Poorhouse International: Catalogue results

TITLE: The Max Factor
Director: Clara & Julia Kuperberg

Genre: Film Documentary

Format: HD



Company: Wichita Films

Runtime: 52' minutes.

ID: 386.




The man who created the faces of Hollywood was born in Poland and became the wigmaker and make-up artist to the Court of Tsar Nicolas II. Because of rampant antisemitism in the early 1900s, he and his family fled to America where relatives were living. An immigration officer inadvertently changed his name to Factor with a c instead of a k. Max Factor moved to Hollywood at the right moment. Theatre make-up did not work very well with projectors and close-ups and the talkies as well the introduction of technicolour created other problems Factor brilliantly solved. For Cecil B. DeMille´s THE SQUAW MAN in 1913 he lent wigs and moustaches made from real hair which was a novelty. He solved the problem of melting lipstick by testing new products in a “kissing machine” and changed the looks of many stars by means of a “beauty calibrator”. In 1935 he had created a make-up empire which allowed him to ask the famous architect S. Charles Lee to build an art-deco office for him which is now the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles. Clara and Julia Kuperberg interviewed film historian Marc Wanemaker who talks about the achievements of Max Factor, while Donelle Dadigan shows us around the Museum, and the actresses Lee Purcell and Jaclyn Smith tell us what Max Factor meant to them. Lots of film clips featuring the stars Factor worked with round off this look behind the scene.