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The Art Director (1949)

A backstage look at the job of the motion picture art director.


Otto Lang (uncredited)


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Uncredited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Himself - edited from 'Laura' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ronald Colman ... Himself - edited from 'Late George Apley' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Joan Fontaine ... Herself - edited from 'Jane Eyre' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ann Harding ... Herself - edited from unidentified film (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rita Johnson ... Herself - edited from 'The Big Clock' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Laughton ... Himself - edited from 'The Big Clock' (archive footage) (uncredited)
George Macready ... Himself - edited from 'The Big Clock' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Dorothy McGuire ... Herself - edited from 'Gentleman's Agreement' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ray Milland ... Himself - edited from 'The Big Clock' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Gregory Peck ... Himself / Philip Schuyler Green (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Himself - edited from unidentified film (archive footage) (uncredited)


A film's art director is in charge of the set, from conception to construction to furnishing. This short film walks the viewer through art directors' responsibilities and the demands on their talents. They read a script carefully and design a set to capture the time and place, the social strata, and the mood. They must be scholars of the history of architecture, furnishings, and fashion. They choose the colors on a set in anticipation of the lighting and the mood. Their work also sets styles, from Art Deco in the 20's to 30s modernism. Then it's on to the next project. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short







Release Date:

11 November 1949 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Although technically a documentary, professional actors Harry Carter and Charles Tannen play the Art Director's Assistant and the Assistant Director, respectively. See more »


Features Marie Antoinette (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

A backstage look at the arduous job of the art director...
27 March 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Fascinating glimpse into the work an art director is supposed to do on any motion picture assigned to him. We get some quick looks at mostly Twentieth Century Fox films (IN OLD CHICAGO, LAURA, JANE EYRE), where sets had to be designed beforehand and much planning went into every aspect of the art director's job.

His first job is to analyze the script and decide what backgrounds will be needed. He needs to tailor his designs to fit the mood and taste of the story and the station in life of the people who are the central characters. When it is a period film, extensive research must be done so that all the sets will be as authentic as possible.

Interesting commentary gives a fairly good idea of what the art director's task is and how he must work to fill those requirements.

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