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Movie Magazines: covers and content


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I've loved movie magazines since the age of 13 when I found a great issue of Photoplay in my parents' garage. It had a great image of Judy Garland on the cover. 20+ years later, I have over 500 issues. I love the gorgeous covers, the candid shots of movie stars, the articles which are often fictitious, and the movie advertisements, (and sometimes) product advertisements with the stars!).


Anyone else collect these wonderful treasures? what would you like me to post?



Movie Mirror April 1937



New Movie January 1935


Edited by: MovieMagazines on Jan 16, 2012 11:43 AM


Edited by: MovieMagazines on Jan 16, 2012 11:45 AM


Edited by: MovieMagazines on Jan 16, 2012 11:46 AM

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If you can print any Carole Lombard stories, it would be appreciated -- especially those in magazines other than Photoplay. While some of the articles written about her were trite PR fluff, she occasionally discussed women's roles in these articles, showing her to be very much the feminist and in many ways ahead of her time. (For proof, visit http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/157005.html and http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/111181.html.)

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Thanks for posting the wonderful pix! B-)


I have about 11 Photoplay magazines ranging fron 1925 to 1935. I enjoy reading the movie reviews in them and looking at the film ads. Some of the articles are interesing too!


I also have a couple of Street & Smith Picture Play magazines from 1933, a couple of Film Weekly magazines from England that date from 1930 and 1932, a Picture Show magazine (also from England) from 1933, a Screen Play magazine from 1932, a Movie Mirror from 1937 and a Screen Stars magazine from 1945.







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Hello MovieMagazines,


This thread subject is a wonderful addition to the Your Favorites forum! These magazines were a vital piece of cinema history before the age of television and televised "entertainment reporting". VP19 has suggested that you post some of the articles. Having some of these magazines myself in my collection, I can appreciate that it is difficult to scan the contents (the cover can be laid flat, no problem) without risking damage to the magazine, unless you have a hand held scanner. The collectible value of these magazines varies with who is on the cover and the condition. Many of these covers and some of the articles are available on the internet.


This thread can become a long running personal project for you and a great resource for the community. I value "resource threads" that reflect historical exhibits and submissions.


The readers should bear in mind that much of the biographical information about the stars in these magazines was fabricated by the studio publicity departments, especially their life details before stardom. They none the less bear great contemporary witness to what they were doing. Part of the fun is figuring out what's true and what isn't. Of course, the artwork, photography and ads are also wonderfully reflective of that bygone period.


Best wishes! Go for 10,000 hits (at least) on this one!

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Smart comment regarding the condition of the magazines. In lieu of using a scanner and risking damage to the magazine, either get a hand-held scanner or take a photograph and convert it into an image...a much safer method.


There still aren't that many classic Hollywood film magazines available online, but one source I use for my research is the Media History Digital Library; it has a variety of classic movie-related publications (including color covers, photography and art work), and it continues to grow. At last check, their inventory now includes:


*Fan magazines*

Motion Picture Story Magazine -- part of 1913

Picture Stories Magazine -- parts of 1913 and 1914

Photoplay -- all of 1929, 1930 and 1935, and parts of 1917, 1920, 1925-1928, 1936-1938 and 1940

Motion Picture Classic -- all of 1920

Cine-Mundial (Spanish) -- all of 1920



*Trade publications*

Moving Picture World -- all of 1913 and 1914, and parts of 1912 and 1915-1918

Film Daily -- all of 1919, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1926-1932, and parts of 1918, 1921, 1924, 1925 and 1933-1936

Exhibitors Trade Review -- parts of 1921 and 1922

Exhibitors Herald -- parts of 1923 and 1924

Motion Picture News -- parts of 1928-1930

Motion Picture Daily -- parts of 1931, 1933 and 1934

Hollywood Reporter -- parts of 1933 and 1934



To see the entire holdings, go to http://mediahistoryproject.org/collections/



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hello again:

thanks for all the comments and positive feedback here.


ThelmaTodd: yes, I'm aware of the dangers of scanning and am finding quickly that it's difficult to scan and entire page without damaging or bending the issue. I don't have a hand scanner, but was successful in taking some shots of the candid photos (see below).


Scottman: I agree its fun to look at the films ads and the reviews. Don't you find that some of the reviews are a bit off; sometimes I find that films which are now absolute classics didn't get great write-ups during their original release and vice versa-- some films are proclaimed to be fabulous and i never heard of them!


Well, here's another great cover from a 1939 classic film, and a great photo of Olivia De Havilland with Dorothy (Dottie) Lamour AND Joan Fontaine. I've always found this photo fascinating as Olivia and Joan were having a life-long feud and here they are together. And, both Olivia and Joan are STILL with us..... don't you think it's time for the feud to be over??

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> MovieMagazines wrote: "Don't you find that some of the reviews are a bit off; sometimes I find that films which are now absolute classics didn't get great write-ups during their original release and vice versa-- some films are proclaimed to be fabulous and i never heard of them!


Very true. After reading some of the reviews, It made me wonder if I saw the same film the reviewer saw! On the pluse side, some of those magazine reviews did inspire me to seek out other titles after reading them. :)



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I went to your Photoplay link, I looked at the 1929 issues, and I found that I

could copy each page like a photograph


It's become a wonderful resource for me in doing research for "Carole & Co.", and one thing I love about it is that, unlike microfilm, these images can sometimes be seen in color...not just the magazine covers, but sometimes advertisements for movies, particularly in trade publications, where studios would advertise their upcoming attractions in order to entice distributors or theater owners. For example, look at this stunning image, part of a two-page spread from Paramount in Film Daily of Feb. 3, 1936 to promote the first three-strip Technicolor feature filmed outdoors, "The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine":



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Hi MovieMagazines!


In that last post, was the second picture the back cover? I was going to suggest that you scan the back covers as well. It's easy to do on a flat bed scanner wothout damaging the magazine. The other reason is that even if the back is an ad, the ads themselves are interesting in very old magazines! I have some National Geographics that go back to as early as 1915, and many from the 20's and 30's. I find that the ads are every bit as interesting as the articles with their vintage graphics and products!

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OK, a secret.... I absolutely love Judy Garland especially during the early days of MGM. She started at MGM in 1935; some of the early movies aren't terrific except when Judy is on the screen. I shall never forget watching with my spouse (on TCM) BROADWAY MELODY of 1938 with Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell, Buddy Ebsen and George Murphy. I had seen it before but not my spouse. We were both a bit bored, i'm afraid. But then, Judy appeared. and my spouse (who doesn't particularly like Judy) said, "the movie became alive when she came on! Her voice in those early days was truly unbelievable when you stop and think she was 12-13 years old! Yes, Judy was really something else. Her movies got much better in the 1940s (Ziegfeld Girl, For Me & My Gal, Presenting Lily Mars)




Edited by: MovieMagazines on Jan 20, 2012 3:58 PM

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*Thelma Todd*


Couldn't resist! Must date from 1933-1934,as indicated by the *NRA eagle emblem (National Recovery Act).* (The NRA was declared unconstitutional and struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935)


Hi Movie Magazines,


You might want to check out my *VINTAGE EXPLOITATION FILMS-FILMOGRAPHY* thread (In *Your Favorites*) to view a 1935 short featuring a very young *Judy Garland* and her two sisters singing *La Cucaracha * (3:17 into part 2) in:


*LA FIESTA SANTA BARBARA (1935).Posted Dec 18, 2011 8:33 PM*





(Go back to the 4th page from current)


I have set up a seperate *discussion thread* in *General Discussions* for the subject, in order to keep the filmography thread clear for the numerous film links:




*Feel free to comment!*

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Hi filmlover and Movie Magazines,


I jumped on this thread early, because I too think it has great potential! With enough submissions, this one is good for 10,000 hits as surely as I am posting here! This makes for a remarkable entree and start from a "newbie" who so far has only 13 posts under his belt! He deserves the support and encouragement of the more senior members of the community.


If Movie Magazines could acquire a hand held scanner, he could greatly expand the interest and scope of his submissions to include the inside content of these magazines, without damaging the fragile originals. One step at a time!

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Yes, I find this to be a very interesting thread. The only old magazine I have is Time from December 1948 with Olivia DeHavilland on the cover that I purchased from a collector. Olivia is featured related to the movie The Snake Pit.


While this isn't a movie mag it is still very interesting. For example, it has a review of the new type of jazz, bebop, that was the rage in certain parts of NYC. Some of the description in the review border on being racist and as a jazz musician I don't think the reviewer had much of an understanding of this complex music format (i.e. he made it clear that big band swing was the only 'true' jazz music,,, which today would be laughed at).


The Snake Pit article was great. It focused on the movie as well as the topic of the treatment of the mentally ill. Some of it was shocking (and yes, that is a pun).


I noticed there are also ads posted here. That is one of the most interesting things about reviewing old mags. The ads tell us a lot about life in American during those days. I'll continue to check this site out to see the latest offerings.

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hello all:


thanks for all the enthusiasm and support!


Thelmatodd: thanks for the info regarding LA FIESTA DE SANTA BARBARA. I will certainly look up and read your thread tonight.


FYI, about thirty years ago (wow... was it that long ago!), before the days of the internet, before the days of DVDs, laserdiscs and video tape, we had two choices if we wanted to see a classic film; watch them on TV with commercials and cut to shreds (Singin' in the Rain was always shown on the "4:30 movie"-- a 1 1/2 time slot for films late in the afternoon...... i don't have to tell you what happened to the film). OR choice two-- go to a 'revival house' where they exclusively showed old, classic films.


There were many in the 1970s. One in particular, Theater 80 located in Manhattan showed classic films but also showed rare, obscure films. For example, FOLLOW THE FLEET and CAREFREE were locked away by Irving Berlin and not allowed to be shown any where (can you imagine??). Theater 80 got special permission from Irving Berlin to screen these two films as a double feature for one week. The lines were around the block to get in! Also, they showed some of the rare Greta Garbo films and one day the NY Post claimed that a little old lady was sitting in Theater 80 watching two Garbo films (the headline of the article read, "Who was that little old lady at Theater 80 yesterday watching Greta Garbo films). They were hinting Greta Garbo went there to see a couple of her films.


Anyway, my friend and I went there many times, and this one time we went to see THE GREAT ZIEGFELD having never seen the entire film. This was maybe one year after THATS ENTERTAINMENT was released and MGM musicals were the rage. We wondered if this film was playing by itself (its a 3 hour film) or if there was another film with it as Theater 80 always had a double-feature. Well, as Judy Garland fanatic, you can imagine how I felt when a short-subject started before GREAT ZIEGFELD and it was LA FIESTA DE SANTA BARBRA. it was great to see all those stars from 1935, well before technicolor was in its prime (Harpo marx, for example). Then, i saw Judy and her two sisters. it was great. We also enjoyed the feature very much although 30 years later I have little criticisms about GREAT ZIEGFELD (they cut away from fanny brice while she was singing, for example).


So, that's what life was like with classic films back in the 70s. Thank Goodness for TCM!!!!!!!!!

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