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Night Descends on Treasure Island (1940)

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A travelogue celebrating the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition and highlighting its exhibition of classical paintings and stunning lighting effects.


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Complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)


A follow-up to A Day on Treasure Island (1939), this shows the Golden Gate International Exposition at night, as well as the decorative fountains and a dancing-light show. Approximately half of the movie's eight minutes are spent inside the Palace of Fine and Decorative Arts. We see paintings by Jan de Bray, Titian, François-Hubert Drouais, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Raphael, James Chapin, and Thomas Hart Benton. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Short | Documentary






Release Date:

20 January 1940 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)


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Did You Know?


Filmed concurrently with "Cavalcade of San Francisco" and "A Day on Treasure Island." See more »


Follows A Day on Treasure Island (1939) See more »


San Francisco
Music by Bronislau Kaper and Walter Jurmann
Performed by the studio orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

good example of what would appeal to the audiences of the day
27 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Art, no matter what its origin or time, is clearly a joy forever." This short shows the interest the audiences between the wars had in all things artistic, which is why studios like MGM put so many different kinds of music into movies. There was enthusiasm for gaining in sophistication and taste, whether through classes or through their own efforts. It wasn't unusual for people whose only formal instruction was in reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic, to improve their skills outside the classroom. And those who got to college were just as likely to collect Bach and Beethoven as swing 78s. European hymns existed side by side with American gospel. Simple ballads were popular and so was complex jazz. The 1939-40 public would have oohed and ahed over the light show AND been thrilled to see famous paintings.

Excellent as history and beautiful as art. Having missed the first half showing the exhibition by day I didn't have the background on the exhibition that would have made it more interesting but I can't blame this film for my not seeing part one.

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