16 May 2020

Found in the attic: Dutch Foto-album

A long time ago, I bought this old Dutch photo album which was in quite a bad state. I was disappointed that all the postcards had been glued into the album and that most of the stars were from Hollywood, which was not what I collected at the time. Lately, I found it in my attic and now I changed my opinion about it. The 'foto-album' gives a fine overview of the postcards that were published in the Netherlands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The black and white cards contain glamorous Hollywood portraits and elegantly handwritten names. For this post, I scanned a selection of the cards.

Foto-album, 1
The cover of the 'Foto-album'.

Foto-album, 2
Two pages from the album.

Foto-album, 3
Page from the album.

Maria Montez
Dutch postcard.

Dominican film actress María Montez (1912-1951) gained fame and popularity as a tempestuous Latino beauty in Hollywood movies of the 1940s. In a series of exotic adventures filmed in Technicolor, she starred as Arabian princesses, jungle goddesses, and highborn gypsies, dressed in fanciful costumes and sparkling jewels. Over her career, ‘The Queen of Technicolor’ appeared in 26 films, of which five were made in Europe.

Kathryn Grayson
Dutch postcard. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

American actress Kathryn Grayson (1922-2010) was a pretty, petite brunette with a heart-shaped face. During the 1940s and early 1950s, she starred in several MGM musicals with Gene Kelly and Mario Lanza. Her best-known musicals are Show Boat (1950) and Kiss Me Kate (1953).

Danny Kaye
Dutch postcard.

Danny Kaye (1911-1987) was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and tongue-twisting songs. In 1939, he made his Broadway debut in Straw Hat Revue, but it was the stage production of the musical Lady in the Dark in 1940 that brought him acclaim and notice from agents. Samuel Goldwyn put him in a series of Technicolor musicals, starting with Up in Arms (1944). Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954) and The Court Jester (1956).

Bing Crosby
Dutch postcard.

American singer Bing Crosby (1903-1977) was a crooner whose signature song was 'White Christmas'. He often played 'happy-go-lucky fellas' in films with included the 'Road to...' comedies from 1940 to 1962, but he proved that he could act with The Country Girl (1954) opposite Grace Kelly. Crosby was a multi-media entertainer: a star on the radio, in the cinema, and in chart-topping recordings. He had 38 no. 1 singles, which surpassed Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

Ava Gardner
Dutch postcard.

American actress Ava Gardner (1922-1990) was signed to a contract by MGM in 1941 and appeared mainly in small roles until she drew attention with her performance in The Killers (1946). She became one of Hollywood's leading stars and was considered one of the most beautiful women of her day. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Mogambo (1953). She appeared in several high-profile films from the 1950s to 1970s and continued to act regularly until 1986, four years before her death at the age of 67.

Ann Blyth
Dutch postcard.

American actress and singer Ann Blyth (1928) was often cast in Hollywood musicals, but she was also successful in dramatic roles. Her performance as Veda Pierce in Mildred Pierce (1945) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Teresa Wright
Dutch postcard, 1947.

American actress Teresa Wright (1918-2005) was nominated twice for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress: in 1941 for her debut work in The Little Foxes, and in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver, winning for the latter. That same year, she received a nomination for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Pride of the Yankees (1942), opposite Gary Cooper. She is also known for her performances in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).

John Garfield in Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Dutch postcard. Photo: 20th Century Fox. John Garfield in Gentleman's Agreement (Elia Kazan, 1947).

American actor John Garfield (1913-1952) played brooding, rebellious, working-class characters. Called to testify before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), he denied communist affiliation and refused to 'name names', which effectively ended his film career. The stress led to his premature death at 39 from a heart attack. Garfield is seen as a predecessor of such Method actors as Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and James Dean.

Joan Caulfield
Dutch postcard. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

American actress Joan Caulfield (1922-1991) started as a fashion model. After being discovered by Broadway producers, she began a successful stage career in 1943. Paramount signed her and she starred in romantic comedies as Dear Ruth (1947) and Film Noirs like The Unsuspected (1947).

Glenn Ford
Dutch postcard. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Glenn Ford (1916-2006) was a Canadian-American actor whose career lasted more than 50 years. Although he played different types of roles in many film genres, Ford was best known for playing ordinary men in unusual circumstances. He was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Some of his most significant roles were in the Film Noirs Gilda (1946) and The Big Heat (1953), and the high school angst film Blackboard Jungle (1955). However, it was for comedies or Westerns which he received acting laurels, including three Golden Globe Nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy, winning for Pocketful of Miracles (1961). He also played a supporting role as Clark Kent's adoptive father in Superman (1978).

Fred Astaire in The Sky’s the Limit (1943)
Dutch postcard. Photo: R.K.O. Radio Pictures. Fred Astaire in The Sky’s the Limit (Edward H. Griffith, 1943).

American dancer and actor Fred Astaire (1899-1987) was a unique dancer with his top hat and tails, his uncanny sense of rhythm, perfectionism, and innovation. He began his highly successful partnership with Ginger Rogers in Flying Down to Rio (1933). They danced together in 10 musicals in which he made all song and dance routines integral to the plotlines. Another innovation was that a closely tracking dolly camera filmed his dance routines in as few shots as possible.

Donna Reed
Dutch postcard.

Donna Reed (1921-1986) was an American film, television actress, and producer. Her career spanned more than 40 years, with performances in more than 40 films. She is well known for her role as Mary Hatch Bailey in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). She received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Lorene Burke in the war drama From Here to Eternity (1953). Reed is also known as Donna Stone, a middle-class American mother, and housewife in the sitcom The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966).

Wanda Hendrix
Dutch postcard. Photo: Paramount.

Green-eyed and dark-haired American actress Wanda Hendrix (1928-1981) achieved stardom in her teens and played in about 20 films in the late 1940s and 1950s. Her first, brief marriage was to the most decorated soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy.

Montgomery Clift
Dutch postcard.

Handsome American actor Montgomery Clift (1920-1966) was one of Hollywood's first Method actors. He starred in films like the Western Red River (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), From Here To Eternity (1953), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), in which he co-starred for the third time with Elizabeth Taylor. A near-fatal auto accident in 1957 changed his looks and sent him into a drug and alcohol addiction. Clift died in 1966.

Maureen O´Hara
Dutch postcard. Photo: Paramount.

Irish born Maureen O’Hara (1920-2015) was one of the icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The feisty and fearless actress starred in John Ford’s Oscar-winning drama How Green Was My Valley (1941), set in Wales, and Ford’s Irish-set The Quiet Man (1952) opposite John Wayne. The famously red-headed actress also worked successfully with Charles Laughton at Jamaica Inn (1939) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), starred in the perennial Christmas hit Miracle on 34th Street (1947), and appeared in the Disney children’s hit The Parent Trap (1961).

John Wayne
Dutch postcard. Photo: RKO Radio Films.

American actor John Wayne (1907-1979) was one of the most popular film stars of the 20th century. He received his first leading film role in The Big Trail (1930). Working with John Ford, he got his next big break in Stagecoach (1939). His career as an actor took another leap forward when he worked with director Howard Hawks in Red River (1948). Wayne won his first Academy Award in 1969. He starred in 142 films altogether and remains a popular American icon to this day.

James Stewart
Dutch postcard. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

American actor James Stewart (1908-1997) is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart had a film career that spanned over 55 years and 80 films.

Cary Grant
Dutch postcard. Photo: RKO Radio Films.

Handsome, suave English-American actor Cary Grant (1904-1986) became one of Hollywood's definitive classic leading men, known for his debonair demeanour. Grant’s best-known films include Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), His Girl Friday (1940), Notorious (1946), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), and Charade (1963).

Veronica Lake
Dutch postcard.

During the 1940s, Veronica Lake (1922-1973) was Hollywood' s Peek-a-boo Girl. We love her for Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (1942), Rene Clair's I Married a Witch (1942) and for her femme fatale roles opposite Alan Ladd in the Film Noirs This Gun for Hire (1942), The Glass Key (1942), and The Blue Dahlia (1946).

Ricardo Montalban
Dutch postcard. Photo: M.G.M.

Handsome Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban (1920-2009) was the epitome of elegance, charm, and grace on film, stage, and television. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he reinvigorated the Latin Lover style in Hollywood without achieving top screen stardom. He fought to upscale the Latin image in Hollywood and this may have cost him a number of roles along the way, but he gained respect and a solid reputation and provided wider-range opportunities for Spanish-speaking actors. Montalban is probably best remembered for his starring role as the mysterious Mr. Roarke on the TV series Fantasy Island (1977–1984), with Hervé Villechaize as his partner Tatto, and as Grandfather Valentin in the Spy Kids franchise.

Randolph Scott
Dutch postcard. Photo: Europa - Columbia.

Randolph Scott (1898-1987) was a handsome American leading man who developed into one of Hollywood's greatest and most popular Western stars. From 1950 till 1953, he was among America's Top 10 box-office draws.

Lauren Bacall
Dutch postcard.

At 19, American film actress Lauren Bacall (1924–2014) became an overnight star as 'Slim' opposite Humphrey Bogart in her memorable film debut in Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not (1942). She became known for her distinctive husky voice and glamorous looks in film noirs as The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), and the delicious comedy How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe. After a 50-year career, she received a Golden Globe and her first Oscar nomination for supporting actress for her role as Barbra Streisand’s mother in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1997).

John Derek
Dutch postcard. Photo: Europa - Columbia.

American actor and director John Derek (1926-1998) was known for such films as Since You Went Away (John Cromwell, 1944), All the King's Men (Robert Rossen, 1949), and Cecil B. De Mille's The Ten Commandments (1956), and for his marriages to Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek.

Deanna Durbin and Robert Stack in Nice Girl? (1941)
Dutch postcard. Deanna Durbin and Robert Stack in Nice Girl? (William A. Seiter, 1941).

When Deanna Durbin's (1921-2013) Three Smart Girls (Henry Koster, 1936), the first of her 21 starring vehicles, was released in 1936 it was an immediate sensation, and her films for Universal are said to have saved the studio from bankruptcy.

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