top of page
Vintage original "De Luxe Theatre Edition" hardback book with a partial dust jacket from the lost Hollywood-themed theatrical comedy, MERTON OF THE MOVIES, released in 1924 by Paramount Pictures and directed by James Cruze.
It was published to coincide with the release of the US theatrical production (it was made into a silent film in 1924 by Paramount Pictures, which is now considered a lost film). Noted on the title page as a "De Luxe Theatre Edition," it contains 6 full-page black-and-white photographic illustrations from the film with "facsimile autographs of Glenn Hunter and Florence Nash, who created the leading roles at the Cort Theatre production." This example also includes the original dust jacket, but the back cover is missing (only the front cover and spine are present).
What makes this example so desirable is that it was inscribed in black ink by Glenn Hunter ("with best wishes - for Rosemary Street - from - Glenn Hunter"). Rosemary Street was the wife of author Julian Street. In addition to Glenn Hunter's inscription, there are three (3) 4 x 5 in. black-and-white candid photographs of Hunter and Julian Street affixed to the inside of the book. Affixed to the inside of the front cover is a candid shot of the film's star, Glenn Hunter. On the right side of the following 2 blank pages is a photograph of Hunter with author Julian Street; following that page are facsimile signatures of Hunter and actress Florence Nash; on the right side of the following 2 blank pages is a second example of the prior photo of Hunter with Julian Street; on the right side of the following 2 pages is the actual newspaper in which this photograph appears, which was tipped-in along the left edge and can be raised to see the verso, after which is the book's title page. As previously indicated, the back cover of the dust jacket is missing. The front of the jacket and the spine have a horizontal fold through the center and is overall fine-condition. The book itself exhibits various signs of wear around the boards and is in overall good+ condition. 


Based on the novel by Harry Leon Wilson and the play by Marc Connelley and George S. Kaufman, Merton Gill (Glenn Hunter) dreams of being a star of western films in Hollywood. When the filmmakers there see his acting style, they get their own idea of how to use his talent.


Glenn Hunter had originated the role of "Merton Gill" in the Broadway play and reprised his role in this film. Since the play had depended on funny dialogue, the movie (being silent) was opened-up and a good deal of slapstick used instead. Thomas Hischak described the result as "uneven" although "Hunter still pleases and there are some droll performances by the supporting cast." The film is now considered a lost film. It was remade in 1932 (as Make Me a Star) and again in 1947.



MERTON OF THE MOVIES (1924) US Photoplay Edition Book

    bottom of page