Friday, January 29, 2010

A Shot Of Jean Harlow—With A Bath Water Chaser

I've only recently learned how to do screen captures, which for most of you would probably be like your mother saying she'd only recently learned how to use the telephone, but which is a real godsend for someone like me blogging about old movies—where else to get a shot of Red Dust's Jean Harlow bathing in the company bath water? Not the sort of picture MGM put on movie posters even if it would have sold a million extra tickets.

Jean Harlow will be one of the nominees for best actress of 1932-33 when we eventually get there (for her performances in Dinner At Eight, Bombshell and the aforementioned Red Dust). No guarantee she'll win—she faces tough competition from Greta Garbo (Queen Christina), Miriam Hopkins (Design For Living and Trouble in Paradise), Katharine Hepburn (Little Women) and I'm not sure who else; it's a very loaded award season, comparable to 1939 if you want my opinion.

But in the meantime, a taste of things to come.

9 comments:

thingy said...

Well, you know more than I do.

I have no idea how to intersperse photos with text.
I'm sure I'll learn by trial and error.

Love the shot of Harlow.
I don't remember much about her. I think she was in a film where every star at that time was in it
Wasn't there a John Barrymore who was a victim of sound? (I think he was in that movie with Harlow. Only reason I bring him up.)

Mythical Monkey said...

I think she was in a film where every star at that time was in it

Sounds like Dinner At Eight -- Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, John Barrymore, Marie Dressler, Lionel Barrymore and Billie Burke. I'm a big fan although I've discovered others are not.

It's the one with this famous exchange between Jean Harlow (Kitty) and Marie Dressler (Carlotta):

Kitty: I was reading a book the other day.
Carlotta (doing a double take): Reading a book?
Kitty: Yes. It's all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?
Carlotta (looking her up and down): Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about.

Harlow was also in Libeled Lady, an underappreciated comedy starring William Powell, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. It's the best movie not named The Thin Man that Powell and Loy ever made together.

I'd recommend both movies, but particularly the latter if you want to get the sense of Jean Harlow.

sunnynala said...

I adore Dinner at Eight, and the exchange you've reproduced here has got to be one of my favorite movie scenes.

Red Dust is to die for, far superior to the 1950's remake with Gable, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardener. What a difference a censorship code can make!

Zoe said...

I have never heard of this, sounds cool though, do you need some sort of special program?

Zoe said...

about the screen captures thing. lol

Mythical Monkey said...

Actually, it's pretty straight forward -- or I couldn't it, I assure you. There are probably a number of ways to do it, but this is what I did:

You need to be able to play the movie on your computer, either with a DVD or off YouTube or something. When you get to the scene you want to take a still from, you push the "Print Scrn" button on your keyboard. Then I open Microsoft's "Paint" program (Katie says you can also use Word), go up to the top where it says "Edit" and scroll down to "Paste" and hit that. Viola, whatever was on your computer screen when you hit "Print Scrn" appears as if by magic. You save it off as a "jpg" file -- ala "jeanharlowreddust.jpg" -- then climb into some program like Photosmart or Photoshop and crop out what you want and there you have it!

I'm sure that more tech savvy people like Mister Muleboy are laughing that it took me so long to figure this out, but if you knew me, you'd know this is something of a miracle.

Now I need to buy one of those machines that will convert VHS tapes to DVDs and I can start uploading pictures from the thousand or so movies I have mouldering away in the basement.

Zoe said...

thanks pretty sure i got that. ill try that next time. ive jut been taking pictures with my digital camera, haha but they turn out ok, they will most likely be much clearer and crisp using that technique. thanks myth

Mythical Monkey said...

Oh, and I meant to say yesterday "welcome to the blog, sunnynala" -- at least I can't remember seeing any comments before.

I promise I'll be writing about Dinner At Eight some time this Spring, so stick around!

Husky Navarro said...

Kitty: . . . Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?
Carlotta (looking her up and down): Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about.


Well thank goodness Carlotta didn't live long enough to see the march of time.


shudder

I'm sure that more tech savvy people like Mister Muleboy are laughing that it took me so long to figure this out, but if you knew me, you'd know this is something of a miracle.

Well, that nasty Muleboy may laugh at you, but I'll have you know that I've never laughed at you.

Near you . . . .

I do, though, remember the look of amazement on your face when you realized that the buttons on the remote control (which you called the "finger strengthener" [?]) were actually causing the channels to change on the TV. To quote: Whoa! I thought it was just kismet!"

You've come a long way, baby!

-- HN

[PS As any of my acquaintances from the early '80s can tell you, my voluntary regression into the world o' the Luddites continues. I spend each year trying to get more technically, and technologically, primitive.

I'll soon rekindle my joy o' roots