Joan Crawford & Bette Davis – Together Again

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Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s feuding and fighting relationship in the wonderfully entertaining FX Television mini-series FEUD from producer Ryan Murphy has sparked a renewed interest in the lives and work of these legendary stars of the silver screen.  It’s this interest that convinced us to focus our attention on these two extraordinary women and put together a fabulous collection of their images and artifacts as the Current Exhibit of our new website, WalterFilm.com.

The Actresses Prepare

Joan Crawford was the ultimate movie star, she was created by the movie system, her personality cultivated and talent trained. She learned her craft during the later days of silent movies and was fortunate to become an even bigger star in talking films.

Davis was a consummate actress, theatre trained, her talent used to great advantage in early talkies, her attention to her craft and dedication to her work making her one of the biggest stars of the 1930s.

Their different approaches to film acting may have been at odds with each other, but, being under contract to different studios, they had little reason for rivalry.  Their feud, as it has come to be known, however, did start this early.

The Man Who Got Away

Franchot Tone was the reason.  Under contract to MGM, he had already made 4 of 7 films with Joan Crawford before being loaned to Warner Brothers for the 1935 DANGEROUS with Bette Davis.  He and Crawford were having a passionate affair, but Bette fell for him. Davis and Tone were both from East Coast families, with sensibilities to match.  Tone was also theatre trained and serious about acting.  He, however .was smitten with Crawford and soon after finishing DANGEROUS, they married.  Crawford was aware of Davis’ crush and Davis never forgave Crawford for marrying Franchot Tone.

Too Many Stars On The Warner Brothers Lot

BetteDavisAndCastDressRehearsalALLABOUTEVE-blogWhat truly cemented the two stars’ dislike of each other was Joan Crawford’s move to a Warner Brothers in 1944 following the end of her 18 years with MGM in 1943.  Bette was Warner Brother’s reigning female star.  She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for 1935 and 1938.  Between 1939 and 1945, she was nominated 6 more times. The awards and nominations were important.

They now were in competition, and Crawford soon won an Academy Award for her first Warner Brother’s starring role, that of Mildred in MILDRED PIERCE.  Crawford’s star rose once again in Hollywood with her career resurgence while Davis’ roles became less invigorating and her position less prominent at Warner Brothers.  Crawford would even be nominated again in 1947.

Upon Davis leaving her alma mater after17 years, she sailed gloriously back to the top of the industry in 1950 with ALL ABOUT EVE, earning yet another Academy Award nomination.

Both stars proved to be aggressive and re-invented their images as they moved through their 40’s during the 1950s, Joan playing the glamorous cougar and Bette moving into character roles. They both would compete for 1952’s Academy Award for Best Actress. Fortunately, Shirley Booth won.  By the end of the decade they had passed their 50th nirthdays. Many of the star actresses of their class had either moved into character roles, television or left the business. While Crawford chose to retire, Davis kept busy in quality low budget films, television, and in theatre.

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane

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The sudden death of Joan Crawford’s  husband of three years, Alfred Steele, put her back in the market for work.  She indeed found the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, and wanted to work with Davis, knowing that the story would work brilliantly with the two of them.  It did.

There was tension, there were problems.  They have been well documented, but both looked at this film as their new lease on a career.  Both were aware that an Academy Award, for them, meant a new lease on superior projects.  To Bette Davis, the Academy Award meant, perhaps more to her than any other star of her generation.  She put great stock in it.

She was nominated for Best Actress, Crawford was not nominated at all.  This was the huge breaking point.   Crawford seemingly purposely campaigned against Davis and commanded the backstage of the Awards ceremony with her own party, having finagled her position as presenter that night.  When Anne Bancroft won, Crawford went on stage to accept for her.

The huge success of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE gave both stars a new genre of film to excel in.  Soon some of their friends and contemporaries did films in the same horror genre.  Of course audiences looked forward to a re-teaming of Crawford and Davis.  Initially Bette Davis, seemingly putting aside her bad feelings towards Crawford relented in the reteaming for HUSH… HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE. Though Crawford finished several scenes in a very professional manner, which Davis appreciated her for, a long delay occurred due to Crawford’s supposed illness.  After that, Davis no longer had any patience and Crawford was no longer doing her job.  She was fired and replaced by Olivia de Havilland.

Whatever Happened After Baby Jane

Crawford would continue in the horror style genre through 1970.  Bette would live and work longer, making films till 1989.   Neither had much to do with each other, but both would often, when asked about the other be polite and diplomatic and express genuine appreciation for each other’s professionalism and talent.

In the end, they were two highly competitive, aggressive career women who fought to keep working, fought and pioneered for women in the industry and perhaps were more alike in many ways than either would have ever admitted.  They at least were able to appreciate each other for those positive contributions each made to the industry.

Please visit our Current Exhibition honoring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and enjoy the many images and artifacts that cover their colorful careers.

Written by Woolsey Ackerman – Walter Film’s Hollywood Archivist

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/joan-crawford-bette-davis/

It is republished with permission of the author.

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Collecting Vintage Original Movie Photographs

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The video, Collecting Movie Photographs, is just one of the videos Walterfilm has produced that deal with the history of film and motion picture ephemera and is an important part of its Curatorship Program.

Casablanca
Casablanca

This current selection explores aspects of the original vintage film photography that was done by the studios for the purpose of marketing each of their motion pictures and their respective movie stars (see Greta Garbo above). You can see the original vintage movie star photos we currently have for sale at https://walterfilm.com/store-photographs and the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWcXL_OMwBs.

Motion Picture Photography As Fine Art

The story of the motion picture industry is captured in its photography. These images are not only visually document the movie industry’s history, but it is also art in its own right. Original vintage movie stills are images that have now joined the ranks of historic fine art photography. The image to the right is one the classic promotional photographs for one of the great motion pictures of all times, “Casablanca.”

These original vintage motion picture stills are collected by museums, libraries, universities and shown in art galleries. While it’s taken many years, at last, motion picture photography’s time has come. But, luckily for the collector, as of now, the prices for these original vintage movie star photos are still quite accessible.

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The Seven Year Itch

There are numerous specialty areas in the field of original vintage motion picture photography and we do our best to represent them all. These include images from International films, particularly of the 1960s and 1970s; classic original, vintage movie star photos— and in this video, Collecting Movie Photographs, we feature Joan Crawford, Jean Arthur, Louise Brooks in PANDORA’S BOX, Greta Garbo in AS YOU DESIRE ME, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Ida Lupino, Marlene Dietrich, Clara Bow in HULA, and Lon Chaney in the lost film LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.

Also featured in the video are original vintage Glamour, Pin-up, Cheese Cake and Beef Cake images, as well as early Brigitte Bardot and Johnny Weissmuller for BVD!

Motion Picture Photography As Documentation

During the classic era of movie making, very little motion picture footage was shot showing the movie making process— but every aspect of production was documented with pre—production images with still photography of costume tests, make up tests, set tests, and of course on set images of the behind the scenes workings of making a movie. The above vintage original movie star photograph for sale is of Marlyn Monroe having a costume test for “The Seven Year Itch.”

There were also “candids,” and later paparazzi—

All this photography fed the countless movie magazines of the time, back when the world was about publishing and not about the internet.

Included in our Collecting Movie Photographs‘ interviews are photographer and portrait collector, Ira Resnick, known for his book STAR STRUCK; film historian and film maker Walter Reuben and photographer researcher, Woolsey Ackerman, known for his work with Turner Classic Movies.

Please click on WALTERFILM STORE’S ORIGINAL VINTAGE FILM PHOTO GALLERY to view all of the exceptional original vintage movie star photos, studio promotional photographs and original movie production stills that are represented here and are for sale.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-vintage-original-movie-photographs/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Collecting Original Vintage Horror & Science Fiction Posters & Photographs

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Vintage Original Horror and Science Fiction Posters have proven to be among the most popular and appreciated collectibles in all of vintage movie memorabilia.  Today, with original vintage movie posters proving to be both scarce and expensive, collectors are turning to vintage original film photography that was used by the studios to define, promote and advertise their films and stars.

Museum Quality Original Vintage Horror Posters

Some of the highest prices realized in this market have been for the posters of classic titles such as DRACULA (1931), FRANKENSTEIN (1931), THE BLACK CAT (1934), METROPOLIS (1927) and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1924).  Historians, museums and galleries now feature these elusive posters which are wonderful examples of major art movements including Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern Design.

The 1950’s Reign

The vintage original science fiction and monster movie posters from the 1950s are favorites because of their mid-century design and period colors. People remember these movies from their Saturday afternoon childhoods.  Today, these posters, which in the past collectors of this genre preferred to keep in their used conditions— (if one could not find a pristine copy) — are more readily available than their 1930s predecessors, but they too are becoming scarce and expensive.

Original Vintage Horror Film Photographs

This is why the more plentiful vintage original horror movie photographs of the stars, the scenes, the publicity stills and behind the scenes views have gained in popularity and collectability. These photos capture the character’s mood, their story, the lighting and art direction—the psychology of the film and the key moments we all remember.

Show Us The Monster

However, often the posters and ad art, while playing up the horror atmosphere, would rarely reveal the monster— or, at best, a mere suggestion of it.  However, a film’s original vintage promotional photographs will often show the monster in all of its terrifying glory!

Our Current Exhibit

To view our Current Exhibit of some of the finest vintage original horror and science fiction movie posters and photographs please click on the button below.

HORROR AND SCI-FI POSTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Additional Items

We have many other items in our WalterFilm Store that deal with HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY (including Scripts).

DEAD OF NIGHT

An extremely rare and timely piece is the British half sheet to DEAD OF NIGHT (1945).  While Universal continued its series of popular monsters and RKO released Val Lewton’s psychological horror titles, the British would not be outdone. Paper was at such a shortage, even more so in Britain, that the extremely rare print run of this poster utilized recycled paper, and therefore on the back is printed a partial poster featuring Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Dead-Of-Night

THE WOLFMAN

A photograph of make-up artist Jack Pierce putting on the finishing touches of Lon Chaney Jr’s WOLFMAN (1941) make-up is in honor of the artist who created the make-ups for all the famous Universal monsters.

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I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE

Zombies are implicit in the atmospheric poster art for I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

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We hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Collecting Original Vintage Horror & Science Fiction Posters & Photographs.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-original-vintage-horror-science-fiction-posters-photographs/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Collecting Vintage Original Movie Lobby Cards

What Are Lobby Cards?

The uniquely American Movie Lobby Card was one of the first means of marketing early motion pictures. Around 1913 lobby cards came into being as small nickelodeons, where the first movies were shown, began to grow into what eventually became movie palaces. In addition to the beautiful, colorful lithographic movie posters that advertised the name of the film, there came a need to present teaser images of the movie’s key scenes, the actors and eventually the stars that became essential in promoting each film.

Vintage Original Movie Lobby Cards

The earliest lobby cards were often nothing more than black and white or duotone stills in a horizontal format, printed on card stock . By the 1920’s these initially simple photo sets evolved into a decorative art form, much like an antique Persian miniature. As color photographic printing did not exist, each color was added by hand, sometimes with a stencil and sometimes by a water colonist individually adding hues to each card. These lobby cards, of the silent era and early talkies, represent a high point in the pure aesthetics of lobby card design and are very much in demand.

Lobby Card Sets

As its name suggest, these vintage original lobby card sets were designed for display in a theatre’s lobby or foyer with the intention of drawing patrons into the theatre by presenting photographs of scenes from the actual movie. These sets were done in both an 11″ x 14″ (about 28 x 36 cm.) format and also a smaller 8″ x 10″ (about 20 x 26 cm.) version. Eventually, the larger 11″ x 14″ size became standard. A lobby card set typically consisted of from eight to twelve cards. There was one Title Card, designed to represent the entire film, which usually included images of the the stars, a brief description of the film and a list of credits, and from seven to eleven Scene Cards, each depicting an important moment in the film.

Building A Vintage Lobby Card Collection

There are as many reasons to collect lobby cards as there are collectors. Since lobby cards are small, they are inexpensive to frame and by comparison to vintage original posters and photographs, much less expensive to collect. A display of framed lobby cards can be both beautiful and impressive. Here are some of the basics:

  • THE BEAUTY — Collections can be built of lobby cards that are gorgeous. This would most often be cards dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s. These can encompass very obscure movies, with no familiar stars but with a phenomenal image.
  • THE SUBJECT — Many people enjoy collecting lobby cards on a specific subject. A few examples the area of interest could be: 1950’s science-fiction, African American film, LGBTQ film, horror, westerns, or pre-Code movies. This specifically refers to American films made between 1929 and 1934, after which a rigid morality was imposed by a new Motion Picture Production Code. During that five-year period, lobby cards and posters’ artwork was often very bold and sexually suggestive. And when it comes to specialized collecting, pinpointed subjects can include: hockey, boxing, Ireland, cigarette smoking, robots, aviation, circus, just to mention a few.
  • THE ACTOR — The actor is the star of the movie and many collectors focus excursively on that actor, such as Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Dorothy Dandridge, John Wayne and Bela Lugosi, which, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • THE STUDIO — There are also collectors of the films of one particular studio such as MGM, Paramount, Fox, and, of course, Universal (a particularly popular studio with horror collectors because they produced so many of the historical classics in that genre).

Please check out our video Collecting Vintage Movie Lobby Cards.

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WalterFilm’s Vintage Movie Lobby Cards

As one of the world’s premier resource for anyone interested in collecting vintage original lobby cards, we have an exceptional inventory of individual Title Cards and Card Sets that include a range of film titles across decades of production. Here is a sampling of a variety of our lobby cards and to view our entire collection.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-vintage-original-movie-lobby-cards/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Movie Lobby Cards – Vintage Promotional Movie Material

Movie lobby cards were one of the most popular vintage promotional material used by movie studios when promoting a film. These promotional materials were printed in different sizes that were either displayed in theaters or distributed to those people who watched the film. Originally a vintage movie lobby card was published in black and white.

The card usually has the title of the film along with a photo of a scene within the movie. It’s significantly similar to a movie poster but differs in size.

Movie Lobby Cards

Collecting Movie Lobby Cards

Since 1910, the production of movie lobby cards advertised a movie. It is released in different sizes and can also be categorized into different types:

  • Window Cards – measures about 14 inches by 22 inches
  • Inserts – measures about 14 inches by 36 inches
  • Lobby Cards – measures about 11 inches by 14 inches
  • Mini Lobby Cards – measures about 8 inches by 10 inches

Collectors of movie memorabilia are fond of collecting vintage movie posters and lobby cards. Most of the time, savvy collectors aim to attain the complete set of lobby cards. A collection of lobby cards may comprise of 4, 8 or 16 different cards that also includes the film’s title card.  In most boutiques and auctions, a complete set of movie lobby cards are likely to sell. The lobby cards may carry a high value depending on its condition and rareness.

When buying a lobby card, one should consider that card’s popularity, protection, and authenticity. Some individual movie lobby cards can be precious especially if the image highlights the essential plot of the movie. One should also consider the current condition of the card. A lobby card that is laminated can affect it’s value. As a buyer, make sure to look carefully and ask the seller how the card is preserved. Lastly, some movie studios reproduce versions of vintage movie lobby cards. Note that an original card will always be valued over a reprint or reproduction. Seek for authenticity papers from a seller.

Collecting movie lobby cards is a fun and worthwhile hobby that enables one to appreciate a retrospective view of the film’s history. Due to its rareness and classic piece, collecting them is enjoyable. See and experience it yourself!

About WalterFilm:

WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit our website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more about us.

Collecting Vintage Original Movie Scripts & Film Related Books

Vintage original movie scripts and rare books constitute one of the most fascinating parts of WalterFilm’s inventory. This month we expand the collection with the addition of rare script and book-related materials that include:  vintage original movie scripts, studio year books, campaign books, press books, press kits, book edition of films and ephemera relating to literature, theatre and their writers. To view this collection please click on the button below:

Blade-Runner
BLADE RUNNER (1982) Vintage Original Presskit

CURRENT MOVIE SCRIPTS AND FILM RELATED BOOKS

WalterFilm offers a range of vintage original movie scripts and rare books that include the following:

Written By Famous Authors

Some scripts are original works by well known and collectible authors. Our script for Stephen Spielberg’s EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987) was written by the great British playwright Tom Stoppard. This draft of the script has only his name credited (significant, because screenplays are very frequently collaborative efforts which involve the efforts of a number of people, and this draft of the film is pretty much purely the work of Stoppard). This script has its pages stamped with a red watermark—a device which Spielberg’s then production company, Amblin, used to try to prevent unauthorized copying, especially during the pre-production period.

Adapted From Famous Authors

Many movies, going all the way back to the 1890’s (when films were often no more than one minute long) are adaptations of works by famous writers—everybody from Homer to Thomas Pynchon, with tens of thousands of other writers, varying from mundane purveyors of short stories to pulp magazines to the greatest names in world literature. The 1943 Sam Wood film adaptation of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS was a major film in its time, and is one of the classic cinematic renderings of Hemingway’s fiction.

Classic Science-Fiction

One of the popular categories in vintage script collecting. Our newest offerings of scripts include those for a number of famous movies. Among them are three scripts for adaptations of Philip K. Dick, (TOTAL RECALL, for which we are offering two wildly different versions, and BLADE RUNNER). Our current inventory contains as well such 50’s titles as ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE, INVADERS FROM MARS.

Provenance!

You can’t get anything much more exciting than a script that personally belonged to one of Hollywood’s greatest stars – Steve McQueen and his personal leather-bound script for BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL.

Sherlock Holmes

Virtually from the moment when there was cinema, there were Sherlock Holmes films. The very first one known appeared in 1900. A few hundred more Holmes movies have been created since then, with a wide variety of actors taking on the role of the pipe-smoking detective. The most famous of all was Basil Rathbone. We are pleased to offer three vintage Basil Rathbone Holmes scripts in our new offering, for SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON, and two different ones for PURSUIT TO ALGIERS.

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/collecting-vintage-original-movie-scripts/

It is republished with permission of the author.

 

Gone with the Wind Collection Exhibition – Quality Original Photographs

In celebration of the 78th anniversary of GONE WITH THE WIND’s December 1939 premier, WalterFilm.com is offering a rare collection of oversized double-weight vintage original photographs of GWTW character portraits and images from some of the film’s most memorable scenes. Seldom do exhibition quality prints of this size and type, including their original attached typed blurbs on the verso come to the collectors market.  They are unsurpassed in quality.

Quality Original Photographs

To view the GWTW Collection please click on the link below:

Gone With The Wind Collection

Gone With The Wind Background

The 1936 novel, over which Margaret Mitchell toiled for over ten years, took the country by storm.  This American Civil War melodrama with its vivid characters and epic romance transfixed Depression-weary Americans and went on to capture the hearts and imaginations of fans for generations. Its story of a strong-willed young woman who perseveres and succeeds still inspires.

Made during Hollywood’s Golden Year, it won most of the major Academy Awards, including Vivien Leigh for Best Actress and the unprecedented Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel.

The pre-production and making of the film was as epic as the film itself. David O. Selznick, with the financial assistance of father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, set upon a country-wide search to cast the heroine of the story, Scarlett O’Hara. Designed as publicity to promote interest in the film, talent scouts audition girls across America.  In addition, many of Hollywood’s major female stars auditioned for the coveted role, including Jean ArthurJoan BennettLana Turner, Susan Hayward and Paulette Goddard.

Just as the filming began, Vivien Leigh — a somewhat known British actress — was reportedly cast in the role. As the story goes, Leigh, a client of agent Myron Selznick, was brought to the set the very night the Selznick backlot was being torched to recreate the burning of Atlanta.

Character Actors

Hollywood’s finest character actors added great color to GONE WITH THE WIND. At the time, every actor in Hollywood wanted to be in the film, no matter how small the role. A look at the cast will reveal many popular character and even lead actor names who, in some cases had only a brief line — but were, never-the-less, a character in GONE WITH THE WIND!

Key Scenes

Some of the most memorable scenes from GWTW are among this offering of rare, oversized, double weight glossy exhibition prints. Each include their original attached paper publicity description.

Gone With The Wind Collection

WalterFilm published this post originally on: http://blog.walterfilm.com/gone-with-the-wind-vintage-original-photographs/

It is republished with permission of the author.

Original Vintage Movie Posters – The Fun Behind Collecting

Collecting original vintage movie posters is more than appreciating art. The reason behind the hobby includes nostalgia, a personal connection to a movie and a sense of achievement and personal happiness. One can reminisce about the golden Hollywood days, and armed with knowledge of the movies, actors and quality of images one can amass quite a valuable collection.

A collector who is fond of original vintage movie poster can be your average “movie-goer” who loves to view his or her favorite movie. Some may be a “fan” of an actor or actress. The “serious collector” is someone who is genuinely enthralled with the Hollywood vintage niche and pursues enlarging their collections.

No matter what type of collector, fan or kind of person one is, the main reason for collecting such memorabilia is happiness.

Original Vintage Movie Posters

Original Vintage Movie Posters – A Brief History

In-house production studios produced movie posters back in the 19th century. Great graphic artists mostly illustrated these posters – Bob Peak and Saul Bass to name a few. Since great illustrators produced them, significant studios tended to lend their posters to local movie theaters for promotional purposes.

Once the movie screening ended, the movie theaters returned the original posters to the production studios. The studio reused the same poster and handed them to another local movie theater – the cycle goes on to the next. Hence, movie posters back from that time period are limited, and in some cases there is only one! Just in case you have seen one, most original vintage movie posters have signs of handling such as paper creases, traces of pinholes, tape markings, etc.

Owning something that has been part of the Hollywood history is remarkable. It is something to be proud of as a collector, fan or someone who merely admires art and movies.

There are several factors why collecting original vintage movie posters is an addictive hobby. The posters are beautiful and have great visual impact, the artists as well as the actors are often acclaimed and may have won several awards. The value increases with the popularity or scarcity of the movie, the critical reviews and rareness of the piece.

If you’re looking for unique Hollywood memorabilia, rare books, and vintage collectibles, visit WalterFilm’s online boutique collection.

About WalterFilm:

WalterFilm provides the finest selection of original movie star photos, movie scripts & rare books, lobby cards, vintage movie posters and Hollywood movie memorabilia that focus on the glorious history of the European and Hollywood Motion Picture Business. Visit our website at https://walterfilm.com to learn more about us.