Saturday, December 19, 2009

Asides - Happy Holidays

For the last post of the year, here are some December movie magazine covers from 1917 (!) to 1935. We also have some interior photos that celebrate the season, and a couple of gift suggestion ads for you last minute shoppers. Enjoy, happy holidays, and peace to you all.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Motion Picture Magazine, December 1917 - Cover Artist: Leo Sielke

Photoplay, December 1927 - Cover Artist: Charles Sheldon

Motion Picture Classic, December 1930 - Cover Artist: Marland Stone

Screenland, December 1933 - Cover Artist: Charles Sheldon

Screenland, December 1934 - Cover Artist: Charles Sheldon

Motion Picture, December 1935 - Cover Artist: If you can figure out the signature, let me know. There is no inside credit, but here is a close-up.

That was quick. Thanks to Vanwall (see comments), the artist is Morris "Morr" Kusnet.

Cine-Mundial, December 1935 - Cover Artist: Unknown

Clara, Jocelyn and Norma, all in the holiday spirit.

And now a couple of ads from our sponsors.

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If you enjoy a good smoke, you can't beat Helmar Turkish cigarettes, especially when they are wrapped in gay Christmas packaging .

Both ads from the December 1917 edition of Motion Picture Magazine.
Support our sponsors.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dorothy Mackaill

Born in Hull, England, March 4, 1903, Dorothy Mackaill lived with her father after her parents separated when she was eleven. As a teenager, Dorothy ran away to London to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. She started as chorus girl, eventually landing in Paris. It was there she met a Broadway choreographer who got her a job with the Ziegfeld Follies in New York. At the Follies she met and befriended future film stars Marion Davies and Nita Naldi.

In 1920, Dorothy appeared in her first film, The Face at the Window. In the next couple of years she would appear with leading stars Richard Barthelmess, Rod La Rocque, Colleen Moore, John Barrymore, George O'Brien, and Bebe Daniels. In 1924, Dorothy rose to leading lady status in the drama The Man Who Came Back, opposite George O'Brien. Her role of the nightclub chanteuse Marcelle catapulted her her career and it continued to flourish throughout the remainder of the 1920s. That same year she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star. Another notable recipient that year was Clara Bow. Other successful silents included Chickie and Joanna, both 1925, The Dancer of Paris (1926), and Convoy (1927). Her career continued into the beginning of sound where the silent film The Barker (1928) was reshot as a part-talkie. All the aforementioned films had Dorothy in the lead female role.

Though Dorothy successfully made the transition to talkies, after completing 1931's Safe in Hell, her contract with First National was not renewed. She then free-lanced for several studios. In 1931 she made Once a Sinner (1931) for Fox and Kept Husbands for RKO, both pictures pairing her with Joel McCrea. Her most memorable role of this era may have been Columbia's 1932 release, Love Affair, with Humphrey Bogart as her leading man. However, that same year she was billed third under Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in Paramount's No Man of Her Own.

1933 saw her in MGM's The Chief, and then she made three B-studio pictues, Picture Brides and Cheaters (1934), and finally Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1937). After 66 films, of which 26 were talkies, Dorothy came out of retirement to appear in two TV episodes of Hawaii Five-0, filmed on location where she had lived for several decades.

Dorothy Mackaill died of kidney failure in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1990 at the age of 87.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Publicity still for The Barker (1928), opposite Douglas Faribanks, Jr.

Stars Of The Photoplay, 1930 edition

Publicity still for the musical Bright Lights (1930). Dorothy is Louanne 'Lou'.

Screenland magazine, July 1931 - Cover artist: Thomas Webb

Silver Screen magazine, August 1931

Undated postcard

Screen captures from Safe in Hell.

Screen captures from Kept Husbands.

Screen Captures from Love Affair.

Screen captures from Picture Brides.

Screen captures from Bulldog Drummond at Bay.

Publicity still

Dorothy Mackaill - what do you think - Allure?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Asides - Tis A Puzzlement

This week, as I switch machines and deal with all the puzzles that process presents, I figured I may as well give visitors some things to puzzle about as well. Presented for your pleasure are three crossword puzzles that appeared in Movie Mirror (1931), Movie Classic (1934), and Movie Story (1938). The covers are also shown, but give no hints as to the answers, that would be cheating. The puzzles were scanned in high resolution and should print out the same size as they appeared if Blogger doesn't mess with the original files. Hope you enjoy solving these.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Movie Mirror, December 1931 - Cover artist: John Ralston Carke

If you can find a copy of Movie Mirror, January 1932, you will be all set.

Movie Classic, April 1934 - Cover artist: Marland Stone

Before Will Shortz there was L. Roy Russell.

Movie Story Magazine, February 1938 - Cover artist: Zoe Mozert
Zoe was one of the few female glamour/pin-up artists of the period.

Good luck to all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adrienne Dore

Adrienne Dore (Doré) was born May 23, 1910, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I can find little information on her early years, but she had moved to the Los Angeles area sometime before 1925. We can make that assumption because she won the title of Miss Los Angeles and was a runner-up in the Miss America Pageant that year. Her first role was an uncredited part in 1928's The Valley of Hunted Men, produced by Action Pictures, a company that primarily released westerns. Adrienne's next film, Beyond London Lights, also in 1928, saw her in the lead role. In 1929 she was in Paramount's The Wild Party, as one of Clara Bow's troupe of good time college girls. A couple of comedy shorts followed and then she had a small role in Pointed Heels (1929), an early talkie musical which starred William Powell, Helen Kane (really fun in this film) and Fay Wray.

After a couple more shorts Adrienne was signed to Warner Brothers and her first appearance with them was a small role in 1932's Union Depot starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Blondell. Alias The Doctor (1932) was next and she was the second female lead. Adrienne was in six more films for Warner's including The Rich Are Always With Us, where she plays a pivotal role, The Expert, Play-Girl, The Famous Ferguson Case, Two Seconds, and Street Of Women, starring Kay Francis. All were released in 1932 and she had both prominent and uncredited roles in those films. For some reason I haven't been able to determine, she either left Warner's voluntarily or her contract was canceled. Only four more films were in Adrienne's future, uncredited roles in The Thirteenth Guest and The Girl From Calgary, a small role in 1933's Love, Honor, And Oh Baby! and the lead in 1934's B-crime picture Undercover Men for independent Booth Productions.

Adrienne died November 22, 1992 in Woodland Hill, Los Angeles. California.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Miss Los Angeles, 1925. Some bio's show her winning the Miss America title, but the winner that year was Fay Lamphier.

Here is a short 30 second clip, two clips together actually, of Adrienne in Pointed Heels.

Publicity still from Alias The Doctor. BTW, the film takes place in Munich.

Adrienne in a fashion spread in Photoplay magazine, June 1932

Publicity stills from the Warner Brothers days.

A rather worn cigarette card in the Carreras series of real photo cards. It think it was either neglected or carried around by a fan in his or her wallet.

Frame captures from The Girl From Calgary and Undercover Men.

Undated publicity stills.

Adrienne Dore - What do you think - Allure?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ina Claire

Born Ina Fagan on October 15 1893, in Washington, D.C., Ina began her career appearing in vaudeville. Her first appearance on Broadway was in the chorus of Our Miss Gibbs (1910). Her first long running (over one year) role was as Prudence in the 1911 musical, The Quaker Girl. Ina appeared in 25 Broadway productions and was met with critical favor throughout her stage career which lasted until 1954. She also took the time to appear in 11 films between 1915 and 1943.

Ina's intitial screen roles were in silents and included her 1915 film debut as the lead in The Wild Goose Chase and also the lead as Princess Alexia in The Puppet Crown. Two more silents followed, but Ina did not then return to the screen until the sound era, where she was given the female lead in 1929's The Awful Truth, a role she played on Broadway in 1922. Unfortunately this film, which co-starred Henry Daniell, is presumed lost A quote from the Time Magazine's September 30, 1929 review of the film says, "Actress Claire plays with a deftness perfected during the weeks when she was doing The Awful Truth on Broadway." Perhaps fittingly, her next appearance was in The Royal Family of Broadway (1930), opposite Fredric March. She then appeared in Rebound (1931), fighting for her man against Myrna Loy. This was followed by The Greeks Had A Word For Them (1932) - AKA Three Broadway Girls, the pre-code romp that has her teamed with Joan Blondell (as the sensible one!) and Madge Evans. Seven years passed until Ina was next seen as Grand Duchess Swana (left) in 1939's Garbo laughs vehicle, Ninotchka. Her last appearance was as Dorothy McGuire's mother in Claudia (1943). Broadway was really Ina's home, but she was married to screen idol John Gilbert from 1929-31. Ina, praised for her delivery and comedic flair, is an inductee in the American Theatre Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ina Claire died February 21, 1985 in San Francisco, California.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Photoplay, November 1931 - Artist: Earl Christy

Two page spread in Photoplay, November 1931.
Though the film isn't mentioned, it's Three Broadway Girls.

Picture Play, September 1931
Images from Rebound.

The Picture Show 1933 - the British hardcover annual.

Frame captures from Rebound.

Frame captures from The Greeks Had a Word for Them.
The film was adapted from the Broadway play, "The Greeks Had a Word for It". Since it dealt with modern-day "courtesans", the title was on the Hays Office banned list. Therefore, the last word in the title was changed to "Them", and eventually the whole title was changed.

Publicity still from The Greeks Had a Word for Them.

Ina Claire - What do you think - Allure?