Fan Magazine Fun: “My goodness, don’t they look strange?”

So here’s a slightly baffling item from the quirky magazine Film Fun, which as you may recall is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve decided that if Film Fun took human form, it would definitely be a starstruck teen with ADHD.

The June, 1926 issue included this two-page spread called “The Family Album.” Here’s the first page (rightclick and hit “open image in new tab” if you want to zoom in):

Family album FilmFun June '26 1

Which is all somewhat incomprehensible without context. Basically, stars posed for Victorian-style portraits meant to look like dead “relations” of yore, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, of course. Captions ramped up the fun by giving them old-fashioned sounding names like “Lulu Hicks” and “Hiram Bump.” Oh, you kids! Continue reading

Fan Magazine Fun: Odds And Ends From “Film Fun”

Just in time for the weekend, it’s the latest installment of Fan Magazine Fun, where I share funny cartoons, fluff articles, and other strange goodies that can be found lurking in the pages of old movie magazines.

FilmFun charlie head cover Sept '19

And totally not-creepy cover art of disembodied Charlie heads.

This time I found so many amusing odds and ends that I decided to put together a little collection of clippings. These are from February-June 1919 issues of Film Fun, one of the fluffiest of early fan magazines.  Continue reading

Fan Magazine Fun: “Lips Cannot Lie”

Proving once more that movie fan magazine writers could turn anything into an article, presumably if deadlines were looming darkly enough (see: Kneeology), here is a 1918 Picture-Play Magazine article all about…movie star mouths.

Lips cannot lie picplay mag Sept '18

Now now, do not laugh. For this is some hard-hitting journalism right here. Face it, without this article you likely never gave the psychology of movie star lips a second thought. But now you’re thinking about it, and that’s a thought that wasn’t in your brain a mere few minutes ago, so…hooray!

Lips cannot lie 2 picplay mag Sept '18 Continue reading

Fan Magazine Fun: “If I Were a Man…”

1920s fan magazines are an endless source of trivia, fun anecdotes, touches of serious journalism, and of course, oodles of fluff pieces. Take the following irresistible article from Picture-Play Magazine, from the March 1927 issue:

If I Were a Man 1

Here’s the headline on the opposite page (as you can see, the article was compiled by Dorothy……………Wooldridge):

If I Were a Woman 2

A bunch of actors and actresses were asked what annoyed them about the opposite sex the most–and who knows if they were asked personally, or if their publicists responded. Either way, some of the answers are most amusingly 1920s.  Continue reading

Fan Magazine Fun: “Can You Tell Them By Their Hair?”

Happy month of May, everyone! I’ve got a few shiny new posts in the works, but until they’re fine-tuned here’s something fun that you don’t see everyday. This is some filler from the September 1926 issue of Picture-Play Magazine. How many, err, pomaded scalps can you name?! I felt confident about four of them, but the others? Err… (You can right-click the image and hit “open in new tab” to see it extra large.)

CanTellByHair 1 pic play mag May '26

Click “continue reading” to see the answers!

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“What’s the matter with the Talmadges?”–Some Fan Magazine Letter Drama

As I lovingly covered in a previous article, one of the best parts of sifting through early movie magazines is getting to see all those priceless letters to the editor. (And of course we have our dearest friend Lantern to thank for getting to see all those magazines in the first place!)

Lantern pic

We love thee, Lantern!

Month after month movie fans would send in their opinions on anything and everything relating to the film industry: which films they enjoyed, which films let them down, which stars they adored, and even, at times, which stars they didn’t adore at all. Continue reading

Some Fantastic Old-Timey Magazine Ads

You know how you page through those coupon magazines and the pages toward the back are always stuffed with silly ads for everything from creepy porcelain baby dolls to bunion removers? Or how you spend several minutes furiously paging through dozens of full page clothing ads in fashion magazines until you finally find some articles?

Well, I’ve discovered that times haven’t really changed. Fan magazines back in the Roaring Twenties and Edwardian times were also full of silly ads, although admittedly with very charming fonts.

Song Poems Wanted mot pic mag '16

Circa 1916, Motion Picture Magazine.

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The Addictive Fun of Reading Old Fan Magazine Letters

While reading through ‘10s and ‘20s movie magazines (like Photoplay, Moving Picture World, etc.) I began to get addicted.  Not just to the rare photos, the goofy old ads, or the almost equally goofy fluff articles, but to the Letters to the Editor. They are, I kid you not, absolute gold, and if the printed letters had any weight to speak of you bet they would be worth that weight in absolute gold.

Letters to the Editor title

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