Although the title suggests an assassination, it actually refers to Clarence Sinclair Bull, who was MGM's chief portrait and glamour photographer from the studio's inception in 1924 to his retirement in 1961. He began photographing Garbo with her last silent film The Kiss in 1929, and after that she wanted no one else to photograph her. Bull would take over 4,000 individual studies of Garbo, devoting 2 days in his gallery for each of her films. She would pose in the character she was playing, since she saw the stills as part of the film-making process. The stills from The Kiss are particularly striking, "suffused with an elegaic softness and allure" writes Terence Pepper in the text. Bull enclosed Garbo's face in a black shadowy background, and, in contrast to her previous demure studies where she averted her eyes, he had her look directly into the camera and communicate directly with the viewer, "preserving her inner mood". A beret photograph is so potent that the studio used it for the film poster, and it prefigures her think-of-nothing final close-up from her later Queen Christina. Bull also transposed a vignette study of Garbo's face onto a photograph of the Cairo Sphinx, to create "The Swedish Sphinx". When he timorously showed her the result, he was surprised that instead of being offended, she howled with laughter, and approved it's release. It may have become the most widely distributed of her images, but it remains camp at best. Bull would say that she had no bad side and no bad angle, which made her the easiest of all the stars to photograph. Plus he thought she enjoyed their sessions, never tiring of posing for him. The images confirm MGM's agenda of creating flawless beauty, held up before the admiring throng as "nothing less than the Hope diamond in the flesh". Garbo's skin has a statue-esque perfection, her hair lit to be look soft and pliable. She never smiles but emotion is still evident. The one study in colour is for Two Faced Woman, which is less flattering than the black and white stills. Her hair has been pulled back slightly with a hidden ribbon, exposing her large forehead, and the hardness of her later Cecil Beaton studies emerges, her mouth almost in a sneer of disdain. Perhaps she knew making the film would be a mistake and an end to her film career. We also have a study of Chris, Garbo's stand-in, who apparently was even more mysterious than the one she doubled for. After Garbo retired, perhaps it is only the studies of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn that can match the iconoclastic grandness of Bull's work with Garbo, which proves that no matter how talented the photographer, the subject is everything. This kind of portraiture would decline with the collapse of the studios, and when you see the later studies of less arresting faces, perhaps this was for the best. Garbo flourished in a period where the ideals of beauty she radiated were desperately needed, but she always a reluctant star. When the world became indifferent, so did she.