The popular Italian magazine Cinema-Illustrazione was founded in 1930. It originated from the journal Illustrazione, which started in 1926. From 1930 on, it only focussed on cinema. Among the editors was the future screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. The magazine offered bios of popular Hollywood stars and lots of glamour photos. Cinema-Illustrazione also published a glamorous postcard series of Hollywood stars. Today EFSP presents the first of three posts on these cards. The magazine stopped appearing in September 1939.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 1. Photo: Paramount.
Mary Brian (1906-2002) was an American actress and film star with dark brown curls and blue/gray eyes, who made the transition from silent films to sound films. She was dubbed 'The Sweetest Girl in Pictures'.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 3. Photo: Paramount.
Beautiful and seductive French actress Lily Damita (1902-1994) appeared in 33 French, Austrian, and Hollywood films between 1922 and 1937. Her marriage with Errol Flynn was rather tempestuous and led to her nickname 'Dynamita'.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 4. Photo: Fox Film.
Yvonne Pelletier (1915-1995) was a Canadian film actress. She was a child actress in the 1920s and had a limited career in 1930s American cinema. This postcard may refer to her pre-Code Fox film Young Sinners (John G. Blystone, 1931) starring Thomas Meighan and Hardie Albright.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 6. Photo: Paramount.
Barbara Kent (1907-2011) was an American-Canadian actress of 1920s and 1930s American cinema, known for e.g. Flesh and the Devil (1926), No Man's Law (1927), Lonesome (1928), Feet First (1930), Indiscreet (1931), Emma (1932), and Oliver Twist (1933).
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 7. Photo: Fox Film. Myrna Loy in Isle of Escape (Howard Bretherton, 1930).
Myrna Loy (1905-1993) was an American film, television, and stage actress. She was originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, but her career prospects improved greatly following her portrayal of Nora Charles in The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934). Suddenly she was 'Queen of the Movies' and remained so until the late 1940s.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 8. Photo: Fox Film.
Petite Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) was the innocent-eyed, round-faced Hollywood star who won the first Academy Award for best actress for her roles in three silent films. She went on to become a leading performer in talking pictures and was one of the most popular Hollywood leading ladies in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1934 she was receiving a yearly salary of $252,583 from Fox, making her Hollywood's most highly paid actress.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 9. Photo: Paramount.
Canadian-born American actress Fay Wray (1907-2004) attained international recognition as the first 'scream queen' in a series of horror films during the early 1930s. Through an acting career that spanned nearly six decades, Wray is best known as Ann Darrow, the girl held in the hand of King Kong (1933). Two days after her death, the lights of the Empire State Building, the location of King Kong's climax scene, were dimmed for 15 minutes in memory of the "beauty who charmed the beast".
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 10. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Lovely Madge Evans (1909-1981) was an American stage and film actress, who often played the 'nice' girl in Hollywood films of the 1930s. She began her career as a child performer and model, starting with Fairy Soap commercials at the age of two.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 12. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
American film actress Dorothy Jordan (1906-1988) emerged at the start of the talkies. She made her film debut as Mary Pickford's sister in Sam Taylor's The Taming of the Shrew (1929). Until 1933 Jordan played the female lead in various films for different studios. These included Min and Bill (1930) with Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler and The Cabin in the Cotton (1932) with Bette Davis. In 1933 Jordan left the film industry to marry film producer and director Merian C. Cooper.
Italian postcard. Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 13. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Grace Moore (1898-1947) was an internationally famous star of the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway. During the 1930s, she also starred in several Hollywood musicals. She was nominated for an Oscar for One Night of Love (1934) and was the subject of the biopic So This is Love (1953), in which Kathryn Grayson portrayed the "Tennessee Nightingale", as Grace was called. She died tragically in an airplane crash in 1947 at the height of her career.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 14. Photo: Fox Film.
Sultry, sleepy-eyed Argentine brunette Mona Maris (1903-1991) appeared in both European and Hollywood silent films. After the arrival of sound, she starred in a string of Spanish-language versions of American films.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 15. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Eleanor Boardman (1898-1991) was an American stage and silent screen actress, famous for King Vidor's The Crowd (1928), one of the best late American silent movies.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, Series 1, no. 16. Photo: Fox Film. Mona Maris and Humphrey Bogart in A Devil with Women (Irving Cummings, 1930).
Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) is an icon of Hollywood cinema. His private detectives, Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Phillip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946), became the models for detectives in other Film-Noirs. Bogart and 19-year-old Lauren Bacall fell in love when they filmed To Have and Have Not (1944), the first of a series of films together. He won the best actor Oscar for The African Queen (1951). He was also nominated for Casablanca (1942) and as Captain Queeg in Mutiny on the Caine (1954).
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 17. Photo: Paramount.
Evelyn Brent (1899-1975) was an American actress of the silent screen. Josef von Sternberg paved the way for her to become a top star through her role of the prostitute Feathers in Underworld (1927).
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 34. Photo: Fox Film. As Compton was a blonde, we are not sure this really is Joyce Compton.
Joyce Compton (1907-1997) was an American actress. At First National, she landed several leading female roles. In 1926 she was chosen as a potential star among the WAMPAS Baby Stars. With the advent of the talkies in the late 1920s, Compton specialised in supporting roles as dumb blondes with squeaky voices, often paired with her distinctive Southern accent. She maintained this role until the end of her career.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 21. Photo: Paramount.
Frances Dee, born in 1907, was living in Los Angeles, and hearing that Fox was making a college picture she suggested that they should use her to get the right college atmosphere. Her work in a minor role in Lubitsch's picture Monte Carlo attracted attention, and she was given the lead opposite Chevalier in Playboy of Paris. Since then she had principal parts in many important pictures, including Little Women, One Man's Journey, Blood Money, and Becky Sharp.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 22. Photo: Fox Film.
Blonde Norwegian-American bombshell Greta Nissen (1906-1988) is mostly remembered for a role she didn't play; or, rather, a role that was eventually re-filmed with someone else: the leading lady of Hell's Angels (1930), Howard Hughes’ stunt-flying extravaganza set during World War I.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 23. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Swedish Greta Garbo (1905-1990) was one of the greatest and most glamorous film stars ever produced by the Hollywood studio system. She was part of the Golden Age of the silent cinema of the 1920s and was one of the few actors who made a glorious transition to the talkies. She started her career in European cinema and would always stay more popular in Europe than in the USA.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 24. Photo: Paramount.
American singer and actress Lillian Roth was a Broadway star and Hollywood actress. Among the films, she made with Paramount were The Love Parade (1929) with Maurice Chevalier, The Vagabond King (1930), Cecil B. DeMille's Madam Satan (1930), and the Marx Brothers second film, Animal Crackers (1930). She rebelled against the pressure of her domineering stage mother and reacted to the death of her fiancé by becoming an alcoholic. Her life story was told in the popular biopic I'll Cry Tomorrow (Daniel Mann, 1955) starring Susan Hayward.
Italian postcard by Cinema-Illustrazione, Milano, series 1, no. 25. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
American actress Joan Crawford (1905-1977) became nationally-known as a flapper by the end of the 1920s. In the 1930s, her fame rivaled, and later outlasted, MGM colleagues Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo. Crawford often played hardworking young women who find romance and success. These 'rags-to-riches' stories were well received by Depression-era audiences and were popular with women. Crawford became one of Hollywood's most prominent movie stars and one of the highest-paid women in the United States, but her films began losing money and by the end of the 1930s she was labeled 'Box Office Poison'. But her career gradually improved in the early 1940s, and she made a major comeback in 1945 by starring in Mildred Pierce, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
To be continued next week, Thursday 8 April.
For the editions of the magazine Cinema-Illustrazione between 1930 and 1939, see the website of the Centro Sperimentale.