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"Vanity Fair's" Hollywood Hardcover – 30 Oct 2000

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Hardcover, 30 Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd (30 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500510318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500510315
  • Product Dimensions: 30.8 x 27.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,279,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Vanity Fair's Hollywood is the ultimate book on Hollywood. Vanity Fair was launched in New York in 1914, and originally chronicled the gossip and glamour of Hollywood in its heyday, photographing and celebrating the likes of Valentino, Garbo, Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Cary Grant--the list is stellar and endless. Relaunched in 1983, the magazine faced a very different version of Hollywood, but with photographers of the calibre of Annie Leibowitz and Helmut Newton, the magazine has vividly captured what Gore Vidal calls "a metaphor for all the chaotic time that we had served in the twentieth century". Vanity Fair's Hollywood is a remarkable photographic essay of one of the western world's most fascinating industries, Hollywood, chronicled by one of its most glamorous magazines. Chosen by current Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, the book contains hundreds of photographs and 14 essays that "trace nearly a century of Hollywood power and glory, myth and mystery", including written contributions by D.H. Lawrence, Dorothy Parker and P.G. Wodehouse. But what defines this extraordinary book is its photographs. From Cecil Beaton and Edward Steichen to Annie Liebowitz and Herb Ritts, here are iconic images of the 20th century, from Sophia Loren regarding Jayne Mansfield's cleavage, to Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dragging up one more time in front of Annie Liebowitz in 1995. Absolutely everyone who is anyone is in this book, and what a book it is. --Jerry Brotton


`The film book of the year . . . a book to light anyone's fire'
-- Evening Standard

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Nov. 2000
Format: Hardcover
You won't need popcorn to enjoy this trip to the movies. And, what a trip it is - the classiest, glossiest, most glamorous photographic history of Hollywood to be found in print.
"Vanity Fair," the magazine that has kept an unerring eye on Tinsel Town for the past 87 years, has assembled a gallery of memorable images by such renowned photographers as Edward Steichen, Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, and others.
Luminaries of the silver screen are found at work and at play, in incredible photos that capture not only a visage but an essence: a clown costumed Al Jolson is poignant in song, an in your face bathrobe clad Jack Nicholson wields a golf club, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Crawford laze on a sun kissed beach, a sensuous Johnny Depp challenges with his eyes, a bereft Steve Martin is the quintessential loser, and Mae West gives a boxer her heavy lidded once over.
Artfully and thoughtfully positioned, the photos themselves are a visual record of movie town's history: a black and white studio shot of Walter Huston faces a color portrait of jodphur clad Anjelica Huston, the Fonda family (Jane, Henry and Peter)offer congenial smiles, A piquant very young Drew Barrymore is partnered with a revealing backstage glimpse of John Barrymore, Harold Lloyd faces a bemused Tom Hanks.
Group photos also tell a story from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall joining pals for a Sunday afternoon gin rummy tournament at Clifton Webb's house to the directors who made and are making cinematic history to the MGM musical starlets from the 1940s and 1950s. All here - a visual paean to the past and present.
Among the 292 iconographic photographs are found brief essays, the words of P. G. Wodehouse, D. H.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Nov. 2000
Format: Hardcover
If there were only one picture in the book - that of an amply-aged Tony Curtis wearing nothing but his briefs and clutching the hand of the equally-matured Jack Lemmon wearing a slip, obviously a parody of their roles in Some Like it Hot, the book would still be worth the price. The expressions on their faces, especially the side-way glance by the heavily made-up Jack Lemmon, is a mini-performance by itself. In capturing this split-second expression the photographer, Annie Leibovitz, is putting on show her own genius, or lucky break. I am inclined to believe it is the former. The other 200-plus photos are a bonus.
Some bonus!
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hollywood has always stood for dreams. Vanity Fair's take has always been to turn the tinsel used to depict those dreams into glamor. This book is very much in keeping with the magazine's slant and Hollywood's most inflated view of itself. The book faithfully reproduces a cross-section of Vanity Fair's 86 year history.
Before you read further, let me caution you that this book teems with suggestiveness. If that sort of thing isn't your cup of tea, skip this book.
The photographs are the best part of the book. There are large numbers of outstanding examples of work by Edward Steichen and Annie Leibovitz.
The pages are oversized, and many images are done as double spreads. This makes for seeing very large features of the stars portrayed, and this has high impact effects on the viewer -- evoking a sense of the wide screen. The editing was wisely done to select many images that can be reasonably faithfully reproduced that way.
Unfortunately, many fine photographs were reproduced with the middle fold through an important part of the image. Some of the images that were not so spoiled also were overinked in a way that make the details hard to discern. Inexplicably, there were no credits listed for many photographs. I graded the book down one star for being insufficiently well designed, credited and printed to portray all of the photographs to their best advantage.
Except for this very regrettable and significant set of flaws on the photography side, the book is very well done. The selection of photographs was brilliantly done to not only highlight great ones, but to create interplay among them . . . and among themes . . . and among generations of Hollywood performers. I found it all quite exciting and entertaining.
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