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This two image strip of photos was purchased for me as a gift from a marché aux puces, south of Paris. Brian of Equinoxio blog, very kindly sent me this, and several other portraits, in August last year. Three sets came from photobooths, some were small studio photos and some were from a Polyfoto studio.

I chose to share these first as the reflection in this gentleman’s very groovy glasses, is so pronounced you can see some of the details of the booth’s interior. I’ve never seen that before. The reflection is likely the instructions on how to operate the booth, but I’m guessing, for the details are indistinct.

I would say that these pics were taken in the 1960s as my dad used to wear very similar glasses and ties in that era. I’d like to think this man was a writer, solely because I think one of these photos would’ve made a fabulous author’s portrait for the dust jacket of a novel.

photoboothSerbiansParis

I purchased this half strip of photobooth photos from an online seller based in Serbia. On the back is written Paris 17.12.66.

I was particularly attracted to this strip due to the broad, mirthful smiles on all three sitters but particularly by the  lady on the left’s expressions. I love the way her glance moves towards her friend in the second shot. There is something so cheeky and appealing in her two poses. I love her!

Once again, I also find some sadness in the fact that these photos have been lost to their owner. Death, broken relationships or accidental loss could account for it. The vicissitudes of life sadly toss us about and of course, it is no different for photos.

photoboothBensamon

This is another in the series of photobooth photo, file cards from a Parisian acting agency. Each photo attached to the card is of a client who was looking for work in the acting profession in the 1950s or 60s.

Monsieur Bensamon, above, looks to me to be perfect for any role as a valet or butler. Which brings me to a film Murder by Death (1976), which is one of my favourite comedies from childhood. It has an all-star cast which included, bizarrely, author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote.

Maggie Smith and David Niven play an aristocratic couple, Dora and Dick Charleston (See dialogue below) who are invited with a group of other guests, to a spooky house where a murder is subsequently committed. The house of course had a butler. It is an affectionate spoof of the work of numerous crime writers of the era but most particularly of the stories of Agatha Christie.  All this is by way of explaining why I bought the above photo, as the butler in Murder by Death is Bensonmum.

Bensonmum is a ridiculous but very funny character, played by Sir Alec Guinness. The similarities in the two names and my affection for the film were enough to make this, less than exciting photo, a must for my collection. There are no details on the back of the card, so all we know of Monsieur Bensamon is his surname and address at the time. If he had been cast in Murder By Death, I am sure he would have had great fun with the following dialogue from the film –

Dora Charleston: Thank you. You are?
Jamesir Bensonmum: Bensonmum.
Dora Charleston: Thank you, Benson.
Jamesir Bensonmum: No, no, no, no, no… Bensonmum. My name is Bensonmum.
Dick Charleston: Bensonmum?
Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir. Jamesir Bensonmum.
Dick Charleston: Jamesir?
Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir.
Dick Charleston: Jamesir Bensonmum?
Jamesir Bensonmum: Yes, sir.
Dick Charleston: How odd.
Jamesir Bensonmum: My father’s name, sir.
Dick Charleston: What was your father’s name?
Jamesir Bensonmum: Howard. Howard Bensonmum.
Dick Charleston: Your father was Howard Bensonmum?
Dora Charleston: Leave it be, Dickie. I’ve had enough.

There are some other great photos in this series, so stay tuned to Photobooth Journal for more posts.

photoboothBensamon02

 

photoboothactorArotce

Here is another one of a series of photobooth adorned file cards from a Parisian acting agency. I had previously thought that all the photos in the series were from the 1960s, however the seller has told me that some come from the 50s as well. This one looks to me to have a definite 50s feel to it.

Each card shows an actor in a pose which they hope will entice someone to give them work. Along with Rose Marie Arotce’s address and telephone number on the front of the card, there are details listed on the back. Rose Marie’s height in metres is recorded as 1.68.  She was a model (not surprising due to her height, sophisticated style and beauty) and also a comedienne. I am very impressed that she is listed as a comedian, as even now it is a difficult field for a woman to work in. I imagine it would have been much harder some 60 years ago. The abbreviation GRC appears on this card and some of the others. I have still not worked out what it might be short for.

None of the actors, in the cards I procured, ever made it big in the acting profession, however I have set myself the task of searching IMdB to discover if any of my new photobooth friends worked at all in film and televison.

If you would like to see some of the other cards in this series, please click here.

photoboothactorArotce 1

 

photoboothHenriGilbert

This is Henri Gilbert. He is looking for acting work in roles such as;

  • the romantic lead
  • a creative yet misunderstood, young (insert type – artist, writer, architect) trying to make his way in the world
  • a studly surf life-saver
  • an agile song and dance man

He has been waiting all his life for his big break. He doesn’t realise he grew old whilst waiting.

This is one from a group of file cards from a Parisian acting agency. The back of the card is blank. According to the seller, none of the actors in the cards I procured, ever made it big in the acting profession. The ones that did, were too expensive for me to buy!

There are some wonderful photos in this series, so stay tuned to Photobooth Journal for more updates

photoboothHenriGilbert02

 

photoboothJacquesBrieulle

Jacques, the aspiring actor, had a pretty mean hairdo and moustache. I wonder if this was perceived as cool and rebellious in 1960s France? I imagine him being cast as the cool younger side-kick of some streetwise old con man. Or as a jazz musician. Both generally had the same unsalutary reputations, so either/or will do.

This is another one of a series of file cards I have from a Parisian acting agency. The photos in the series are mostly from the 60s. Each card shows an actor in their best actory/actorish pose. Most show the applicant’s address and telephone number. The back of this card is totally blank, so one wonders if Jacques ever inquired why he never got any work?

None of the actors, in the cards I procured, ever made it big in the acting profession. The ones that did, were too expensive for me to buy!

There are some more great photos in this series, so keep watching for more updates!

photoboothJacquesBrieulleDetail

 

photoboothheleneBOUIX

Hi! I’m Helene, Helene Bouix! You might remember me from Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title. I was the ditzy blondeNo? Well, I also had a speaking role as the (dead) flaxen side-kick in The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini. Oh, you’re not familiar with that one? Okay then. Hmm. Oh, yes! I was recently cast as the platinum bombshell in The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?. Oh, you didn’t catch that either? Never mind. I want work with your agency. I feel I may be getting type-cast.

This is one of a series of file cards from a Parisian acting agency. The photos in the series are all from the 1960s. Each card shows a young actor in their best Hollywood pose (à la française, bien sûr!!), along with their address and telephone number. The back of this card shows Helene’s height in metres (1.66), the year of her birth (1924) and GRC. I have no idea what that could stand for. Anyone out there have an idea? For some reason it also needed to state that she is blonde. Oh, really?

None of the actors, in the cards I procured, ever made it in the acting profession. The ones that did, were too expensive for me to buy!

There are some great photos in this series, so stay tuned to Photobooth Journal for more updates!

  • All titles in this post are from genuine 1960s movies.

photoboothHeleneBOUIX

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