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Bert Stern/ Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting Hardcover – July 31, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-3888141911 ISBN-10: 3888141915

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer/Mosel (July 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3888141915
  • ISBN-13: 978-3888141911
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 11.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The more than 2,500 shots that make up this monumental classic tribute to actress Marilyn Monroe were taken by renowned fashion photographer Bert Stern over the course of a three-day sitting—the last time Marilyn would pose in front of a camera. Six weeks later, the actress was found dead in her home. Even despite the ominous facts surrounding this sitting, the images it produced project a haunting, almost dreamlike quality unlike any photographs ever taken of the starlet. In front of the camera, Marilyn was known to possess an incredible chameleon-like ability to transform herself into whatever role she was meant to play. In these pages she is goddess, siren, child, woman, femme fatale and dream date. Yet there is an air of desperation about these photos as well.

In his fascinating foreword to the book, Bert Stern looks back on that momentous sitting, offering a revealing, naked portrait of Marilyn the person—of a vulnerable, confused woman who although at the apex of her career, had relinquished control of her life—and of the fashion world of the early 1960s, with its new openness towards drugs, sex, and art. From the glamorous, sophisticated photos which Vogue would publish in a black-and-white “memorial” spread, to the less restrained color shots which Stern coaxed out of Marilyn during an intense, exhausting session, this collection covers nearly every aspect of modern photography: portraiture, fashion-driven, erotic, and artistic. But more than a comprehensive display of Stern’s immeasurable talents, these photographs combine to create an homage to America’s first goddess. A woman we invented, but whom we could never really know. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Bert Stern, the famous commercial and fashion photographer of the 60s, was the last to be granted a sitting by Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her tragic death. The three-day session yielded nearly 2,600 pictures--fashion, portrait, and nude studies--of indescribable sensual and human vibrancy, of which no more than 20 were published.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you are true Marilyn fan you must get this book.
MrsSchmidlapp
The foreward to the book was so enlightening and funny and really made me feel as if I was there.
"luvmmonroe"
Thanks Bert Stern a wonderful photo documentary about Marilyn Monroe.
Jutta F. Schoner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel on July 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This collection of photographs from Marilyn's last official sitting is haunting and extraordinary. The pictures show so many different sides of her, and I think that Stern did a fabulous job capturing them with the clothes, scarves, and props he provided. His introduction is interesting and gives the reader an idea of what it would be like to work with Marilyn in that way; however, he seems to fall under the Marilyn love spell, like every other man who encountered her, and becomes maudlin imagining a romantic encounter. I have to add that seeing the damage that Marilyn did to the negatives she didn't like gave me goosebumps; it is chilling to know that she thought so little of herself, especially so close to death.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Pettry on September 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buy this book, run everybody off, pour yourself a glass of wine and vist Marilyn. There are no retouches here. You can look at these pictures and see how she would have grown and changed had she lived. She looked high and rough in some photos which makes her seem like a real person instead of a product. It's Marilyn at work giving us Marilyn but you can be privy to a sort of behind the scenes element that makes you feel like you were there.
Stern's introduction is a little heavy. He comes off like deifying Marilyn deifies him and when he plays up the sexual tension he percieved between them he seems a tad naive or maybe boastful. She was just doing what she did best. I think he had his camera confused with himself. I'll bet she was just downing Dom and being pure Marilin and it translates better than any glam portrait sitting.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S.G. on April 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you are any kind of Marilyn fan at all...then you need to have this extraordinary book!!! The hefty pricetag is well worth it. My favorite photos in the book are of Bert Stern's and Marilyn's first session together (with the see-thru scarves)because it has lots of fine close-ups of Marilyn's face. I also like the "bed" series that took place at the end of their second session. I was less thrilled with the fashion shots because i feel that the people at vogue had some odd ideas about what clothing to put Marilyn in...all those black dresses and stiff poses felt unnatural to me. But those photos also showcase Marilyn in a different light altogether...and that makes them interesting. I can never get enough of looking at this book and i wish they had the space to enlarge every single photo..but i guess that's being a little greedy!!! hahaha Marilyn was an incredible beauty and i think this book shows that fact of well.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mj on January 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I own dozens of other books and pictorials about Marilyn that claim to have "...never before seen pictures..." inside, which turn out to be the same ones used in every other book. However "The Complete Last Sitting" provided me with hundreds of beautiful pictures that I can quite honestly say I have NEVER seen before. Marilyn had never looked better. It's so nice to see her looking relaxed and natural instead of the usual posing, and she even shows off her playful sense of humour by donning a Jackie Kennedy style wig! This collection of photographs is just stunning, quite simply a MUST-HAVE for any Marilyn Monroe collectors/fans.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "luvmmonroe" on November 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When I received this book in the mail - my honey bought it for me knowing I am a die hard fan, I cried! I sat down and prepared to spend a night with my Marilyn - and rightly so, as it took all night! The foreward to the book was so enlightening and funny and really made me feel as if I was there. And the pics - I can't even think of words to describe them! It is somewhat sad to know that these pics were taken so close to the time of her death, but it shows Marilyn at her best. There is just a raw sensuality and sexuality that made Marilyn the sex icon that she is. And it is all here in this book. This is the ultimate book and it my very prized possession!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jorge N Morales on November 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Complete Last Sitting is a huge book, as heavy as beautiful. This is a reprint of the original first 1982 edition. I waited for this book for a long time because in the internet autions something the book was sale for more than $500. Now in this brand new exactly edition you have the chance to see and enjoy the last and real Marilyn. A monumental book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Liu Hiu Lau on October 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit this is one of the best photographical collections of Marilyn's. Although all of the pictures were taken in one single photo shooting section and you'd encounter hundreds of Marilyn in the same costume with slightly different postures and facial expressions, you'd be thrilled as I was to see how stunning and gorgeous she was in all these. You just can't have enough of her! Although the book is a bit [costly],you won't regret for a penny you've paid!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Complete Last Sitting" is a book every Marilyn Monroe fan should make the effort of acquiring. It is a huge book, full of pictures, and the edition is tasteful and high-quality. Even if Bert Stern's photographs of Marilyn are not your absolute favorites (as is my case), the book is well worth its price. I don't regret it. You'll see Marilyn in different moods and under different lights. It's a wonderful experience.
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