Archive for February, 2009

Collection Spotlight: Recycled Warner Bros Art

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Last weekend, I spent Valentine’s Day at a movie memorabilia show in Burbank, while my hubby was busy hosting panels at a Doctor Who convention (romantic, huh?).  After nearly twelve years of collecting Ann Dvorak ephemera, I usually walk away empty handed from these events, or with a scene still  I probably already own. This time around, one of the dealers actually had a nice piece that I had never seen before, a Midnight Court window card. I have not uploaded a photo of it onto the site, but the artwork is pretty much identical to the titled card posted above.

As I walked around the room with my big score, an acquaintance stopped me to take a look at the card. His instant response was, “beautiful artwork, but it sure looks similar to one of Bette Davis’ posters.” Simultaneously,  my collecting-partner-in-crime, Darin, and I blurted out “It’s the same art as The Girl From Tenth Avenue!” (welcome to the world of movie geeks).  Even though I have owned the Midnight Court title card for years and have it hanging up at home, it never occurred to me that Warner Bros lifted the art from the 1935 Bette Davis feature, flipped the image,  replaced her head with Ann-D’s, and used it to to promote the 1937 release.

 

 

This probably was not the first time a studio recycled artwork (MGM one-sheets from the late 1930s tend to look really similar), but switching out Bette’s head for Ann’s is pretty blatant.  This just goes to show that:

a) Warner Bros really could be that cheap

b) Warner Bros had officially given up on Ann’s career

Actually, Ann’s employment with Warner Bros had been terminated in December of 1936, so it’s amazing they even bothered promoting her for the March 1937 release of Midnight Court.

If anyone out there knows of similar instances when a studio cheaped-out and used the same artwork for different films, please feel free to share in the comments.

Ann Dvorak “Festival” at NYC’s Film Forum

Friday, February 13th, 2009

I accompanied my comic-book-writing hubby to New York  last week  for Comic-Con. I usually make the rounds with Josh at the Con, visit the one vintage movie memorabilia dealer who always shows up at these events, and wait in line for a half an hour at the Starbucks stand (convention Starbucks is even pricier than airport Starbucks which is even pricier than regular Starbucks).  I can only be the dutiful wife for so long before Comic-Con madness starts to set in (I once damn near had a nervous breakdown at the San Diego Con and calmed myself by purchasing a $130 Bat Girl doll),  and I need to take a break from the festivities.

This time around I took my Con reprieve  at the Film Forum Theater who is currently celebrating the country’s financial woes by screening a bunch of great Depression-era flicks for their “Breadlines & Champagne” festival. I caught  Frank Capra’s riveting bank drama American Madness, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but was more than a little bitter when I realized they would be showing, not one but TWO Ann Dvorak films later this month.

OK, two films screened on separate, though consecutive, dates probably does not constitute a “festival,” but in the world of Ann Dvorak, this is about as close as it gets. For those of you lucky enough to be in the Big Apple next week, you have the supreme opportunity to sit in a darkened theater with an appreciative crowd and watch:

Three on a Match: Friday, February 20 at 3:20, 6:30, 9:45

Scarface: Saturday, February 21 at 2:50, 6:10, 9:30

I have seen Scarface a few times in theaters around Los Angeles, but have never been to a screening of Three on a Match, which is the first Ann-D movie I ever saw, and is still my favorite. If anyone is able to catch this on the 20th, please let me know how the audience responds when Ann becomes a total coke-head.

The Film Forum Theater is located at 209 W Houston St.