Bert Stern: Original Madman Image

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Bert Stern: Original Mad Man is the definitive voyage into the life and work of one of the greatest American photographers of all time. After working alongside Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine, Stern became an original Madison Avenue "mad man," his images helping to create modern advertising. Groundbreaking photos of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy and the infamous Lolita image from Kubrick’s film, coupled with his astonishing success in advertising, minted Stern – along with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon – as a celebrity in his own right; indeed, Stern’s photographs of Monroe in her last sitting are considered to be the ultimate images of the 20th century icon. After marrying the stunning ballet dancer Allegra Kent, the kid from Brooklyn was sitting on top of the world...until a dramatic fall from grace. [First Run Features] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 8
  2. Negative: 4 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    May 4, 2013
    An effusive, sad, visually gorgeous, and illuminating portrait of the artist.
  2. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Apr 4, 2013
    No matter how it shakes out, 'Mad Man' will never be more than an interesting curio that provides a basic overview of why Stern matters. But for the rest of us, the images themselves will be the greatest evidence on their own of Stern's innovation in photography, fashion and advertising.
  3. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Apr 4, 2013
    Despite its admittedly intriguing parts, the film ultimately feels too diffuse and self-indulgent to represent a truly incisive portrait of its subject.
  4. Reviewed by: Caroline McKenzie
    Apr 1, 2013
    Rote, rushed, and utterly uninterested in the power of Stern as an innovator of image, making it effectively the opposite of the output of the artist it attempts to document.
  5. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 18, 2013
    Though the photographs are memorable, the photographer is not.
  6. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 4, 2013
    An unappealing jumble of sex, regret and hero worship, “Bert Stern” is an odd tribute to brilliance muffled by lust.
  7. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 2, 2013
    The film does offer some revealing anecdotes about his infamous Monroe sessions, but mostly, it simply slouches from one sensationalistic, salacious bit to the next, sans any historical context. Worse, filmmaker Shannah Laumeister continually rhapsodizes on-camera about her own “soul mate” relationship with the subject—leaving viewers feeling mad as hell.

See all 8 Critic Reviews