Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Review - Hollywood in Kodachrome

Over 35 years ago John Kobal assembled a number of excellent coffee table books featuring stunning photography from Hollywood's golden era. Among these books was "Hollywood Color Portraits", which presented a beautiful collection of Kodachromes of some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the 1930s-1950s. Since the publication of this book there have been very few books offered to film fans that re-published the gorgeous color portrait photos of Hollywood's stars. 

That is, until 2013, when David Wills assembled "Hollywood in Kodachrome", a hefty collection of stunning color glamour photographs from 1940-1949, many of which were originally published on the covers of ( and as inserts in ) Motion Picture, Photoplay, Modern Screen, Movie Stars Parade, and Movie Story magazines. This five-pound 352-page hardcover book was beautifully printed by It Books, showcasing the images the way they were originally meant to be seen. 

Glamour icons such as Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Betty Grable, Jane Russell, and Hedy Lamarr are all given ample coverage, but unfortunately many of the biggest actors of the time have few photographs. There were numerous color images made of Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and yet few appear in this collection. Robert Taylor, William Powell, Ronald Colman are not even present in the book...nor are actresses such as Alice Faye, Ann Sothern, or Vivien Leigh. 

While "Hollywood in Kodachrome" does not offer the best selection of box-office stars of the 1940s, David Wills does give readers a background history of these color photographs and intersperses the images with some black-and-white behind-the-scenes shots showing the photographer and his subject in action. Small images of the printed covers of the magazines the photos appeared on also compliment the text. 

Hollywood in Kodachrome by David Wills and Stephen Schmidt is available for purchased for $24.86 through Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. A five-pound, 352-page book of stunning color photos of classic movie stars? Count me in!

    ReplyDelete

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