Harold and Lillian eloped to Hollywood in 1947, where they became the film industry's secret weapons. Nobody talked about them, but everybody wanted them. Theirs is the greatest story never told-until now.
Movie fans know the work of Harold and Lillian Michelson, even if they don't recognize the names. Working largely uncredited in the Hollywood system, storyboard artist Harold and film researcher Lillian left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski and many more. Through an engaging mix of love letters, film clips and candid conversations with Harold and Lillian, Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others, this deeply engaging documentary from Academy Award®-nominated director Daniel Raim offers both a moving portrait of a marriage and a celebration of the unknown talents that help shape the films we love.
[referring to Tom Waits]
And he just liked to sit there and just talk about his life. He had this gravelly voice that just was fascinating. Everything that came out of him sounded as if it should be a police confession.
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Charming if overly chummy portrayal of Behind The Scenes Tinseltown
This sweet documentary has garnered a lot of love in Tinseltown. It depicts the long marriage between Harold Michelson (Storyboard artist, Production Designer) and Lillian Michelson (Researcher) and their work behind the scenes on many a motion picture going back decades. Harold has unfortunately passed on, so it is Lillian that is front and center with her recollections.
There are some nice clips and photos not only of their union, but, of the many films they worked on. There are some wonderful illustrations by Patrick Mate, but since Harold was an illustrator himself, I would have preferred more of his work. A minor point. A larger issue is that the movie gets a bit chummy with the subjects. It's a common issue with docs where one or more of the subjects is an active participant. While Harold & Lillian certainly were key behind the scenes players, they weren't quite as critical as the Doc makes them out to be. And, Harold's long history on Television is almost completely ignored in order to focus on his feature films (certainly the main focus, but, 100 episodes of TV is a pretty significant thing to bypass; it also explains the feature film gap in the chronology that isn't fully explained here). Fairly minor quibbles, but worth noting. This being a Doc about the business, expect it to be a player come awards season (Hollywood loves nothing more than patting itself on the back).
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