Collection Spotlight: Ann Dvorak & Kirk Douglas at the Fox Commissary


I’ve been collecting Ann Dvorak memorabilia for almost sixteen years, so it’s now rare that I’ll come across something spectacular that I do not already own. Sure, the occasional scene still will pop up that I don’t have, so I’ll grab it if the price is right. However, I seldom have the opportunity to purchase a piece that really blows me away, so I was thrilled to add this photo to the collection this week. The image shows Ann and Kirk Douglas in 1948 having lunch in the 20th Century-Fox Commissary during production of the Walls of Jericho. I love this photo because it’s not taken directly on the set of the film and appears to be a truly unguarded candid moment. They are both in costume for the film, with Ann’s carefully coiffed hair held in place with a net and she looks absolutely beautiful.  I’ve never been in the Fox Commissary, though it seems to look remarkably the same as it did in the 1940s. which makes this photo that much cooler.

If I had owned this image a year ago I would have used it in the book, though I really can’t adequately explain it is so special for me.  I don’t have too may behind-the-scenes photos from Ann’s post-War films, and since Ann’s role in The Walls of Jericho is relatively small I don’t have many photos of this film in general. Also, I just love candids. Maybe I’m just so starved for new items for the collection that even the hint of something different will send my spirits soaring.  Whatever the reason, it’s awesome and I hope some of you will enjoy seeing it.


  1. Scott April 12, 2014

    Wonder what was going on above and to the left of where Kirk and Ann were sitting that day?

    Ann looks as if she’s been watching whatever, or whoever, it was with a degree of amusement, while Kirk looks as if he’s saying (in your best Frank Gorshin-like Kirk Douglas voice, of course) something like ‘If that guy doesn’t watch out, he’s going to make a big mess on the Commissary floor!’

    A really nice capture, though, as you say.

    My offer still stands, by the way, to anyone who is interested, for a fun day-trip to lovely, picturesque Jericho, Kansas.

  2. JV April 17, 2014

    What a great find! It’s astonishing to realize that Kirk is still alive and kicking at 97.

  3. admin April 17, 2014

    Yeah, makes me wonder if I should have tried to contact him. I didn’t because of his health issues and the fact that they have very little screen time together. Maybe he would have had something more to say than the usual “she was lovely and very professional.” Oh well…

  4. Vienna April 18, 2014

    What a great picture of Ann. She looks so lovely. Why wasn’t she a big star in the 40s.

  5. admin April 18, 2014

    I think by the 1940s that ship had sailed and no studio was going to try and bank on her. Oh, Ann!

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