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Amami Film Star Quest (1928)

(Redirected from Amami Film Beauty Prize)

Amami was the brand name of various hair products made popular in England with the slogan "Friday Night in Amami Night".

Their distinctive blue lotion was eventually discontinued by manufacturer Procter and Gamble in 2010.[1]

Film Star Quest (1928)

In March 1928, Amami partnered with British International Pictures (BIP) to offer "British girls" the opportunity to became a film actress with a 12 month studio contract and a salary of £500, plus an allowance of a further £500. According to the adverts placed in a variety of regional newspapers between March to May 1928, the "selected girl will work under the personal supervision of E.A. Dupont [...] and Alfred Hitchcock [...] and receive every encouragement from them".

Although many apparently applied, it seems BIP were unable to find the star they were hoping for and the competition reopened in September 1928:[2]

In response to many hundreds of requests from girls in all parts of the country who are seeking a fortune on the films the Amami Company has decided to reopen today their £1,000 film quest competition for two weeks only.

Already a large number of competitors have been filmed at Elstree, and although both Mr. E. A. Dupont and Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, the film directors, have discovered several girls who, with training, would be successful on the films, they feel that the opportunities offered in the competition are so good that they have still to find the girl whose film personality promises that she can take full advantage of her initial success.

The girl chosen by the judges will receive a thorough screen training at Elstree for one year, and, in addition, a salary of £10 a week during the period of her training.

"Eugenie Amami"

In December 1928, newspapers reported that Eugenie Prescott of Wallesey, Cheshire, had won the competition. As "Eugenie Amami", she appeared in two films, including A Romance of Seville (1929) which was co-written by Alma Reville and was the first British colour film with sound.[3]

Born Mabel Eugenie Prescott in 1904, she was the daughter of mechanical engineer George Prescott and his wife, Jeannie.[4]

The Nottingham Evening Post (14/Dec/1928) reported that, "apart from winning other small beauty competitions Miss Prescott has played small parts in several British productions, including The Luck of the Navy, Dawn, and The Flying Squad."[5]

The second BIP film that she appeared in was The Lady from the Sea (1929), which starred Ray Milland. The Kent & Sussex Courier (05/Dec/1930) reported on the film:

...another super talking picture will be "The Lady from the Sea," an almost entirely "outdoor" picture, actually filmed at Deal, in which one thrilling scene shows the actual launching of the Walmer Lifeboat in a terrific storm. The hero, Raymond Millard, breaks his arm in saving a beautiful French girl, sole survivor of the wreck. His wedding to Rose, a charming character portrayed by Eugenie Amami, has to be postponed, and the story enters upon a series of unexpected complications.

By the end of 1929, Eugenie had married American Daniel Julius Bloomberg in Hendon, Middlesex.

Her last known film role was in Diggers (1931), an Australian production in which she reverted to Eugenie Prescott.[6]

After the birth of their daughter Olave, Daniel returned to America in November 1936 and Eugenie emigrated in April 1937 to join him. By the time of the 1940 Census, they were living in Los Angeles, California. She became an American citizen in January 1953.

Daniel died in 1984 and Eugenie passed away in March 1996 in Santa Barbara, California.

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Notes & References

  1. Telegraph: Lotion that set hair curls for generations of women is discontinued (31/Mar/2010)
  2. Derby Daily Telegraph (14/Sep/1928) - Films Stars in Demand
  3. Pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene was the cameraman for A Romance of Seville (1929).
  4. The IMDB site has entries for Eugenie Amami and Eugenie Prescott, both with incorrect dates of birth. It's uncertain why she began stating her date of birth as 15/Oct/1907 on official documents after emigrating to America.
  5. In The Flying Squad (1929), directed by Arthur Maude, she appeared Hitchcock actors Donald Calthrop and John Longden. She also appeared in The Rising Generation (1928), directed by George Dewhurst and Harley Knoles.
  6. This was a production filmed in Australia and she travelled from Sydney to Honolulu, Hawaii, in August 1931.