What could brighten a bleak winter day? Vintage seasonal
pin-ups from Hollywood’s heyday, of course. Most publicity shots of this kind
were tied to national holidays, but hard-working studio publicists knew that winter
sports and activities offered plenty of opportunity for ballyhoo. Here are some
choice examples spanning several decades.
Esther Ralston was on location in Lake Tahoe for the Emil
Jannings film Betrayal in 1929 when
this pose was taken by a Paramount photographer. The film, which costarred Gary
Cooper, was apparently a serious drama. That didn’t stop an enterprising
publicist from taking advantage of the snowy locale to send out this shot
ostensibly promoting the upcoming movie.
What will the well-dressed snow bunny wear on formal outdoor
occasions? I hope it isn’t this oddball getup, sported by Paramount ingénue
Susan Fleming (who was soon to become Mrs. Harpo Marx).
Here’s Rita Cansino, soon to be Rita Hayworth, when she was being
built up as a starlet at Fox Films in 1935. Rita always had a beautiful figure,
which can’t be said of the stolid snowman by her side.
Four RKO starlets share a toboggan in this 1940 photo:
Virginia Vale, Renee Haal, Mildred Coles, and Anne Shirley. All but Coles
appeared in the studio’s B movie Unexpected
Uncle. Shirley had the leading role, but Haal wound up marrying (and
staying married to) its director, Peter Godfrey.
Patrice Wymore relinquished a promising Broadway career for
a Warner Bros. contract in 1950 which not only involved acting assignments but
posing for publicity photos like this. She married her Rocky Mountain costar Errol Flynn that same year, and just passed
away in 2014.
Here’s a fetching cover from a 1935 issue of Film Fun rendered by pin-up specialist
Enoch Bolles. Fans know that the popular magazine had little to do with cinema
and a lot to do with photos of scantily clad women.