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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UP N' ATOM: c. 1950s

Lili: 1952

Lili: 1952

Hollywood, 1952. "Actress Leslie Caron in costume as waitress, applying makeup on the set of movie musical Lili." Kodachrome by Michael Vaccaro for the Look magazine assignment "Hollywood on Its Toes." View full size.

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Funny, I remember this as a kid

"Lili" aired on the ABC anthology series "Off To See The Wizard" in two parts, in October 1967. Funny how I remember it. I didn't appreciate Leslie Caron until years later when I saw her in other things, and loved her dancing and overall presence. I would not mind seeing the movie again, now that I'm older.

Soft

The lack of image sharpness may be a result of the slowness of Kodachrome in 1952 (16 ASA, I believe) rather than poor focus. Everything in the frame is soft, suggesting a degree of camera shake. Even in bright theatrical lighting, if Mr. Vaccaro attempted to capture this image hand-held (rather than on a tripod) he was risking some blur.

A Couple Of Things

Leslie Caron was featured in a 2006 Law & Order SVU episode for which she won an Emmy. Attached is a photo of her from that show.The second item is that my wife and I enjoyed our Honeymoon Trip to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. While there we bought a few bottles of rare wine & whiskey at her father's store in Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the Virgin Islands.

Alternate universe

A casual glance had this as Lyndon Johnson and Louise Lasser.

Too bad

Mr Vaccaro didn't have a focus puller.

Jaw dropping prettiness

MGM molded Leslie into the very essence of leggy, smiling, wholesomely voluptuous, bobbed-hair, 1950's prettiness. "Introducing Leslie Caron" is worth a search. All of which belies her considerable and wide ranging acting skills demonstrated over her 50+ year movie career. My family used to drag my young self to those MGM musicals which mostly bored me to death, but I can remember noting that Leslie was something special.

Checking the lighting

I don't think the stage hand just left of Ms. Caron is trying to poke her eye out -- I believe he's using a stick guide to adjust her facial lighting from stage lights on the left.

[Looks more like the focus puller measuring camera-to-subject distance. -tterrace]

Charmer

That's a wonderful movie; a bit old fashioned, perhaps, but very well done. Great title song!

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