Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures From the Twentieth Century Fox Archive Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren (Insight Editions, $75). Kim Hunter in a monkey suit (well, her Planet of the Apes suit), Paul Newman and Katharine Ross in Wild West undies, Cary Grant in a bathrobe, Bing Crosby in drag, Marilyn Monroe in a bustier, Elizabeth Taylor in her pharaoh headgear: This revelatory behind-the-scenes book offers striking "continuity" photos from the Fox vaults - not just movie stars hanging between takes, but presenting themselves in makeup, costume, and hairdo for test shots, to see whether they are indeed camera-ready when the director calls, "Action!"
Styling the Stars has been compiled by Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren. Cartwright was plucky Brigitta Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and her Ladies Wardrobe studio test shot from 1964 is a charmer. Cartwright's grown-up costars, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, are seen in their Wardrobe Department pics, too.
With minimal text (and, alas, no index), this 304-page coffee-table tome takes us from the Golden Age up through the star-studded '70s disaster movies The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno. Along the way, you'll find just about every Hollywood icon and TCM fave - sex symbols (Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Ann-Margret), tough-guy leads (Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne), ingénues (Sharon Tate, Tuesday Weld), and timeless trendsetters (Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn). Many are in historical getups, a few in hysterical getups.
The coolest thing about these shots is their utter candidness. The actors and actresses aren't there to strike alluring, or heroic, glamorous, or menacing poses. They're lining up - oftentimes next to a studio placard, with character name and film title written in chalk - so the directors, costumers, and cinematographers can scrutinize every detail of their appearance. And how they appear is awesome, their personalities shining through without pretense, without the burden of the role they're about to play. Like Cartwright, who achieved further boomer glory on TV's Make Room for Daddy and Lost in Space, says in her introduction, "Many of these finds gave us goosebumps."
Prepare to be goosey and bumpy.