Gene Kelly

Photographer: John Engstead. 1945 Degree of difficulty: Easy (2 lights)

'When Fred Astaire dances, he represents the aristocracy. I represent the proletariat.' The temptation was to headline this page 4Sittin' in the Sun,' in tribute to Stngm' in the R.wt. but the chosen quote from Eugene Cur ran Kelly makes two interesting points. One is that the cult of the 'regular guv* had begun to take hold even in Hollywood. The other is that he knew words like * proletariat,' a word that many stars in Hollywood (especially in the late 1940s and early 1950s) would have hesitated to use, even if they did know it.

This seeinv to Ik an 'improved snapshot.' Mr Kelly's natural grace would quite conceivably lead him to sit like this; a set photographer would see it; and in the days of roll film cameras, it would take but a few moments to fill overly dark shadows and take the picture. If the photographer had had to haul in an S x 10 in. camera, the picture might well never have been taken. Nevertheless, the artless pose docs rely on Mr Kelly's looks and grace. Dichards will bemoan the fact that his socks do not cover his calves; that the perspective is not as pleasing as if a longer lens had been used (our guess is that this was shot on a Rolleiflex); and that his right shoe disappears awkwardly into the shadows, with only the white parts showing.

The light appears to be daylight, from a window to camera right, the frame of which is on the far right of the picture. It is supplemented by another light to camera left, conceivably another window, but, from examination with a magnifying glass of the catchlights in the eyes on the original print, it was more probably a portable fluorescent lamp. There is also a slight highlight from this fill on Mr Kelly's forehead.

Thn p<ture. from Mutttl. was i>XK m 19S8 Of court« Mi Bergmin 11 older than in the picture oppoite. but the loss of glamour n not attributable to a mere dozen yean. Rather, it is the photograph* scyie; she n no longer a star.' in the style o4 the 19)0» and 1940s. merely another very attractive woman

Thn p<ture. from Mutttl. was i>XK m 19S8 Of court« Mi Bergmin 11 older than in the picture oppoite. but the loss of glamour n not attributable to a mere dozen yean. Rather, it is the photograph* scyie; she n no longer a star.' in the style o4 the 19)0» and 1940s. merely another very attractive woman

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