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Wedding

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Colleen and Carmelita Geraghty as her maid of honor.
By July 18th, the movie The Huntress was in the cutting room (Los Angeles Times, July 18th, Page WF15, “What’s going on at West Coast Studios”). That same month Broken Hearts of Broadway was released. April Showers was still coming down the pike. Flaming Youth, was listed as in production, though the August 12th. The Atlanta Constitution reported: “Flaming Youth will be put into production within a week. Miss Moore, who will play the leading part, that of the younger daughter....”

Her wedding date fell in the middle of the production of Flaming Youth, but production was not delayed. The Oakland Post-Inquirer noted “About the most thrilling event in Hollywood recently was the quiet wedding held in St. Thomas’ church. Colleen Moore changed her non-professional name to Mrs. John Emmett McCormick. It used to be Kathleen Morrison. McCormick is western representative of First National pictures and the bride is a featured player in pictures for the same company. Which made it the First National wedding day.” It was a small ceremony officiated by Reverend M.J. Mullin and attended by Colleen’s parents, her brother Cleeve and Mrs. Mary Kelly, her grandmother. Also in attendance were Mr. and Mrs. J. S. McCormick of San Francisco, John McCormick’s parents. Her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Mitchell, and Mrs. E. J. Hudson. Carmelita Geraghty was maid of honor. Earl Hudson was the best man. Ivan and Adela Rogers St. John were also guests.

That night they went to a house Colleen’s mother had rented for them, which was filled with flowers. They were greeted by a chef-housekeeper who had been engaged by her mother. John swilled down the champagne and got sloppy drunk. Colleen had heard about his drinking, had seen him the day after a bender once, but in spite of he mother’s warnings, she had decided to go through with the wedding anyhow. She had probably thought she could fix him. “It’s our wedding night, Alanna,” John told her, using his nickname for her, “and I am drunk.” He became weepy, and then shifted into bravado, and eventually he changed into pajamas and passed out in the study on a rug with a drained bottle of scotch beside him. It was not, at that point, common behavior for him. He drank once or twice a month, no more or less than most people, but when he did drink, he did so hard.
 
When he was not drinking, when he was in the manic phase of his bi-polar cycle, he was charming and intelligent. He was a fount of ideas, and had a perceptive grasp on what the public wanted. Luckily for him, his perception of what the public wanted from Colleen dovetailed almost exactly with his image of her.

Colleen wrote that that first night they had not consummated their wedding, and that is she had wanted, she could have had their wedding annulled on that basis. However, she had made her vows and was willing to give her new husband a chance. 

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Colleen in a scene from "Flaming Youth." Thanks to Judy Coleman.
The next morning Colleen wrote that she reported back to the set of Flaming Youth, where she smiled and pretended everything had been wonderful. It was the first time of what would become routine for her: John descending into a dark mood, anesthetizing himself with drink, sometimes disappearing, only to turn up in the drunk tank, leaving Colleen to smooth things over with their co-workers and the press.

Their honeymoon had to wait, and even then, there were strings attached. The New York Telegraph reported on September 30th “Mr. and Mrs. John McCormick (Colleen Moore, y’know) had a brief, belated honeymoon in the Grand Canyon last week. They accompanied Richard A. Rowland and Sam Katz of First National that far on their return journey Eastward." Every newlywed's dream: to have the boss come along with you on your honeymoon. "When the McCormicks said their 'I wills' Colleen was too busy with The Swamp Angel and John with West-Coast-representing-it for First National to take any honeymoon.” The title for The Swamp Angel was taken from a baseball team in the film. The title of the film was changed before it's release to Painted People.

The Huntress was released on August 20th. April Showers was next, on October 21st. That month Colleen was initiated into "Our Club," a loose organization of Hollywood actresses with Mary Pickford as the honorary president. A ceremony was held at the home of Colleen's friend Helen Ferguson (the club's secretary and treasurer). Along with Colleen were inducted Carmelita Geraghty (Colleen's maid of honor) and Zazu Pitts. Among the members were Carmel Myers (from her Fine Arts days) and Virginia Valli (with whom Colleen would share an apartment in New York some seven years later). The end of October found her in San Francisco, guest of the 91st veterans. The October 21st, Los Angeles Examiner reported that Colleen was named an honorary Colonel of California’s 91st Division of the American Legion ,“Godmother of the 91st.” She was escorted by Mayor Rolph and feted as the idol of the army. “San Francisco turned out riotously for the famous girl.... She was whirled through cheering crowds behind a flying squadron of motorcycle police to the mayors office. As he chatted with her, a detail was picking a special bouquet of flowers for pleasure in Golden Gate Park. Then followed military functions, chief of which was the banquet of the Ninety-first veterans, to which Moore was escorted by the Mayor.

“Wearing the uniform with a major’s insignia, she presented Colors to the Division and captured the outfit single-hearted..... The fun times will end soon when she returns to LA to don a uniform for The Swamp Angel." Before her return, she was the guest of the San Francisco First National exchange, Charles Muehlman Manager. The company was doing it's best to promote its newest star, and the film that would make her a star of the first order had not even been released yet.
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