The pathos of Old Hollywood emerges in this dazzling collection of black-and-white photos from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Celebrity photojournalist Garrett captured his subjects at nightclubs, industry soiries and parties-an in-between world where stars tried to enjoy their private lives while still very much on public display. Garrett maintained a studied reserve toward the celebrities (he made a point of never addressing them by their first names) and his photos have a appealing mixture of intimacy and detachment as the celebrities drink, laugh and carouse while tricked out in formal wear and immaculate hair-dos. He is especially fascinated with Hollywood divas like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Leslie Caron and Ava Gardner; his photos show the warmth of these vibrant personalities while hinting at the strain they suffered in maintaining their glamorous facades. The photos are accompanied by piquant reminiscences: of the wise-cracking Zsa-zsa Gabor shoving her way into every picture frame, the lovable Jimmy Durante shoving his way into oncoming traffic, and the thuggish Milton Berle shoving hapless underlings out of his dressing room. In one tense picture worth a thousand words, a vampy Lauren Bacall embraces Van Heflin while her husband, Humphrey Bogart, looks on ("I heard Bogey say, in a chilled tone, 'Van, that's close enough'"). In these lively, unlacquered but sympathetic portraits, celebrities emerge as flawed, human and never entirely free of self-consciousness. 145 duotone photographs. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Garrett worked on assignment for Life, Time, and Newsweek in Hollywood from the 1940s through the 1960s and made his reputation with photos that seemed to catch movie stars off guard. This follow-up to his Hollywood Candid includes 145 more duotone images from Tinseltown's Golden Age, featuring some never-before-seen shots. There is Bing Crosby dressed as a clown at a hospital benefit, Marlon Brando schmoozing with Luella Parsons, Maggie Smith accepting her Academy Award in 1969 for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and a whole chapter titled "The One and Only" devoted to Frank Sinatra. Garrett was also called upon by many stars to photograph their private parties, so he includes Roy Rogers's horse, Trigger, and dog, Bullet, all dressed up for a birthday party; and Red Skelton admiring a puppy conga line. Garrett's insider status gives his personal reminiscences more meaning, but while this book is fun to peruse, its price and lack of substantive content make it a marginal purchase. Buy only where demand warrants.-Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal