Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Girl from Missouri

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Girl from Missouri

Article excerpt

It was probably pre-ordained that Anita Loos, the perky and witty playwright who coined the oft-quoted title, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, would eventually write a screenplay for Jean Harlow. There is little doubt that in her day, Harlow was the blonde preferred by more men than any other in the entire world. But Loos revealed that the inspiration for the fabulous blonde of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was written before Harlow's rise to fame, was Mae Clarke.

In this on-the-set photo from MGM's comedy classic The Girl From Missouri, Miss Loos, co-author (with John Emerson) of the script, is the brunette sitting next to the camera, watching the "blonde bombshell" emoting with Lewis Stone. We haven't been able to identify the young man with the script in his lap.

We do know that this shot was made very early in the production by the fact that the cinematographer pictured is Hal Rosson, ASC, and the director (sitting with Loos) is Sam Wood. Wood and Rosson started the picture in April 1934, working from a cleverly risqué script. …

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