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History Brought to Life (1950)

This short turns the spotlight on studio research departments. They are responsible for assuring that the sets, costumes, and props are as accurate as possible for the period in which the ... See full summary »

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(uncredited)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
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Host / Narrator (uncredited)
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Thomas A. Edison (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Storyline

This short turns the spotlight on studio research departments. They are responsible for assuring that the sets, costumes, and props are as accurate as possible for the period in which the film takes place. This includes a broad range of subjects, such as Biblical epics, historical novels, biographies of the famous and not-so-famous, and contemporary drama. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Release Date:

13 March 1950 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Connections

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User Reviews

Obvious Information and Atrocious Print Quality
21 August 2008 | by (Jacksonville, FL) – See all my reviews

This short film plays occasionally on TCM, and it's one of the twelve short films produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) between 1948 and 1951 whose purpose was to promote the film industry in general. Each film discusses one particular role in film production, and this short focuses on the studio research department and their role in helping to create authentic looking and historically accurate films, especially period films.

Like the other short films of this series that I've seen, it really doesn't have anything to say that wasn't already obvious to any reasonably intelligent movie fan. Most of the film is host and narrator Cecil B. DeMille talking over film clips. He discusses how "history can be brought to life" on screen... yeah... we know that. And he discusses how the studio research department performs a lot of research to ensure that the costumes, props, sets, historical data, etc. used for a film are as accurate as possible. That's somewhat well known, and it's also not entirely accurate as we all also know that filmmakers are quite willing to dispense with accuracy in favor of entertainment value.

The worst thing about this short film is the quality of the print shown on TCM. The picture and sound quality are both atrocious, which is hard to understand since the film was made in 1951 AND it was produced by AMPAS. You'd think they'd take better care of their own stuff.

Frankly, I can't think of any reason to recommend this watching this short.


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