European Tour‎ > ‎

"We Moderns"

Upon her return to London, Colleen went to work shooting exterior scenes for her next film, We Moderns, set in London. Among the important London landmarks used as backdrops to various scenes were Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the houses of Parliament. On June 24th the Daily Express reported “A crowd collected round Nelson’s Monument yesterday morning to watch a pretty girl repeatedly climbing over one of the lions and extracting a note from one of his nostrils…. She was Miss Colleen Moore….” The scenes depicted a scavenger hunt... what better 

During the European Tour.

Above: Colleen greeted by fans during their tour; Colleen and John on the streets of London. Photos courtesy Judith Coleman.

Below: Colleen and her brother Cleeve in their roles as brother and sister in "We Moderns."
excuse to have Colleen race from location to location in London? A car had been purchased for the scenes, and a special diver’s permit had been acquired for Colleen to drive it. The weather cooperated.
Back in Los Angeles, while Colleen and John were still on their tour, sets were being built based on the story that had been generally outlined so that upon Colleen’s return to the states, there would be no time lost in continuing work. One set—an interior hallway representing the interior of a London home—was described as mammoth, occupying more than half of one of the huge United Studio stages, and complete in detail even to adjoining room of the hallway, each with a complete interior. Jack Mulhall had been signed to play opposite Colleen. Her brother Cleeve would also have a part in the film.

A car had been purchased for Colleen's We Moderns location shots, and a special permit was needed so that she cold drive the car in her scenes. When the scenes shot in and around London were completed, the car was packaged and loaded aboard the  S.S. Berengaria. The ship, the car and Colleen and John made the return trip to America. During her time in Europe, Colleen had acquired a household’s worth of miniature furniture to help decorate her dollhouse. Aboard ship, on July 2nd, a diner was thrown for them on the final night of their voyage. The next morning they arrived back in the states and to a welcoming committee, treated like returning royalty. Work would shortly resume on her film, but more importantly it was time to negotiate her next contract with First National.

1925 Contract
In New York, Colleen and John settled into the Ambassador Hotel and shortly thereafter negotiations began for Colleen’s new contract. The negotiations were completed swiftly and on July 8th Richard Rowland advised Al Rockett at First National that a new contract with Colleen for twelve pictures, starting with We Moderns, had been agreed upon. The films were to be produced on the basis of four films per year at a salary of $83,333.33 per picture, plus 25% of the net profits. Colleen would have the right to approve the material picked for her films, and approval of leading men, directors, continuity and cutting. If Richard Rowland ceased to be the company’s production manager, her pictures would fall under the control of John. Her name was to be mentioned first in all First National advertising  except where Norma Talmadge’s name was to appear, when Colleen’s name would be second. Norma, like Colleen, was a top money-maker for First National, though she had risen to popularity earlier than Colleen. In addition to these perks, she would be allowed to keep all the clothes created for her in her roles, a fact commented upon by Richard Rowland: “…all the clothes you use in your pictures you are permitted to retain for your own personal use but don’t try and wear them all at one time or someone is liable to think you are just a new actress.”

On July 13th Colleen and John arrived in Los Angeles from New York, where they were received by a welcoming party. Al Rockett of First National had been transferred to the New York offices of the studio, and
during a welcome back/bon voyage party at the Hollywood Athletic Club 
it was that John had been promoted from the Western Representative

Colleen returns to Los Angeles

Colleen with John at their arrival in Los Angeles. Courtesy Joseph Yranski.
of First National to general manager of west coast productions. “In addition to supervising all productions for First National units, McCormick will represent the New York office of First National in its contact with independent producers.” As Colleen's fortune improved, so did John's. As a result of their combined good fortunes, John became increasingly convinced that Colleen's success was almost entirely due to his efforts. He had managed her career deftly to date, with a very good idea of what the public wanted to see from Colleen, but no small part of her success was due to her own hard work.