Friday, December 29, 2006

Joan Crawford - Photoplay

As I have done on occasion, I take a break from the photo postcards and offer a couple of Photoplay magazine covers from my small collection. We have not covered Joan Crawford in postcard imagery yet, that will happen, but here we see her on the cover of Photoplay in October of 1931 and January of 1934. I find the contrast in covers quite striking from a design standpoint - the yellow '31 cover is still in the style more reminiscent of the 20's, particularly as regards the typeface.

The artist for both covers is again Earl Christy (See Bebe Daniels Earl Christy cover also on this blog). As I mentioned in the Daniels post, Christy created many film magazine covers, but he also did sheet music, fans, blotters, book illustrations, boxes, jigsaw puzzles, posters, serving trays, bookmarks, advertising mailers, catalogs, programs, china, and textiles.

Love her or hate her, Joan certainly had her day(s) in Hollywood as a top star. More on her when she gets her postcard debut.

Joan Crawford - What do you think? Allure?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Marion Davies

Marion Davies, born Marion Cecilea Douras on January 3, 1897, started out as a chorus girl in New York. When Marion moved to California, she had already met William Randolph Hearst and then began a 30 year romance. They lived together at San Simeon, aka Hearst's Castle, which stands as a California landmark today. At San Simeon they threw very elaborate formal parties and the guests included basically all of Hollywood and other prominent people of the day. Being the practical joker that she was, Marion once got President Calvin Coolidge drunk by feeding him wine and simply telling him it was fruit juice.

Hearst bankrolled many of Marion's screen roles, but she was a very good comedic actress and probably would have succeeded just as well on her own. Their life together was dubiously mirrored in the films Citizen Kane (1941) and RKO 281 (1999) (TV), and more factually in The Cat's Meow (2001).

By the late 1930's Hearst was suffering financial reversals and it was Marion who bailed him out by selling off $1 million of her jewelry. Without her the Hearst Corporation might not be where it is today. Because of Hearst's financial problems, it also spelled the end to her career. Although she had made the transition to sound, other stars seemed to fare better. Roles for her became fewer. By 1937, Marion was 40 and she filmed the last production for the silver screen, EVER SINCE EVE.

Marion Davies - What do you think? Allure?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Brigitte Helm - Third of three postings

From another Obit. See first and second Brigette posting for bio.

Though her fame rests almost entirely with one film, and her name is hardly a familiar one even to many avid moviegoers, images of Brigitte Helm are among the most haunting and famous of any in the first century of film history. Even those who have never seen Metropolis are familiar with the pale lovely face as it is seen imprisoned in a glass coffin, eyes closed, like some science-fiction Snow White, or Brunnhilde in a silver helmet, or virgin saint. Or perhaps they recall the nearly nude shimmy dancer rising from an Art Deco clamshell bed, a robot turned Babylonian love goddess.

Brigitte Helm - What do you think? Allure?