Scenes from Old Hollywood
If movies like "Blonde" have taught us anything, it's that Hollywood has changed for the better since the decades between the 1920s and 1960s, the era dubbed the Golden Age of Hollywood. The most obvious change is that the film industry is now telling more diverse stories that open up more diverse roles for women and actors of color — and help expand the minds of audiences in the process.
But while Old Hollywood seriously lacked in diversity, it's impossible to deny how this pivotal time in filmmaking gave us Old Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland as well as established a lot of the technology that paved the way for today's film industry.
Take a look inside Old Hollywood to see some of your favorite scenes and stars from this era that changed it all.
Big from the start, MGM was formed as a merger of Metro, Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer film companies.
On the stand at the Hollywood studio dedication on April 24, 1924, are Louis B. Mayer, head of the new company, flanked by Harry Rapf (left) and Irving Thalberg, who shared production responsibilities.
1927: Charlie Chaplin
British actor Charlie Chaplin performs on the high wire during the filming of the movie "The Circus" in November 1927.
1928: Joan Crawford
In this 1928 photo, actress Joan Crawford is seen dancing the Charleston in "Our Dancing Daughters" in Hollywood, California.
1931: Maurice Chevalier
French film actor Maurice Chevalier returns to Hollywood, California, on Oct. 6, 1931, to resume work at Paramount Studios.
1932: Motion Picture Event
Actors Mary Brian, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Joan Blondell and her husband, cinematographer George Barnes, from left, are seen as they arrive for the opening of the motion picture "Blessed Event," in Hollywood, California, on Sept. 5, 1932.
1932: Bette Davis
Actress Bette Davis poses in a swimsuit in 1932.
1933: Alice Faye and Rudy Vallee
Singer and musical comedy star Alice Faye appears in this December 1933 photo with her co-star, Rudy Vallee, of her fourth Hollywood production.
1933: Eleanor Holm
"Tarzan's Revenge" star Eleanor Holm is pictured leaving the water at Jones Beach State Park in Long Island, New York, in 1933.
Holm competed in both the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics.
1934: Cary Grant and Virginia Cherrill
Cary Grant and his wife, Virginia Cherrill, are shown as they arrived back in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 1934, to resume work in pictures.
They were married in London on Feb. 9 and did not return to Hollywood until one day before Grant was scheduled to start work in a new picture.
1937: Marlene Dietrich and Gilbert Roalnd
Marlene Dietrich, actress, dances with Gilbert Roland, film player, at a party given by Basil Rathbone, actor, and Mr. S. Rathbone in their Hollywood, California, home on Dec. 6, 1937.
1938: Lupe Velez
Mexican actress Lupe Velez, left, seems amused at the opening of "The Maisonette Russe" at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, New York, on Sept. 27, 1938.
With her are William Seymour of Hollywood and actress Patricia Wilder.
1939: Bing Crosby and Mary Pickford
Actors Bing Crosby and Mary Pickford are caught in an offstage moment on a Hollywood set in 1939 in Los Angeles where she was making a movie for the Motion Picture Relief Fund.
George Palmer Putnam, Hollywood publisher, and his bride, the former Mrs. Jean-Marie Cosigny James, view Boulder Dam from a motor launch on Lake Mead in Boulder City, Nevada, on May 21, 1939, after they were married in a quiet hotel patio ceremony.
1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Katharine Hepburn
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, and actress Katharine Hepburn share a laugh at the president's Hyde Park, New York, estate on Sept. 22, 1940.
Nearly a score of authors and playwrights were guests of the president and they pledged their support to a third term for the chief executive.
1940: Charlie Chaplin
Now that his film, "The Great Dictator," has been released nationally, comedian Charlie Chaplin turns his efforts in another direction.
Here he is collaborating with Meredith Wilson, at piano, a young American composer and conductor. Chaplin, standing, has written a popular song, "Falling Star". The composers are shown rehearsing the song in Hollywood, California, on Nov. 16, 1940.
1940: Vera Zorina
Actress and dancer Vera Zorina is shown in this 1940 photo.
Zorina's career embraced classical ballet with such legendary troupes as the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo as well as Broadway and Hollywood musicals.
1941: Greek War Benefit Broadcast
Some of the top-line Hollywood personalities participate in the gigantic, all-star Greek War Benefit Broadcast heard over the NBC network on Feb. 8, 1941. Broadcast by NBC from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the program was also taken by mutual and several local Los Angeles stations.
Left to right: at top, Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas, Reginald Owen, Lewis Stone; and seated, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, Ann Rutherford, and Fay Holden.
1941: Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney, accompanied by Judy Garland and Ann Rutherford, arrives at a theater on Aug. 17, 1941, in New York.
1942: 'Star Spangled Rhythm'
Three of Hollywood's most glamorous beauties give themselves a cheer in a new film "Star Spangled Rhythm" on Aug. 22, 1942. When they are called upon to chide their own trademarks in a song and dance called "A Sweater, a Sarong and a Peek a Boo Bang.
The three, left to right, are Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour and Veronica Lake.
1942: George Raft and Betty Grable
Actors George Raft and Betty Grable, a familiar Hollywood "twosome," share a salad at the Brown Derby in Los Angeles on June 18, 1942.
1942: John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich
John Wayne finds he can play in pictures and satisfy his love for chess almost at the same time.
When he has a few minutes to idle, he engages Marlene Dietrich in a game on Oct. 1, 1942. Both are making the film, "Pittsburgh," in Los Angeles.
1943: Abbey Landon Wilder and Shirley Temple
There was considerable mutual curiosity when these two 15-year olds, Abbey Landon Wilder, left, and Shirley Temple met on a Hollywood lot on May 28, 1943.
In her next picture Shirley will portray Abbey, who is the original of the character known as "Brig" in the book "Since You Went Away," written by Abbey's mother, Margaret Buell Wilder.
1943: Frank Sinatra
Fans surround crooner Frank Sinatra as he arrives in Pasadena, California, on Aug. 11, 1943, for Hollywood film and singing engagements.=
1943: Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
Actress Rita Hayworth and actor-director Orson Welles, dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby on Aug. 12, 1943, are partners in a Magic Tent Show put on for the Benefit of service men.
1943: Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire
Associated Press staffer Robbin Coons, center, with Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire on a Hollywood set on Sept. 2, 1943.
1943: Cartoon Studio
This sequence of completed celluloids is ready to go to the camera to be photographed in Hollywood, California, on Sept. 11, 1943.
1943: Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich gives a big kiss to the millionth serviceman to enter the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 1943.
The lucky guy is Sgt. Carl E. W. Bell from Rising Star, Texas.
1944: Esther Williams
Actress and swimmer Esther Williams is seen rehearsing her underwater ballet for the motion picture musical "Ziegfeld Follies" in Hollywood, California, in this June 1944 photo.
1944: Shirley Temple
Actress Shirley Temple, a United Service Organizations (USO) volunteer, holds a bowl of cookies for servicemen at the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles, on Aug. 21, 1944.
1944: Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra
Bing "The Groaner" Crosby, left, and Frank "The Voice" Sinatra, right, appear together in New York, New York, on Nov. 13, 1944, as they discuss upcoming appearances on each others' radio shows.
Like all stars, “Lassie” has his own scrapbook and seems to take personal pride in it and his press clippings in Hollywood, California, on March 20, 1945.
1945: George Raft and Eve Amber
Actor George Raft lights a cigarette for his date, actress Eve Amber, during an evening at Ciro’s in Hollywood, California, on Aug. 17, 1945.
1945: Just a Game of Poker
Associated Press reporter Gene Handsaker, right, keeps 'em close to his vest in a game with two poker experts, Mark Stevens and Lucille Ball, in Los Angeles on Dec. 31, 1945.
1947: Earl Carroll
Showman Earl Carroll talks with a crowd of his “most beautiful girls in the world” as they appeared in Los Angeles on June 17, 1947, at a congressional investigation into difficulties Carroll has had with union musicians at his Hollywood theater restaurant.
1947: The McCarthy Era
A group of movie actors, directors, producers and writers struck back through the air on Oct. 26, 1947, against the manner in which the Washington investigation of Un-American activities is being conducted.
Among those speaking were (left to right) Myrna Loy, Fredric March and Lucille Ball.
1948: Phyllis Coates
Phyllis Coates, a young screen player, looks around the clock room in the Warner Brothers property department in Hollywood, California, on July 9, 1948.
George Sheddon, in charge of the clock collection, points out a number of fine grandfather clocks.
1948: Grace Kelly
John Kelly Jr. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who will represent the United States in the Single Sculls event at the 1948 Olympic Games, gets a kiss from his sister Grace Kelly, shortly before he sailed from New York en route to the Olympics in London on July, 14, 1948.
1949: Elizabeth Taylor and William D. Pawley Jr.
British actress Elizabeth Taylor, 17, poses with fiance William D. Pawley Jr., aged 28, beside the swimming pool at his father's home in Miami Beach, Florida, on June 7, 1949.
The couple had a brief engagement, though, as Pawley never became one of Taylor's eight husbands.
1949: Natalie Wood and Jane Wyatt
Actress Jane Wyatt fixes the hair ribbon for actress Natalie Wood in Hollywood, California, on Oct. 26, 1949.
1949: Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift
Actress Elizabeth Taylor enlists the aid of American film actor Montgomery Clift to show off her new pup, "Butch", in front of the camera on Nov. 27, 1949.
The two played opposite each other in "Place in the Sun."
1949: Gloria Swanson and Dorothy Lamour
Gloria Swanson stops for a chat with Dorothy Lamour, at right, in Hollywood, California, on Feb. 21, 1949, as the glamour star of two decades ago returned to the sound stages to make a movie.
Swanson retired 13 years ago but came back for one picture in 1941. For Swanson's new picture, "Sunset Boulevard," she will play the part of a silent day movie queen.
1949: Claire Trevor
Actor Walter Huston, center, learns forward to match a word from Claire Trevor as they settled in their seats for the annual motion picture Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, on March 24, 1949.
At right is the actress' husband, Producer Milton Bren. Huston and Miss Trevor won Oscars as the best supporting actor and actress for their roles in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and "Key Largo."
1949: Alberto Varga
Artist Alberto Varga paints three of the six nudes for his wife in his Hollywood studio on April 7, 1949. Not one, he says, will be sold during his lifetime.
The creator of the lithe pin-up lovelies expects the paintings to be worth at least $30,000 after his death. "They're my biggest life insurance policies," he declared.
1949: On the Set of 'Pinky'
Ethel Waters and Jeannie Crain, accompanied by Jack Watson, sing an Irish duet between scenes on the set of "Pinky," in which they are working in Hollywood, California, on May 16, 1949.
In the background is Fred O'Neill, technical adviser for the film.
1950: Doris Day
Actress Doris Day compares the whiskers sported by actor Steve Cochran just back from a two-week vacation and his pet dog named Tschaikowsky in Los Angeles on May 2, 1950.
Steve, visiting Doris on the set of "Tea for Two" in Hollywood, forgot about razors during his vacation.
1950: Clark Gable
Actor Clark Gable talks with studio gateman as he drives his British Jaguar XK120 sports car into the lot during the filming of "To Please A Lady" in Hollywood, California, on Aug. 29, 1950.
1951: Gene Tierney
Hollywood actress Gene Tierney suns herself after a dip in Venice, Italy, where she is staying for a film festival.
She is seen here on the terrace of the Exquelsior Hotel in 1951.
1951: Audrey Hepburn and James Hanson
A young Audrey Hepburn and her fiancee, James Hanson, take in the sights at Rockefeller Center in New York on Dec. 4, 1951.
Hepburn was starring in the Broadway play "Gigi", which had a successful six-month-run. It was after "Gigi" that her film career took off, although her engagement to Hanson ended.
1955: Marilyn Monroe and Milton H. Greene
American film actress Marilyn Monroe with photographer Milton H. Greene, in his studio in New York, New York, on Jan. 27, 1955.
The couple became friends when he was photographing her for a magazine.