May 25th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 145
I am heading off to my kid sister’s college graduation. In honor of this momentous occasion, here is a photo of Margaret Lindsay, Jean Muir, and Ann Dvorak in Gentlemen Are Born. The film was originally titled Just Out of College, and is the not-so-uplifting story of a group of college grads who are unable to start their post-grad careers and can barely make ends meet in the midst of the Great Depression. The film is a great example of how Warner Bros. reflected social issues of the day, and sadly the content of Gentlemen Are Born is too far removed from current times. It is an interesting film, though a complete waste of Ann’s talents.
May 24th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 144
It’s Friday, and I am heading into a four day holiday weekend, which includes my kid sister’s graduation and a day at Disneyland. So, here’s a fun pic of Ann from The Walls of Jericho acting mortified because she just shot Cornel Wilde.
May 23rd, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 143
Ann Dvorak was not a big star, so she did not appear in big budget movies. This means she never made any films in color, except for the early two-color Technicolor titles at MGM when she was a chorus girl. She was seldom photographed in color as well, and in 15 years of collecting on Ann, I have only seen a handful of color shots.
This is one I found on eBay a few years back. Since Ann is sporting the titian tresses,and judging by the hairstyle, it’s probably from around 1947 when she was filming The Private Affairs of Bel Ami. I think she looks quite regal in this image. Ann was a chronic sun-worshiper so it’s unusual for her to look so pale, though she also looks absolutely flawless.
It’s really too bad we never got to see her in glorious 3-strip Technicolor.
May 22nd, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 142
After a crazy week of going through all the items in the Ann Dvorak personal collection and revising the manuscript, I am happy to report that the revisions are done and approved, and everything has been sent to the designer.
I really have to hand it to the University Press of Kentucky for being so accommodating. Even though we were down to the wire, my copy editor didn’t think twice about having me incorporate the new information, which meant revising four chapters. She even had me write a preface to discuss some of the craziness I have encountered because of Ann. Fortunately, the materials in the collection tightened up the timeline of Ann’s final years and gave some great personal insight, allowing me to eliminate a lot of speculation in the last chapter.
I didn’t even bother to ask about using any of the photos because I was sure it was too late. Instead, they asked me if I wanted to use any of them. Since the price point for the book had already been set based on 69 photos, I could not add any, but was able to swap out some of the others. What I ended up using from the personal collection was four photos from the honeymoon scrapbook, one of Ann and her mother in 1969, and one of Ann taken five months before her death. The previous selections that were eliminated were all studio-issued photos, so no candids were sacrificed.
Even though the last week has been nuts and I am sick and tired of working on this book, I am thrilled to have been able to tie up some loose ends and include a summary of Ann’s life in her own words. I always thought this book took an embarrassingly long time to finish, but in the end it really took as long as it needed to take. Had it been scheduled to come out even a week earlier, these new finds, which are significant, would not have made it in. At this point, I honestly think the book is about as perfect as I could possibly make it – until it’s released and an avalanche of new info cascades on top of me.
May 21st, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 141
The past week has been so exhausting with all the revisions on the book, that I am taking the easy road one last day. Here’s another gorgeous shot of Ann from the 1932/33 honeymoon scrapbook.
May 20th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 140
My apologies for the slew of short posts. This past week has been a whirlwind of going through everything in the recently acquired collection of Ann’s personal items, deciding what is relevant for the book, and making the last minute revisions to a manuscript that is scheduled to go to the typesetter this week. Everything is finally winding down, so in the meantime here is another photo of Ann Dvorak and Leslie Fenton from the honeymoon scrapbook.
May 19th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 139
I am still dealing with 11th hour revisions on the book, so enjoy this lovely shot of Ann surrounded by one of her favorite things – flowers.
May 18th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 138
For the first five films Ann made for Warner Bros. in 1932, she was actually under contract to Howard Hughes and his Caddo Company, but on an exclusive loan-out to the Burbank studio. Three on a Match was the first film she made after Hughes had agreed to sell her contract. However, the deal had not been fully completed and Warner Bros. had not completed drafting one of their contracts for her.
Then, she made that mortal sin of skipping town for eight months and was still working under the conditions of the Caddo contract. This ultimately worked out in her favor, as the language regarding suspension time being tacked onto the end was vague so Warner chose not to add the many months on. Even though she returned in March of 1933, there was haggling to be done with her agent, Myron Selznick. Finally, all the kinks were hammered out and on May 18, 1933, Ann Dvorak signed the document and became Warner Bros.’ property.
May 17th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 137
I am still in the midst of making 11th hour revisions to the manuscript based on new info and photos from a recently acquired collection of Ann’s personal items. So, instead of having to endure my blathering on, here’s a lovely photo on Ann on her 1932 honeymoon in Europe.
May 16th, 2013
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 136
Since I am frantically updating my manuscript based on the stash of Ann Dvorak personal items I received this week, the posts for the moment are going to be short and sweet. I thought I would show off some of the items from the collection. Here is a lovely shot of Ann and Leslie Fenton attending the West Cost premiere of Gone With the Wind at the Carthay Circle Theatre in 1939. The quality is not good enough to use in the book, but I think it’s ok for here.
More to come!