Chamois (wash-leather)
Brasile-Germania 1-7

Brasile-Germania 1-7

France-Allemagne, c’est du passé: Pressentie à l’issue de la phase de groupe, l’affiche du quart de finale de Coupe du monde entre la France et l’Allemagne, une fois confirmée par leurs victoires en huitièmes, a immanquablement suscité quelque émoi – en même temps qu’une vague de rappels et de commémorations de leurs précédentes rencontres de Coupe du monde en 1982 et 1986.

As 2013 winds down, and as media outlets online and off begin to roll out their traditional end-of-year Top 10 lists, gamely joins the fray.

Well, we’re sort of joining the fray. After all, 99 percent of the photos we’ve posted this year were taken decades ago. To be exact, they were made by LIFE staff photographers between 1936 (when the magazine launched) and 1972 (when it ceased publishing as a weekly). With the exception of one gallery of photos from the very early 1990s, none of the pictures that appeared on this year were taken after 1972. And while quite a few of the stories we wrote might have referenced or been inspired by current events, it simply feels closer to our mission as a website to look back not at the year that was, but at the decades in the middle part of the 20th century — when LIFE was at its peak — for our own end-of-the-year “Top 10″ feature.

Read more: LIFE Magazine: 10 Iconic Covers From the Famed Weekly |

It’s a scene straight out of a movie — but in this case, it’s nothing less than a pivotal moment in a real-life Hollywood legend’s life. Clad in a show-stopping velvet dress and fur stole, a young Marilyn Monroe glides across the floor of the Club Del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif., in January 1952. The starlet is there to pick up an award, the “Henrietta” for Best Young Box Office Personality from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the organization that bestows the Golden Globes).

The blonde bombshell captivates the room. She’s single, after all, and few men at the party that night fail to notice her. But in more ways than one, and to a degree that no one present can possibly imagine or foresee, the 25-year-old Marilyn’s life is about to change, and change utterly. Just a month and a half down the road, in March 1952, she will go on her first date with a professional baseball player named Joe DiMaggio. They will wed in 1954 — although the seemingly storybook marriage will last a mere nine months, before Monroe files for divorce on the grounds of “mental cruelty.”

Read more: Marilyn Monroe: Rare Photos of an Up-and-Coming Movie Star in 1952 |

He had the requisite looks, charm and talent, but it wasn’t until 1969, when he was in his mid-30s, that Robert Redford truly broke out as a genuine Hollywood player. That year he starred in two very good films (Downhill Racer and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here) and one hugely entertaining, honest-to-god classic, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

As fate would have it, 1969 was also the year that LIFE photographer John Dominis spent a week with Redford as the legend-in-the-making mixed business and pleasure at his homes in Utah and New York, chronicling the days and nights of an increasingly famous man struggling mightily to maintain control of both his private life and his career.

Read more: Robert Redford: Rare Photos by LIFE Photographer John Dominis, 1969 |

Alain Delon à la voiture, à la moto…

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