T&C Exclusive: See the Trailer for 'Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes'

<em>Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lines</em> Trailer
Watch the Trailer for 'Hidden Master'

George Platt Lynes was among the most successful photographers of his era, shooting fashion stories for the likes of Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar, and taking portraits of the superstars of the day, including Katharine Hepburn and Gloria Swanson. His true passion, however, wasn’t his work for the glossies, but instead something a bit less public facing: nude portraits of male subjects.

george platt lynes
Photographer George Platt Lynes, the subject of the new documentary Hidden Master, in his studio. Lynes was one of the top photographers of his time, shooting for magazines including T&C.Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

“I was familiar with some of George Platt Lynes’s photographs, but not so much with the man himself,” says Sam Shahid, who directed the new film Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes, out May 31. In 2013, Shahid was drafted to design a book dedicated to the photographers nudes and began to see him in a new light. “I thought they were incredible; his work went so far beyond the pieces I had known about.”

Making that book led to making the film. “The world needs to know who he was,” Shahid says. “He knew what he wanted his legacy to be, but he never lived to see it come to be because he couldn’t publish his pictures at the time. He was a very successful fashion and celebrity photographer—sort of like the Annie Leibovitz of his day—but I wanted to honor his legacy. It was important to me that people know his work.”

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In addition to his nudes, George Platt Lynes shot fashion stories and celebrity portraits. Here is one of the legendary editor Diana Vreeland.Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Hidden Master will certainly accomplish that. The film takes Platt Lynes out from behind the camera and places him in the spotlight, exploring the work that made him famous as well as the work he wasn’t able to share, and looking at the might of his legacy from a modern perspective. “People will say to me, why didn’t I know about him before,” Shahid says. “That’s why we need this film.”

And after the book and the movie, what comes next? “I’m hoping a major museum features his nudes, which is what he wanted his legacy to be,” the director says. “They deserve to be shown and he deserves that recognition.”

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