Once upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Once upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Once upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Once upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Synopsis

When sound arrived in Hollywood in the late 1920s, Canadians were already holding some of the most important roles in the motion picture industry. Louis B. Mayer, from New Brunswick, was boss at MGM; Jack Warner, from Ontario, was head of Warner Bros. Studio; and Mack Sennett, from Quebec, was still King of Comedy.

Canadians like Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler, and Norma Shearer moved easily from silents to talkies - this illustrious trio won the first three Academy Awards for Best Actress.

Canadians arriving in sunny California in the 1930s and 1940s were principally actors, including Yvonne de Carlo, Walter Pidgeon, Ruby Keeler, and many others. You will be amazed at the Canadian influence on Hollywood's Golden Age.

Excerpt

When sound arrived in Hollywood at the end of 1927, it was the Warner Brothers picture The Jazz Singer that made all the headlines.

Jack Warner, head of the studio, was born in London, Ontario. But he was not alone in Hollywood. Hundreds more Canadians were already in place waiting to show that they had the knowledge and the voices to make this new medium into the success everyone dreamed it could be. In the years ahead they were joined by hundreds more Canadians. Not all became stars, and not all were successful, but those who did reach the top are worth remembering.

Whether you believe Jack Warner’s claim that he was the first to produce a sound film, or whether you prefer to accept the word of Louis B. Mayer, head of the biggest studio in Hollywood, Metro-GoldwynMayer, that his genius Douglas Shearer was the first to put real sound on film, or whether you want to think that director Allan Dwan should be called the first real name in sound because, well ahead of Warner, he had filmed a newsreel with sound for Movietone News in the summer of 1927, there is no doubt about one thing. They were all Canadians.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was created by Louis B. Mayer. In 1926, before sound arrived, Mayer called all the big studio heads in Hollywood together and laid before them his plan to raise the image of the film industry in the eyes of the picture-going public.

There had been many scandals in the motion picture industry in the years before 1926, and Mayer felt it was time to do something to stop the . . .

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