A Look Back at the Cannes Film Festival's Pre-Red Carpet Glory Days

The 72nd annual edition of the Cannes Film Festival is officially underway, and it's already off to quite the start: Day 1 saw Selena Gomez make her debut at Cannes alongside Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, thereby joining the illustrious history of the festival's red carpet. But that history only goes back so far; it wasn't until 1987 that the festival rolled out a red carpet at all. For 40 years, the stars and directors who made the annual pilgrimage to the south of France instead rolled up to the beach, tossing aside their high heels decades before Kristen Stewart would memorably follow suit. Cannes's reputation may have evolved into something more conservative since, but in the early days, everyone kept it wild and casual—from teens like Mariel Hemingway and Jodie Foster to Grace Kelly, who spent the beginning of the trip in which she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco, her future husband, posing for photographers on a boat. Join her in a trip down memory lane, along with Jack Nicholson, Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and more, here.

French actress Michèle Morgan on the beach in Cannes, France during the first-ever Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg on the beach in Cannes, France during the Cannes Festival in May of 1974.

Mariel Hemingway while in Cannes, France to promote her film Manhattan for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1979.

Brigitte Bardot and Isabelle Corey in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1956.

Brigitte Bardot running barefoot on the beach while in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in April of 1956.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon in Cannes, France for the Cannes Festival in May of 1970.

Jan Miner, Dustin Hoffman, and Valerie Perrine in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival, presenting Bob Fosse's film Lenny in May of 1975.

The scene at an open-air hair salon overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Cannes, France during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1958.

Producer Mike Todd with his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, while in Cannes, France to promote his film Around the World in Eighty Days at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1957.

Jack Nicholson living his life in Cannes, France during the Cannes Festival in May of 1974.

Michael Caine in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival, promoting his film Alfie with a group of women wearing questionably placed advertisements in May of 1966.

British actress Diana Dors lying on the beach with an effigy of her favorite actor, Gregory Peck, while in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1956.

Italian actress Claudia Cardinale on a beach in Cannes, France with the leopard that she walked on a leash at the screening of Luschino Visconti's film The Leopard, during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1963.

Isabelle Huppert in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival, ahead of receiving the Suzanne Bianchetti award for best young actress in May of 1976.

British actress Diana Dors in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival, being escorted by policemen from the beach to her hotel in May of 1956.

David Bowie standing out from the crowd in Cannes, France for the Cannes Festival in May of 1978.

Agnès Varda in Cannes, France to promote her film Cléo from 5 to 7 at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1962.

French actress Yvonne Furneaux eating spaghetti by the pool post-Cannes Film Festival party for La Dolce Vita, hosted by the photographer Dalmas in Cannes, France in May of 1960.

Grace Kelly on the trip to Cannes, France in which she met her future husband, Prince Rainier of Monaco, during the Cannes Festival in May of 1955.

Tippi Hedren, Alfred Hitchcock, and a flock of birds in Cannes, France, at the Cannes Film Festival presentation of The Birds in May of 1963.

French actress Marina Vlady applying her makeup while in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1962.

Jane Fonda in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in 1978.

Swedish-American actress Ann Margret at a photo call for Ken Russell's film Tommy on the streets of Cannes, France during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1975.

Catherine Deneuve in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1965.

Arnold Schwarzenegger on the beach with women from the Folies Bergère while in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1977.

Juliette Binoche taking flight on the beach in Cannes, France during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1985.

French actress France Anglade in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1960.

Charlotte Rampling and Tennessee Williams in Cannes, France for the Cannes Festival in May of 1976.

Photographers on the scene at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in May of 1965.

Jayne Mansfield surrounded by onlookers and press in a fountain in Cannes, France during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1964.

Kim Novak in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1956.

Sophia Loren on the window ledge of her hotel while in Cannes, France to promote her film Nella Citta L'Inferno at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1959.

Ingrid Bergman, directors Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini, and Cannes Film Festival founder Robert Favre Le Bret on a speedboat tour to the Lerins Islands in the bay of Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1956.

Pierre Cardin in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1961.

Portuguese actress Maria Luz in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1963.

Warren Beatty in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1962.

Sean Connery on the beach in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1965.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Cannes, France for the Cannes Festival in May of 1980.

Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro in Cannes, France to promote their film Taxi Driver at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1976.

Vanessa Redgrave on the beach while in Cannes, France to promote her film Blow Up at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1967.

Zsa Zsa Gabor in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival in May of 1959.

Top row, left to right: Francoise Arnoul, Lucia Simoni, Karl Mohner, E. litvinienko, Claude Farrel, Irene Papas, Jean Cocteau, Elizabeth Scott, and Daniel Gelin leaning out of the windows of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival in April of 1954.

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