PARAMOUNT ON PARADE (1930) BTS photo from collection of Kenneth Anger


[Los Angeles: Paramount, 1930]. Vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white double weight glossy silver gelatin print photo. Minor wear at blank white margins and one small margin tear near top left edge. About fine.

A fascinating image from a fascinating film, retained for publication by a fascinating collector. This was Paramount’s entry into the all-star musical genre which each major studio found themselves obligated to present to try out their contract players in the new medium of sound. Every great director participated: Dorothy Arzner, Ernst Lubitsch and Edmund Goulding were just three of the 11 directors involved. Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote the script. Stars included Jean Arthur, Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier, Kay Francis and Fay Wray, to name a few.

One can see in the image, and as was the practice before lip syncing, the orchestra live on the soundstage with the performers. Further making this photo of interest is that the film was made in five versions. This included the American, Spanish, French and Dutch versions and different musical numbers were filmed for each. This still has the French version title handwritten on the bottom white margin and what may be a number for a publication. The verso has all kinds of publication and cropping marks. There is also the collection stamp of Kenneth Anger, who owned this image at a later date and may have been used in one of his books.

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