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The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women

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Gerard Malanga:

"Sometime in December, 1963, a couple of months before our move to the 47th Street Factory, I asked Andy to shoot a roll of movie film framed as a 'headshot' composition that I could then replicate as a publicity headshot... After studying the 8 x 10 inch photoprint, which I had chosen from the original footage, Andy and I thought this would be a quick way to continue as a series. The title just came to us, Screen Tests, a homage to a bygone Hollywood era... Many of these portraits were also compiled into other emerging series by Andy, most notably 13 Most Beautiful Boys, 12 Most Beautiful Women and 50 Fantastics." (GMW65)

Although Malanga refers to this film as 12 Most Beautiful Women, it is listed as The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women in most reference books. According to Callie Angell in the first volume of the Andy Warhol film catalogue raisonné, "Warhol seems to have started collecting Screen Tests for a companion series, The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women, a month or two after he began The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys." Angell notes that Women had a limited number of public screenings "and a cast that includes unknowns like Rosebud and Betty Lou as well as art world figures like Susanne De Maria, Olga Adorno Klüver, and Barbara Rose, and celebrities like Marisol, Jane Holzer, and Susan Sontag."

Callie Angell:

"A certain amount of manipulation can be observed in one of the first reported screenings of The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women, which took place in January 1965 at the home of Life magazine fashion editor Sally Kirkland.... In this Kirkland version of The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women, the Screen Tests of fourteen different women were projected simultaneously on three walls; one of these women was Sally Kirkland's daughter, also named Sally (according to Jane Holzer, the two were called 'Big' Sally and 'Little' Sally)...

The final versions of The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women were created in 1969-70, when Warhol Films Inc. and their British distributor, Vaughan-Rogosin Films, Ltd., licensed a few Warhol titles for broadcast on West German television. The deal listed Kiss, Kitchen, The Shopper (aka Hedy) and selections from what was called the 13 Most Beautiful Women in the World... The London prints were eventually formatted into two smaller films: a four-women version and a two-women version." (AD250-51)

In the Stephen Koch Andy Warhol filmography the cast of The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women is credited as: Baby Jane Holzer, Anne Buchanan, Sally Kirkland, Barbara Rose, Beverly Grant, Nancy Worthington Fish, Ivy Nicholson, Ethel Scull, Isabel Eberstadt, Jane Wilson, Imu, Marisol, Lucinda Childs and Olga Klüver. Koch does not indicate which version of the film this list refers to and it may be inaccurate as it does not mention Susanne De Maria, Betty Lou or Bibbe Hansen. In regard to Hansen, Callie Angell notes that her second Screen Test was "selected for The Thirteen Most Beautiful Women," and "was shot toward the end of 1965" after Hansen's "hair had been dyed for the role of Anne Frank in summer stock theater." (AD89)

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Andy Warhol