Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Documentation of a Beating?

While I was working on this picture I noticed something that I’m sure nobody outside of those who were there and edited the picture were ever aware of, stitches.  On the colorized version you can’t we them as clearly.

On the black and white version you can clearly see them.  I thought the picture looked very unusual anyway.  Her eyes are swollen.  She’s wearing next to no make up.  Her right eye is swollen to the point of looking smaller, substantially smaller, than the left.  At the end of her left eyebrow right at the edge of her nose sit 3 maybe 4 small white stitches.  The photo was taken May 24, 1945 almost exactly 3 months to the day she filed for her first separation and divorce from Jack Lee.  She had a restraining order issued against him because she was in fear of her life and that he might try to burn down their home.  3 months before this event she shows up for a photo shoot with stitches in her face.  So they did what they always do in Hollywood, they made it work.  They threw all the light from the left side and had her turn her head to the left, a position she was almost never photographed in, to hide the damage.  From a photographic standpoint it almost works until you look into the eyes…I know that look…..I have had that look and it’s fear, pain, anguish, panic…..seems that Quint Benedetti had some very accurate information about Jack beating Agnes….pity…to see such sadness in such beautiful eyes.

PS: You may be wondering why they threw all the light at the side where she has the stitches. In stage or film or photo lighting if you are dealing with an injury you don't want people to see, like a bruise or stitches, you throw lots of light at it to wash it out. You can't cover stitches with make up because of the risk of infection. This explains the lack of normal make up in the picture. If you allow a bruise or cut to sit in the shadows they look twice as bad since they are already dark they look darker than the normal skin tone around them. When looking at the picture above remember she has a ton of light coming right at the left side of her face, no nose shadow indicates that, from the front and from the side. Yet her left eye and the area where the stitches appear is much darker than the surrounding skin. Hence she had a bruised eye, a cut that required stitches and what may be a slight area of bruising above the center of the left brow. Whatever happened to Aggie she took a beating from something or someone. Her physician deliberately used white silk to stitch the cut so he'd been around Hollywood for awhile since they used white silk on the face so as to hide facial cuts during filming or photographing. I think her willingness to go on with her scheduled event trusting in the people around her to conceal the damage speaks volumes about the intense strength she had.

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