JOAN CRAWFORD AS BLONDE | THIS MODERN AGE (1931) Oversized portrait by George Hurrell


[Los Angeles]: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, [1931]. Vintage original 10 x 13″ (25 x 32 cm.) black-and-white double weight semi-glossy silver gelatin photo. “Hurrell” blind stamp on bottom right corner edge. “Please credit HURRELL M. G. M.” and “Joan Crawford, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” ink stamp and handwritten pencil note of “7623” on verso. Fine.

Joan Crawford became blonde and tanned for a brief period in 1931, playing characters in provocative situations. This Modern Age dealt with the theme of class distinctions and the old-fashioned idea that some people were just not good enough for others — in this case, Crawford playing the daughter of not only a divorcee, but a kept woman as well. Her boyfriend’s well-to-do family finds her objectionable. It was all played out in the glamorous world of Paris and was melodramatic entertainment for a world facing financial devastation at the height of the Depression. It was what audiences wanted from a Joan Crawford picture.

George Hurrell has captured her strikingly youthful appearance set against a creme shaded background nearly matching her sweater.

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