Academy Treasures

Tag: Academy Treasures
The first theme park of its kind, Disneyland opened sixty years ago this month in Anaheim, California. The ambitious undertaking was a dream project for Walt Disney, a record-breaking Academy Award winner and animation pioneer, and ever since it has entertained millions of visitors and multiple generations of families from around the globe. Now let's take a look back at the early days of Disneyland, which opened with great fanfare in 1955 complete with enthusiastic media coverage.[[{"fid":"59016","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value...
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When Philadelphia-based publisher J.B. Lippincott Company decided to publish Harper Lee’s debut novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the company requested an initial print run of just 5,000 copies.  Nevertheless, upon its release in July 1960, the novel swiftly gained popularity and earned a place on the New York Times bestseller list. Unusual for a promising literary property, the motion picture rights to which were often sold before publication, To Kill a Mockingbird spent six weeks on the list before producer Alan J. Pakula and director Robert Mulligan acquired the rights to the book, which...
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Showcasing America's lasting love of fireworks and hamburgers (and demonstrating the great strides made in food advertising aesthetics), “Come and Get ‘Em” is one of the many vintage snipes in the vaults of the Academy Film Archive. Snipes, or brief promotional films screened ahead of (or in-between) features, provide unique snapshots of the movie-going experience of yesteryear.  Not only tempting audiences with the wondrous delights of the refreshment stand, these culturally significant materials also informed viewers about the many issues of the day such as the miracle of movie theater...
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The original Muscle Beach, located south of the Santa Monica Pier, was constructed in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration with the intention of creating a park on a public beach. By the 1940s however, Muscle Beach frequently appeared as a standing joke in trade magazines and was often mentioned with innuendo in Hollywood gossip columns. For filmmaker Joseph Strick, however, the beach scene offered an opportunity to observe and document an emerging subculture of gymnasts, bodybuilders and exhibitionists. His 1948 short Muscle Beach, made with assistance from fellow filmmaker Irving...
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With summer upon us, we hark back to a time when the warmer months allowed films to be shown outdoors at airdomes, and theatergoers were familiar with the glass slides that were part of the show. In their earlier days, glass slides, also known romantically as “lantern slides,” were part of an entertainment device called the magic lantern. A precursor to motion pictures, magic lanterns were popular both in the home and in theaters in the 18th and 19th centuries. They projected the images from hand-tinted glass slides onto a screen or wall through the use of candles or lanterns, which grew in...
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Charles Guggenheim (1924-2002) devoted his life to documentary filmmaking. An acclaimed director with a career that spanned five decades and films that garnered 12 Academy Award nominations and four wins, Guggenheim pursued his craft with an intensity and depth that few have matched.Evident in his work is a compassionate concern for the American experience, a subject Guggenheim explored time and again in films that are critical, celebratory, and oftentimes both. He is the rarest of documentarians: a man who not only captured the events of his time, but helped shape them. Seen above is a photo...
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As any movie fan can tell you, correct casting is vital to a movie’s success. This is especially true when a film is being adapted from an existing property, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved stage musical Oklahoma! Actually, the rigorous matching of the correct person to each job began with picking the director who would steer the film version. The choice of Fred Zinnemann was unconventional because he had no prior experience directing a musical, and instead was known for dramatic fare such as High Noon (1952) and From Here to Eternity (1953). Zinnemann did want to be a musician...
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Keye Luke (1904-1991), the Chinese-American actor whose Hollywood career spanned seven decades, made his screen debut in an uncredited supporting role in The Painted Veil (1934), but his big break came when he was cast as Lee Chan, detective Charlie Chan’s “Number One Son,” at Fox (soon to become Twentieth Century-Fox). The Chan series, starring Warner Oland, had begun several years earlier, but really hit its stride when Luke stepped in as a sleuthing sidekick and youthful comic foil for Oland. Both are seen below in Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937).[[{"fid":"57571","view_mode":"default","...
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Currently on display in the Academy's Linwood Dunn Theater is an exhibition of behind-the-scenes movie photography that charts the history of motion pictures and lifts the studio curtain to reveal the collaborative work that breathes life into the silver screen. From silent cinema to the advent of sound, early independent productions to the rise and fall of the studio system, black-and-white to color, widescreen, 3-D, computer generated imagery and beyond, it’s all here.The talented still photographers who created these images were not limited just to taking glamour shots of star favorites,...
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Born on this day in 1899, American animator Walter Lantz is perhaps best known as the creator of cartoon character Woody Woodpecker. In fact, in 1979 when Robin Williams presented Lantz with an Honorary Award at the 51st Academy Awards for his contributions to the art of animation, an animated Woody Woodpecker appeared onstage alongside Lantz to accept the award.In 1948, eight years after Woody’s first theatrical appearance, Lantz was approached by the Coca-Cola Company to produce animated theatrical advertisements to promote their product. Lantz agreed and eventually produced 20 shorts...
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