Posted a brand new star studded gallery to the site earlier this evening picturing a full set of 1931 BAT Cinema Artistes tobacco cards which recently arrived from New Zealand.
While this may not be the most attractive set of 48 cards we've ever seen it is certainly heavy with old time Hollywood stars.
A Laurel and Hardy card is the prize of the set with Buster Keaton a none too shabby consolation.
For just a 48 card set a large number of the stars are featured on more than one card. Norma Shearer has 3! Gable, Garbo, Harlow and Crawford are among the 15 different stars doing double duty. Doing the math, that leaves just 15 stars earning a measly single appearance in this set!
I broke the set on eBay and a few singles have already sold. The rest are available in a mix of Fixed Price and Auction format listings and can all be found through this link.
We'll slide down the star scale with our sample today and go with one of the two Mary Carlisle (here Mary Carlyle) cards since I only recently wrote about Miss Carlisle for her 101st birthday.
I don't know if those are dogs or sheep surrounding her, I just hope that they're stuffed whatever they may be.
Just click on Mary Carlisle or CLICK HERE to visit the gallery and see the entire set of 48 cards.
Actors Get Awards/Pen Stolen
In between Fannie Ward research this weekend I was half-hardheartedly tying together some notes for a historical Academy Awards post which was never written.
Of course I drifted way back and chose to dig in to the Academy's first round of Awards in 1929, a subject covered many years ago on this site by contributor Tammy Stone. But I got overwhelmed by James Quirk instead.
Quirk was the long-time editor and loudest voice on Photoplay Magazine which awarded their Photoplay Medal of Honor to the best film each year since 1920. The Award was the pre-Academy Award standard for quality.
By Quirk's thinking the Gold Medal was the post-Academy Award standard as well. Until his death in 1932.
It was a distracting story that derailed me and left me paging through several issues of Photoplay seeking out Quirk's monthly "Close-Ups and Long-Shots" column and every dig he made towards the Academy.
The headline at the top of this section was clipped from a newspaper, not an issue of Photoplay. It was the Edwardsville Intelliger's spin on a Hollywood wire story that included results of the Academy's first selection of Awards in March 1929.
I clipped it because I thought it gave a pretty good idea of how the first Academy Awards were received at that time.
What kind of story would have to break to share a headline with the Oscars today?
As for that $50 million fountain pen, the valuation was a cumulative estimate, not a specific appraisal.
Director Frank Borzage was the culprit, pocketing the pen to work on the script of The Studio Murder Mystery. The value, remarked upon as a conservative one, is said to represent the total amount on the contracts signed with said pen at Paramount over the previous six years.
Supposedly Borzage returned it with a note: “This may be a hallowed ‘fifty million dollar’ pen to some people, but it’s only an ink-splashing, paper-digging annoyance to me.”
Odds and Ends
Those of you who took interest in the new gallery at the top of the page may be interested in checking out the redesign of the gallery indexes on the main site.
I think they're pretty. And I wrote some new bits of introductory text around each of the pages as well.
As a result of some behind the scenes tinkering to those pages these formerly private pages serving to point to the galleries are now public. Well, at least this first one is; the veil will lift on others later, time permitting. But as we move forward why hide stuff like the 50 million dollar fountain pen?
That also means that posts of this type are now open for comments. The Galleries themselves are not, so posts such as this could finally provide a place on the site to talk about each of the various types of cards and collectibles that are, after all, the backbone of the site.
Caught Dodsworth on TCM last night. Ruth Chatterton was better than I remembered. Walter Huston was as good as I remembered. I wrote about it on the site a few years ago but that post could really use some polishing. Hopefully it's the last link you click on this page and not the only one!
My March preview for Turner Classic Movies will run a few days late by design. Remember, TCM's promotion is "31 Days of Oscar" and so it extends beyond the February calendar each year. The Oscars may be put to bed but TCM contributes a hangover lasting through March 3.
March 3 is also the target date for my March preview post.
If you're hungry for some Greer Garson before then (and who isn't?) you can revisit my birthday post from last September which specifically concentrates on her unprecedented run of Oscar nominated years during the first half of the '40s.
That's all for now, back again soon!
- “Photoplay Appreciation Course at U. Of S. Calif.” Edwardsville Intelligencer 20 Mar 1929: 9. Newspaper Archive. Web. 23 Feb 2013.