Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Thursday, July 1, 2010

At The Foot Of The Matter.

Paulette Goddard once said that she got the part in a DeMille picture by walking into his office and slapping a bare foot on his desk.

It was a rather well known 'secret' that Cecil B. DeMille was a foot fetishist.  So it's little wonder that local lore says it was DeMille (who's 1927 epic "King Of Kings" was to be the inagural show opening Grauman's Chinese Theater) who sold Sid Grauman on the idea of footprints in cement!

As gossip columnists Lance and John of the fabulous 1980's "Hollywood Kids" used to say: "Well that's what we've heard and that's what we're going to believe!"

Grauman and DeMille have both been described as 'legendary showmen'.  Well this is what it looks like when legendary showmen collide. 

The evening was one of the biggest spectacles Hollywood had seen in a while, as well it should have been considering that tickets for the premiere were going for a princely $22 per.

There were in excess of 100,000 people on the street.  Even the Los Angeles Mayor, his Fire Chief and the Chief of Police got into the act sporting chinese robes to greet DeMille on the red carpet.  Once ushered to their seats the poor unsuspecting audience was to learn, in time, that Sid had pulled out the stops there too.  One wonders what was going through Sid's mind when he decided that the way to kick off a picture that was nearly 3 hours in length, whas to produce a prologue of equal duration!  It opened with DW Griffith giving a long and puffy speech in which he proclaimed DeMille the greatest director of all time.  He then tossed to Mary Pickford and we all know what happens when an actor is asked to give a few remarks.  Mary, at some point, yielded the stage to Wil Hayes for an entertaining lecture on the importance of wholesome entertainment.  Then it was time for the orchestra to play a medley of hit songs followed by a series of dance interpretations and tableux of scenes from both the old and the new testement.  By the time the lights went down and the picture started some of the more thoroughly entertained in the audience began to leave, causing DeMille to stand and scream at them to take their seats at once!  When the pictures' intermission came at one o'clock in the morning, C.B. assessed the few hangers on that remained, ordered his entourage to their feet and marched out.

Despite this, King Of Kings enjoyed huge success for years to come.


Mike, Studio city said...

What ever happened to Lance and John? Lance used to get so annoyed when I would flirt with John. We had fun times in Palm Springs.

FelixInHollywood said...


spent a couple hours online this morning trying to answer that question to no avail. Used to really look forward to reading their little scandal sheet over coffee at Hugo's where many of the people they were writing about were lunching!

Mike, Studio city said...

I used to work at "Croissant Place" in '83, it's now called Basics. Fun times.

savannah said...

what mad history, sugar! hollywood is its own best movie! xoxoxo

normadesmond said...

oy, i need a pedicure. now.

Rob said...

That is too funny! Where do you find out this stuff?
A foot fetishist--ugh