Showing posts from October, 2021

Louise Lovely and Lon Chaney: The Australian Connection

  Lon Chaney is a true legend of the Silent Era, making an estimated 155 films over 17 years, of which 109 are lost, and of the 46 remaining films, some are incomplete or mere fragments of footage. The bulk, if not all, of Chaney’s pre-1920 films were released in Australia. Advertisements exist for early films such as Damon and Pythias, The Grip of Jealousy and The Gilded Spider . It was not his acting or skill with make-up that first brought him to the attention of Australian audiences. Rather, it was his association with the Australian actress Louise Lovely.   Born in Sydney in 1895 [i] , Nellie Louise Alberti began acting and touring with dramatic companies at an early age under the name of Louise Carbasse [ii] . A precocious child, she later claimed at age 7 to have done the rounds of various businesses paying her mother’s accounts. She had played in almost every theatre in Australia, often alongside Nellie Stewart, before appearing in six films between 1911 and 1913. A prime a

Elizabeth Bryant - Rondo Hatton’s Australian Connection

In the history of cinema there has rarely, if ever, been a man more suited to horror films than Rondo Hatton. Hatton’s impact came not from his acting ability, which was dubious at best, but rather his looks. Hatton suffered from a rare physical disorder called acromegaly, a disorder that distorted and disfigured Hatton’s head and face, turning him from a young man once described as the Handsomest Boy in his class to an incredibly unique and wildly ugly man.   Hatton’s early life was spent in journalism, where he worked for newspapers as a sportswriter, but after being noticed by film director Henry King, who cast him in a bit part in Hell Harbor (1930), he was convinced to move to Hollywood where his looks were exploited, appearing in bit parts or as an uncredited, but instantly recognisable extra. Hatton toiled away, coming to the Australian publics notice in Moon Over Burma (1940), which, when released in 1941, he was name checked in ads. The presence of Basil Rathbone, a favour

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