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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

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 Tortilla Flat (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Dear Little Cafe
(uncredited)
Written by Noël Coward
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
From the film Bitter Sweet (1940)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun for Film Buffs
21 May 2006 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

This short film purports to be about the intricacies of sound technology, but it's really more of an excuse to showcase a batch of big-name MGM stars and some coming attractions. But either way it's fascinating. We go behind the scenes for the filming of a scene featuring Jeannette McDonald and Nelson Eddy, and get a glimpse of the massive technicolor camera being used. There is also a scene featuring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr, in which we see their voices represented as sound waves. But this is all surface-level stuff and a prelude to an extended preview of coming attractions. And what a preview it is! Clark Gable, Greer Garson, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, one right after the next. There's a nostalgic thrill in seeing a preview for "The Philadelphia Story" before anyone knew that that movie would become one of the most beloved of all time. Fun stuff.


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