Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Saturday, August 05, 2006


We Think You'll Like It!


Endorsement ads are often suspect. When stars recommend a movie, you can usually detect some benefit accruing to them for having done so. Warner players would often rave in print over Warner pictures --- one hand washing the other. Then there are those occasions when the product really does merit praise, and the celebrity kudos neither bought nor coerced. Sunset Boulevard was a show that got attention, particularly in the town it dissected so brilliantly. I’ve no doubt that everyone in the industry wanted to see it, and most would likely be impressed, if not made a little uneasy by it. Could all of this happen to them someday? Yes to that, for many a Norma Desmond plies his/her trade most weekends at far-flung autograph shows. The only difference is most of them don’t have crumbling Hollywood mansions to go home to. I’m not sure that even Norma could have been reduced to peddling her signature for $15 a pop in some hotel ballroom, but her modern counterparts are sure doing it today. Looking over this ad, I see a few stars that were in bed with Paramount at the time --- Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young --- were they just greasing some wheels, or did they really like Sunset Boulevard? Well, the question might be better put, How could they not like Sunset Boulevard? Joan Crawford often endorsed the other man’s product --- she was generous that way. Bogart was nobody’s whore when it came to recommending movies --- this is the only time I can recall seeing his name attached to an ad blurb. The columnists here were in the business of promoting films, so no surprises there, though I wonder if Hedda Hopper refers to Sunset Boulevard or her performance in it (Great!) --- probably both, and she’s right.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Griff said...

I well recall some notable "celebrity quotes" ads for other pictures: Bing Crosby praising 42ND ST., caricatures of Jack Benny and other comics hailing A NIGHT AT THE OPERA as a masterpiece, and a crop of '50s stars tub-thumping MARTY (Charlton Heston: "What a man is MARTY!" Dean & Jerry: "We like him! We like him!")

I've never seen this one for SUNSET before, and I'm a little surprised by it. The movie was more than slightly controversial -- remember Louis B.'s tirade at Wilder about it? -- and it's interesting that so many celebs were willing to lend their names in direct support to such a dark, dark picture. [Though the curator's comment, How could they not like SUNSET BOULEVARD? is, of course, absolutely on target.]

Stanwyck, it will be recalled, dramatically (and famously) knelt to kiss the hem of Swanson's dress after an early industry screening; she was also a firm backer of Holden and Wilder of some years standing. I also liked the quotes from not- strictly- industry- types like Margaret Whiting and Cornelia Otis Skinner.

You are quite correct in noting Joan Crawford's generosity in giving favorable blurbs to work she admired, particularly in the latter part of her career. [During her MGM days, I must assume every Crawford public statement was either vetted or actually penned by a Metro publicist.]

Over the years I've run across any number of quotes and blurbs attributed to Crawford in support of a wide range of films, plays and books, few of which had any direct connection to the actress in common, or anything at all in common, except that they were pretty good. I remember reading Lisa Alther's wild, crazy and hilariously sexual "Kinflicks" when it came out in paperback in 1977; I was amazed to find, tucked toward the end of the book's opening pages summarizing the considerable critical praise the work had received in hardcover, an enthusiastic comment from Joan Crawford -- who must have read the book in the last months of her life. It wasn't the kind of book I might have imagined that Crawford would curl up with, but the actress was always full of surprises...

3:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016