Part of the Encore Film Book Classics series, this is a reprint of the original text to The Paramount Pretties by James Robert Parish. In the heyday of Hollywood, every major studio had its own unique individuality. . . a personality defined by its films and its roster of stars. Thus Paramount Pictures was thought to be the haven of sophistication, style, and subtlety; its actresses the epitome of wit, intelligence, and beauty. The Paramount Pretties focuses on 16 of the most striking and celebrated of Paramount’s actresses to illustrate the studio’s distinctive identity. The result is a fascinating display of decades of filmmaking—and an eye-opening mirror of the changing tastes of American filmgoers and filmmakers. Here are the big screen queens of the Paramount lot, each ruling in turn as the American scene shifts from Prohibition, Depression, New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, and thereafter. Each actress reflects the dreams and the character of the era . . . as seen by Paramount Pictures. Detailed filmographies accompany the expansive narrative of each leading lady’s impressive film career and her complex personal life: GLORIA SWANSON: Grand sophisticate with a flair for comedy . . . CLARA BOW: The troubled jazz baby . . . CLAUDETTE COLBERT: Tongue-in-cheek vivacity . . . CAROLE LOMBARD: Striking good looks and high spirits . . . MARLENE DIETRICH: The eternally feminine German import . . . MIRIAM HOPKINS: Cheeky chic from the Deep South . . . SYLVIA SIDNEY: Polished, dynamic, and dramatic . . . MAE WEST: The first truly Liberated Woman . . . DOROTHY LAMOUR: Manicured exoticism in a sarong . . . PAULETTE GODDARD: Saucy sparkle and radiant . . . VERONICA LAKE: Provocative lynx with the peek-a-boo hairstyle . . . DIANA LYNN: The precocious girl next door . . . BETTY HUTTON: Madcap Rosie the Riveter—on the town . . . JOAN CAULFIELD: Charming refinement . . . LIZABETH SCOTT: Vibrant toughness and icy allure . . . SHIRLEY MacLAINE: Piquant individualist with a range of talents Also included in The Paramount Pretties is an appendix summarizing the contributions of Paramount’s moviemaking geniuses over the decades, including Cecil B. DeMille, Buddy De Sylva, Jesse L. Lasky, Ernst Lubitsch, B. P. Schulberg, Hal Wallis, and Adolph Zukor.
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JAMES ROBERT PARISH, a former entertainment reporter, publicist, and book series editor, is the author of many published major biographies and reference books on the entertainment industry including Whitney Houston: We Will Always Love You; The Hollywood Book of Extravagance; It’s Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks; The Hollywood Book of Breakups; Fiascos: Hollywood’s Iconic Flops; The Hollywood Book of Scandals; The Hollywood Book of Love; Hollywood Divas; Jet Li; Hollywood Bad Boys; The Encyclopedia of Ethnic Groups in Hollywood; The Hollywood Book of Death; Gus Van Sant; Whoopi Goldberg; Rosie O’Donnell’s Story; The Unofficial “Murder, She Wrote” Casebook; Today’s Black Hollywood; Let’s Talk! America’s Favorite TV Talk Show Hosts; Prison Pictures from Hollywood; Prostitution in Hollywood Films; The Great Cop Pictures; Ghosts and Angels in Hollywood Films; Pirates and Seafaring Swashbucklers on the Hollywood Screen; Gays and Lesbians in Mainstream Cinema; Hollywood’s Great Love Teams; and The Fox Girls. Mr. Parish is a frequent oncamera interviewee on cable and network TV for documentaries on the performing arts. The author resides in Studio City, California.
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