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Department Store Photoshoot 1956

Sabrina with doggo

British Pathé Sabrina newsreels:

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SabrinaSee the photoshoot newsreel. (3M, WMV)Sabrina

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A big colour treat for you. Having found the British Pathé newsreel archive, there was only one thing for me to do: search for Sabrina! And she came up in glorious technicolour - yes, folks! People who lived before 1960 did have flesh tones! There are a couple of B&W clips of her at beauty contests and stars' days out, but of most interest is the 1956 newsreel of Sabrina - in full colour - getting her photo taken in a department store. Cheesecake? Yes indeedy, WITH STRAWBERRIES ON TOP!


6/2/1956

Summary from the Pathé site:

M/S [medium shot] and C/U [close-up] in Bourne and Hollingsworth's department store [Oxford Street, London] as glamorous blonde television and film star Sabrina, carrying a small hat box and holding the lead of a white poodle, chats to a lady on the theatre ticket counter. Commentator talks of how "you can get anything from cosmetics to cats' food" in modern department stores as Sabrina makes her way to the Polyphoto counter where the assistant shows her a sample of the photos (for those who don't know, Polyphoto produced sheets of 48 small portrait photos in different positions, contact sheet style, so you could choose the best for enlargements).

The assistant seems to have persuaded our glamour puss to have her picture taken, and shows her the way to the photographer's studio. Sabrina takes off her coat and gloves, sits on a stool with her poodle in her arms and poses for the camera - lovely, darling! M/S from behind the photographer, Anthony Cheshire, who looks out from a large square box-camera and signals for Sabrina to look up to the left. He turns a handle on the camera to take the photo, then directs her to look in other directions. Great sequence of C/Us as Sabrina poses and Anthony directs her and turns the handle.

The poodle seems a bit restless so Sabrina sets him on the floor and poses alone. C/U of the counter on the camera notching 27 shots so far. Sabrina poses in classic 1950s style (head back, come hither look, bosoms thrust out), then appears to tire of the whole thing; she suggests swapping places with photographer, who protests; Sabrina pouts prettily and he gives in. He shows her how to work the handle on the camera, and as he takes his place on the stool she pushes his head firmly into position and adjusts his tie and jacket. C/U as she signals to him to keep his chin up.

C/Us of Anthony posing as Sabrina turns the handle with a little difficulty; the counter shows 48 shots taken. C/Us of the finished Polyphoto sheet of photos of Sabrina - very glam! - panning right and tilt down to show shots of Anthony at the end.

Note: Fabulous story!

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