you want to know a measure of a man, count his friends. The love they denied themselves, they gave to each other... with a shot of brandy, of course.

3) Silent Stars and The Star Machine by Jeanine Basinger: I grouped these two phenomenal books together, because they are written by the same author, whom I adore, and I couldn't decide between the two!!! I have my mama to thank for these, who is always on the lookout for me when it comes to literature. Silent Stars is a great jumping off point for anyone looking for an introduction to silent cinema and its celebrities. The enormous impact that the artists Basinger features is so profound, that even witnessing it years later in the pages of the book is enthralling. The decadence of the silent stars is unparalleled. Back then, passers-by could see Pola Negri walking her white tigers down the street, or see tracks on the dirt road from Tom Mix's initialed tires. In The Star Machine, she equally investigates the impact of movie stars in the golden age, but more interestingly deconstructs their calculating and laborious creation. How stars were built, physically as well as career-wise, is fascinating. The complete and utter metamorphosis many went through created a great divide between their true and their manufactured identities, and more than one celebrity fell prey to a fractured and unnerved psyche as a result. Some played along, others fought against the system. Some are remembered today, some are forgotten. Some found a place at the crest of super-stardom, and some never quite made it because the public never responded. With features on Jean Arthur, Tyrone Power, and Eleanor Powell, you get more than a taste of true Hollywood, where all the glitz and glamour is shamelessly chipped away.

I recommend all of the aforementioned books very highly, as I refer to them frequently in my studies. For those not so interested in film and its historical and social implications, they may not seem worthwhile or could be quite laborious. But for those true Hollywoodland connoisseurs out there, there will be no tastier meat upon which to feed your starving minds! If you do take a gander, tell me what you think, and if you have any recommendations for me as well, I would love to hear them. And remember, "Beware of the man of one book!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

MENTAL MONTAGE: Fame and Fashion


In this month's edition of History Repeating Itself, I examine my Star of the Month, Wallace Reid, vs. the eternal King of Hollywood, Clark Gable. Both men were treated like Hollywood royalty and were larger than life to their fans-- riveting onscreen and influential off. But while their contemporary audiences emulated them in behavior and manner, trying desperately to copy their confidence and swagger--grace or gruffness-- the truth is that you just can't replicate the immaculate "X" factor. In silent cinema, men wanted to be Wally Reid. In the Golden Era, they wanted to be Clark Gable. At these different epochs, both men symbolized what it was to be masculine, sexual, and adored. What is unfortunate is that, while Gable is still remembered and revered today, Reid has sadly slipped into the cracks of anonymity. In his heyday, Wally was equally as popular, if not more so, than the man who would be Rhett Butler.

Evidence of the effect these compelling gentlemen had on their audiences can be measured in different ways: box office receipts, fan mail totals, or biographical attentions and inquiries lapsing long after their deaths. One of the most interesting ways to gauge the weight of a man's power, however, may lie in something as simple of the trim of his dinner jacket. Just as kids always dress up and pretend to be their favorite hero, so grown-ups copy the styles of their favorite celebrities. When Louise Brooks hit the silver screen, ladies wanted the Buster Brown; when Jennifer Aniston's star began to rise, everyone wanted "the Rachel." Movie stars, with the help of their stylists, change the way we look, speak, and act. Magazines give us tips all the time on how to "Steal This Look," or instruct us "Where to Buy" this or that, so we can mimic the man or woman of the hour.

Clark Gable had a special quality, a charisma and endearing sparkle in his eye that made him, not just the 'man of the hour' but a man for forever. Larger than life, handsome as a devil, and as untouchable as God himself, Gable lives on still. To imagine living in a time when he was still the reigning 'King' is mind boggling; with Gable so present after his death, imagine the fuss before! A well recorded example is the result of his disrobing scene in the classic 1934 film It Happened One Night. As Gable went through his demonstration-- to the increasingly uncomfortable Claudette Colbert -- on how a man gets undressed, audiences got a load of his bare chest, which had suspiciously not been adorned with an undershirt! The result, at least in movie-land lore, is that undershirt sales plummeted, allegedly by 75%. If Gable didn't wear anything between his chest and his dress shirt, why should any other guy?

The death of the undershirt "Happened One Night"

The same life-altering situation occurred when Wallace Reid's film The World's Champion premiered in 1922. In this movie, it could be seen that Wally was wearing a shirt that lacked the customary, detachable collar. Before, men wore these inserts to keep their collars stiff and pristine looking. Wally's more relaxed and less complicated approach was rumored to have caused another fashion shift. His was more monumental. A few minutes of film, and Wally was said to have put collar makers completely out of business!!! It seems he must have, for this bit of fashion is so completely foreign to us today, that it seems ancient... Mythic! This was another example of fashion as revolution; as liberation! Slowly, men and women were peeling off layers and preparing for the free-rolling age of Jazz and Flappers. The sound of Wally's collar hitting the floor was the soft thud heard round world. Men started going for the new, starched collar shirts-- all in one piece-- and never looked back.

Collars prior to Wally's liberation

Of course, there isn't any documentation to support these declarations of fashion uproar. It's all rumor and word of mouth. It could very well be that fashion was simply changing, and because these men made particular movies at particular moments, the responsibility for the phenomena is placed on them. Also, in Gable's case at least, the depression could have played a big hand in men not buying undershirts anymore. If there were ever a way to cut economic corners, it would be over a piece of clothing the public doesn't generally see. It is certain that these men influenced the way men dressed, but just how cataclysmic their intervention was is debatable. The mere fact that we are still talking about it boasts the incredible power of both superstars. If Gable didn't start a trend toward a life without undershirts, he still started a trend of people talking about his chest...

A collar-less Wally

It is interesting to note, that despite the arguable effects these men had on the clothes buying economy, Gable and Wally's simple fashion statements, brief as they were in both films, made a mark. The public noticed; the public remembered. I doubt there is a star today who could start a controversy over the type of shoes he wears for example, at least not one that lasts longer than a couple of days. This was a power that the Golden Gods alone possessed. And since all this gossip is still up for discussion, I guess that means that deep down, we still all want to be a Gable or a Reid.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It took me awhile to get around to researching Wally Reid, though he seemed to appear nearly everywhere else I was looking. You can't pick up a book about the silent era without running into his story and hearing about his tragic end. It didn't take me long, once I had embarked on my voyage into history, to become familiar with his name and the fact that he had died of drug addiction in a padded cell. Though he posed a perfectly suitable subject for my studies, still I kept him on the back-burner, not only because he is so forgotten that it is difficult to find information on him, but because it was clear that in journeying into his life, I was in for a tale of great heartache. I wasn't sure if I was emotionally up to the task.

Once I mustered up the courage, I was glad I did. For though Wally-boy did meet a tragic end, his life story is full of charm, humor, and the delightfully unexpected. Reading about him, one is introduced to a figure of great personality, humility, and intelligence; watching his movies, despite your greatest efforts, you unwittingly find yourself falling in love. Wally did not want to a be a movie star. This was not because of the great prejudice against film actors, and film in general, in those early days. Wally had no prejudices it turns out, against anyone or anything. In fact, he was very intrigued by the new artistic medium. He just wanted to be behind the camera, writing, directing, and shooting. He wore many hats at many different studios, but his position in the spotlight seemed to be the only home that would have him. So, inevitably, the handsome man-child from St. Louis caught the eye of the camera and thus the eyes of the entire world, who dubbed him time and again their favorite movie star. 

In The Roaring Road

But, as quickly as they rise, they just as quickly fall. In the early twenties, Wally was in a train accident while shooting one of his films. Instead of being given time to heal, Jesse Lasky shot him full of morphine and pushed him in front of the camera. Wally's subsequent addiction and death made him the last member of the holy trinity of Movieland Martyrs, joining Fatty Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor. After the tragedies of all three men, the myth of Hollywood was broken, and suddenly the world was introduced to the fact that the golden Gods and Goddesses that they had worshipped from afar were mere mortals, subject to flaw, weakness, and sin. Those who were guilty of sex and debauchery were punished, and the studio system was born to keep unruly stars in check. Poor Wally died, leaving behind him the memory of only his gravest mistake. Today, no one remembers that he was able to play any instrument within minutes of picking it up, or that he used to go to nearby shops and buy countless things he didn't need just to keep the owners in business. Most sadly, no one remembers that his movies, including his famous and beloved car racing films, inspired and enlightened the lives of fans all over the world, who watched their All American Boy triumph in their honor in film after film. Charisma cannot be made, it just is. In the days of silent film, without uttering a word, Wallace Reid endeared the hearts of the entire world to him. They knew then, what history has erased. He was one hell of a guy, and to his friends and fans, he was the greatest.