Caught on Film: A 1930s Hollywood Premiere

When one is used to looking at vintage film stills, it’s easy to forget that these actors moved and interacted with one another, and that their clothing moved too. This soundless clip of an unknown film premiere provides a glimpse behind the glamor, suggesting the lives behind the characters and of their off-screen wardrobes. It includes Humphrey Bogart, Norma Shearer, Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Jeanette Macdonald,  Gene Raymond and a number of other stars.

The interactions between newlywed couple Dick Powell and Joan Blondell in particular seem to tell a story fraught with tension, while happily married actors Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond seem easy-going in comparison. Almost as fascinating as these interactions are some of the clothes – in particular Norma Shearer’s gown in the beginning (could that be an Adrian?) and the dress clips that make an appearance at the end on Anita Louise.

(Internet speculation is that this is the premiere for Anthony Adverse in late 1936).


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1 Comment

  • Ali B. April 27, 2011 09.38 am

    Wow! Joan Blondell can’t get out of there fast enough. Dick Powell is as cool as a cucumber. I’m always amazed when I realize that these people were only 20-something years old in these old clips and movies. They seem so seasoned and glamorous. But Joan really shows her age here. She’s a nervous mess.


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