Saturday, April 26, 2008

Asides - Cover Catch Up

This post features movie magazine covers with looks generally different than those shown in previous posts. The first major difference is that none of these covers come from Photoplay, the most popular film magazine in the 20's and 30's, and the publication that makes up the bulk of our collection. Enjoy and click on the images for a larger view.

Movie Classic, November 1935 - Artist: Charles Sheldon
I think this is one of the most sophisticated and alluring portraits of Jean Harlow I have ever seen. As covers go, it is unusual as well, because unlike most movie magazine covers of the time that portray the subject in close-up, this and the next two covers provide a fuller length view of their subjects.

Picture Play, March 1932 - Artist Modest Stein
Modest Stein was born in 1871 and became a prolific, if under appreciated commercial artist whose work can be found in and on numerous magazines, books, and advertisements. He died in Flushing, NY, in 1958. See my post on Peggy Shannon for another of his covers.

Picture Play, November 1932 - Artist: Martha Sawyers
Martha Sawyers (1902-1988) designed Broadway Playbills and art work for the theater section of the New York Herald Tribune in the 1930's. She also provided covers for American Liberty and Collier's Magazines. Martha drew illustrations for novelist Pearl Buck, and she is featured with such notables as Norman Rockwell in "Forty Illustrators and How They Work" by Earnest W Watson.

Picture Play, January 1933 - Artist: A.D. Moscon
I can find absolutely no information on artist A.D. Moscon. However, searching the NYT archive I did find a 1968 obituary notice of a Hanna Moscon. It listed her as a distinguished member of the American Society of Contemporary Artists. Quite possibly she is A.D. Moscon because the name itself is quite rare. Anybody with more information, please share.

Shadoplay, April 1933 - Artist: Earl Christy
Well here we are, back at the close up - real close up. Christy's work is all over this blog, but Shadoplay (who came up with that spelling) is really quite rare. This particular issue is Vol. 1, No.2, and I have only seen a couple of other issues, including one from October of 1934, so they had a bit of a run.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dolores Costello

Dolores Costello was born on September 17, 1903, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to actors Maurice and Mae Costello. Her father was a most popular matinée idol and gave Dolores and her sister Helene their screen debut in 1911. She was in approximately thirty films prior to 1920, including The Evil Men Do (1915), where she appeared as a boy. She later appeared on the New York stage with her sister in the George White Scandals of 1924. They were then signed by Warner Brothers where she met her future husband, John Barrymore.

Barrymore made Dolores his costar in 1926's The Sea Beast, the same year she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star. Around that time she also acquired the nickname "The Goddess of the Silver Screen." From that film forward, Dolores was the lead actress in fifteen successive productions, including When a Man Loves (1927), again starring Barrymore as the male lead. John and Delores married in 1928 and had two children, DeDe in 1931 and John Drew Barrymore in 1932. At that time Dolores left the film world to raise her children, but after a divorce from John in 1935 due to his increasing alcoholism, she resumed acting at the pleading of her sister.

She returned in 1936 to star in Little Lord Fauntleroy, however her physical appearance had been damaged due to harsh studio make-up used on her face in the early years.This forced Delores into early retirement after only eight additional films, her last in a supporting role in 1943's This Is The Army.

Dolores has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1645 Vine Street and may be best known today as Drew Barrymore's grandmother.

Photoplay - January 1929

Motion Picture Classic - January 1929

Publicity still for Glad Rag Doll

Motion Picture - September 1929
A publicity still for Hearts in Exile

Hearts in Exile publicity still

Publicity still from Madonna of Avenue A (1929)

Motion Picture - August 1928 - Artist Marland Stone

Dolores Costello - What do you think - Allure?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Asides - M and M

This is of course a blog featuring images of actresses from the twenties and thirties. But I guess a post featuring actors of the era won't cause the earth to shift on its axis. However, I still want to keep the theme focused on "Allure". So, what the heck was it at the time that had so many actors sporting those pencil thin mustaches; I have to presume they or the female movie going audience found they presented a certain allure, or nobody had the nerve to tell them any differently.

The images in this post all come from the 1930 Stars of the Photoplay hardcover book published by Photoplay magazine. The cost of the book, which has individual portraits of 250 stars, sold for $1.25! Under each portrait is a brief bio, at least up to 1930, so double-click on the images for a larger size. Enjoy.

Ronald Colman

Warner Baxter

William Powell

John Loder

Kenneth McKenna

Ralph Forbes

Rod La Rocque

Conrad Nagel

Edmund Lowe

Gilbert Roland

John Boles

John Gilbert

So what do you think - Men and Mustaches - Alluring?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sally Blane

Born July 11, 1910, in Salida, Colorado, Sally (Elizabeth Jane Young ) was one of four actress sisters, the others being Polly Ann, Georgiana and of course, Loretta Young. Interesting side note: Sally was born while her mother was en route by train to the family home in Salt Lake City. The train actually had to make an unscheduled stop so that her mother could give birth.

At age seven, along with older brother Jack, Sally appeared uncredited in Sirens of the Sea (1917). She also had an unbilled part in Rudolph Valentino's The Sheik (1921), as did Loretta and Polly Ann. Her first credited role was as a Floradora Girl in Casey at the Bat (1927). Two films later she was given the female lead in the western Shootin' Irons (1927). That appearance put her in line to appear in several more westerns, including three featuring Tom Mix. Several more female lead roles followed, including playing opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in Dead Man's Curve (1928). In 1929 both Sally and sister Loretta were named Wampas Baby Stars.

Sally, however, was not totally committed to advancing her career, and seemed content to freelance for such "poverty" studios as Monogram and Chesterfield. Films in the 30's included Once a Sinner (1930), A Dangerous Affair (1930), Arabian Knights (1931), a supporting role (she wanted the female lead role) in the classic I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932), City Limits (1934), Against the Law (1934) and This Is the Life (1935). Much of her career decision had to do with her meeting of (in 1935) and marriage to (in 1937) director Norman Foster, who had once dated her sister Loretta. She wanted to establish a family and raise her children. She and all her sisters, however, did appear together when they were given, at Loretta's insistence, featured roles in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). They all played Loretta's sisters. One of Sally's last pictures was in 1939's Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (one of my favorite in the series), directed by her husband. Her nonchalant career attitude notwithstanding, Sally appeared in over 90 films between 1917 and 1939.

Sally died in 1997 at the age of 87.

Sally in Stars of the Photoplay, 1930

Unmistakably Loretta's sister in this image.

Hollywood magazine - April 1933

Publicity still.

Another definite sister lookalike.

Sally Blane - What do you think - Allure?