The 62nd Cannes Film Festival began last week and runs through May 24th. The glamorous tradition has always attracted high profile celebs, models and film folk. Bikini clad beauties lounge on the beach, luxe shopping and an unbeatable venue have always made the festival a destination for the über cool.
Cannes Film Festival Then and Now
Many bloggers and sites have great coverage, from the fashions to the films, videos, live feeds and more. All you have to do is google it. So, instead of covering that, I wanted to share with you some classic and fab historical photos from LIFE magazine and Getty Images over the years.
First off a few comparisons between then and now.
The very first Cannes Film festival Poster:
The Festival International du Film was supposed to begin in Cannes in 1939, but due to the war, the launch date was put off. Finally, on 20 September 1946 the Festival de Cannes opened its doors, the first great international cultural event of the post-war period.
The Festival was organized as a non-profit organization, managed by a Board of Directors and was to become “state-approved” as in 1972.
It has taken place every year – with the exception of 1948 and 1950 – first in the month of September, then in May as of 1952. After years of “Grand Prix”, the Palme d’Or was created in 1955.
Photo Comparisons: Then and Now.
The venue (Carlton Hotel) then:
The venue (Carlton Hotel) now:
At this years’ festival:
The beach then:
The beach now:
Factoid: The number of journalists has grown from just 700 in 1966 to 3541 in 2008.
Vintage Cannes Film Festival Celebrity Photos.
Now, here are some classic Cannes photos from the days of true Hollywood glamour. The photo titles and captions are courtesy of LIFE.com:
Bardot on the Beach
French actress Brigitte Bardot sits on the beach during the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. The festival was started in 1939 as a response to the way the fascist governments of Italy and Germany interfered with a film festival in Venice. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Jan 01, 1953
Arnold and the Cannes Starlet Flex
Arnold Schwarzenegger finds a unique way to promote “Pumping Iron” on May 19, 1977 at the 38th Cannes Film Festival. Photo: AFP/AFP/Getty Images, May 19, 1977
Grace Kelly Adores Boats
Grace Kelly poses dockside during the Cannes Film Festival on May 6, 1955. The first film festival was planned for September 1939. A little inconvenience called World War II nixed that idea. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 06, 1955
Easy Rider Kickin’ Back
Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson form up a kick line at the Cannes Film Festival to promote “Easy Rider” in 1969. Six years later, the Palm d’Or would finally be reintroduced. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Jan 01, 1969
Sophia Loren Summons Her Inner Juliet
Sophia Loren poses with flowers on the balcony of her Cannes hotel on May 13, 1959. Years later, another Italian sex symbol, Monica Bellucci, would say, “When I have to go to Cannes, that is boring to me.” Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 13, 1959
Otto Preminger and Liza Minnelli Eat Cannes Up
Otto Preminger, Liza Minnelli, and Ken Howard enjoy a repast in between promoting “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” at Cannes on May 12, 1970. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 12, 1970
Alain Delon Goes Topless
Alain Delon and Bella Darvi go boating during the Cannes Film Festival on May 5, 1958. The festival was launched for real in 1946, and made a secret agreement to take alternate years off so as not to compete with the film festival in Venice. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 05, 1958
Jane Birkin on the Other Side of the Lens
Jane Birkin takes up photography at Cannes in 1975. Twenty years earlier, the festival had introduced the Palm d’Or award for the first time. Photo: Keystone/Getty Images, Jan 01, 1975
Merv Griffin Interviews John Lennon
Talk-show host Merv Griffin interviews John Lennon at Cannes for his show in May 1965. The year before, the festival had stopped handing out the Palm d’Or and resumed the Grand Prix award, because of a copyright issue. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 01, 1965
Natalie Wood Looks Up
Natalie Wood smiles upward at the Cannes film festival in 1962. That was the first year of the International Critics’ Week sidebar. Photo: Paul Schutzer./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images, Jan 01, 1962
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty Step Out
Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood are caught by the paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962. Photo: Paul Schutzer./Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images, May 01, 1962
Yves Montand Captains His Ship
Yves Montand regards his passengers on board his yacht at Cannes during a holiday on the Cote d’Azur on July 28, 1965. Photo: Keystone/Getty Images, Jul 28, 1965
Alfred Hitchcock Slays Himself
Alfred Hitchcock stages a suicidal pose on May 27, 1972 at Cannes. The master of suspense never won the Palm d’Or. Photo: AFP/AFP/Getty Images, May 27, 1972
Brigitte Bardot runs barefoot on the sands at Cannes in 1956. That year she appeared in the film that launched her to international stardom, “And God Created Woman.” Photo: George W. Hales/Getty Images, Apr 28, 1956
Lollobrigida and Her Dalmatians
Gina Lollobrigida arrives in a dress that kind of matches her three dogs on May 17, 1972. She was there to promote “King, Queen, Knave,” the film adaptation of the Vladimir Nabokov novel. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 17, 1972
Anita Pallenberg and the Rolling Stone
Anita Pallenberg and Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones attend a party in Cannes on May 6, 1967. That year, Pallenberg left Jones for bandmate Keith Richards while on holiday in Morocco. Photo: Keystone/Getty Images, May 06, 1967
Jayne Mansfield Shows Off Her Chihuahua
Jayne Mansfield strolls on the beach with her chihuahua on May 11, 1964. The year before, Mansfield had become the first mainstream American actress to appear nude in a film, in “Promises! Promises!” Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 11, 1964
Geraldine Chaplin Smokes a Cigar
Geraldine Chaplin smokes a cigar at the Cannes Film Festival on May 2, 1967. Two years earlier, she was at Cannes to promote “Dr. Zhivago.” “Although I went all over the world promoting it, I’d never got to see more than the credits before being whisked away. Finally, at Cannes, I was to sit through the whole thing through. When I appeared for the first time, I fainted from the shock — and woke up in the ladies room,” she said. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 02, 1967
Michael Caine Gives His Stamp of Approval
Michael Caine poses with models while promoting “Alfie” in 1966. That year, the Grand Prix was shared by an Italian movie and a French movie with very similar titles: “Signore e signori” (“Ladies and Gentlemen”) and “Un homme et une femme” (“A Man and a Woman”). Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 01, 1966
Kirk Douglas Lets His Feet Do the Talking
Kirk Douglas lets his feet do the talking on May 9, 1966. The word “ciao” (“hello” or “goodbye” in Italian) is written on the sole of his shoe. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 09, 1966
Hitchcock Amazes at Cannes
Alfred Hitchcock casts a spell at the Cannes Film Festival with his wife, Alma Reville, and actress Tippi Hedren to promote “The Birds” on May 11, 1963. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, May 11, 1963
Esther Williams Stays Dry
Esther Williams, famous for her swimming movies, throws autographs off a balcony to her fans during the Cannes Film Festival on April 27, 1955. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Apr 27, 1955
Kim Novak Suffers No Vertigo
Kim Novak looks like she could use a break from the height of fame at the Cannes Film Festival on April 24, 1956. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Apr 24, 1956
Robert Mitchum Keeps Hands Off Silva’s Surprise
“Miss Festival” Simone Silva poses topless with Robert Mitchum during the Cannes Film Festival in April 1954. This pose caused a rush in which one photographer broke his arm and another his leg as the paparazzi scrambled for pictures. Actress Silva was subsequently asked to leave Cannes. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Apr 01, 1954
Bergman Gets Ready
Ingrid Bergman adjusts an earring as she sits at a cocktail table at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956. Jacques Cousteau’s “The Silent World” won the Palm d’Or that year, the only documentary to do so until 2004, when Michael Moore won for “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images, May 01, 1956
Brigitte Bardot Arrives
Brigitte Bardot arrives at the Cannes Film Festival amid a flurry of admiring men in 1956. A few years later, tired of the scrutiny that her celebrity brought her, Bardot moved to southern France and became a recluse. Photo: Haywood Magee/Getty Images, May 12, 1956
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