Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Lucille Le Sueur, newlyweds, lounge in the sun. Fairbanks was born into Hollywood stardom (his father being the silent film star --subtract the "Jr") and Lucille was on her way to household name status as "Joan Crawford". They were 20 and 23 years old respectively (yes, Joan was an older woman... always a rebel, that one)
This photo was taken for Vanity Fair's October 1929 issue. Crawford had been toiling away in silent films for 4 years and Douglas for even longer (he started acting @ 14. Ah, sweet sweet nepotism) The seismic shift of silents to talkies --the industry was still reeling -- forced a recalibration of the galaxy of movie stars and many new vacancies opened up. Both Joan & Douglas's fame soared. It helped that they were one of the hottest Young Hollywood couples; she a beautiful ambitious woman; he, the son of a screen legend. This double your pleasure fame augmentation still happens all the time ... ever wonder why actors date actors? (That's one of the reasons, he said with no cynicism intended) The Fairbanks Jrs. divorced in 1933. By then Joan had become one of MGM's biggest stars with hits like Best Picture winner Grand Hotel (previous post), Rain (both in 1932 and both are prime examples of her star mojo if you're looking for DVD choices) and Untamed (1929) under her belt.
Douglas never reached Joan's lofty heights but he was oft employed in plum supporting roles in classics like Little Caesar (1931), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) and Gunga Din (1939), making good of his family name.
fun trivia note: Douglas Fairbanks Sr was the host of the first ever Oscar ceremony in 1928
time capsule (Oct 1929): Crawford's vehicle Our Modern Maidens was in movie theaters (Untamed was opening soon) as was Alfred Hitchock's first sound film Blackmail. Disraeli, the eventual next Best Actor Oscar winner was also starting its run. Brazil's most lauded actress Fernanda Montenegro was born, so was best-selling fantasy author Ursula K LeGuin (strange that only one of her books has ever been adapted for a feature film). At the end of the month the NYSE crashed sending the US economy plummeting and ushering in the Great Depression.
Moviegoing was very very popular.