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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 ... Himself (archive footage)
Hedy Lamarr ... Herself (archive footage)
Spencer Tracy ... Himself (archive footage)
Norma Shearer ... Herself (archive footage)
Robert Taylor ... Himself (archive footage)
Conrad Veidt ... Himself (archive footage)
Alla Nazimova ... Herself (archive footage) (as Nazimova)
The Marx Brothers ... Themselves (archive footage)
Ann Sothern ... Herself (archive footage)
Ruth Hussey ... Herself (archive footage)
Walter Pidgeon ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert Young ... Himself (archive footage)
Lew Ayres ... Himself (archive footage)
Lionel Barrymore ... Himself (archive footage)
Laraine Day ... Herself (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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Passed
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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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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
See full technical specs »
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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

References Ziegfeld Girl (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played during scene with Dancers and Violinist
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Short
17 October 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Miracle of Sound, The (1940)

*** (out of 4)

It's funny to think that so many people go to the movies or watch them on television each week yet I'd be willing to bet that the majority of them doesn't know how sound actually gets on the movies and I'm sure many didn't know this back in 1940, a brief decade after sound became the popular (and only) thing. This documentary runs just under 10-minutes but it has MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer telling us exactly how our favorite movies can speak. This "New Romance of Celluloid" episode is a pretty good one as we get a brief bit of information in a film that is clearly meant to be promotion for future films by the studio. We do get some behind the scenes footage from BITTER SWEET, which was a Technicolor production but we get to see some of the footage in B&W since this was how the documentary was shot. We also get to see Clark Gable's voice from COMRADE X. The rest of the film pretty much spotlights upcoming movies like A WOMAN'S FACE, BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST and THE GREAT ZIEGFELD. In the end, even the promo stuff isn't too bad as we get some nice information that I'm sure many people aren't aware of. Showing this in a theater today would certainly be a lot more entertaining than those silly trivia questions.


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