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THE WONG MAN

THE WONG MAN

Just how did an ASIAN make it in RACIST, NEPOTISM proud early HOLLYWOOD?

James Wong Howe came to the attention of the dynamic Cecile B. DeMille, producer/director/writer, etc., of the multi-talented DeMille family, because DeMille was amused to see such a LARGE cigar sticking out of the face of such a small man...

DeMille was so taken by him that he made Howe a permanent member of his film crew.

Howe began his career in PICTURES by crawling around on his hands and knees as a SCRAPPER, picking up nitrate film from the LASKEY studio floors....

And was graduated to CLAPPER, the man that snapped that production slate at the beginning of each scene...

But, what MADE him in Hollywood, what cemented his reputation and guaranteed him a place in the HISTORY of HOLLYWOOD?

He was the sole human being that found the SECRET of photographing LIGHT BLUE EYES....

You've seen how WEIRD the actor's eyes looked in the early movies, it is HARD to pay attention to some silent films due to the strange appearance of the actors eyes...

The push was on to make ingenue MARY MILES MINTER into a superstar, but she had large, light blue EYES that just did NOT look good on film.

They were nearly WHITE BLUE...

There was a cash prize offered to the first man that could photograph Minter and get her eyes right, make them seem more appealing...

James Wong Howe tried EVERYTHING. He would not leave the studio, sleeping on couches and floors, certain that he had seen something somewhere....

He hit upon the brainstorm of having Minter look upon a DARK surface, then photographing her from an angle...

It worked. Solved the problem for every studio from Hollywood to Berlin....

He was made Head Cameraman for his efforts....

Mary Miles Minter's career was destroyed by a LOCKED-DOOR murder mystery that dogged her 'til the day she died nearly 60 years later...

James Wong Howe married in PARIS, but his marriage was not recognized in the United states until 1957-it was ILLEGAL for whites to marry people of color until then....

James Wong Howe won two OSCARS for his cinematography, one for the EXCELLENT Burt Lancaster/Anna Magnani film "The Rose Tattoo", the other for the Paul Newman/Patricia Neal film "HUD"....

See The Rose Tattoo if you get the chance...It is DIFFERENT and it is EXCELLENT....



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