Saturday, May 16, 2015


No, this isn't going to discuss The Three Faces of Eve, which I've blogged about anyway, I think. Instead, Personalities is the title of an old MGM short that's going to be running tomorrow morning at 9:39 AM, or just after Seven Sweethearts (8:00 AM, 98 min).

Sometimes when you watch the opening credits to a movie, you might see at the end of the billed at the bottom of the credits, but getting a screen all to himself, some actor who is listed as "and introducing". It's always interesting to think about whether the introduced people went on to become stars or whether their careers fizzled. This short is a sort of "and introducing" reel, introducing several new stars from MGM that they were promoting in 1942.

Unsurprisingly, it's interesting to see who made it and who didn't. Van Johnson would have been working on A Guy Named Joe at this time; I think this would have been just before his car accident, although a quick search didn't indicate the dates for either the release of this short or the date of Johnson's accident, which delayed the release of A Guy Named Joe by several months and necessitated Johnson's casting in a small role in Madame Curie as a sort of screen test. But, of course, Johnson became a successful actor with a long career.

Not quite as successful was Richard Ney. He was being introduced to America in Mrs. Miniver at the time of this short, but World War II intervened. He returned from the war and was active for another 20 years, never really being a big name.

Donna Reed would become a big success although she retired fairly young. More interesting is Jean Peters, who might well have gone on to be successful, if it weren't for a hunting accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. The accident also left her depressed, ultimately committing suicide at 31.

Perhaps most interesting are the screen tests for an Andy Hardy movie. Three actresses try out for a part opposite Mickey Rooney as Andy; the one who got the part was Esther Williams. The rest, as they say, is history.

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