The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)

Based on the Guy de Maupassant novel Bel Ami published in 1885, The Private Affairs of Bel Ami is the story of an unmitigated cad and his insatiable quest for money and power and women. Curiously, the film is serene, tasteful, sometimes even bland, surely in the service of the Production Code which was still in effect at the time. Continue reading

Marie Prevost in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

Just under 16 minutes into The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), at Harry Pebbel’s office, the George Hurrell portrait of Marie Prevost can be seen above Harry’s fireplace, to the top center on this screencap, just over Walter Pidgeon’s shoulder: (Also: Heh heh, the statue of an eagle behind Walter gives him horns. Oh, symbolism, you are so symbolic sometimes.) The portrait dates from about 1930, and even though it’s Hurrell, an exceptionally popular photographer whose pictures are all over the internet, this particular portrait is pretty rare; I’ve only seen it on eBay twice and it never turns up in image searches. Here’s a cropped version from a publicity postcard I got a couple years ago: There’s a better version here, smaller and watermarked, and though I hate using watermarked pictures because I’m not trying to “steal” images, in this case I will make an exception. The picture has long since sold, best I can tell, but it looks exactly like the one used in the film: Update: Seems the same portrait was used for Harry’s secretary’s office, too! From about 35 minutes into the film: That Harry Pebbel guy must have sure liked Marie. And that pic to the right of the Money Talks poster is Robert Benchley in a picture that I at first thought was used twice. Later I realized that the Benchley photo had moved to another part of the set, seen below to the left of Kirk Douglas’ head, and the pic to the … Continue reading

Secret Life of Objects: Female & Footlight Parade

Back in April, I briefly blogged about Female (1933), and a kind commenter mentioned that the swimming pool at Alison’s ridiculously amazing home was the set used in Footlight Parade. The “By a Waterfall” set in Footlight Parade: A close-up of the set just in front of the fountain as it appeared in Female: They added some wacky art deco statues of nekked mens and some plants to the fountain, but that’s the same pool all right. You can see it on this segment of Female on YouTube here, starting at 1:55. Meanwhile, one of those wacky art deco men crashed a Corrine Griffith photo shoot: Thank you once again, The Secret Life of Objects, for making movies even more fun than they already are.