PDN Photo of the Day

The Golden Age of Movie Stills

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo. Hollywood Movie Stills text copyright © 1995, 2008, 2012 (Titan Books) by Joel W. Finler.

Greta GarboGreta Garbo poses for her portrait while on the set of Mata Hari (1931). The actress was a favorite of MGM studio photographers because she was able to hold still during long exposure times.


In Hollywood Movie Stills: Art and Technique in the Golden Age of the Studios, Joel W. Finler takes an in-depth look at the role of on-set photographers during the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. Covering the height of movie still photography, from 1910 to 1960, Finler explores the various responsibilities of studio photographers, which included shooting not only film sets and portraits of movie stars, but also the fashion trends, social scenes and economical changes of Hollywood. The book celebrates an often overlooked type of photography and is filled with many beloved stars from this time, such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant and Clint Eastwood, who are shown in costume as well as relaxing on set. This new edition of Finler’s classic book, which was originally published in 1995, includes 30 new photographs.

Hollywood Movie Stills text copyright © 1995, 2008, 2012 (Titan Books) by Joel W. Finler. All rights reserved. All photographs used in the spirit of publicity, criticism and review.

Marlene Dietrick in Shanghai ExpressMarlene Dietrich sits for a unique portrait that features both the starlet and the photographer (Shanghai Express, 1931).


Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One NightOne of the most well-know movie stills from the era featuring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert from It Happened One Night (1934).


Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in CleopatraInfamous couple and co-stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor rehearse a scene with director Joseph L. Mankiewicz during the filming of Cleopatra (1964).


Cary GrantKnown for his classic good looks and impeccable style, Cary Grant poses while on set (circa 1930s).


Humphrey Bogart and ingrid Bergman in CasablancaHumphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman pose for still scenes and production shots on the set of Casablanca (1942).


Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Anita Ekberg on Funny Face setThe two leads of Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, pose with Anita Ekberg, who is visiting the set (1956).


Sophia Loren and Tab Hunter on the set of That Kind of WomanSophia Loren photographs co-star Tab Hunter on the set of their movie That Kind of Woman (1959).


MGM lion roaringMarking the end of the silent film era, MGM records and films the iconic lion roar that now appears before all of their movies (circa 1920s-1930s).

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