(n.p.): Privately Printed. Very Good. 1931. First Edition. Hardcover. (no dust jacket; a custom-fashioned protective mylar wrap has been provided) [bumping and wear at top of spine, a bit of additional edgewear here and there, slight rubbing to gilt lettering and decoration on front cover, but still fully readable]. (B&W halftone photographs) INSCRIBED to noted actor/bibliophile Jean Hersholt, and SIGNED by the author on the ffep; also bears Hersholt's bookplate, on which he has SIGNED his own name. Uncommon, privately-printed account of the location filming of MGM's 1931 jungle adventure film TRADER HORN, the first non-documentary Hollywood film to be shot in Africa, as related by its director, W.S. Van Dyke II. Known as "One-Take Woody" for his no-nonsense directorial m.o., Van Dyke was a classic example of the self-made macho filmmaker, having worked his way up during the 1920s from assistant director to director of program Westerns, and thence into the top echelon of MGM's contract directors. His big break came when he was sent to Tahiti in 1927 as the studio's "observer" on WHITE SHADOWS IN THE SOUTH SEAS, planned as famed documentarian Robert Flaherty's first big Hollywood feature; when Flaherty proved inadequate to the task, Van Dyke was ordered to take over, and he delivered. Not only was the resulting film a box-office hit, but it solidified his reputation as a guy who could keep his head and operate under extreme conditions, far from the comforts of Culver City. So he was a natural choice to head up MGM's TRADER HORN excursion to Africa (or as it would have been called then, Darkest Africa), and off to Uganda he was sent, with what by today's standards amounted to just a skeleton crew of technicians, plus the film's principal actors, Harry Carey, Duncan Renaldo (later renowed as TV's "Cisco Kid") and Edwina Booth. Also in the company was a certain "Miss Chippo" (Josephine by name), who was not only Van Dyke's regular script girl but also his girlfriend. She had not been allowed by the studio to accompany him to the WHITE SHADOWS location in 1927, but presumably Woody had a little more clout by this time. Alas, their relationship ended shortly after they returned to the U.S., which probably accounts for the fact that Miss Chippo is, at best, a minimal presence in the book at hand, mentioned only a few times in passing. And to bring things back to Hersholt for a moment: yes, Van Dyke did direct him -- twice, in fact, in NIGHT COURT (1932) and HIS BROTHER'S WIFE (1936). In fact, the date of the inscription (6-26-36) coincides exactly with the production of the latter film. [This item is featured in ReadInk's E-Catalog 3.1, which can be perused in full at our website. (Not everything in that catalog is listed on whatever site you're seeing this.)] Signed by Author . (Inventory #: 22106)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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