IMDb > This Is Cinerama (1952)
This Is Cinerama
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This Is Cinerama (1952) More at IMDbPro »


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7.2/10   298 votes »
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Release Date:
5 January 1955 (Japan) See more »
The Most Imitated Motion Picture Ever Made! See more »
A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
(14 articles)
The History of Aspect Ratio In this 18-minute educational video...
 (From Hollywonk. 10 July 2013, 11:30 AM, PDT)

Conversations with Link People
 (From FilmExperience. 4 March 2013, 8:58 PM, PST)

Movie House of Worship: Seattle Cinerama
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 17 February 2013, 8:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Back in all its glory See more (16 total) »


  (verified as complete)
Lowell Thomas ... Narrator (voice)
Kathy Darlyn ... Cypress Gardens Water Skiier (uncredited)
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Directed by
Merian C. Cooper 
Gunther von Fritsch (director: Vienna)
Ernest B. Schoedsack (uncredited) (prologue only)
Michael Todd Jr. (European sequence supervisor) (uncredited)
Produced by
Robert L. Bendick .... producer
Merian C. Cooper .... producer
Lowell Thomas .... executive producer
Michael Todd .... executive producer
Original Music by
Sidney Cutner (uncredited)
Howard Jackson (uncredited)
Paul Sawtell (uncredited)
Leo Shuken (uncredited)
Max Steiner (uncredited)
Roy Webb (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harry Squire 
Film Editing by
William Henry 
Milton Shifman 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Steckler .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Leo Kerz .... set designer
Mario Larrinaga .... paintings
Willis H. O'Brien .... paintings contribution (uncredited)
Sound Department
Fred Bosch .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Priestley .... assistant camera
Joseph W. Spiezio .... gaffer
Marty Philbin .... grip (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Philip Hodgetts .... post production consultant (2011 restoration)
Steve Kaufler .... colorist (2011 restoration)
Greg Kimble .... image restoration and color grading (2011 restoration)
Music Department
Louis Forbes .... musical director
Other crew
Richard Babish .... technical assistant
Robert Dresser .... technical assistant
Wentworth D. Fling .... technical assistant
Walter R. Hicks .... technical assistant
William R. Latady .... technical assistant
Paul Mantz .... pilot (segment "America the Beautiful")
Hazard E. Reeves .... technical development
Frank Richmond .... technical assistant
Fred Rickey .... supervisor (segment "America the Beautiful")
Walter Thompson .... prologue supervisor
Fred Waller .... creator of cinerama process
Ernest B. Schoedsack .... prologue contribution (uncredited)
David Coles .... special thanks (2011 restoration)
John Harvey .... special thanks (2011 restoration)
Gunther Jung .... special thanks (2011 restoration)
John Mitchell .... special thanks (2011 restoration)
Roger Pietschmann .... special thanks (2011 restoration)
Larry Smith .... special thanks (2011 restoration)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Argentina:115 min | USA:123 min (2012 restoration)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.59 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

When released in Spain in 1958, the censors of Gen. Francisco Franco cut several minutes out of it.See more »
Errors in geography: In the otherwise wonderful "America the Beautiful" segment, Yosemite Falls is called Bridal Veil Falls in the narration. Also, the Sierra Nevada mountains are said to be in western California, not eastern, which is their correct location.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Last Days of Cinerama (2012)See more »
Finale of Act IISee more »


Where can I see This Is Cinerama?
See more »
23 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Back in all its glory, 8 October 2002
Author: luannjim from Sacramento, CA USA

I sat in the same theater (the Pacific Cinerama Dome on Sunset Blvd. in L.A.) on the same date as mk4 of Long Beach, but I'm happy to say I didn't see the same film; nor did I hear any murmurs of disappointment on the way out. At the screening I attended, when Lowell Thomas proclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen -- this is Cinerama!" and the screen expanded to full size as the rollercoaster began, the audience burst into spontaneous applause. And there was sustained applause during the credits at the end.

This was my third viewing of "This Is Cinerama," having previously seen it at the Esquire in Sacramento in 1963 and the New Neon in Dayton, OH in 1996, and it was far and away the best. (I also saw the disappointing one-strip reissue in 1972 -- which should have been called "This Isn't Cinerama" -- but that doesn't count.) The folks at Arclight Cinema, or whoever is directly responsible for restoring this landmark film, are to be congratulated for having done everything exactly right.

The print at the Dome -- or prints, I should say -- were virtually flawless; I saw only a brief green emulsion line in the right frame for about a minute during the first "Aida" sequence, a very slight blue cast to some of the Cypress Gardens shots, one or two seconds of white speckling, and a single cracked frame during the Venice scene. Otherwise, the film was absolutely flawless, the 1950s Technicolor brilliant, vivid, and stunning. Yes, the seams between the frames were there, but that's a given with Cinerama, like black-and-white photography in many movies or subtitles on foreign films. More important is how the seams were managed by the projection apparatus and operators -- the picture was absolutely ROCK-STEADY, and I was pleased to notice none of the "rippling" that was always noticeable in a Cinerama film when someone or something crossed the seam. I don't know how they managed it, but the Cinerama picture never looked this good before.

As the title clearly implies, "This Is Cinerama" is nothing more or less than a demonstration of the process (which is why the single-frame 1970s reissue was such a dumb idea), and it took people to places they probably couldn't go themselves; travel was not nearly so common or so wide in 1952. Besides, even if someone did make it to La Scala in Milan, how many of them would actually have a chance to stand on stage among the performers? True, the choice of segments, and to a certain extent the narration, reflect middlebrow attitudes of 1952. Deal with it. If that makes "This Is Cinerama" look kitschy or dated now, it's as much a limitation in the eye of the beholder as in the film.

Lowell Thomas says in the prologue, "We truly believe this is going to revolutionize motion pictures," and the truth is, it did. Hollywood flirted with wide-screen processes in the early 1930s, then quickly gave them up. But after "This Is Cinerama," the wide screen was here to stay (and now it's even taking over television!). For that matter, so was stereophonic sound (a term that was actually coined for "This Is Cinerama"). Today it is a rare and cheap movie indeed that isn't shot for the wide screen and recorded in stereo. Cinerama itself may not have survived -- it was, after all, cumbersome and expensive -- but its influence was absolute, and continues to this day.

The restored screenings at the Pacific Cinerama Dome show why, and Arclight Cinemas have done a tremendous service in preserving and reviving the Cinerama experience. I look forward to seeing more (particularly "How the West Was Won," easily the best of all Cinerama movies), especially if they are presented as faithfully as "This Is Cinerama."

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