This book, written by the sister of James Cruze, walks us through the
entire history of American show business, from back yard skits, though the
vaudeville period, the New York stage, on into silent films as James becomes a
coveted actor, and finally as a world famous director.
He traveled by horse, freight
trains, the newly invented auto, and actually did walk from San Jose to San
Francisco in pursuit of his vow to make a flour sack full of money, his
At his peak he won the equivalent
of today’s Oscar and directed the most successful and awe-inspiring movies of
his day, “The Covered Wagon” and “Old Ironsides” among many, which are still
awe inspiring today.
His “flour sack” overflowed, allowing him to purchase many Hollywood properties and a 12 acre Hacienda in nearby Flintridge where his hospitality, during the prohibition, became famous and attracted ageless icons like Houdini, Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes, and of course, all the beautiful actresses and wealthy followers of the day.
His creative and powerful
personality carried him through many incredible adventures including the
hardships of his life as a pioneer Mormon farm child.
One of his two
full-blooded sisters and trusted confidant, actress May Cruze, passed away in
1965. Leaving this book and her other writings and pictures entrusted to her
nephew’s wife, Janie, also an entertainer, to preserve and market. It was lost
in the storm of a divorce and many years of struggling and finally unearthed
again by Janie’s son, Ken Morris, in a storage box.
Ken and his mother, with
a modern computer, a scanner and an OCS program, are now bringing this story to
light. Much of the information about James Cruze found on the internet is
actually wrong as explained by his sister/author, using a 1950’s typewriter, as
she tells us secrets heretofore unknown about that Hollywood legend, James
Cruze, her fascinating “Big Brother.”
© 2007 Kenneth Morris
Digital conversion by Janie Morris Tate Janie@SeaAngel.org