The book is also a treasure trove for lovers of old Hollywood gossip, providing the reader with information about the mystery of Greta Garbo that existed offscreen as well as on. Vieira relates an anecdote on the unusual way in which Hurrell finally succeeded in getting Garbo to smile for a picture, the eccentricities of Marlene Dietrich, and the resistance of Olivia de Havilland to Hurrell’s unorthodox methods of getting a shot. One of my favorite parts of the book is an examination of how Hurrell airbrushed his subjects. A famous Hurrell photograph of Joan Crawford, glamorous, sexy, and a true movie star, is shown alongside its original negative–and we see Crawford as the freckle-faced, normal woman she was when she came into Hurrell’s studio. The difference between the two photographs is astounding, and shows what Hurrell was capable of long before the days of digital airbrushing and Photoshop.

via Book Review: GEORGE HURRELL’S HOLLYWOOD | Backlots.

tumblr_mavsiyrkf21qzm4v7o1_r1_1280George Hurrell’s Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992: Mark A. Vieira, Sharon Stone: 9780762450398: Books.

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  1. June 4, 2014

    Wow! That is astounding.

    • June 4, 2014

      He was very big on glamour and wanted his portraits to highly flatter. In a way they’re like paintings…

  2. June 4, 2014

    I’ve had this book for years, and it is one of my favourites. Indeed, just a week or so ago I made the mistake of opening it for a “quick browse” while dusting. Twenty minutes later…

    • June 5, 2014

      I know! What is it about that book? Just beautiful…

  3. June 5, 2014

    Makes me feel a little better about photoshopping my own photos… I’m just being “old school” – ha! 😎

    • June 6, 2014

      Just a little retouching, everybody does it 😉 !

  4. June 5, 2014

    Wow! I’d even let him photograph me!

    • June 6, 2014

      I think he must have been great to work with, he talked and played music and joked, anything to get the expression he wanted.

  5. June 6, 2014

    Amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photo of “regular” Joan Crawford. The airbrushing is stunning.

    I’m actually very encouraged by seeing the “regular” Joan Crawford photo.

    • June 6, 2014

      Young, she was all freckles and huge eyes. I should post some candid photos. So cute.

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