Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hitchcock - A Film Preservation, For The Love Of Film, Blogathon Post.

Hitchcock The World Over.

This year, the third National Film Preservation, For the Love of Film Blogathon, celebrates director Alfred Hitchcock. Film bloggers, over one hundred, are posting on everything and anything Hitch. It is the goal of this blogathon to help raise funds for the Foundation's restoration project,  The White Shadow (1924). The film was directed by Graham Cutts, but Hitchcock wrote, assistant-directed, and was involved on many aspects of the production. The goal is to raise $15,000 to stream this once-lost, now-found, three-reel fragment online, free to all, and to record the score by Michael Mortilla. Just click on Donate  and you will be taken to site where you can give whatever you can afford to this wonderful National Film Preservation project.

My small contribution features posters of a number of Hitchcock films. However, none of these posters were seen by U.S. audiences. Most are European, but there are also examples from South America, Japan, and Australia. 

Click on the images for a larger view.

Dial M For Murder - Belgium

Dial M For Murder - Italy

Dial M For Murder - France

Frenzy - Japan

I Confess - Belgium

Marnie - Germany

North by Northwest - Belgium

North by Northwest - Japan

North by Northwest - France

Notorious - France

Vertigo - Australia

The Paradine Case - Spain

Psycho - Germany

Rear Window - Belgium

Spellbound - Argentina

Stage Fright - Italy

The Wrong Man - Belgium

Torn Curtain - Belgium

Family Plot - Japan

Hitchcock Festival in Italy.
This poster was given to me by a friend who attended 
the festival and it has been hanging in our house since 1979.

To see and visit all the contributing bloggers, go here.
One more chance - Donate here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ketti Gallian

Ketti Gallian was born December 25, 1912 in Nice, France. She went to Paris in 1927 and found work as a chorus girl and mannequin. Returning to Nice, Ketti secured minor roles in two Les Studio Paramount films. However, it was her performance opposite Raymond Massey in the London stage production of The Ace, a mystery, that resulted in a screen contract from Fox. Perhaps they thought they might have another Dietrich or Garbo. Ketti was starred in Marie Galante (1934) and Under the Pampas Moon (1935), neither of which were well received. She seemed to suffer the same fate as Lilian Harvey, who just didn't click with American audiences. Ketti returned to France after supporting roles in Espionage (1937) and Shall We Dance? (1937). She made 6 more films before leaving the screen forever in 1956.

Ketti died in Paris, France, in December 1972.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Three early publicity stills.

Marie Galante frame grabs.

Marie Galante publicity still.

Marie Galante Swedish poster.

Publicity still.

Cigarette cards.

Publicity Still.

Three publicity stills for Under the Pampas Moon.

Frame grabs from Espionage.

Publicity still.

Ketti Gallian - What do you think - Allure?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Screen Book - July 1929

Screen Book Magazine was an interesting publication. As its name might suggest, they took the "book" of one film and made it the dominant subject of the issue. This July, 1929 edition, brought its readers The Broadway Melody through about 50 pages what was really a novella with images. The film was the first all talking, all singing, all dancing motion picture. It won the Oscar for Best Picture (1930).

This particular issue was 114 pages, so there were shorter narratives (see table of contents) of other films, reviews and so forth, including a picture section of on and off screen couples. The tag line for the magazine was "Love Stories From The Movies".

I have included the opening spread for The Broadway Melody, two pages showing a typical text and images layout, all the on and off screen couple images, and some ads. All that and more was available for 25 cents, one quarter of a dollar, get your issue today.

Double click on the images for a larger view.

Screen Book Magazine, July 1929.
Cover image of Bessie Love by: John Ralston Clarke

Table of Contents

Page one of the opening spread for The Broadway Melody.

Page two of the opening spread for The Broadway Melody.

Typical pages telling the story.
This was back when reading something more than 140 characters was in vogue.

Ronald Colman and Joan Bennett
Bulldog Drummond

Pick up the latest hit records from the film.

Conrad Nagel and Leila Hyams
The Idle Rich

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Crawford
Our Modern Maidens

Billie Dove and Rod La Rocque
The Man And The Moment

Mary Brian and Charles Rogers
Released as River Of Romance

Gilbert Roland and Norma Talmadge
Released as New York Nights
It was Norma's penultimate film.

Back Cover.
Ciro Perfumes were available from 1923 to 1961, if my research is correct.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Before Lights, Camera, Action.

Most early film actresses began their professional life before they made an appearance on the silver screen. Some found success in films, others were already past the mid-point in their careers by the time movies became a major attraction to the public at large.

What follows are images of actresses photographed from 1906-1913, while they were still primarily performing in legitimate theater or stage shows. Some names you may recognize, but I'm guessing most will be unfamiliar.

One of the most apparent things we can see is how drastically fashion changed after World War I and on into the 1920's. I'm guessing the entire female population welcomed the change, but I must say, I love those big hats.

These images are all at least 100 years old and needed some restoration before I was ready to publish them. You will still see some "blemishes", but we should be thankful they exist at all.

Click on the images for a larger view, and the name links for more information.

Gladys Cooper (1888 – 1971) made her first film in 1913. She was nominated for the Oscar as supporting actress in My Fair Lady (1965), The Song of Bernadette (1944), and Now, Voyager (1943).

Pauline Chase (1885 - 1962) appeared in only one film (1916), but her fame came from having the title theatrical role of Peter Pan from 1906-1913. J.M. Barrie personally selected her for the part.

Annette Kellerman (1887 - 1975), here looking like the perfect role would be as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. However, she was actually an accomplished swimmer and her life story was made into the 1952 film Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) starring Esther Williams.

Grace La Rue (1880 - 1956) Was an actress and singer who had a very successful stage career. She did appear in a couple of films, including two singing shorts in 1929 and in Mae West's She Done Him Wrong in 1933.

Ruth St. Denis (1878 - 1968) is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of modern dance. She only appeared in two films, but was a choreographer for three. One of her more famous pupils was Martha Graham, who attended St. Denis' school of dance. Louise Brooks was also a student at her school.

Dancer Stacia Napierkowska (1886 - 1945) appeared in 86 films, her last in 1926. In 1913, she was arrested during a performance of one of her dances in NYC when it was declared indecent. After returning to France, Stacia said, "Really, I have not brought away a single pleasant memory from the United States" and "What a narrow-minded people they are -- how utterly impervious to any beautiful impression!"

Polaire (1874-1939) made her name on the stage around 1902, stepping up from a revue singer and dancer. Her first film was in 1911 and and she made a total of 35 during her career. Polaire wore her hair short, unusual in women before the 1920s: she apparently adopted the style in the 1890's. To me, this picture could easily been taken in the mid 20's, though it is from August, 1910.

Ina Claire (1893 - 1985) was a very successful Broadway stage actress before appearing on screen. Of her 11 films, she is best known as the second female lead after Garbo in Ninotchka (1939). I enjoy her performance in The Greeks Had A Word For Them (1932), where she is teamed in the lead with Joan Blondell and Madge Evans.

Geraldine Farrar (1882 - 1967) was one of the most famous opera singers of the early twentieth century. Interestingly, Cecil B. de Mille cast her in her first film, Carmen, a silent film of an opera. A success (and available on DVD), de Mille used Farrar in six more films. She would make 15 films through 1920 and then returned to opera until retiring in 1922.

Gaby Deslys (1881 - 1920) was a dancer and stage actress who only made 5 films before her death from the 1919 influenza epidemic. Her carved and gilded bed, in the form of an enormous swan, was bought at auction by the Universal Studios prop department, and was used in the 1925 film of "The Phantom of the Opera". In 1950 it was in "Sunset Boulevard" as the bed of Norma Desmond.

Jane Cowl (1884 - 1950) was known for her interpretation of Shakespearean roles, and made Broadway history by playing Juliet over 1000 consecutive performances in 1923. Jane was the lead in two silent films, Garden of Lies (1915) and The Spreading Dawn (1917), and then after taking nearly 30 years off from films, she returned for several supporting roles in the 1940s. Her final film was Payment on Demand (1951) with Bette Davis. She was also a playwright. Her play Smilin' Through has been filmed three times.

Hazel Dawn (1891 - 1988) was a member of the original Ziegfeld Follies in 1907. A popular singer and stage actress, she made her first film in 1914 playing the lead role in One of Our Girls. Another 13 films followed through 1925. She appeared briefly on the TV screen in 1951 and 1954.

Irène Bordoni (1885 - 1953) arrived in the U.S. and made her Broadway debut in a Shubert brothers production of Broadway to Paris. She is probably best remembered from musical theatre as the star of the 1928 Cole Porter musical Paris that featured the song "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love", which became Porter's first big success. Irène mad several short films in France, two with Stacia Napierkowska, but her first major film was Paris (1929), adapted from the play. She appeared in a few more films prior to retirement, but had a comeback success in the role of "Bloody Mary" in the 1951 national tour of the musical South Pacific.