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My name is Jacqueline T. Lynch, author of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.,
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Press Book - The Great Caruso

This press book from The Great Caruso encapsulates the great push for publicity by the studio.  MGM enjoyed huge financial success with this movie.  Something as simplistic as this press book could have had a lot to do with that.

The enormous amount of planning, work, artistry, and money that goes into making a movie is all for nothing if nobody comes to see it.  The publicity department, arguably, could be the most important ingredient in the mix. 

The press book is a smorgasbord of everything a theater owner, a movie distributor, or a city newspaper could want for info on the film.  There are light features about how the movie was filmed, fun facts about the stars, Mario Lanza and Ann Blyth. 

We have sample ad layouts to cut and paste, or shoot with a half-tone camera, to set up in the newspaper. 

We have examples of lobby cards and posters available for a theater manager to order.

Here is a selection of publicity photos of the cast, and sample “situations” in which they could be used in local-color publicity – for instance, noting pearls such as those worn by Ann Blyth in the movie could be purchased at a local jewelry store (who will be prevailed upon to buy an ad in the paper, of course); Mario Lanza sits at a piano, just like the kind of Steinway you can purchase yourself.  From fountain pens to pullover sweaters, there isn’t much that this movie won’t sell—but first you must sell the movie.

The publicity department was sufficiently successful with this movie, as it grossed the most profits of any MGM film in 1951—and played at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the gold standard of the day for a successful film.

We discussed the press book for Rose Marie here. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ann Blyth Audio Book Update

I marvel at the textures—hard, biting, soft, tender—of the human voice.

This is to update you a bit on the progress of my forthcoming audio book version of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.

As part of the production process, I recently listened to the audio tracks to provide notes and suggestions to the narrator and producer, Toni Lewis.  She will polish the narration and edit the tracks.  Ms. Lewis, a Los Angeles-based actress whom I introduced to you in this previous post, is a marvel.

First, the audio book is some eighteen hours long.  Yeah, big ol’ book.  Her task was nothing short of Herculean, and she sails through the obstacle course of my often clunky prose brilliantly. (Some sentences are so long I should be jailed for writing them.  Really, I’m not a long-winded talker.  I’m actually a rather quiet person.  But put a blank piece of paper (or word processing program) in front of me, and I lose my head.  It’s like I’m the only person in the room.  Oh, wait, I am.)

What she does with this narrative is astonishing.  Those of you who might have read the book (or skimmed through some of the blog posts on Another Old Movie Blog which began this project), know that I used a lot of quotes.  They are from interviews, or from old newspapers, magazines, reviews from long ago and these quotes provide voices to the story of Ann Blyth’s career.  Ms. Lewis, being an actress, provides “voices” to the voices.

The result is an audio book like none I have ever heard.  Most narrators will adopt a suitable vocal tone and personality and use it throughout the book, and it is a voice usually, of necessity, general, nondescript, objective, and omniscient. 

Toni acts out the book.

She's gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.  She's Roddy McDowell.  She's the co-stars, the agent, the critic from the Midwest.  She's Ann Blyth.  If you provided a quote for the book, she's you.

She does many voices, and accents, and I’ve lost count.  There are some line readings that sent chills up my spine.  She has brought warmth and depth, color, and the promise of possibly the most entertaining audio book you ever heard.  Indeed, it seems more like listening to a radio play than a book reading.  Her narration is touching, funny, often thrilling, and always imaginative.

I don’t know yet when the publication date will be for the audio book, as there is still some production work to be done and much of that is out of my hands, but I’ll keep you posted.

You will marvel at the textures—hard, biting, soft, tender—of her voice.

As mentioned in the previous post, there are a few ways to obtain a free Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. audio book:

1)  I plan to raffle off FREE copies of the audio book to five winners who subscribe to my email newsletter. 

   2)  I will also raffle off one FREE copy of the audio book to a reader of this blog based on the book – Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star., and also one FREE copy to a reader of Another Old Movie Blog.  

3)  I will give a FREE copy of the audio book to the first five people who agree to review the book on its Amazon page here.  Just email me with your name.  I will email you when the audio book is ready for release and at that time I will ask if you prefer a CD or a download.  If you prefer a CD, I will need the address where I may send it. 

The audio book will be sold through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.


"Lynch’s book is organized and well-written – and has plenty of amusing observations – but when it comes to describing Blyth’s movies, Lynch’s writing sparkles." - Ruth Kerr, Silver Screenings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch creates a poignant and thoroughly-researched mosaic of memories of a fine, upstanding human being who also happens to be a legendary entertainer." - Deborah Thomas, 
Java's Journey

"One of the great strengths of 
Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is that Lynch not only gives an excellent overview of Blyth's career -- she offers detailed analyses of each of Blyth's roles -- but she puts them in the context of the larger issues of the day."- Amanda Garrett, Old Hollywood Films

"Jacqueline's book will hopefully cause many more people to take a look at this multitalented woman whose career encompassed just about every possible aspect of 20th Century entertainment." - Laura Grieve, 
Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

"Jacqueline T. Lynch’s 
Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is an extremely well researched undertaking that is a must for all Blyth fans." - Annette Bochenek, Hometowns to Hollywood

Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.
by Jacqueline T. Lynch

The first book on the career of actress Ann Blyth. Multitalented and remarkably versatile, Blyth began on radio as a child, appeared on Broadway at the age of twelve in Lillian Hellman's 
Watch on the Rhine, and enjoyed a long and diverse career in films, theatre, television, and concerts. A sensitive dramatic actress, the youngest at the time to be nominated for her role in Mildred Pierce (1945), she also displayed a gift for comedy, and was especially endeared to fans for her expressive and exquisite lyric soprano, which was showcased in many film and stage musicals. Still a popular guest at film festivals, lovely Ms. Blyth remains a treasure of the Hollywood's golden age.

The eBook and paperback are available from 
Amazon and CreateSpace, which is the printer.  You can also order it from my Etsy shop. It is also available at the Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts.

If you wish a signed copy, then email me at and I'll get back to you with the details.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Peek at the Footage - A Woman's Vengeance

Here's a shot of Charles Boyer examining the footage with Ann of their film A Woman's Vengeance, which we noted in this previous post as new to DVD in the United Kingdom.  Hopefully, there will be a Region 1 or all-regions release soon.  Then we'll get to have a look too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mildred Pierce on TCM

She's baa-aa-ack!

This coming Sunday, as part of its tribute to Mother's Day, Turner Classic Movies is again showing our favorite instructional video on how to raise children--Mildred Pierce (1945).  This was the role that earned Ann Blyth her Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, the youngest (at 16 years old) at that time to have been nominated for a major acting award. 

The lobby card above is not from the original release of the movie, but from a re-release.  The original publicity images from the movie showed only Joan.  We can see how great an impact Ann's Veda Pierce had on the critics and the public by subsequent marketing showing her front and center.

Tune in Sunday, May 8th at 4 pm ET for Ann, Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Eve Arden, Zachary Scott and a the rest of the gang in this glossy noir.  We covered Mildred Pierce here at my Another Old Movie Blog.