Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2 {1941}

Hedda Hopper, the infamously ruthless gossip columnist, friend to J. Edgar Hoover and Senator McCarthy (sounds like a fun lady, no? *shiver*), was also mother to William Hopper. In the 1940s she made a series of short films that showed her traipsing about Hollywood to attend various functions, show off her hats and generally intimidate or annoy those surrounding her. In the second one of these films, we are fortunate enough to have a brief though thorougly enjoyable sighting of her son and his wife Jane. It opens with our man, his wife and friends lounging outside on a covered patio. William and Jane are playing Gin Rummy whilst the others are entertained by one amoung them who specializes in impersonations. Very soon the guest of honour arrives, an old colleague of Hedda's whose birthday they will celebrate by watching a silent film they'd done together years ago. The dialogue is quite "canned" and everyone needlessly pokes fun at the melodrama of silent films, however, it is still most definitely worth seeing.

See a bit of HHH here, in a couple of video clips I've extracted in mpeg format: clip one; clip two.

NOTE: Many people are under the mistaken assumption that it is William Hopper's birthday and that he is the guest of honour at the little party in this film. The confusion arises, no doubt, from Hedda calling her son "Bill" at the beginning, which is, coincidentally the name of her friend (William "Bill" Farnham) who arrives later, the real honouree.

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