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May 17, 2013

26 Vintage Photographs Capture Celebrities' Life at the Cannes Film Festival From the Past

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.

Here’s a few vintage photographs capture celebrities’ life at the Cannes Film Festival in the past.

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 interefered with a film festival in Venice. Photo: RDA/Getty Images, Jan 01, 1953

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 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

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 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, 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 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 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

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

Natlie 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

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 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 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

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 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 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 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 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 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

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, 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 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

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 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


  1. That photo of Robert Mitchum and bare-breasted Simone Silva got published in LIFE in 1955? I find that VERY hard to believe....




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