Colorful New Post-War Personalities
Those eager new faces that burst onto the scene during and/or after World War II were helped in no small way by the increased use of color photography in magazines and rotogravure sections. While there was certainly a color presence before the war, it was nothing beside the booming interest that came after. All four of these young players had their first major successes in the mid to late forties, and each of them figured into a multi-hued fan-mag culture where beautiful color layouts were the norm, and each could be seen to his best advantage. A lot of these portraits carried photographer credits, and publications took pride in their presentations. While we tend to think of Montgomery Clift as a primarily black-and-white star (he didn’t make a color movie until Raintree County in 1957!), his fan following enjoyed colorful photo profiles from the very beginning. Noirish denizens of the night Richard Widmark and Burt Lancaster were often spotted by the color lensman, and to good effect. Even with our TCM and DVD’s, we sometimes forget how effectively the print media worked in ongoing partnership with Hollywood to create these iconic images. Fledgling stars needed strong magazine coverage as much as good screen exposure. One couldn’t work without the other.