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The Prisoner of Zenda, 1937
Marilyn Monroe on the set of Some Like It Hot.
After Blondie watches her mother die because she can’t afford healthcare, she vows that she’ll never be poor again. The Depression-era waif uses her smarts instead of sex appeal to rise through the ranks of the underworld. Blondie Johnson (1933) stars Joan Blondell in a dazzling departure from her usual enchanting glam and gams comedies.
Château d’Amboise, France (by miemo)
“It wasn’t that they were pictures of me, that wasn’t the reason, exactly. But they were so funny and earnest. And I couldn’t bear to have them laughed at by anyone, you see. It was like making fun of ghosts of dear ones who had died. You know how you feel when you see a picture even today, in which someone is playing, now dead? You don’t even know the person; to you, it’s just a movie actor whose face is familiar to you. But even so, when he’s flashed on screen, a feeling comes over you … there’s a faint jolt. A little cold draught from the Beyond …
Can you imagine then, what it’s like to me when an old picture is revived, and I see the living shadows of friends dead these many years? Or maybe not dead—dropped out, forgotten, starving somewhere, perhaps? Someone who started with the same bright goal that I had—but lost the way?…
I can’t explain it, exactly, but those crazy old films have the power to wrench me as nothing new and splendid can ever do. Those crazy, preposterous pictures were to us literally life and death.
So whenever I see one of those old films, the faces of those who were failures leap out of the celluloid in protest, and those who died stare from the film reproachfully, that this audience of today should find them grotesque… so I feel like saving them from the ridicule.”
— Mary Pickford to Florence Fisher Parry on the personal reasons behind her intention to have all her silent films destroyed following her death.
William Powell in Jewel Robbery (1932)
Carole Lombard, 1934.