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The Boston Globe


Movie Review

Before there was ‘Mad Men’ there was ‘Bert Stern’

Bert Stern loved beautiful women. So did his camera. Consequently, many beautiful women loved him, including Shannah Laumeister, his current girlfriend and director of “Bert Stern: Original Madman,” an effusive, sad, visually gorgeous, and illuminating portrait of the artist. If only Laumeister kept herself out of the picture a bit more, it might have been a masterpiece.

Though Bert Stern loved women, what really started him on his road to excess, and a kind of wisdom, was vodka. Smirnoff, of all things; he took a photo of a gentleman poised with a glass of it in the desert at dawn and it started a revolution in advertising and, incidentally, set the stage for the hit AMC series, “Mad Men.” For, as the title of the film says, Stern was the original mad man.

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