Today’s photo (from our Donald Gordon collection; that’s Donald himself on the right) illustrates that off screen, while just as beautiful as they were on film, many female stars were not THAT recognizable.

Without their makeup (and in the case of many male stars like Bing Crosby and Humphrey Bogart, their toupees) a lot of stars could do their own grocery shopping without being spotted.

Anyway, here’s another look at Betty Grable in full makeup and full flower .

You may not know it but you are peering at a pair of “million dollar legs.” No kidding. That’s what  Grable’s gams were said to be worth to her then employer, Twentieth Century-Fox, and to the world at large when this posed studio shot was taken in the early 1940s.

A Hollywood veteran of nearly 15 years (she had a pushy stage mother and made her first movie at 14, lying about her age) Grable was in her late 20s when this shot was taken, and rapidly on her way to becoming the most famous pinup of the World War II years.

This photo famously stoked GI libidos from Alaska to the Fiji Islands.

Have you, or your parents or grandparents, any candid, non-studio photos of film stars? We’d love to share them. Or, hear any tales you might have to tell about stars or film companies visiting your home town.

The other day we were pondering — are there any stars of today who might rival stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age?  One song lyric from the 40s said “Keep Betty Grable, Lamour and Turner” It was updated in the 60s to “Keep Audrey Hepburn and keep Liz Taylor, Nancy’s the feature, they’re just the trailer.”

That set us to thinking about that term, “trailer”  It originated back in the silent days, when after the feature was shown there would be a short promoting the next film due at that theater.  It trailed the feature.

You can just hear people say, “Let’s wait and see the trailer.”  When the studios became more powerful and homogenized and controlled distribution, they started using the term “Coming Attractions.” We’ll bet few people, if any,  ever said “Let’s go early and see the coming attractions.”

Here’s a thought for DVD producers.  Why have the previews before the main feature. Most people are anxious to see the film they’ve rented and skip them.

Why not show previews after the movie? And let the public call them “trailers.”



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