Sunday, April 04, 2010

Asides - Hollywood via Cincinnati and Anna Sten Addendum

In 1933 the Nielin Publishing Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, began publishing a serialized story named "Ransom, The Story of a Lost Child, Intimate Chapters of a Film Star's Life". Each 32 page, 6 x 8 inch issue advanced a story that runs the gamut of romance, sex, & drugs in the life of a film starlet and her kidnapped child. I have no idea how many were ultimately published, but I do know there were over 74 issues, filling more than 2000 pages!

When I found these I was immediately attracted because of its 30's film setting, pulp nature, general obscurity, and "racy" artwork. I was interested to see that the illustrations were signed. I tracked down information on Cincinnati artist Walter E. Groniger (1891-1941) and it became clear that this was a job to pay the bills while he traveled with his wife around the country in a specially designed trailer looking for landscapes to paint. He is known for his watercolors. Below are pages scanned from issues three, four, and five. Also shown is one of Groniger's paintings.

Double click on the images for a larger view.

Front cover of issue 5.
I don't know if Groniger did the cover, which was always
the same except for the issue number.

Typical back cover

Groniger painting from the late 1930's.


The previous post took a look at Anna Sten, but I was unable to show any images from her work in Russia. A few days ago I got a copy of The Girl with the Hatbox and did some screen captures to show you Anna pre-Hollywood and pre-Goldwyn.

I also posted a British hand tinted postcard, but forgot to include an interesting bit of information found on the back of the card. As was mentioned, Anna's lack of commercial success in leading roles caused Goldwyn to cancel her contract. However, it seems she was scheduled to star in Barbary Coast, a vehicle that eventually went to Miriam Hopkins. Note the text on the card back.


Vanwall said...

Cool Anna Sten screen caps. I've never seen any of the Russian films.

Love the Ransom pics, and the whole idea of it! Amazing pulpy stuff, like Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective is waiting to bust in.

Operator_99 said...

Vanwall, yes the Ransom find is quite fun. I also was able to confirm that indeed Groniger did the cover art. Would love to know how many of them were sold. To make it to over 74 issues shows there was an audience, even if only in a 10 block radius around Cincinnati.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of your amazing collection !

Bender55 said...

I would like to know the worth of this series. I discovered a bunch of them in an attic. How do I go about finding the worth?

Operator_99 said...

Benmder 55, I got the ones I have from ebay and they cost 5 to 7 dollars each. Past that I have no idea what you could get for them. How many you have and their condition would play into the worth.