TIME Scandal

The Best Response Ever to a Celebrity Nude Photo Scandal

Time Aug. 11, 1952 Snippet
From the Aug. 11, 1952, issue of TIME TIME

When Marilyn Monroe's old photos were revealed, she handled it with aplomb

The details of the celebrity photo-hacking scandal that came to light over the weekend are distinctly modern: the unauthorized sharing of private photographs of stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton was the work of hackers, who appear to have used a vulnerability in Apple’s iCloud security.

But this kind of scandal is no digital age invention.

In 1949, a young Marilyn Monroe — a model whose short film career at the time comprised such roles as “waitress” and “voice, uncredited” — was overdue on her rent. She solved the problem by posing nude for photographer Tom Kelley, a photo shoot that didn’t lead to much of anything at first.

Years went by. Monroe became much more than just another model. By 1952, when the photo eventually appeared in a popular calendar, she was a star. According to TIME’s coverage of the calendar’s popularity, her bosses at the film studio “begged her” to deny that the woman in the photo was her, but she wouldn’t do so. That turned out to be a move that only increased her star power.

There are some major difference between these two moments — most importantly that Monroe posed for her photo knowing it was for public consumption — but that doesn’t mean they’ve got nothing in common, as Anne Helen Petersen, writing at BuzzFeed, points out. Petersen says that Monroe’s decision to shrug off the photograph as no big deal was “brilliant.” That’s a lesson that the hacking victims can use, as they decide how to respond to the public revelation of their private activities. For Monroe, it was more than a chance to prove the studios wrong — it was also the event that led to one of her most famous lines. When asked whether she really had nothing on during the photo shoot, as TIME reported on Aug. 11, 1952, “Marilyn, her blue eyes wide, purred: ‘I had the radio on.'”

Read TIME’s full 1952 report on Marilyn Monroe here: Something for the Boys

TIME conflict

Here’s How World War II Began

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the conflict's beginning


On a desktop, hover over the map to zoom; on mobile, click to zoom.

Seventy-five years this week, World War II began. “The telephone in Franklin Roosevelt’s bedroom at the White House rang at 2:50 a. m. on the first day of September,” the Sept. 11, 1939, issue of TIME explained. “In more ways than one it was a ghastly hour, but the operators knew they must ring. Ambassador Bill Bullitt was calling from Paris. He had just been called by Ambassador Tony Biddle in Warsaw. Mr. Bullitt told Mr. Roosevelt that World War II had begun. Adolf Hitler’s bombing planes were dropping death all over Poland.” On Sept. 3, the United Kingdom and France declared war.

Roosevelt wasn’t the only one expecting the dramatic news. In that same TIME issue, the first to hit stands after Germany began its march into Poland, the magazine provided readers with a timeline explaining the war’s start, despite a worldwide mood described as “thoroughly sick of and appalled by the idea of war.” The retelling starts in March of 1939, after Hitler moved on Czechoslovakia, and continues throughout the spring as England and Germany deliberate over the future of Poland — but as late as August 23, even after Germany surprised the world by announcing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, war was not a foregone conclusion.

The description of the events of that late August might read like a farce if it weren’t so deadly serious: as Hitler uses impossible ultimatums to negotiate with Poland, a nation Britain has already sworn to aid if necessary, the timeline fills up with sudden deadlines, haggling over the difference between an ambassador and an emissary, offers that can’t be sent because phone lines have been cut and orders to attack given simultaneously with offers of peace.

And then the time for negotiating was over.

Grey Friday, Sept. 11 1939
From , Sept. 11, 1939 TIME

The original TIME story about those events can be read in full, for free, here — Grey Friday — and the map of Poland that accompanied the story appears above.


TIME conflict

This 75-Year-Old Map Shows Europe ‘Ready for War’

A portrait of a world days away from combustion

The declarations had not yet come, but on Aug. 28, 1939, Europe already knew war was on its way. On that day, 75 years ago, the armies that would fight what became World War II had gathered.

Just how many soldiers that meant differed by nation, as TIME pointed out to its readers with the map below, which ran in the Sept. 4, 1939 issue. The annotated chart also provides evidence that, no matter how many men were under arms, there was no way for the continent to be entirely ready for what was to follow. In Poland, for example, President Ignacy Moscicki was said to have told Roosevelt that he was willing to negotiate with Germany. By the time Sept. 4 came around — the magazine arrived on stands before then— that willingness had already proved pointless.

On desktop, roll over the map to get a closer look. If you’re reading on a mobile device, click to zoom.


Stay tuned next week for further coverage of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II.

TIME celebrities

George Takei: ‘Being Optimistic Is Ensuring Your Success’

The star is the subject of a new documentary


There’s a Japanese word that shows up repeatedly in the new documentary, To Be Takei (Aug. 22) about the life of George Takei: “gaman.”

“Gaman translates into English as ‘to endure with dignity, or fortitude,’” the Star Trek actor tells TIME. Gaman was, he says, a source of strength for Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps during World War II — and he would know. Takei spent his childhood, up until almost his 9th birthday, in such a place. Even after the internment ended, the young Takei found himself in a hostile world, where housing and employment for Japanese-Americans were scarce, and his family, penniless after the war, lived on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

And gaman continued to prove necessary as Takei got older. When he became an actor, his first roles were ones he regretted even before filming them, stereotypical Asian caricatures he says his agent convinced him were worth it for the visibility. And, even after his acting career was established, he faced different struggles as a gay man — first with concealing his sexuality, later with getting the right to marry.

But he endured. As he tells TIME, he did so with a smile.

“I think being optimistic is ensuring your success. If you start out saying ‘I’ve got this problem or I’m angry at that,’ you will not succeed,” he says. “My father said, ‘Be confident of who you are, but also work hard to be the best that you can be.’”

It’s clear by now that his optimism is well-founded. The science-fiction devices he used on Star Trek have become reality (except, he notes, for the transporter), he’s married, he’s enjoying a major wave of popularity — and, of course, he’s the star of a movie about himself.

“The future,” he says, “is today.”

Read more about George Takei in this week’s TIME.

TIME Pop Culture

See How ‘Oh My’ Became George Takei’s Catchphrase

Say it with us now...


Take a quick peek at the Twitter feed from George Takei — the actor famous for his Star Trek and advocacy roles, and the star of the new documentary To Be Takei — and it’s immediately clear that he has a catchphrase.

He uses it in a sentence:

He uses it as a hashtag:

He even has his own link shortener, which churns out catchphrase-inspired short URLs for him to tweet:

But how did “Oh my!” come to be his catchphrase? Here, Takei tells TIME.

TIME movies

VIDEO: Kermit and Pepe on How to Promote a Muppets Movie

The Muppets Most Wanted celebs dropped by TIME's offices to explain how it works


It’s no secret that when celebrities tell journalists they’d love to drop by a magazine’s office to be interviewed, they’ve usually got something to promote. Which is great, except when that something is a DVD/Blu-ray release, which usually means we already know all about the project from when it came out in theaters. What’s left to talk about?

When those celebrities are Kermit the Frog and Pepe the King Prawn, lots. The two Muppets were in town to gab about the Aug. 12 DVD release of Muppets Most Wanted, so we took the opportunity to get some of those pressing questions answered. How, we wondered, does a Muppet promote a DVD release? How grueling is the promotional schedule? Does it bring up fun memories from filming, or is it a slog?

We did manage to draw some answers out of them—but, as you’ll see in the video above, an interview with Kermit and Pepe doesn’t always lead where you thought it would.

TIME movies

Meals as Metaphors: Two New Movies Provide Food for Thought

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Francois Duhamel—Dreamworks

What do Indian-inflected haute cuisine and Elvis’ favorite sandwich have in common?

Ismail Merchant’s name is already a noun: Merchant Ivory films, so-called after the production company he cofounded, are synonymous with lavish period pieces. To those who knew him well, though, there’s a verb he could have inspired, too. The British-Indian movie mogul put his kitchen skills good use as a business strategy, says the author Richard C. Morais, who met Merchant some 30 years ago: feed first, ask questions later. “The actor Simon Callow used to say that the term ‘curry favor’ was invented for Ismail,” Morais recalls.

So it was that Morais learned an important lesson: food isn’t just for eating.

Morais turned that knowledge into his novel The Hundred-Foot Journey, about an upstart Indian restaurant that opens across the street from a Michelin-starred French joint, which he hoped Merchant would adapt for the big screen. Though Merchant died before the book was published, The Hundred-Foot Journey hits theaters on Aug. 8, and it won’t be alone in claiming that a meal can be a metaphor. In Journey, cooking is culture; in the romantic comedy What If, a gigantic sandwich stands in for a relationship — a messy dish for messy love.

Elan Mastai, What If’s screenwriter, has a theory about why what movie characters eat often means so much — that is, why his blending of peanut butter and jelly and bacon and butter can be more than a heart attack waiting to happen: “These flavors kind of have a built in nostalgia, and it’s also fat and sugar and gluten,” he says. “Put them all together and your body reacts in a very visceral way — and, weirdly, in an emotional way.”

Silver-screen sustenance has a long history — Journey director Lasse Hallström was responsible for one of its high points, Chocolat — but the obsession with the kitchen is getting hotter. Both the French import Le Chef and Jon Favreau’s taco-truck passion project Chef arrived in U.S. theaters this summer, after a winter in which Labor Day linked pie and sex and the acclaimed Bollywood film The Lunchbox gave new meaning to “magic beans” by bringing its haricots of happiness (and lots of other love-provoking midday munchies) to American audiences. And as both The Hundred-Foot Journey and What If show, food movies are rarely about food. The former, despite a plot that revolves around restaurant reviews, is actually about tolerance and tradition; the latter is about young love.

The What If sandwich, a favorite of Elvis Presley’s known as the Fool’s Gold, shows up as a throwaway reference in the play on which the movie is based, but Mastai ramped up its role when he saw that it echoed the movie’s theme: something can be untidy and delicious at the same time. And the extra layer of meaning Morais gave to the food in Journey was what attracted producer Juliet Blake, who ended up shepherding the story to theaters. Blake tells TIME that the story reminded her of her German mother’s making strudel rather than cake even after she emigrated, and she quotes Adam Gopnik’s book The Table Comes First to explain why: “Food,” he writes, “is the sensual pleasure that translates most readily into a social value.”

That’s a lot to ask of cinematic comestibles. Take The Hundred-Foot Journey for example, in which a hint of cardamom can signify the entirety of Indian-ness; it would be unreasonable to expect a meal, however nuanced the taste, to capture the intricacies of something so complicated. Shilpa Davé, author of the book Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film, explains that eating and enjoying food is a good step toward intercultural intimacy, but that consumers sometimes need to be reminded that eating the food doesn’t mean knowing everything about the culture. Anita Mannur, author of Culinary Fictions: Food in South Asian Diasporic Culture, agrees, saying the potential problem of laying all that meaning on eating is simple: the typical post-Monsoon Wedding depiction of Indian people in films for Western audiences — “colorful and bright and with good food” — doesn’t always leave room for the complications of real life. She read the book of The Hundred-Foot Journey and enjoyed that it made the point that food can remind people of how they don’t belong, but it’s still clear that even the most delicious-looking feast can stumble as a metaphor.

“There’s this idea that if we can only just sit down together all the tensions of the world will go away,” Mannur says. “That’s an appealing solution, but it’s unrealistic.”

But in Juliet Blake’s case, at least, the unrealistic has proved attainable. The cast and crew of Hundred-Foot Journey ate well on set — the location catering included foie gras — and the film’s star, Om Puri, who plays the patriarch, will make sure the tradition of sitting down together continues. When he comes to New York for the film’s premiere, Blake plans to host him at her Brooklyn home. She says he’s going to teach her how to make Indian food.

TIME White House

Here’s What Nixon Thought About His Resignation

1990 Nixon Cover
William Coupon—TIME

In 1990, the former President spoke to TIME about his past

Flip through the gallery of Richard Nixon’s appearances on the cover of TIME, and you may notice a gap: the covers chart his political rise, his presidency, his work in China, his reelection, his fight during Watergate and, finally, 40 years ago this week, his resignation. Then there’s his pardon and, a few years later, his famous interview with David Frost, which was later inspiration for the play and film Frost/Nixon.

Then there’s a gap. More than a decade goes by without any Nixon. The two times he appears after the ’70s are on the occasion of his death in 1994 and, in 1990, when TIME published an excerpt from his memoirs. In conjunction with that excerpt, the magazine also took the chance to ask him a few questions. In an interview that covers such diverse topics as the winding down of the Cold War and Nixon’s thoughts on Reagan (“we had different approaches”) and George H.W. Bush (“I ought to leave it in football terms—he’s the Joe Montana. The short, sure pass”), the only U.S. President ever to step down discussed his feelings about making that choice.

There’s life after disgrace, he reminded readers:

Q. How do you expect the Watergate affair to be judged in the future?

A. Clare Boothe Luce once said that each person in history can be summed up in one sentence. This was after I had gone to China. She said, “You will be summed up, ‘He went to China.'” Historians are more likely to lead with “He resigned the office.” The jury has already come in, and there’s nothing that’s going to change it. There’s no appeal. Historians will judge it harshly. That’s what I would say on that.

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. I really wrote this book for those who have suffered losses or defeats and so forth, and who think that life is over. I felt that if I could share with them my own experiences, it might help.

The problem with that, of course, is that resigning the presidency is something that is beyond their imagination. And so, consequently, that’s why throughout the book I tried to put it in a context that they could understand. But I felt that if I could let them see what I went through, and how I at least recovered in part, that that might tell them that life wasn’t over.

Q. You say in your new book that you recovered in part. You also say that you have paid, and in fact are still paying, the price for it.

A. By paying the price, I mean in terms of being able to influence the course of events. I mean, every time I make a speech, or every time I write a book, inevitably the reviewers refer to the “disgraced former President.”

And I consider, for whatever time I have left, that what is most important is to be able to affect the course of events. My experience has been somewhat unique. I am probably wrong on a number of things, but at least it’s a point of view.

The difficulty is that getting that point of view across is compromised by the fact that they say, Oh, this is the Watergate man, so we’re not going to pay any attention to what he does. Now that attitude has receded substantially, and over a period of time it may recede more, but that’s what I meant by that.

Read the full interview in TIME’s archives

TIME movies

What Kind of Sandwich Is Your Relationship?

What If
Caitlin Cronenberg / CBS Films

Shall I compare thee to a meatball sub?

The new rom-com What If (out Aug. 8) stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. It also stars a sandwich.

And not just any sandwich: the film features the Fool’s Gold, a sandwich so grand its name gets capitalized. The sandwich, as What If explains, is made by buttering up an entire loaf of French or Italian white bread, baking it till the butter turns it golden and then stuffing the whole thing with a pound of bacon, an entire jar of peanut butter and an entire jar of jam. (Yum?) It was a favorite of Elvis Presley’s — he once, legend has it, flew to Denver to get one from the restaurant that invented the sandwich, ate it on his private plane and then turned right back around and went home to Mempis — and, as screenwriter Elan Mastai tells TIME, it’s also a major storytelling device.

“I only wrote the movie to introduce the sandwich to mainstream America.” he jokes. “Why else even write it?” In actuality, the sandwich started off as a small joke (and played a much smaller role in the play on which the movie is based), but Mastai decided there was good reason to return to it again and again. ““I love the idea of this sandwich coming back as this weird, off-kilter, messy love letter,” he says. “That theme of love being messy, and romance and friendship being messy and embracing the messiness of it — the sandwich started to feel like a weird but effective metaphor for that.”

Which got us thinking: isn’t there an appropriate sandwich metaphor for every relationship? After all, from the zing of a banh mi to the reliability of tuna salad, the variety of sandwiches in the world is as vast as the variety of love.

Take our thoroughly scientific quiz to find out which sandwich best represents your relationship:

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