America’s Princess

Twenty-five years after Grace Kelly’s tragic death, Howell Conant’s photographs of her still resonate with the “natural glamour” that changed Hollywood

It was an extraordinary friendship between photographer and subject. Over a period spanning 27 years, from the early years of her Hollywood fame to her tragic car accident in 1982, Howell Conant captured Grace Kelly as she blossomed from a movie legend into a princess and then mother and royal role model. In the process, Conant broke through the cold, goddess-style portrait style that was the vogue and created a new look in Hollywood portraits: natural glamour. Yet throughout, Conant acted not just as her official photographer but also her confidante, who had access to Grace in her most private moments. Read more »

Hitchcock On Location

You can go there too, even to the Bates Motel

Although Alfred Hitchcock lived in the United States for more than 40 years, becoming an American citizen in 1955, five years after his wife, Alma, he carefully retained his Britishness. Even in the warm sunshine of Southern California he always turned up for work in an immaculately tailored dark suit, and his wardrobe held dozens of them, all identical except for their varying waistbands.Read more »

Alfred Hitchcock’s America

When I think of Alfred Hitchcock’s America—the vision of America that you get from watching the films that he made during his prime Hollywood period—these are some of the images that come to mind...Read more »


The Hidden Brando

Marlon Brando changed American acting and became enduringly famous astonishingly fast.Read more »

Historical Movies

How does one choose a list of great historical films? Is the emphasis on great or historical? And how far should one be willing to compromise with either? Fortunately, Hollywood has simplified the task by producing few films that can reasonably be called great or historically accurate. For instance, whatever the merits of John Ford’s Young Mr.Read more »

Actor Against Actor

What are the 10 greatest movies ever about the Civil War?

Since movies began, less than 40 years after the guns had fallen silent at Appomattox, Hollywood has churned out more than 700 Civil War-related films—nearly three times the number of movies about World War II. Most of them have stressed reunification, honoring the bravery of the soldiers on both sides, assigning no guilt, and declaring no true winner.