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07 June 2015

The P1167 Project (P1167-1 to P1167-100) /UPDATED JULY 29, 2015!/

Have you ever noticed the cipher-like classifications at the bottom of Marlene Dietrich's publicity photos? P1167-435, S.I.P.101.341, PBP.16221, MC-P1, 1132/244, etc. We may one day crack each of these codes, but at the present we will focus on the most prevalent one seen on Dietrich's photos, the "P1167" in P1167-435, which Steven Bach noted was Marlene's employee number at Paramount Pictures.

We are especially indebted to the blog Carole & Co., our favorite resource for all things Carole Lombard, which helped us understand how Paramount enumerated publicity photos and how employee numbers were used as a photo classification scheme, with a secondary number following the employee number to reflect the chronological order in which photos were taken. Thus, a Dietrich photo marked P1167-1 would have been taken before P1167-2, P1167-2 before P1167-3, P1167-3 before P1167-4, and so forth. Occasionally, however, the chronology seems to be scrambled or interrupted. Why is P1167-68 sandwiched between P1167-67 and P1167-69? Dietrich has a different outfit and hairstyle in this photo!

Similar to Carole's "P1202" photos, Marlene's "P1167" images frequently presented Dietrich the movie star rather than the character she played in one of her Paramount films, but this isn't always the case. We can clearly see Shanghai Express's Shanghai Lily throughout the first half of the "P1167" photos here. To complicate matters further, production stills were numbered with their own production codes, such as "1065" for the film Desire or "1475" for The Scarlet Empress, and multiple codes could exist for a single film because Paramount's Los Angeles and New York offices employed their own numbering systems. We urge you to read a discussion about this East-West Coast split in numbering at the Nitrateville forums. All of this makes us wonder whether some photos were re-purposed for different files. For example, were certain production stills also added to the "P1167" series, and vice-versa? Given Marlene's status as a big film star, sometimes her public persona and the characters she played blended together. Could some of the filing irregularities in the "P1167" also be a matter of human error? P1167-60 and P1167-145 are identical! Regardless of these inconsistencies, we can generally observe how Marlene the screen queen perfected her hair, makeup, clothes, and lighting over the years throughout the "P1167" series. Compare the wholesome ingenue in P1167-7 (see below) to the flirtatious vamp in P1167-545.

In an email correspondence with The Kobal Collection Manager, Phil Moad, we learned that "the P codes were being used until the studio ended promoting stars under contract." Therefore, we expect that the final photos in the P1167 series would have been taken around the time when Marlene starred in A Foreign Affair. Indeed, Marlene appeared decades later in another Paramount Pictures film, Paris When It Sizzles, but this was only an uncredited cameo appearance.

In order to get the most complete overview of Dietrich's development as a star during her Paramount tenure, we are attempting to present every photo in the "P1167" series, from P1167-1 through P1167-???, and we need your help. As you will see, there are many gray rectangles, which are placeholders for the photos that we currently lack. If you have any photos marked with a "P1167" code, please share them with us in the comments section or email them to us so that we can add them to our galleries. If the photos you share are also printed with copyright dates or any other text, please retain that text or transcribe it for us so we can add dates and additional information to these photo captions as well. Furthermore, please provide us with this kind of information for any of the photos that we have already posted.

Here, we are displaying photos that have been resized to approximately 350x450 pixels, but we welcome higher-resolution photos and recommendations for where we should compile any higher-resolution scans. If you think a site such as Flickr or some other free Web space would enable us to better share these photos with you and the rest of the world, please feel free to make any such suggestions. As you will notice, some of these photos have unattractive watermarks on them because we found them on sites such as Ebay. If you can provide replacement images without these watermarks, we would greatly appreciate it.

We extend our sincerest gratitude to the Kobal Collection, which has helped us fill the gaps in our galleries. Although the P1167 numbers are not visible on these digital images, the staff of the Kobal Collection have kindly verified the numbers for us by checking the original press photos that they hold. Please check out the Kobal Collection on Facebook! We also thank Werner, Lionel, Terry, Ernest, Liz, Melina, Rehan, Streif, Sofia, and Peter for your contributions!

See the other photos in the "P1167" series at:

P1167-1 P1167-2 P1167-3 P1167-4 P1167-5
P1167-6 P1167-7 P1167-8 P1167-9A P1167-10
P1167-11 P1167-12 P1167-13 P1167-14 P1167-15
P1167-16 P1167-17 P1167-18 P1167-19 P1167-20
P1167-21 P1167-22 P1167-23 P1167-24 P1167-25
P1167-26 P1167-27 P1167-28 P1167-29 P1167-30
P1167-31 P1167-32 P1167-33 P1167-34 P1167-35
P1167-36 P1167-37 P1167-38 P1167-39 P1167-40
P1167-41 P1167-42 P1167-43 P1167-44 P1167-45
P1167-46 P1167-47 P1167-48 P1167-49 P1167-50
P1167-51 P1167-52 P1167-53 P1167-54 P1167-55
P1167-56 P1167-57 P1167-58 P1167-59 P1167-60
P1167-61 P1167-62 P1167-63 P1167-64 P1167-65
P1167-66 P1167-67 P1167-68 P1167-69 P1167-70
P1167-71 P1167-72 P1167-73 P1167-74 P1167-75
P1167-76 P1167-77 P1167-78 P1167-79 P1167-80
P1167-81 P1167-82 P1167-83 P1167-84 P1167-85
P1167-86 P1167-87 P1167-88 P1167-89 P1167-90
P1167-91 P1167-92 P1167-93 P1167-94 P1167-95
P1167-96 P1167-97 P1167-98 P1167-99 P1167-100

See the other photos in the "P1167" series at:
| P1167-101 to P1167-200 | P1167-201 to P1167-300 | P1167-301 to P1167-400 |

6 comments:

  1. I just came across this while doing some Lombard p1202 research, and thanks to the shout-out for Carole & Co. Wish you well tracking down as many p1167's as possible.

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    1. Your work on your blog is incredibly admirable, and I hope you might be interested in compiling Carole's P1202 photos as well because I imagine these photos could illuminate fashion and photography trends at Paramount if not throughout the Hollywood film industry.

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  2. What Is the monetary value of a signed autographed picture of Marlene number p1167 - 650 ?

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    1. We wouldn't be able to answer that. Other P1167 photos on Ebay are currently selling for under $10 (including 646), but they may be reprints.

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  3. I don't know if it works in a blog, but I do this in forums. I use to post pictures in forums, but first I save the picture in my Google photos page, and then I save the pic in sites like archive.org or archive.is, so the picture stay there forever, and its the saved pics that I use the link to put in my posts. In the case of your blog you have to save each photo individually and then post the link here...

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  4. See what I did as mentioned above with the pic #27 (P1167-27) you posted https://web.archive.org/web/20171202070531/https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Hnx-jFigY6fGSbP2haSrdhJKnIxEpMyz2dRdPNXPLqh-tmbtss4yu6clLdNZ-cLTcNNKUGO4jw=w328-h422-no

    ReplyDelete