Friday Photos: True Hollywood Confessions

“I’m no actor and I never have been. What people see on the screen is me.”
—Clark Gable

Emerico Nunes
Brooklyn, 1939
oil on canvas
Height: 100cm
Width: 81.5 cm


A photo by Esther Bubley, Chicago Union Station, 1942


Robert Henri (American 1865-1929)
Portrait of Fay Bainter
oil on canvas
41X33 inches
Brigham Young University Museum of Art
Fay Bainter (1893 – 1968) was an Academy Award-winning American actress.


Rick McGinnis
Hotel Place Bonaventure, Montreal, 2000


Photo by Erwin Blumenfeld for Harper’s Bazaar, 1943


Norma Jean Baker AKA Marilyn Monroe, circa 1940


Freud famously asked: “What do women want?” Poor, clueless Siggy. Women want shoes! And women heart these Louboutins.


“He was very shy but fun with people he knew. He was very sensitive about those goddamned ears, but he’d make jokes about them. After a shot, he’d ask, ‘What’d they get, an ear?’ He didn’t look like anyone else. It was not only physical. He had mannerisms all his own: ways of standing, smoking, and a great flair for clothes. Whatever came natural to him, I let him do it.”
—Frank Capra on Clark Gable
Frank Capra, Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable on the set of It Happened One Night, 1934


Edward Hopper
New York Movie
Oil on canvas
32 1/4 x 40 1/8″ (81.9 x 101.9 cm)


Dolores Del Rio in a silver lamé dress by Herschel McCoy for the film International Settlement, 1938.


The Art Deco movement gave birth to an explosion of brilliant, eye-catching posters.


Celia Johnson, Brief Encounter, 1945 Written by Noël Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan, David Lean, Ronald Neame
Based on Still Life, 1936 play by Noël Coward


Dame Olivia de Havilland.
Photographs by Andy Gotts, 2016


“I adored him. Just adored him. I don’t believe any woman is telling the truth if she ever worked with Gable and did not feel twinges of a sexual urge beyond belief. I would call her a liar.”
—Joan Crawford on Clark Gable


Louis Anquetin (France 1861 -1932)
‘Woman on the Champs-Élysées by Night’
oil on canvas, 83.2 cm x 100.0 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


Ingrid Bergman arrives in Hollywood under contract to David O. Selznick, 1939.


Anne Truitt, (American 1921-2004)
Shear No. 3
Acrylic on paper
22 x 30 inches; 56 x 76 cm


Photo by Erwin Blumenfeld, Untitled, Paris, c. 1937.


My wife Karen and I donated my “Twelve Tribes” painting to our newly renovated synagogue. The painting hangs prominently at the head of the staircase that leads to the youth wing and the library.


This is the dedication plaque for the painting.


Pinchas Tzvi wishes all our friends and relatives a luminous Shabbat.


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  1. Eric
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Fay Bainter! Catches my eye because we share the same last name. I know of no family link, but there are not a lot of us, so there’s probably some connection in the past.

    Robert Avrech is probably one of the few people not of my father’s generation to know who she is. When my Dad was headed to the West Coast to be further transported to the Pacific Theater for WWII, he wrote a letter to her. She replied wishing him well in service.

    in other connections to the past, Dad also had a Clark Gable mustache. He looked pretty sharp in his uniform.

    The Friday Photos is a nice feature, keep up the good work!

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted February 12, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Most everyone who watches classic Hollywood movies recognizes Fay Bainter, they just don’t know her name.

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  2. Bill Brandt
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    It happened one night was one of the first classic movies I saw. They timeless movie.

    1939 seem to be a magical movie. For Hollywood.

    I had forgotten that restriction about the LA country club Michael. Seems pretty strange today and I wonder if it is still in force.

    That Bugatti poster is beautiful. But think how few people could afford a Bugatti.

    You are a good photographer Rick.

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  3. Barry
    Posted February 9, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Re Clark Gable. He was obviously a great actor who hit every action word in any line with a caress for emphasis. He could do this moving, sitting still, angry, warm or anything else. If by being a great actor he meant a guy putting on disguises, funny noses, no he was not, and who would want him that way.

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    • sennacherib
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      It’s the same as in athletics and many other endeavors, he was a “natural”.

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  4. Posted February 9, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Excellent post, Robert.

    – Clark Gable really did epitomize the “women want him and men want to be him” concept.

    – I, too, love the Hopper painting “New York Movie” although I never really noticed the usher’s shoes before… I wouldn’t have thought high heels would be the preferred attire in that occupation.

    – I love your “Twelve Tribes” piece and such a lovely remembrance of your beloved son. We see Karen’s backside in another one of your photos… I see a trend. 😀

    – Any idea on the backstory of the Norma Jean photo? It’s obviously staged, but was it a professional shoot?

    – The Olivia de Havilland photo is awesome. I believe this photo shoot was related to her 100th birthday celebration in 2016. The next year, she was made a Dame Commander in the OBE. A talented actress and an “activist” for actors’ rights (or perhaps individual rights)… the de Havilland Decision killed the studios’ iron grip on the talent pool.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath, Robert.

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    • Barry
      Posted February 9, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      That iron grip on the talent pool was essentially non-existent. Olivia signed an employment contract and Warners did their job in making her a star, or at least giving her the parts and exposure that lead to her success.

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      • Posted February 9, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Respectfully, I disagree. During the period in which the “Studio System” flourished, stars were signed to a seven year contact which the studios deemed was 7 years of actual work — holidays, weekends, and days when you were not (literally) filming were not counted under their terms — so the length of the contract could be extended far longer than 7 years. The court ruled, in the “De Havilland Law” decision, that the 7 years were calendar years and that actors could not be compelled to these extended terms.

        Just a few years later (1948, I think) the courts further ruled that the Studios were guilty of monopoly practices in their vertical integration business model (where they owned the production studio, the distribution channel and the movie theaters) and most eventually divested their theater holdings.

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        • Barry
          Posted February 9, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          You have the studio contract system wrong for the most part, but you do have the Supreme Court decision which resulted in two significant things: This resulted int he studios divesting themselves of their theatre chains, but maintaining the means of production and distribution. It also lead directly to big agencies, filling the void, including but not limited to William Morris Endeavor, CAA, APA, etc. Meanwhile, MCA got out of the agency business, purchased Universal Studios and did alright. These people were not the enemy, and most contract people enjoyed working and the attendant success. As for Olivia, she had a single big hit after leaving Warners, To Each His Own and successfully managed to tread water, albeit at pretty big money, for awhile after that. The studio were not the enemy and United Artists got their name because they were founded by, May Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin and D. W. Griffith. Movie Stars do not now, or at any time in the past, need the protection of the Social Justice Warrior crowd.

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  5. Posted February 9, 2018 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I have always liked that Hopper painting. What is the usherette thinking? It could be the start of an O. Henry story.

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  6. Michael Kennedy
    Posted February 9, 2018 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    The Gable quote reminds me of Randolph Scott’s when He applied to the LA Country Club for membership.LACC had a policy that it did not accept actors or other show business performers. When told he could not be a member because he was an actor, he offered to get a number of people to swear he was not an actor. I think he was the only actor to be a member for years. He was a great golfer and lived on the fairway of the club in West LA.

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