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The Miracle of Sound (1940)

MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer takes us for a behind the scenes look at how the sound portion of a talking picture is created. Uses Bitter Sweet (1940) (a Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson ... See full summary »

Director:

Douglas Shearer (uncredited)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable ... Self (archive footage)
Hedy Lamarr ... Self (archive footage)
Spencer Tracy ... Self (archive footage)
Norma Shearer ... Self (archive footage)
Robert Taylor ... Self (archive footage)
Conrad Veidt ... Self (archive footage)
Alla Nazimova ... Self (archive footage) (as Nazimova)
The Marx Brothers ... Themselves (archive footage)
Ann Sothern ... Self (archive footage)
Ruth Hussey ... Self (archive footage)
Walter Pidgeon ... Self (archive footage)
Robert Young ... Self (archive footage)
Lew Ayres ... Self (archive footage)
Lionel Barrymore ... Self (archive footage)
Laraine Day ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer takes us for a behind the scenes look at how the sound portion of a talking picture is created. Uses Bitter Sweet (1940) (a Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy picture) and Comrade X (1940) to illustrate the techniques. Parts of this short are in Technicolor, including a stunning screen test of Greer Garson for Blossoms in the Dust (1941). The conclusion is a montage of trailers for coming MGM pictures featuring almost the entire MGM constellation of stars. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Passed
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This short film is available as a bonus on the Warner DVD of The Shop Around the Corner (1940). See more »

Crazy Credits

Douglas Shearer and Greer Garson are credited orally by the narrator. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy are credited orally by Douglas Shearer. All others are identified by a screen graphic. See more »

Connections

Features Comrade X (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are My Lucky Star
(uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Played during the introduction of Douglas Shearer
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Sound Department of MGM
16 August 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Frank Whitbeck narrates this MGM promotional short subject. He introduces Douglas Shearer, for many years the head of the MGM sound department. He had got the job because he was the brother of Norma Shearer, the wife of the now-legendary Irving Thalberg. Doug needed a job, no one knew anything about this new-fangled sound system.... so he got the job and learned along the way. He picked up 14 Oscars during his career. Not a bad job.

It's a promotional short, as I said, and it's used to tell you about forthcoming MGM pictures, some of which never got made, or didn't get made for five years. Along the way, you get the usual two-second portrait shots of some of MGM's stars, of which the saying went, there were more than in heaven. There's also a color test of Greer Garson. As a family snapshot album, it's a lot of fun.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A New Romance of Celluloid: The Miracle of Sound See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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