"Harold Lloyd's Hollywood
Nudes in 3-D!"
by Suzanne Lloyd
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers,
Most people know Harold
Lloyd for his comedy films during the Silent Film Era. With his
trademark round glasses and straw hat, Lloyd became one of
early Hollywood's biggest stars with films like Safety Last!,
Freshman, The Kid Brother, and Speedy.
When his movie career wrapped up in the 1940's, Lloyd jumped
with both feet into his new hobby--photography.
According to the book,
between the late 40's and early 60's, Lloyd took around a
hundred thousand pictures of women, most of them nude. At lot of these
pictures were taken at his sprawling estate, others out in the California
wilderness. His list of models is a who's who of the 1950's pin-up world
including Bettie Page, Dixie
Evans, Joy Harmon, Shirley Kilpatrick,
Berne, Arlene Hunter and even a young Tura
Lloyd's pictures were bold and playful
and every bit as good (if not better) then what you would find in pin-up
magazines of the time.
was always a fan of photography technologies. When 3-D photography hit
the market, Lloyd was one of the early adopters. It was a
format he fell in love with. Although this book is called Hollywood
Nudes in 3-D, only about half the photos are actually in 3-D. (For
those 3-D photos, glasses are included with the book.) That's actually
not a problem, since wearing the glasses is a bit awkward (and a bit uncool).
The concept of 3-D photos is great, but the actual 1950's technology left
a lot to be desired.
A lot of 3-D photography
of that time were mostly second-rate photos of eagles or poodles or other
shots that seem really campy today. Lloyd, though, did as
well as anyone could do with the technology. He used dramatic backdrops
and a lot of great props that really gave the photos a real sense of depth.
And he really knew how to get beautiful women to pose. Since Lloyd
was such a photography nut, he used only the best film and processing,
so the colors in the photos look as great now as they did fifty years ago.
Once you get past the kitsch of the 3-D photos, you find that Hollywood
Nudes in 3-D shows Lloyd to be one of the truly great, if unsung,
pin-up photographers of his era.
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