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In the Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives Hardcover – 24 Sep 2004

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If you know someone whose passion is the classic Hollywood movies of the '30s, '40s and '50s, "In the Picture: Production Stills From the TCM Archives" is a perfect fit. These are on-the-set shots some candid, some obviously posed showing the director, the cameraman and the crew hovering as some memorable moments are being filmed: Fred Astaire dancing with Ginger Rogers in "Top Hat," Humphrey Bogart saying goodbye to Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca," James Dean brooding in "Rebel Without a Cause," and so on. The contrast of glamour and grit in almost every still is remarkable. -San Jose Mercury News

About the Author

As prime time host and anchor of the Turner Classic Movies cable television network, Robert Osborne brings viewers out of their living rooms and into the world of classic Hollywood, providing insider information, facts and trivia on TCM movie presentations.

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Unit still photographers at the newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1924 faced a tough assignment. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Classic Film Buff's Delight 6 Dec. 2004
By A. H. Lynde - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of production stills from the TCM Archives, with an introduction by the charming and knowing host of TCM primetime features, columnist-critic for The Hollywood Reporter, and official biographer of Oscar -- Robert Osborne. Osborne explains the technical reasons for the stills and much film lore. But mostly, and here's where the fun lies, these photos show the very human side of filmmaking. Many of the best are candid moments of film people working, acting, hanging around for the next scene, sulking, laughing or moved by the acting and mugging. My favorites include James Dean looking down at his fingers, sitting on the floor, either lost in method or just bored; tough old John Ford enjoying himself a bit too much 'teaching' Jeffrey Hunter how to embrace young Vera Miles in The Searchers; George Peppard crouched against a fence, a dog in his lap, while Ford points out something to Carroll Baker, who plays Peppard's mother, though 2 years younger than he (How the West Was Won).

There are some sumptuous glamour shots: the Barrymore brothers, in profile naturally, speaking on seeming serious matters outside the Grand Hotel, as a slinky Joan Crawford eyes them suspiciously from the art deco revolving door; Hepburn coyly smiling, leaning into Tracey whose hint of a grin tells all, as director George Stevens, pipe in hand, drinks it in (Woman of the Year); Judy Garland, in a famously glamorous shot against faux clouds, her back arched, decked in sexy black with hat cocked slyly over half her face, her fingers spread and her mouth sumptous red, just bursting to belt (Summer Stock).

There's just so much here, one shouldn't attempt to catalog it all. But....just a few more highlights: Garbo about to speak her first film lines in English (Anna Christie, the highest-grossing film of 1930), director Clarence Brown mesmerized by her "shimmering presence". Gable and Crawford rehearsing in one of their eight films together (Dancing Lady), she kneeling at his feet, and his manly compassion captured as director Robert Z. Leonard watches intently, his fist clenched. Gable insouciantly flinging the roulette wheel as the great cinematographer James Wong Howe and skillful director W.S. Van Dyke, each in his characteristic way, look on (Manhattan Melodrama). A very personal favorite (my first date movie), David Lean's Doctor Zhivago ($200 million gross in 1965), with a shot of the loathsome tuxedoed Rod Steiger character toasting the 17-year-old Lara (Julie Christie), as the notes state, "surrounded by a corps of film artisans", and the final shot of the film, an older Christie alighting from a trolley, to be glimpsed by her lover Zhivago (Omar Sharif), who vainly chases her into nothingness. The most startling shot of all, however, I will not reveal. You should jump a bit when you see it, a part played by the highest paid actor of 1946 directed by the meticulous Delmer Daves. Yes, this book reminds us constantly that filmmaking is business as well as art.

Some wide shots are difficult to see, some a bit out of focus (which is why I give this 4 stars) but remedied with a small magnifying glass, with this coffee table book laid out flat. Osborne's colleagues, no slouches they, contribute absolutely fascinating notes. Any American film buff's delight.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great book of wonderful movies! 18 Sept. 2005
By G. Gregorio - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It has wonderful behind the scene photos of great movies of the classic era. Enjoyed it very much! Thanks.
Still Pictures from TCM 4 May 2009
By Frederick Jee - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great still photo collection from the classic era and later showing behind the scene and just finished scenes of some of the great and near great films out there for cinema buffs to enjoy and study. Great collection of photos just for a wonderful history of films.
Hoping for more 2 Jan. 2015
By JMK - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for more (better photos, more inside, backstage stuff). Book quality is good.
Great, big pictures 13 Jan. 2015
By chrissy brogan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 90 year old grandmother. She loves it. Great, big pictures.
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