The RKO Gals

Front Cover
Arlington House, 1974 - Actresses - 896 pages
"Movie buff question: what do these 14 actresses have in common: Ann Harding, Constance Bennett, Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Anne Shirley, Lucille Ball, Joan Fontaine, Wendy Barrie, Lupe Velez, Maureen O'Hara, lane Russell, Jane Greer, Barbara Hale? Answer: they all graced the soundstages of RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., giving that Hollywood studio its special aura of chic. Focussing on the lives and movies of these 14 RKO Gals, cinema historian James Robert Parish also recalls such epic productions as The Outlaw and Suspicion and the very different styles of such titans as Goldwyn, Selznick, Disney and Howard Hughes. Spiced with hundreds of keen-eyed assessments of such movies as How Green Was My Valley, The Fallen Sparrow, The Quiet Man, The Women, Rebecca, The Constant Nymph, Jane Eyre, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Man of a Thousand Faces, Back Street, Roberta, The Awful Truth, I Remember Mama, The Window, Top Hat, and Kitty Foyle ... chockful of behind-the-camera wheeling and dealing intrigues, The RKO Gals is a Cracker-Jack box of Hollywood goodies--and, incidentally, the finest reference book on RKO films. Formed by RCA on Joseph Kennedy's recommendation, RKO thought its talkie patents could monopolize the field ("Radio [RCA] is too big to enter the motion picture field without dominating it"). Things didn't quite work out that way. But thanks in part to the tensely brittle Hepburn with her Main Line drawl and angular beauty, Rogers and Astaire and their classic musicals, sexy Lupe Velez with her chile-con-carne accent, and bog-and-brogue Maureen O'Hara, RKO was one of the Big Five for over 30 years. This lavishly illustrated study (over 250 photos) reveals 14 beautiful reasons why."--Jacket.

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