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Premiere of 'The Women'

Premiere of ‘The Women’

Aug. 31, 1939: A crowd of 15,000 attends the premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater of “The Women,” starring Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell.

This image was published the next morning along with a story by Times writer Read Kendall that began:

With one of the largest but most orderly crowds in recent weeks standing in the streets, Hollywood offered its most gallant premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater last night. Police estimated there were more than 15,000 jamming the boulevard to watch the parade of stars into the theater.

The occasion was the world’s first showing of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “The Women,” adapted from the stage play. Two of the most important members of the cast were Joan Crawford and Paulette Goddard, who were wildly cheered as they made their entrance accompanied, respectively, by Charles Martin and Producer Joseph M. Schenck.

The above photo was scanned from an often-used print stored in the Los Angeles Times library. The image was reprinted several times including illustrating 1970 and 1985 stories on reviving Hollywood’s golden years.

The original print has a fair number of scratches and tears from the repeated use.

On a historic note, the Los Angeles Times Page 1 of Sept. 1, 1939 was reporting Germany’s invasion of Poland — the start of World War II.

1 Comment

  1. February 11, 2011, 8:39 am

    Beautiful photo.Thank you for posting.


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