I was thumbing through an issue of Movieland magazine from November 1944 and came across a photo spread of a Halloween party hosted by then seventeen year old actress, Jane Withers. I love these silly, completely staged photos. Click on the images to see them larger. Here's what is written in the article:
"Something's always happening in Hollywood! To some people - we'll even go so far as to say most of us - it's all synonymous with fantasy. But pull up an exclamation point while we show you the pictorial record of a Hollywood party that was strictly Turnip Corners or Painted Post, or even as you and I would plan it. The party was a Hallowe'en affair, staged by seventeen-year-old Jane Withers - held at her home, which is ideally equipped for parties, having a large rumpus room with a soda fountain bar, phonograph-radio and plenty of room for the slick chicks to go the limit in rug-cutting without bumping into the furniture. The most astonishing feature of the party is that there was nothing at all astonishing about it. However, the pictures tell the story."
Caption 1: Janie greets her guests, with broomstick and costumed as Mephistopheles. The arrivals are also right in the mood for what's traditional.
Caption 2: Four girls and four boys were invited, but one of the boys couldn't make it because he had to report next morning to take his army physical.
Caption 3: Discovering the damages. This chocolate cake suffered somewhat in transit, and June Carlson and Mary Alice Dill are oh but so vedy dismayed.
Caption 1: So much depends on the viewpoint, we always say! Jane gives the impression of being so charmed by Dave Street. His hat, mebbe?
Caption 2: Identifying from left to right: Jane, Mary Alice, Jeanne Howlitt, Eric Sinclair, and Street; back row, Ross Hunter, June Carlson.
Caption 3: Distaff side of the party pitches in to fix dainty little morsels that pass for chow at such affairs. And who says it ain't good?
Caption 4: We take you behind the bar at the soda fountain to show you that there is nothing phoney about this set-up. The bar has all the flavors and Jane knows all the recipes.
Caption 1: One, two, three-umps. What would a modern party be without a Congo? Even Mr. Pumpkin thinks it's fun!
Caption 2: What gives is an old-fashioned horse race. Proof that the time-honored games invented by our grandparents are still much remembered - in movieland, just as down at Prairy Corners.
Caption 3: Ross Hunter and his hostess take the floor for a smooth 'n easy rhumba, while the rest of the gang makes with the music and the cheer-section.
Caption 4: They had dunking for apples, too - but of course. And here Jane and Jeanne Howlitt dive together, with Ross Hunter appointed to judge the winner.
Caption 1: Comes next a game of musical chairs, done just the same way that we ordinary folks do it. And you see now what we meant, saying parties like this can't really get going without lots of space.
Caption 2: Hail and farewell, with a very feminine squeal for a last bit of scarestuff about witches and goblins. Had a nice time kids? Well then, thank the lady!
Caption 3: The evening ends with a Hallowe'en joke played on Eric Sinclair - his family chariot gets soaped up, but pullenty!
Caption 4: Pretty Miss Carlson had a ripping bit of fun - too ripping - and her obliging hostess is applying the stich in time with what appears to be a grim thread of determination. Right you are, too - it's Van Johnson in the photo at right.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and even as adult I still like to get dressed up in costume and celebrate. Although, this year I still have no idea what I will be and time is running out! Do you have any Halloween traditions, plans, costume ideas?