|Index||3 reviews in total|
George Pal is the father of modern sci-fi. This documentary is one of the most enjoyable I have ever seen. Pal was a hero of mine since I first saw his classic "Destination Moon" in 1950. It was astounding. I watched it over and over and waited for another picture from him. The wait was worth it. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, WAR OF THE WORLDS, CONQUEST OF SPACE, THE TIME MACHINE and NAKED JUNGLE. Each and every picture won Academy Awards for best special effects. This Documentory goes into every aspect of Mr. Pal's life from the early days at Paramount and his Puppetoons to his last movie. The stars that worked for him are interviewed from Charlton Heston to Rod Taylor. This is a real treat.
"The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal" (1985 - 93 minutes), written, produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit, is a spectacular documentary about the life and workmanship of the director George Pal. It presents some very cool testimonies of Rod Taylor, Ray Bradbury, Tony Curtis, Joe Dante, Barbara Eden, Ray Harryhausen, Roy Disney, Charlton Heston, Walter Lantz, Janeth Leigh, Tonny Randall, Gene Roddenberry and Robert Wise. Originally an architect, the Hungarian George Pal (1908-1980) is one of the best references of the fantastic cinema and the animation in stop-motion. Pal became famous in Europe for his advertising films using animation of dolls, technique named by him as "Puppetoons". The first one of them, in 1932, was a great success and showed cigarettes dancing. Running away from the Second World War, the director went to United States where he began to work to Paramount Pictures. He started making a series of short animations and soon he was producing and directing movies, always with his particular touch of fantasy and special effects. During five decades Pal produced and/or directed classics as "War of the Worlds", "Seven Faces of Doctor Lao", "Destination Moon", "The Time Machine", "Conquest of Space", "When Worlds Collide", "Atlantis: The Lost Continent","Sinbad ","Aladdin" and "The Wonderful Worlds of Brothers Grimm". "The Power"(1968) and "Doc Savage"(1975) were his last productions. An indispensable documentary.
This is a documentary about George Pal--a man who created MANY fanciful films over the years. When he lived in Europe, he produced many animated films--mostly using stop-motion. And, when he left to come to America during the Nazi era, he continued with stop-motion but also graduated up to directing and producing films with such amazing topics as sci-fi, fantasy and mythology. The film consists (not surprisingly) of many clips from his films but also archival footage of Pal (who had died by the time the documentary was made) as well as many interviews with folks who admired him as well as starred in his films. What I found most fascinating were not the clips (frankly, the artistry today looks very quaint) but how affectionate everyone was when they talked about him. It wasn't just admiration for his skills but his decency as a person. Folks just seemed to love him--and I am sure this film will work better because of this. Interesting and well worth seeing, though I wish they'd included more of his Puppetoons film work. Well made and charming.
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