Wow! Big thanks to my friend Alistair for linking me to this terrific documentary from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – which is available for all to see on You Tube.

It is fortunate than many Hollywood players have donated their archives to the Oscar Academy   and other organisations which will preserve them as part of Hollywood history.

In this case, the Academy has put  together an hour of home movies,some in black and white  and some in glorious color.

I’ve taken some screen grabs but am sure you will go immediately to You Tube if you haven’t already done so.

I hope there will be more film compilations like this in the future from the Academy.

From The Florenz Ziegfeld and Billie Burke Collection:

Billie Burke

Lovely to see the real Billie Burke, so different from her character roles in the 30s and 40s.

Hollywood stars liked to get out on their boats and sail to Catalina Island. Billie can be seen here with her friend ,director Dorothy Arzner.

Billie Burke, Dorothy Arzner



From The Gilbert Roland Collection:

Shot in early Kodachrome by Gilbert Roland, again on board ship at Catalina Island. Gilbert and Constance Bennett were a couple at the time and later married.

George Cukor

Could these two be brothers!


David. O. Selznick



Constance Bennett

Time for a bit of knitting.


Gilbert Roland



From The Dolores Del Rio Cedric Gibbons Collection:

Color footage taken at a party thrown by Dolores Del Rio and Cedric Gibbons at their home in Santa Monica.

Dolores Del Rio

Such a beauty. Dolores and Cedric Gibbons  were married from 1930 to 1941.

John Gilbert

The footage shows John Gilbert looking fit and healthy, playing tennis. Sadly, six months later he passes away.


Gary Cooper

Love that wool jacket.


Cedric Gibbons

Cedric Gibbons, MGM art director from 1924 to 1956.


Marlene Dietrich


From The James Wong Howe Collection:

Famed cinematographer James Wong Howe of course had his camera along on a road trip to San Francisco.

His companions included his partner writer Sanora Babb, author James Hilton and Charles Korvin.

 As inter-racial marriage was illegal in America, Wowe and his partner were only able to get married in 1948.

Howe worked in Hollywood from the silent days till the 1970s. He won Oscars for The Rose Tattoo and HUD.

James Wong Howe


James Hilton, Charles Korvin


James Wong Howe, Sanora Babb

( this photo is not from the documentary).


From The Henry Koster Collection:

Home movies from the set of Come to the Stable which Henry Koster directed. With an commentary by Koster’s son, Bob Koster. A mixture of color and B&W film.

Bob Koster told the moving story of how his father was a director in Germany but after the rise of Hitler, he could no longer work there as he was Jewish. He was a friend of producer Joe Pasternak who was working at Universal and eventually he travelled to America with Pasternak in 1936 and started work at Universal, his first film being Three Smart Girls.

Celeste Holm


Loretta Young and her daughter.



Hugh Marlowe and his wife, K.T. Stevens


Thomas Gomez, Marion Martin


Henry Koster


Louis Jean Heydt


From The Gypsy Rose Lee Collection:

In 1965, Gypsy Rose Lee took her camera along when she appeared in The Trouble with Angels. And we are provided with some rare glimpses of Ida Lupino who directed the film. And a commentary by Hayley Mills.

Hayley told us that Ida’s director chair had “Mother of us all” written on it and Hayley said: “Ida used to insist that we all call her mother!”

Hayley also commented: “Ida was very clear, very decisive about what she wanted……I trusted her though it seemed odd to have a woman as director –  it had always been a man – I began to appreciate it.”

  • Binnie Barnes


  • Hayley Mills and June Harding


  • Gypsy Rose Lee (Louise Hovick)

    Some rare shots of Ida Lupino directing:

Ida doesn’t look too happy to be filmed.



6 responses »

  1. This is a particularly informative and unusual entry, for which many thanks; especially interested to see John Gilbert looking so healthy shortly before his death – when it has always been said that he “drank himself to death”.

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