Monday, May 16, 2011

Cannes Film Festival, The Retro Edition

Faye Dunaway, This Years Poster Girl

The 64th Cannes Film Festival is now under way, it's always been a media circus and much more so nowadays, Cannes is best avoided at the moment, (in 1966 there were 700 journalists covering it, by 2008 this figure rose to 3541) as well as all the celebrities, junkets, journalists and paparazzi the place will also be crawling with wannabes, hookers and celeb spotters, for what it's worth you will not find a parking space!

Jean Gabriel-Domergue's proposed poster for the festival that never was

At the end of the 1930s, shocked by the interference of the fascist governments of Italy and Germany in the selection of films for the Mostra del cinema di Venezia, Jean Zay, the French Minister of National Education, decided to create an international cinematographic festival in France,on the proposal of Philippe Erlanger and the support of the British and Americans. Many towns were proposed as candidates, as Vichy, Biarritz or Algiers, although finally Cannes was the chosen one; thus, Le Festival International de Cannes was born.

In June 1939, Louis Lumière agreed to be the president of the first festival, set to be held from 1 to 30 September 1939. The German attack on Poland on 1 September 1939, followed by the declaration of war against Germany by France and the United Kingdom on 3 September, ended the first edition of the festival before it started.

The festival was relaunched after World War II in 1946, in the old Casino of Cannes, financed by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry and the City of Cannes. Although the initial spirit of the French festival was to compete with its Italian counterpart, a secret agreement took place between both nations, so that they will celebrate their international festivals in alternating years. The first Cannes Festival had a considerable success, so when the Franco-Italian agreement was made public it was heavily criticised and considered as a "capitulation of France"

The Poster for the First Festival

I have been following some of the coverage on French TV and looking at some of the fashions on the internet, once again I am disappointed, the glamour, elegance and fun of it seems to have been replaced by something much more corporate and false, I am probably just being an old cynic after all the objective is and has always been the business of promoting, selling and distributing films, hopefully great European films.

I have found some photographs of the golden age of the Cannes Film Festival and I think the stars of yesteryear were clearly having a lot of good old, genuine fun.
Bella Darvi in front of The Carlton 1956

Paparazzi 1962

Cannes Beach 1955

 Marlon Brando, keeping it real, 1954

Brigitte Bardot

Grace Kelly

 Sophia Loren

Elizabeth Taylor

Natalie Wood

'The way they were; Natalie and Warren'

Gina Lollobrigida

Ester Williams

Robert Mitchum and friend!

Jayne Mansfield

The gorgeous Alain Delon and Bella Darvi

Ingrid Bergman

Yves Montand
Kirk Douglas

Alfred Hitchcock

Kim Novak

John Lennon

Liza Minnelli and Otto Preminger

John and Yoko

Jane Birkin

Geraldine Chaplin

Michael Caine

Andy Warhol

Brian Jones, Anita Pallenburg and Bill Wyman

Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson promoting Easy Rider.

Things have been a bit hectic round here and I am behind with everyone's posts I am looking forward to reading them and visiting new followers in the next couple of days.


  1. I honeymooned at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, sat on the famous Croisette each night, sunned on the huge big wide pier. Just beautiful. Been back many times, renting our own villa for the summer. My husband loved the Riviera.

  2. this is flipping great!!

    wonderful images and memories.
    and ....
    i am thrilled you put natalie wood in.
    i loved her!!

  3. Dash, I don't know where to start! Michael Caine, The Stones, Bardot, Jack Nicholson...what a treat. xxx

  4. Dash, what wonderful photos.
    And that Bella Darvi...she could be my least as far as I look in a bikini.

  5. Incredible! Fantastic! Thank you for bringing nostalgia and class back to Cannes! Sadly, Hollywood will never again be as great as it was...these women had more style and chic than anyone in film today.

  6. gorgeous collection and a perfect idea! (wish Id thought of that!) Why do stars not look so glamorous today? Must be because we know what toothpaste they use and other things-Id rather not know! pgt

  7. Hello Dash:
    Yes, we agree, the glamour of those early days of the Festival seem destined never to be resurrected. What a wonderful collage of images you show here.

    We notice a big difference between the Cannes, Venice and, even Berlin Film Festivals and the one held in Budapest where it really is all about the films and pride of place goes those made with tiny budgets and with lesser known actors. It makes a refreshing change!

  8. Hello lovely, thanks for your message. How are you?

    Unbelievably I've managed to give up. Patches and this inhaler thing are working. I'm amazed!

    Loved this post, gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. I love this year's poster. It's definitely not as glamorous as it was, more's the pity, love C xx

  9. Stunning photos - oh, I wish the glamour would come back!

    Carol x

  10. Fantastic old-style glamour! I did a newspaper column from the Cannes Film Festival for a few years in the late '80s (I was young!) and I have to say there was only 20% glamour then and a lot of PR hype.

    (PS. I've only been to Sanary once, but it did make a good impression!)

  11. I so enjoyed looking at all these photos! How fun!

  12. Very good collection!
    But the one with Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg is definitely not Bill Wyman (don't know who ...)

  13. I love the photos of a young Alain Delon!!!!! He was so perfect he was a FREAK of NATURE!
    Such a lovely male!

  14. This post is great. All the pictures in this post are amazing and the persons are having so much fun and enjoying. Thank you for this post. I like this type of people who share knowledge with others.

    Cannes film festival

  15. It is Prince Stanislas Klossowski de Rola with Brian and Anita. He is also known as Stash and was Brian's best friend at that time.


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