The LIFE magazine covers for ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ may be fake, but the photos are nothing but iconic and gorgeous.
If you’ve heard about or even already seen the interesting 2013 romantic comedy/adventure film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, chances are you’ve spotted the gorgeous LIFE magazine covers that were featured in the movie. Of course, LIFE itself made mention of the movie and the covers, but not without bursting our bubbles or spoiling us a little bit — yep, the covers were made up especially for the flick.
STILL, for history fans and photography enthusiasts, it’s not at all disappointing because the photos in the covers are actual iconic snaps taken by notable photographers, and many of them are in fact, classic LIFE images. They may not have graced the covers of LIFE magazine in its history, but a number of them — like the serene photo of Mahatma Gandhi by Margaret Bourke White, Marilyn Monroe’s stunning color portrait by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Apollo 11 lift-off photo snapped by Ralph Morse in 1969, and the dramatic portrait of photographer Dennis Stock with his camera taken by Andreas Feininger — will be easily recognized by anyone who has ever flipped through the pages of LIFE publications.
On selecting photos from the millions in LIFE’s archive, ‘Walter Mitty’ production designer Jeff Mann said, “we focused on pictures that would serve the story we were telling, but that would also capture the diversity of what LIFE covered in its prime. We worked really, really hard to select photos that were novel, naïve — in the best possible way — and that featured significant twentieth-century people, places and events.”
Watch the trailer below to see Walter Mitty, the hilarious daydreamer portrayed by Ben Stiller, run past a number of the made-up LIFE magazine covers (starts at 1:10):