Photo Book Review: Hollywood Frame By Frame, The Unseen Silver Screen In Contact Sheets

Hollywood, is so much more than just a spot on the map. Hollywood is a well-oiled machine, a fantastic dream factory where stars are born and ideas become reality on celluloid. This book offers a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes of films such as Some Like It Hot, Psycho, Dirty Harry, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The Thing, Wall Street, The Crow and many more. Images captured on the set—and some candid moments caught between scenes—are all presented in the form of contact sheets, the direct prints that photographers used in pre-digital days to edit their work.

The studio staff photographers would often shoot dozens of rolls of film in search of that one perfect image that would be approved by the executives. That shot would be used to promote the film (or the star), the other images would be stored and never be seen again. Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen In Contact Sheets features a collection of 190 of those black and white shots (captured between 1951 to 1997) that didn’t make the final cut. That doesn’t mean that they don’t shine just as brightly. This collection offers us an interesting view of icons like Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, James Dean and even Charlie Chaplin (as a director) hard at work, making our dreams come true.

Hollywood Frame By Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen In Contact Sheets, by Karina Longworth; Princeton Architectural Press; $30; (ISBN: 978-1-61689-259-3)

More info on the book here.