By James Curtis
He was once the consummate dressmaker of movie structure on a grand scale, inspired by way of German expressionism and the paintings of the nice eu administrators. He used to be identified 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 digital camera angles, lighting fixtures, and the actors’ positions for every scene, translating dramatic conventions of the degree to the hot functions of movie.
this is the long-awaited e-book on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood’s first and maximum creation dressmaker, a role name David O. Selznick invented for Menzies’ remarkable, 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 was once to boot a director (fourteen photographs) and a manufacturer (twelve pictures)—who replaced the best way video clips have been (and nonetheless are) made, in a occupation that spanned 4 a long time, from the Nineteen Twenties throughout the Nineteen 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 a superb 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 so much influential dressmaker within the background of movie. His artistry encompassed the big, scenic drawings of Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which created a brand new usual for attractiveness at the display 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 liked Rogue (1927), a movie that is still a masterpiece of craft and synthesis, essentially the most specific photos to emerge from Hollywood’s waning days of silent motion pictures, and of his impressive, opulent appointments for Gone With the Wind (1939).
It was once Menzies who outlined and solidified the position of artwork director as having total keep an eye on of the glance of the movie, taking part with manufacturers like David O. Selznick and Samuel Goldwyn; with administrators equivalent to D. W. Griffith, Raoul Walsh, Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone, and Frank Capra. And with actors as diverse 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, buddies, and relations, and with complete entry to the William Cameron Menzies kin selection of unique paintings, correspondence, scrapbooks, and unpublished writing, Curtis brilliantly offers us the path-finding paintings of the films’ such a lot bold and dynamic creation clothier: his evolution as artist, artwork director, construction clothier, and director. here's a portrait of a guy in his time that makes transparent how the films have been without end reworked by way of his startling, visionary work.
(With sixteen pages of colour illustrations, and black-and-white images throughout.)