Movie-Star Portraits of the Forties

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The Hollywood of the Forties brings many images to mind. Do you remember the most famous pinup of them all? Betty Grable smiling at you all through World War II. The original sweater girl, Lana Turner. Rita Hayworth in all her glory. The stunning and statuesque Ava Gardner. A defiant, scantily clad Jane Russell standing near the hay. Bogart, Garfield, Kirk Douglas, Judy Garland. The brooding Robert Mitchum, the brute power of Burt Lancaster, the alienated Montgomery Clift, the animal menace of Marlon Brando. And perhaps the last of the studio pinups, the fragile and beautiful Marilyn Monroe. These flesh and blood fantasies, and many others, are here — 106 stars in 163 full-page glamour photos by 24 leading Hollywood photographers.
The pictures these photographic artists took span the period from the outbreak of World War II to the Korean conflict of 1951. As John Kobal writes in his informative introduction. "The Forties were the years of Old Hollywood's last stand, though the people concerned didn't know it." In a lively introduction, illustrated by ten pictures of the stars off the set, Mr. Kobal discusses the people and films of the Forties, the importance of these photos and the photographers who took them, and their magical appeal to movie fans. The captions give the year, photographer, studio, the movies that many of the portraits are associated with, and the costume designer. Originally printed in fan magazines, on posters, and in fashion spreads, these portraits are legendary. They are part of almost everyone's past, part of their dreams and fantasies.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; First Edition edition (June 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486235467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486235462
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

A stunning collection!

40 people found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2001
By Robert Ortiz
This book features beautiful and captivating photographs of some of the biggest movie stars of the 1940’s. The book’s focus is primarily the 1940’s, but there are several photographs from 1939 and a few from 1950. Some of the many stars include Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Joan Crawford, Victor Mature, Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper, Lucille Ball, Merle Oberon, Lana Turner and many others. Each of the photographs exudes an air of elegance and dramatic artistry that is no longer seen today. This would make a great gift for fans of Hollywood’s golden age as well as photographers and art lovers, but the photographs are so clear and the stars so alluring that anyone who looks at this book will surely fall under it’s spell. Highly recommended! Also recommended is “Hollywood Glamor Portraits, 145 Photos of Stars 1926-1949” also by John Kobal (editor).

Esoteric and Haunting Beauty Captured

19 people found this helpful.
 on May 15, 2001
By gobirds2
This collection of photographs of movie stars taken during the 1940’s era is ever thought provoking. There seems a deliberate attempt to challenge the reader/viewer to discern the real life personality from the screen persona from the photographs chosen for this book. The result is a somewhat enigmatic experience leaving one with an euphoric feeling of melancholy. I think this is an important book for anyone who loves films from that era. The meticulous quality of this book allows you to stare into the eyes of these people stimulating your own imagination into your soul. It challenges you to find an answer to your own attraction to these immortal icons of a Hollywood long past and hopefully not forgotten.

Great Photographs of Movie Star Legends

31 people found this helpful.
 on October 2, 1999
This book of photography has over150 portraits of Hollywood legends including Loretta Young, Lauren Bacall, and Ava Gardner. These actors, actresses, and budding starlettes of the forties are as glamourous as they could be in these brilliant portraits. You don’t have to like old movies to like this book. You will spend hours just flipping through the pages at the stars who built Hollywood movies.

Mysterious Portraits, Pin-Ups, and Beefcake

20 people found this helpful.
 on May 9, 2001
By Donald Mitchell
This book will delight anyone who is a fan of movies from the 1940s. It contains 163 photographs of 106 stars, taken by 34 photographers. The reproduction quality is quite good, and the compositions are often superb. The acting skills of the stars add to the allure of these images.

Movie-Star Portraits of the Forties

10 people found this helpful.
 on July 22, 2006
By R. Hughey
Beautiful pictures! They sure don’t make stars like these anymore. Wonderful glamour shots, men & women. Bygone era but at least we have these gorgeous photos to remember or to discover.

Great images and inspiring for photographers

6 people found this helpful.
 on January 10, 2007
If you love old style Hollywood photography this book is a must for your collection. My only wish was that it showed some of the lighting and techniques used to take the images. But as far as a straight forward picture book goes even if your not a photographer you’ll enjoy the great looks and drama from the past.

Awesome photos in mint condition!

5 people found this helpful.
 on May 13, 2012
By Mary Mahoney
This paperback is certainly worth the money, especially for long-time movie buffs! The pictures are beautiful, and the pages were in pristine condition.

Black and white photos can’t be beat

4 people found this helpful.
 on August 8, 2011
By Margie Riendeau
The beauty of a black and white photo is the lighting on the subject. There is no distraction of color. The dark and light shadows bring out the beautiful features of the subject. The glamour shots of that era brought out a beauty or handsomeness that color cannot duplicate.

For Vintage Movie Fans

2 people found this helpful.
 on October 3, 2013
By Elaine14
Plenty of photos and great quality!! It also has good descriptions of each picture. Perfect for any classic movie star fan!!

The book is better than I could have hoped for

 on February 1, 2016
By Jane B.
As a wannabe portrait artist, I bought this to practice on old movie stars. The book is better than I could have hoped for. The photos are wonderful. I love old movies anyhow and this book makes me appreciate them more.

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