Sunday, January 31, 2010

Asides - 3 plus 3 plus 3 plus 20,679

Here is a roundup of three new magazines, postcards, movie ads, and a word from our sponsor. Enjoy.
Click on the images for a larger view.

Motion Picture Classic, January 1931 - Artist: Marland Stone

Motion Picture Classic, April 1931 - Artist: Marland Stone

Motion Picture Classic, July 1931 - Artist: Marland Stone

Movie Classic, March 1933

Movie Classic, April 1933 - just because it involves a zoo, this is not one for the kiddies.

Photoplay, July 1933 - though late in her career, Marion is still receiving star treatment with a color ad, quite a rarity for movie ads in the film publications of the day. Strangely, the illustration looks more twenties than thirties.

I am guessing this is a publicity still image from The Divorcee, but I don't recall a scene exactly like this in the film. However, given the title of the picture and them both wielding weapons...

Beautiful example of a hand tinted J. Beagles & Co. embossed card from Great Britain.

Una Merkel

And now a word from our sponsor.

Motion Picture Classic, December 1930
If you think it was easy to contact 20, 679 doctors in 1930, think again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Adrienne Ames

Adrienne Ames was born Adrienne Ruth McClure on August 2, 1907, in Fort Worth, Texas. She began her film career in 1927 as a stand-in for Pola Negri, after her sister's belief that she could become a successful actress. Her break, however, came following her marriage to stockbroker Stephen Ames, who was quite involved in New York society. Adrienne was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount and is said to have been signed without a screen test. Her first role for Paramount was a small part in Road To Reno (1931). She moved up the marquee a bit in the Clive Brook, Kay Frances film, 24 Hours (1931), and by 1932 was the second female lead under Carole Lombard, in Sinners in the Sun. Adrienne finally landed the female lead in Guilty as Hell (1932). From Heaven to Hell (1933) found her second to Carole Lombard again. From 1933 to 1935 Adrienne moved between Fox and Paramount. For Fox she starred opposite Joan Blondell and Ginger Rogers in Broadway Bad (1933) and with Rudy Valle and Jimmy Durante in George White's Scandals (1934).

Adrienne made 30 films during the 1930's, but after 1935, the quality roles began to diminish, perhaps because of her off screen behavior as it concerned third and last husband, King Kong hero Bruce Cabot. In 1939 she left Hollywood, and shortly after began a New York City talk and interview radio show on WHN that revolved around society, celebrities and beauty tips.

Sadly, Adrienne died of cancer on May 31, 1947 at age 40. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1612 Vine Street.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Motion Picture magazine, October 1933 - Artist: Marland Stone

Clipping from Motion Picture magazine. They could have picked a better photo.

Frame captures from Guilty as Hell.

Frame captures from The Death Kiss. Of interest is that this film has three of the principal actors from the original Dracula: Bela Lugosi, David Manners, and Edward Van Sloan, better known to his friends and fellow vampire hunters as Van Helsing.

Publicity still with David Manners.

Frame captures from Broadway Bad.

Frame captures from two of her less distinguished roles, Woman Wanted and Panama Patrol.

Publicity still from Panama Patrol.

Publicity still from 1934.

Undated publicity still.

Adrienne was known throughout Hollywood for her fashion sense.

No caption necessary.

Adrienne Ames - What do you think - Allure?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Asides - Luise and Anita

Short and sweet.

Happy Birthday to back to back Oscar winner Luise Rainer, who turns 100 on January 12. What a remarkable career.

Cigarette Cards
Click on the image for a larger view.

Born the same year, Anita Page left us at age 98 in 2008. However, in 1993, she gave a wonderful interview on her early days in film and Hollywood. She is sharp as a tack. I didn't pick the interviewer, but so glad this was recorded.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ann Dvorak

Ann Dvorak was born Anna McKim in NYC, NY on August 2, 1912 to actress Anna Lehr and silent film director Edwin McKim. The couple split when Ann was four, and she and her mother moved to Hollywood. Ann would not see her father again until her national appeal through the press reunited the two in 1934. He didn't know she was a successful actress.

Ann began working for MGM in the late 1920's as a dance instructor and appeared uncredited in 24 films as a dancer or chorus girl. During this time Ann also served as an assistant to Oscar nominated choreographer Sammy Lee. Her first credited role was in the comedy Sky Devils starring Spencer Tracy, released on March 3, 1932. However, her real break came with the March 31 release of Howard Hawks' Scarface, opposite Paul Muni. Ann was only 19, but gave a decidedly mature performance. The same year found Ann signing with Warner Brothers, where she co-starred in Three on a Match with Bette Davis and Joan Blondell, Love is a Racket with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and in the title role of The Strange Love of Molly Louvain.

Unfortunately, an ill timed dispute with Warner's over salary, instituted by her then husband Leslie Fenton, caused Ann to fall from grace and her lead parts in "A" pictures diminished. She continued to work, appearing in films including Sweet Music (1935), where she showed her dancing ability again, and "G"Men (1935) opposite James Cagney, but after many public battles with Warner's, Ann left in 1936 and began to freelance for various studios. Films in 1937 include We Who Are About to Die, with Preston Foster, She's No Lady, and The Case of the Stuttering Bishop, where she has the role of Della Street, opposite Donald Wood's Perry Mason. Blind Alley (1939) paired her with Chester Morris.

In 1940, Ann went to England to support the war effort and be with Fenton, who was a member of the Royal Navy. She made three films in England during this time, but devoted most of her energy as a member of the Women’s Land Army, an ambulance driver, and BBC broadcaster. When the war ended, so did the marriage. She was only 32, but her career in quality pictures was at an end. She appeared and helped carry several films in the mid to late forties, but dropped out of Hollywood and acting by 1952, after 86 appearances. Ann lived her retirement years in Honolulu, where she died on December 10, 1979, at the age of 68.

Ann has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6321 Hollywood Boulevard.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Motion Picture magazine, September 1933

Modern Screen, November 1933

Screen Book, March 1934

Frame captures from two of Ann's 24 uncredited roles.

Frame captures from Scarface.

Publicity still from The Crowd Roars (1932).

Frame captures from The Strange Love of Molly Louvain, where Ann is blonde for a while.

Publicity stills from Molly Louvain.

Frame captures from Love is a Racket.

Frame captures from Three on a Match.

Publicity stills from Three on a Match.

Frame captures from College Coach.

Frame captures from Heat Lightning (1934).

Frame captures from Murder in the Clouds (1934).

Frame captures from "G" Men.

Frame captures from Blind Alley.

Publicity still from Girls of the Road (1940).
It doesn't match 1933's Wild Boys of the Road, but Ann shines.

Undated publicity still.

Undated publicity still.

Ann Dvorak - What do you think - Allure?