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Saturday, June 17, 2006


Stars and Their Movies At Home

A few weeks ago, we got a glimpse of Ann Harding’s home movie installation, and being equipped with then-state of the art equipment (including 35mm projection), it was indeed quite a palace. Today we have a modest and likely more typical example of what stars dealt with when watching movies in their living room before the advent of television. That old 16mm sausage grinder might just as well have been one of the machines I used during my own collecting years, but here it’s Jeanne Crain and husband Paul Brinkman threading up a show. That’s a 400 foot reel Paul’s getting ready to unspool, so it looks as though the Brinkmans are settling down to a ten minute or thereabouts program. These two had a passel of kids, so maybe it’s a Castle Films Chilly Willy cartoon, or perhaps a grown-up screening of Castle’s News Parade Of 1949. Another possibility is home movies --- a number of stars shot theirs on 16mm (Harold Lloyd used 35mm!). Full length Hollywood features often found their way into celebrity collections --- Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Abbott and Costello, Rock Hudson, Errol Flynn, many more --- maintained libraries of not only their own films, but others as well. Bogart used to run his print of the 1937 A Star Is Born every year at Christmas and cry profusely.

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