What are you doing new year’s eve: artifact spotlight #10

Champagne? Check. Party hat and sparkly dress? Check. Stranger to kiss at midnight? Check. Bring on 1935! Er, I mean 2013! This coming new year will certainly look a lot different than it did 78 years ago, but one element remains the same: movie stars still know how to party. It’s nice to know that some things never change. Featured in the image below were Frances Drake (far left), Dick Powell, Mary Brian, and Bill Gargan (far right) attending a new year’s eve bash with other Hollywood elite.

2010.67.033Indeed, Hollywood had a lot to celebrate. 1935 was a very successful year for film making. Faced with growing global political instability and the economic hardship of the Great Depression, movie-goers continued to flock to escapist, swashbuckling adventure films and monster flicks. That year, Errol Flynn made his first starring role as Captain Blood.  Instant film classics like Duck Soup, Mutiny on the Bounty, Scrooge, and Top Hat also debuted. For the actors in the image, 1935 was also a busy year. Frances Drake starred Les Misérables as Eponine, a role that defined her career. Dick Powell appeared in a staggering five films including, Broadway Gondolier with William Gargan and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Mary Brian also appeared in two films.

This AP image has been in the permanent collection of the museum archives for the past eight years but this is the first time it has been featured. To see this or other photos, drop in at the museum any time. We’re always happy to show off the collection.