Category Archives: Hollywood

Doris Day’s Wicker Handbag in The Man who Knew Too Much

Doris Day's wicker handbag
Dorris Day's wicker handbag

Doris Day carries a white wicker bucket bag in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) the suspense thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. The top handled bucket bag is made of wicker/rattan with metal fittings and is painted white with red lining. Continue reading

Rear Window Camera and Lens

Camera and Telephoto Lens used in Rear Window movie 1953
Camera and Telephoto Lens used in Rear Window movie 1953

One of my all time favorite movies is Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window which goes along with my favorite era for 1950's collectibles. I decided to dedicate a shelf in my bookcase to the movie with some easily found 1950's items as seen in the movie. The piece-de -resistance has to be the Exakta camera, which was surprisingly easy to source. Continue reading

Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Blue Denmark’ Sugar Bowl

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Audrey Hepburn in the Kitchen - A 'Blue Denmark' Sugar Bowl on the table Photo: Circa 1953, "Actress Audrey Hepburn at home preparing and serving coffee and cake." From photos by Earl Theisen for Look magazine.

In the 1935 photo above Circa 1953, "Actress Audrey Hepburn at home preparing and serving coffee and cake." From photos by Earl Theisen for Look magazine, there is a "Blue Denmark" pattern pottery sugar bowl on the table in her kitchen. The pattern is called ' Blue Denmark' and it is likely in the blue and white color because there are also a couple of Willow pattern cups and saucers which would match the blue nicely. The currently known pattern ‘Blue Denmark’ originates in Copenhagen, Denmark and dates to the 19th Century but the pattern is reputed to have been brought to Europe from the China or Japan in the 18th Century.  Pieces in this pattern were made by Royal Copenhagen . The pattern was also used by Staffordshire potteries, Furnivals in England and by Franciscan Pottery in USA among others.

franciscan-denmark-sugar-bowl
Franciscan Blue Denmark Sugar Bowl - lid missing - seen on eBay

You can serve the sugar in a bowl like Audrey's, there is a vintage Franciscan Denmark sugar bowl on ebay HERE

1936 Headwaiter At The Brown Derby, Recalls His Experiences Serving The Stars

September 1936

Some Wait For Fame And some Wait On Tables

"Nick' Formerly Headwaiter At The Brown Derby, Recalls His Experiences Serving The Stars.

As told to Muriel Babcock

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ALL head waiters have nervous indigestion—particularly those who work in Hollywood. But that's natural. By the time you take an order for a rare steak without any seasoning and a glass of grapefruit juice, for Suzie Blotz, one for raw vegetable salad with non-fattening mineral oil dressing forSadie Glutz, rush through a couple of lobsters for Gary Cooper, and get Papa and Mama Tourist satisfied with a 40-cent plate of scrambled eggs, you don't care much about eating. You have indigestion from trying to keep other people's digestions working well.

People are always asking me what movie stars like to eat. Why, I don't know. They are just like everybody else with their food preferences. Some like cold, some hot food. Jean Harlow likes sour cream and cottage cheese salads and always a glass of claret wine with a meal. James Cagney likes sea food salads, while Pat O'Brien enjoys stews and Irish bacon and eggs. Continue reading

The Brown Derby scene in George Cukor’s movie What Price Hollywood? 1932

Constance Bennett in a scene at the Wilshire Brown Derby in George Cukor's What Price Hollywood?


Constance Bennett plays a star-struck waitress in a scene at the original Wilshire Brown Derby restaurant in the 1932 movie What Price Hollywood? The story line is loosely based on the experiences of actress Colleen Moore and her husband, alcoholic producer John McCormick.

The above clip opens with a view of the exterior of the derby hat shaped restaurant.
The following clip takes place on a set based on the interior the very first Brown Derby building that soon had to move to another Wilshire location  to make way for construction of the women’s village for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games .

A photo of the interior of original brown Brown Derby for comparison above ( Thanks to the commenter below - Link to Source).

. The Brown Derby initiated the use of phones for guests at the restaurant tables as can be seen in the clip below.

What Price Hollywood1932
Constance Bennett wears the Brown Derby waitress uniform.

Constance Bennett is seen wearing a Brown Derby waitress uniform in the movie. This was the famous starched bell shaped short dress that showed off the waitresses legs.
Florence Knapp a former waitress at the Brown Derby recalled applying to an ad, “Waitress Wanted,” in the newspaper for the position at the Brown Derby in 1936. The manager selected 18 women out of 263 applicants for interviews, and she was one of them.

“The first thing we had to do was raise our skirts so he could see if we had shapely legs, as the uniform skirts barely came to our knees,” she said.
"It was hard work, 5-1/2 days a week. The uniforms had to be spotless, and waitresses could wear no jewelry. They had to be polite and do everything just right because of the shining stars frequenting this famous eatery."

Florence was paid $2 a day plus tips which could be as much as $12.50 a night, more than a week’s wages ( ref: http://www.reminisce.com/1930s/brown-derby-was-a-hot-spot-for-hollywoods-elite/)

The Original Brown Derby

The  Brown Derby restaurant seen on the movie was the very first one in the shape of a derby  located on Wilshire between Alexandria and Mariposa  It had to move when the land was requisitioned for the women’s village for the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games. So the  Brown Derby moved to a temporary location at 3927 Wilshire (photo: http://bit.ly/1thC7Fg) until a new hat shaped building was constructed at the famous location at Wilshire and Alexandria next to the Gaylord. The original site of the first Brown Derby was later used for the Chapman Hotel (http://www.martinturnbull.com/?p=4788)
Recommended Reading
Two good books to evoke the era - must have for anyone interested in the golden years of Hollywood: