Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paramount and MGM's star-studded anniversaries

Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw, whose film Love Story saved Paramount back in the '60s, are at the apex of a zoomable centenary photo marking the studio's 100th anniversary. Adolf Zukor got the ball rolling back in 1912, when he financed a French feature called Queen Elizabeth with the legendary Sarah Bernhardt and distributed it in the US.
The Marx Brothers made their first five features at Paramount, including The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup. Fred Astaire was in the fold as well, along with Grace Kelly, seen below with Jimmy Stewart being directed by Hitchcock in Rear Window. (Click on the links for a great bunch of discounted DVDs from all of these stars.)

In 1943, MGM (whose motto was “More Stars than there Are in Heaven”) pulled off a similar coup with this star-studded photo. The detail below always tickles me: how did the notoriously dictatorial Louis B. Mayer let Kate Hepburn get away with those funky socks and sandals? Curiously, Mickey Rooney is in both the MGM and the Paramount images.

William Powell and Spencer Tracy look particularly good, as does Lucy!
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  1. Seems like only yesterday--well, maybe last week-- my girlfriends and I were snickering over the banal dialogue in Love Story..and now look at those two! It's almost like seeing your children collecting Social Security!
    Good to see the ageless Fred Astaire again.

  2. Is that Hedy Lamarr in the front row? She has a fascinating biography--she became a physicist with numerous patents to her name. How many actresses can say that?