CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The glamor of Old Hollywood

 

 

Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland

One of the largest collections of old Hollywood photographs has been gone up for auction this week.

Guernsey's auction house in New York is holding a two day sale from April 6-7 to sell the Movie Star News Collection of three million photographs and negatives that capture the history of Tinseltown.

The pictures were captured by Irving Klaw, a Manhattan photographer who was the first to tap into the public's insatiable demand for movie photographing.

Mr Klaw, a candy shop owner by trade, branched into the photography business in 1939 and negotiated a deal with movie studios to capture scenes of famous faces on movie sets.

He captured the most celebrated figures from old Hollywood including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Paul Newman.

The collection of pictures of Marilyn Monroe includes more than 600 photographs of the screen siren.

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Some like it hot: Marilyn Monroe smiles broadly for the cameras as she enjoys a night out on the town

Crowd favorite

Crowd favorite: Marilyn Monroe entertains the troops in Korea

Cleopatra

Dynasty: Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra (1963)

Natalie Wood and James Dean

Palling around: Natalie Wood and James Dean in Rebel without a cause (1955)

Dame Taylor

Dame Taylor: The stunning Elizabeth Taylor poses for a close up glamor shot

Style

Style: Elizabeth Taylor in a publicity photo for A Place in the Sun (1951)

Sexy

Sexy: Marilyn Monroe Wardrobe Test Photograph

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Marilyn Monroe Wardrobe Test Photograph for The Sleeping Prince

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

Stud: James Dean in Giant (1956)

Screen god

Screen god: Orson Welles 'smokes a stogie'

 King Kong

The legend: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong

Damsel in distress:

Damsel in distress: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong

Swoon

Swoon: Fay Wray in a scene from King Kong

Elizabeth Taylor Glamour Photo

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Starlets: Elizabeth Taylor's glamor photo (left) and a head shot of Judy Garland from The Wizard of Oz (right)

America's Sweetheart

America's Sweetheart: Judy Garland in a 1940's Armed Services promotional photo, Take A Serviceman Home for Thanksgiving

Stunning

Stunning: Marilyn Monroe with Richard Widmark in a publicity photograph for Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Oh! Miss Scarlett

Oh! Miss Scarlett: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind (1939)

Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind

Gorgeous: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind

Vivian Leigh

How tiresome: Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind

 Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz

 Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz

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)

The Villagers

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

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

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'

Daring: Dougan was known for her backless dresses and was nicknamed 'The Back'

Inspiration: Dougan is said to be behind Jessica Rabbit's look

Inspiration: Dougan is said to be behind Jessica Rabbit's look

Back in demand: The signature style made Dougan the talk of the town

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

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

Cover girl: Vicki Dougan rose to fame thanks to her Hollywood makeover

Fame: Dougan worked as a model and actress in the 1950s

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

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

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

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

'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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'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

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

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

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

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

The cuts of the dresses, the plush chinchilla coat, and the gentleman's tie mark this photo as classically 1970s

 

 

   

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