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May 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When MGM celebrated its Silver Jubilee (25th birthday) in 1949, it brought together all of its contract stars for what became a classic photo shoot. Several of the stars strolled over from the stages where they were filming, still wearing their costumes. They included Lassie (well, one of several Lassies who took turns in front of the camera in each of the family films), who at the time was as big a star as any of the human counterparts and was given a place front and center under the glaring eyes of the great actress Ethel Barrymore, two places to the right.

First row, bottom, left to right: Lionel Barrymore, June Allyson, Leon Ames, Fred Astaire, Edward Arnold, Lassie, Mary Astor, Ethel Barrymore, Spring Byington, James Craig, and Arlene Dahl. Second row, left to right: Gloria DeHaven, Tom Drake, Jimmy Durante, Vera-Ellen, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Berry Garrett, Edmund Gwenn, Kathryn Grayson, and Van Heflin. Third row, left to right: Katharine Hepburn, John Hodiak, Claude Jarman Jr., Van Johnson, Jennifer Jones, Louis Jourdan, Howard Keel, Gene Kelly, Christopher Kent, Angela Lansbury, Mario Lanza, and Janet Leigh. Fourth row, left to right: Peter Lawford, Jeanette MacDonald, Ann Miller, Ricardo Montalban, Jules Munshin, George Murphy, Reginald Owen, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell, Ginger Rogers, Frank Sinatra, and Red Skelton. Fifth row, left to right: Alexis Smith, Ann Sothern, J. Carrol Naish, Dean Stockwell, Lewis Stone, Clinton Sundberg, Robert Taylor, Audrey Totter, Spencer Tracy, Esther Williams, and Keenan Wynn.

Perhaps with that remarkable photo in mind, the Cannes Film Festival brought together 113 film figures from throughout the world for a historic photo shoot on Tuesday. Past winners of its top prize, the Palme d’Or, were given a place of honor in the front row. They included Laurent Cantet (2008), Cristian Mungiu (2007), Jerry Schatzberg (1973), Claude Lelouch (1966), Michael Haneke (2009), Jane Campion (1993), Ken Loach (2006, 2016), Nanni Moretti (2001), Costa Gavras (1993), Bille August (1988), 1992) and Mohammed Lakdar-Hamina (1975). (Click here for a list of other filmmakers who posed for this photo.)

The photo shoot was carried live on French television. Here’s an excerpt.