By James Curtis
He used to be the consummate clothier of movie structure on a grand scale, encouraged via German expressionism and the paintings of the good ecu administrators. He used to be recognized for his visible aptitude and undying innovation, a guy who meticulously preplanned the colour and layout of every movie via a chain of continuity sketches that made transparent digicam angles, lighting fixtures, and the actors’ positions for every scene, translating dramatic conventions of the degree to the recent services of movie.
here's the long-awaited booklet on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s first and maximum creation dressmaker, a task identify David O. Selznick invented for Menzies’ outstanding, all-encompassing, Academy Award–winning paintings on Gone With the Wind (which he successfully co-directed).
It used to be Menzies—winner of the first-ever Academy Award for paintings course, together for The Dove (1927) and Tempest (1928), and who used to be in addition a director (fourteen photos) and a manufacturer (twelve pictures)—who replaced the best way video clips have been (and nonetheless are) made, in a occupation that spanned 4 many years, from the Nineteen Twenties in the course of the Fifties. His greater than a hundred and twenty motion pictures contain Rosita (1923), Things to Come (1936), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Kings Row (1942), Mr. Lucky (1943), The satisfaction of the Yankees (1943), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Address Unknown (1944), It’s an excellent Life (1947), Invaders from Mars (1953), and Around the realm in eighty Days (1956).
Now, James Curtis, acclaimed movie historian and biographer, writes of Menzies’ existence and paintings because the such a lot influential clothier within the background of movie. His artistry encompassed the massive, scenic drawings of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which created a brand new general for good looks at the monitor and whose unique fairy-tale units are nonetheless considered as natural genius. (“I observed The Thief of Bagdad whilst it first got here out,” acknowledged Orson Welles—he was once, on the time, a nine-year-old boy. “I’ll always remember it.”) Curtis writes of Menzies’ layout and supervision of John Barrymore’s loved Rogue (1927), a movie that is still a masterpiece of craft and synthesis, the most designated photographs to emerge from Hollywood’s waning days of silent movies, and of his notable, opulent appointments for Gone With the Wind (1939).
It used to be Menzies who outlined and solidified the position of paintings director as having total keep watch over of the glance of the movie, participating with manufacturers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with administrators reminiscent of D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as diversified as Ingrid Bergman, W. C. Fields, Cary furnish, Clark Gable, John Barrymore, Barbara Stanwyck, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and David Niven.
Interviewing colleagues, actors, administrators, neighbors, and relatives, and with complete entry to the William Cameron Menzies kinfolk choice of unique art, correspondence, scrapbooks, and unpublished writing, Curtis brilliantly offers us the path-finding paintings of the flicks’ so much bold and dynamic construction fashion designer: his evolution as artist, artwork director, creation fashion designer, and director. here's a portrait of a guy in his time that makes transparent how the flicks have been without end remodeled through his startling, visionary work.
(With sixteen pages of colour illustrations, and black-and-white photos throughout.)