Golden Age of the movies
Spectacular images of the Hollywood film legends of the 1940s have been gathered in a stunning new book. In Hollywood in Kodachrome 1940-49, we see stars such as Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn, Carmen Miranda and Humphrey Bogart, captured in vivid colour photographs for the first time.
For the film fans of the Forties, used to black and white images, the advent of Kodachrome film was a revelation. The era was suddenly saturated with colour.
Movie audiences thrilled as stars came to life in vibrant tints. For the first time, the world saw the glossy crimson of Ava Gardner's lips, Marilyn's peachy complexion and platinum waves - and the multicoloured fruit baskets perched on Carmen Miranda's head.
Vivid: Film star Ann Sheridan lounges on set, in a 1941 shot by George Hurrell. For the film fans of the 1940s, used to black and white images, the advent of Kodachrome film, which saturated the era with an explosion of colour, was a revelation
Cosmetics campaigns: Rita Hayworth, in an advert for Max Factor shot by Robert Coburn in 1946. Multi-million pound cosmetics contracts were years away - back then, stars were paid in products - often a year's supply of whatever they were hawkwing
The cosmetics industry responded with special formulations for colour stock, such as Max Factor's Pan-Cakes and Elizabeth Arden's 'N' Technicolour Series. And, just like today, they used the stars of the day to advertise their wares in colour. However, multi-million pound cosmetics contracts were years away. Back then, models were paid in products - often a year's supply of whatever they were hawkwing.
Companies reneged on many deals such as this, so some canny celebrities demanded their truck-load of products in advance.
Flesh and blood stars: For the first time, movie fans could see the deep violet of Elizabeth Taylor's eyes (pictured left in 1949) and the vivid crimson of Lauren Bacall's lips (pictured right in 1946)
Colour clash: Lucille Ball, above, was known as 'Technicolour Tessie' as her tomato hair and piercing blue eyes photographed particularly well in Kodachrome
Other actresses had bespoke foundations created to hide their imperfections, among them Merle Oberon who was conscious of her badly pitted skin, and Carole Lombard who had to camouflage facial scars from a car accident. Marlene Dietrich reportedly became adept at retouching her own photographs.
But the raw commercialism of the glossy, bold colour images weren't greeted with enthusiasm by everyone. 'Kodachrome brought forth an orgy of colour. Instead of colourful pictures, we had coliferous images,' said photographer Edward Steichen at the time.
'There is a certain lack of restraint and feeling of dignity that is lacking in too much of the colour photography of figure and portrait studies of the day. We are still a little barbaric in our conception of what is good colour in colour photography,' warned Kodachrome expert Fred Bond.
Kodachrome's reign was short. It was soon supplanted by other film stocks and became the choice for film amateurs.
Bathing belles of 1944: Hollywood quickly latched onto the commercial potential of colour - film fans were desperate to see what their black and white idols really looked like
At home: The advent of colour popularised gossip magazines - and in them, fans demanded 'off-duty' shots of their favourite film stars, such as this picture of Guy Madison shot by Bob Beerman in 1947
Hollywood legends: Stars such as Lucille Ball, left, and Humphrey Bogart, right, became flesh and blood to their fans for the first time
However, Kodachrome's successors - such as Ektachrome - faded badly over the years, and as a result, much of Hollywood's mid-century colour photography now appears dull and lacklustre.
It is Kodachrome that has stood the test of time: when properly stored, transparencies maintain their sharp detail and vibrant colour. And so
Subtle it isn't: but brilliant, bold and eye-catching it certainly is.
Hollywood in Kodachrome by David Wills and Stephen Schmidt is published by It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers priced at £26.99 on 25th November
Hollywood in Kodachrome 1940-49 is published by HarperCollins
The collection of pictures of Marilyn Monroe includes more than 600 photographs of the screen siren.
Some like it hot: Marilyn Monroe smiles broadly for the cameras as she enjoys a night out on the town
Crowd favorite: Marilyn Monroe entertains the troops in Korea
Dynasty: Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra (1963)
Palling around: Natalie Wood and James Dean in Rebel without a cause (1955)
Dame Taylor: The stunning Elizabeth Taylor poses for a close up glamor shot
Style: Elizabeth Taylor in a publicity photo for A Place in the Sun (1951)
Sexy: Marilyn Monroe Wardrobe Test Photograph
A girl's best friend: Marilyn Monore 'gets a costume adjustment' on set (left) and tries out difference outfits and is photographed for The Sleeping Prince (right)
Stud: James Dean in Giant (1956)
Screen god: Orson Welles 'smokes a stogie'
The legend: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong
Damsel in distress: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong
Swoon: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong
Starlets: Elizabeth Taylor's glamor photo (left) and a head shot of Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz (right)
America's Sweetheart: Judy Garland in a 1940's Armed Services promotional photo, Take A Serviceman Home for Thanksgiving
Stunning: Marilyn Monroe with Richard Widmark in a publicity photograph for Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
Oh! Miss Scarlett: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind (1939)
Gorgeous: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind
How tiresome: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind
There's no place like home: Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (left) and Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz (right)
Gotta have heart: The Villagers 'oil' The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz
The real Jessica Rabbit: 1950s It girl with her daring backless dresses inspired sultry style of cartoon character
She was the 1950s It girl who turned heads with her daring dresses, but model and actress Vicki Dougan has another claim to fame as the muse for cartoon pin up Jessica Rabbit. But just as Jessica Rabbit lamented 'I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way,' Dougan's infamous style was also not of her doing. The struggling actress was propelled to fame thanks to a Hollywood publicist who commissioned a series of provocative backless dresses for Dougan.
Dare to bare: Vicki Dougan attracted lots of attention thanks to her backless dresses
Pin up: The model, seen here in Los Angeles in 1956, went on to do Playboy photo shoots
The plunging designs got plenty of media coverage for the starlet, especially after she was thrown out of a preview party for attracting too much attention.
She was even nicknamed 'The Back' thanks to her outrageous dresses that she wore on every occasion, according to Messy Nessy Chic. While actresses Veronica Lake is also credited as being behind the creation of the animated leading lady in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Dougan's famous style is apparent in the character's sultry look and revealing outfits.
A 1957 article in the Oakland Tribune reveals how Dougan's style was all part of a carefully crafted image created for her by Milton Weiss.
Daring: Dougan was known for her backless dresses and was nicknamed 'The Back'
Inspiration: Dougan is said to be behind Jessica Rabbit's look
Back in demand: The signature style made Dougan the talk of the town
Style icon: A Hollywood publicist's vision helped bring fame to Dougan, seen here in 1957. 'His first move was to have three expensive dresses made for her - without backs. He then titled his client “The Back” and had her appear at previews and parties in her plunging creations. 'Soon local photographers zeroed in on Miss Dougan’s bare spinal column, and gagsters began originating such cracks as, “Vikki Dougan makes the best exits in town".' The Brooklyn born starlet went on to appear in a 1957 issue of Playboy and she was often featured in the press. Her outfits became so legendary that when a 1957 interviewer asked her what her latest backless design will feature, she laughed "Me",' according to Glamor Girls of the Silver Screen.
However, by 1959 she had fading into obscurity and would have stayed there had it not been for the 1989 film Who Filmed Roger Rabbit.
Cover girl: Vicki Dougan rose to fame thanks to her Hollywood makeover
Fame: Dougan worked as a model and actress in the 1950s
Rising star: The aspiring actress, who appeared in Tunnel of Love, was helped to fame thanks to her daring dress sense
A photographer who spent the early 1970s snapping Hollywood’s most famous figures on the red carpet is now showing his collection for the first time and proving that celebrities were truly glitzier and more glamorous in the days before digital.
In Red Carpet Press Pass, Robert Cumming portrays a Tinseltown that predates Photoshop and Botox, one where celebrities had only their magnetism and star quality to help them stand out on the red carpet.
It was also a world where red carpets themselves were hardly the daily affair they are today. ‘By devious means,’ Cumming writes, he was able to get a toehold in the then-exclusive paparazzi world, ‘concluding with two Golden Globes and two Academy Award ceremonies.’
‘Forty years later, awakening in a new millennium, the medium of the digital print is a better way of displaying this work,’ writes Cumming. His photo exhibition—only one of which has been seen in print before—is showing at Janet Borden Inc. in New York City.
Cumming’s photos put 1970s glamor on full display and force viewers to wonder if today’s dime a dozen Kardashian style celebrity world can possibly stand up to the Hollywood enchantment of yesteryear.
Days before digital: Robert Cumming's Red Carpet Press Pass collection shows Hollywood glitz as it can only come through on film, a world before infinite hard drive space when a special shot like this of Dionne Warwick really meant something
Special: In Cumming's 1970s, red carpets weren't the dime a dozen events they are today. When big names of the day like John Travolta came out, people paid attention
'By devious means,' Cumming writes, he found his way into the paparazzi world, one that would not recognize the troubled starlet chasing celebrity photographers of today. Here, Barbra Streisand his helped out of a limo
Before Lady Gaga: The glamor of the 1970s also included singer Cher dressed as a Native American princess during her Half Breed days
Camaraderie: In 1977, Rocky won the Academy Award for Best Picture, though writer and star Sylvester Stallone did not take home an Oscar of his own. Here, he feigns like he did along with some cohorts who actually won statues
Ceremony: Cumming caught on film the glamor at two Golden Globe ceremonies and two Academy Awards. Here, Faye Dunaway holds the Oscar after being names the best actress for 1976's Network
Shade: Puffing on a cigarette, living legend Jack Nicholson. has trouble blending into the crowd in dark sunglasses and characteristic smirk
Shining: Farrah Fawcett was a megastar in the dazzle days of 1970s Hollywood and had the gold lame dresses to prove it. Fawcett died from cancer in 2009
Never before seen: Only this image of Richard Burton has been publicly shown before, and was only included in a portfolio with other California photographers
Ambiance: In Cumming's Hollywood days, even future presidents attended Tinseltown galas. Here, the Gipper arrives to a star-studded event
'Forty years later,' writes Cumming, 'awakening in a new millennium, the medium of the digital print is a better way of displaying this work.' Here, Mary Tyler Moore shows beams in her 70s glamorous style
Here, Olivia Newton John poses for a photo while Cumming takes her photo while posing. This sort of behind-behind the scenes look at Hollywood was far less common than in today's industry
Stars: Here, Mae West gushes to a gentleman friend. Many of the celebrities of Cumming's Hollywood are revered as legends today, with not a reality star in sight
Confidence: Here, Kirk Douglas displays the machismo of a true Hollywood patriarch. Cumming writes that his main interest as a photographer living in the Golden State was anything 'peculiar to California.' This includes Hollywood, of course
Cult actress, one time stripper and John Waters muse Liz Renay appears in Cumming's collection, amid more notable stars
The cuts of the dresses, the plush chinchilla coat, and the gentleman's tie mark this photo as classically 1970s
Before it was Tinseltown: Vintage pictures from 100 years ago show the sleepy town of Hollywood before it became the centre of the showbiz universe
These days, Hollywood is globally known as the most glamorous town in the world - but as these pictures reveal, 100 years ago this was very far from being the case.
Before the film industry took root in Southern California, the area that would became known as Tinseltown was nothing more than a village outside the growing city of Los Angeles.
In these vintage photographs, Hollywood looks like any other remote town in America, surrounded by fields and filled with horses, fruit sellers and a dinky general store.
And the famous Hollywood Hills had not yet acquired their iconic sign, which would not arrive until 1923 as a potent symbol of the town's newfound celebrity.
Iconic: But in the early 20th century, the Hollywood Hills had not yet acquired their famous sign
Rural: There was little sign that Hollywood would soon become one of the world's most glamorous spots
Quaint: Santa Monica Boulevard was quiet and old-fashioned before the arrival of the motor car
Selling melons: But nowadays fruit in Hollywood is more likely to come in a smoothie or coconut water
Metropolis: The town's main thoroughfares were nothing more than country roads 120 years ago
Two-horse town: The scene in Hollywood in 1904, before the automobile revolution
Sunset Boulevard: The legendary street had not acquired its glitz or glamour in 1905
Store: This is the first grocery shop in Hollywood, established in the 1890s for the burgeoning community
Vista: This 1916 photo of the Lookout Inn gives a hint as to why Hollywood became a desirable destination
Dignified: But with the arrival of the film industry Hollywood became an intense and high-pressure place
Farmland: California would soon shift from an agricultural economy to one based on new technologies
Barren: But this would eventually become the site of the Hollywood High School
New dawn: The American film industry was based in Southern California from early on in its history
Virgin territory: California was still growing at the start of the 20th century after becoming a state in 1850
Empty: Despite the broad, attractive streets the population of Hollywood was initially low
Now: The Hollywood sign is one of the most recognisable icons of the showbusiness world
Sprawling: The Hills are now studded with thousands of homes as Los Angeles stands in the distance
What REALLY happened to Bettie Page? Iconic pinup girl who disappeared from the spotlight in 1958 unveils her previously unknown personal life in new documentary
'They claim that I opened up the sexual revolution,' an elderly Bettie Page says in the trailer of
The iconic pinup girl, who died at the age of 85 in December 2008, famously disappeared from the spotlight at the height of her career during the late Fifties and the public has continued to wildly speculate what happened to her.
Set to be released in select theaters on November 22 in New York and on November 29 in Los Angeles, the documentary finally gives voice to the sultry siren of the Southland as she unveils her previously unknown personal life after 40 years of enigmatic seclusion.
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'They claim that I opened up the sexual revolution,' an elderly Bettie Page (pictured in 1955) says in the trailer of Bettie Page Reveals All, a documentary that looks at the sex symbol's controversial rise and fall
Narrated by Page herself, from interviews recorded by director Mark Mori in 1996 and 1999, the film reveals how she spent some time in an institution after a genetic predisposition for paranoid schizophrenia got the better of her.
'It had built up so much that my mind snapped,' Page says in the documentary of her illustrious career and her sudden departure.
Page's name, synonymous with sexual freedom, continues to inspire artists, music and fashion more than half a century after her last photo shoot -- something that Hugh Hefner puts down to her perfect 'combination of naughty and nice.'
'Bettie Page is revolutionary,' says Playboy founder, who chose Page to be a Playmate of the Month in 1955, and is also featured in the film.
The iconic pinup girl (pictured 1954), who died at the age of 85 in December 2008, famously disappeared from the spotlight at the height of her career during the late Fifties
Set to be released in select theaters on November 22 in New York and on November 29 in Los Angeles, the documentary finally gives voice to the sultry siren of the Southland
But Page, who brushes off such remarks, says: 'I was just doing my job and enjoyed every bit of it.'
Mr Mori's rapport with the publicity shy star (they often shared Christmas cards and the director visited her in hospital one week before she died) gives way to dozens of rare and intimate audio comments as she recounts her troubled childhood (she spent a brief amount of time in an orphanage) and movie star dreams.
But Page's rise to fame, which coincided with the conservative McCarthy era, was short lived. 'The whole Bettie Page phenomenon developed while she was simply off the scene, Mr Hefner explains in the trailer.
Too racy for the times, her images were confiscated suring a police drug raid, and despite cooperating with an FBI investigation, the trailer alludes to a court case in which Page was embroiled over her sexy pinup images.
Narrated by Page herself (pictured 1953) from interviews recorded by director Mark Mori in 1996 and 1999, the film reveals how she spent some time in an institution for a genetic predisposition to paranoid schizophrenia
'It had built up so much that my mind snapped,' Page says in the documentary of her illustrious career and her sudden departure
Page's name, synonymous with sexual freedom, continues to inspire artists, music and fashion more than half a century after her last photo shoot
A judge called for the photographers to destroy the negatives of her photos, but she wouldn't do it. 'I'm not indecent, I will not plead guilty to it! You’ll have to charge me with disturbing the peace, too!' Page was famously quoted as saying.
'Unlike any other person, Bettie Page’s life embodies the American conflict between sexual freedom and sexual repression, between censorship and freedom of expression, between the unacceptable and the celebrated,' Mr Mori explained in a statement.
'Bettie’s extraordinary and subversive on camera presence not only helped launch the sexual revolution, but even today causes young women and Paris fashion designers to revel in their perceptions of Bettie Page’s “free-to-be-me” sexual expression.
'With numerous clips and stills from contemporary music videos, movies and fashion stills, the film shows how Bettie’s influence on fashion and pop culture is stronger than ever.'