ANNA STEN

The next Garbo — not!!  Vintage 3.5 x 5.5 glossy hand-colored chest-up portrait from Nana (1934), signed in black fountain pen.  Fine condition, with the ink a shade light and partially signed against darker areas of the image.  In 1932, producer Samuel Goldwyn, smitten after seeing Russian-born Anna Sten in a German-language film, signed her to an exclusive contract and whisked her off to Hollywood, only to discover that she did not speak a word of English. After a year of intense English lessons, she made her American film debut in Nana and promptly laid an egg at the box office. Two more films for Goldwyn followed, with equally disappointing results, leading to the termination of her contract. Hollywood wags were soon referring to the actress as “Goldwyn’s Folly,” while two-time co-star Gary Cooper fondly dubbed her Anna Stench. She was, however, superior to her reputation and her performances are definitely worth a sympathetic look.

$45