Hollywood (1980– )
8.3/10
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3 user

Trick of the Light 

The development of cinematography from its primitive beginnings through emergence as a serious art form in the late 1920s. Film clips and interviews with veterans of the period like Karl Brown and George Folsey are highlighted.
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
James Mason ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Brown Karl Brown ... Himself
Viola Dana ... Herself
Allan Dwan ... Himself
George J. Folsey ... Himself (as George Folsey)
Lee Garmes ... Himself
A. Arnold Gillespie A. Arnold Gillespie ... Himself
Lillian Gish ... Herself
Byron Haskin ... Himself
Henry Hathaway ... Himself
Leatrice Joy ... Herself
Bessie Love ... Herself
Colleen Moore ... Herself
Gloria Swanson ... Herself
Alice Terry ... Actress 'Scaramouche' (archive footage)
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Storyline

The development of cinematography from its primitive beginnings through emergence as a serious art form in the late 1920s. Film clips and interviews with veterans of the period like Karl Brown and George Folsey are highlighted.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1980 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

James Mason: Bitzer was a technician who put Griffith's ideas onto celluloid.
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Connections

Features The Enchanted Cottage (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

The Anvil Chorus
from 'Il Travatore" (uncredited)
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
Karl Brown hummed it to hold time while cranking the camera.
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User Reviews

Hollywood Episode 11
28 August 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Hollywood: Trick of the Light (1980)

**** (out of 4)

Wonderful episode in the series takes a look at, what the documentary says, are an actresses best friend and that is the cinematographer. This here is without question one of the best episodes because you really don't ever get to hear too much about the men actually holding the camera. In the early portion we take a look at those dangerous stunts that the stuntman got credit for but we must remember there was someone there holding a camera and cranking it. There are some great shots of stunts being done with cameramen on the side of things shooting it all. As the film goes on we turn to Billy Bitzer who really broke all the rules as he and D.W. Griffith were turning out one important picture after another. Lillian Gish is on hand to talk about what he had to do in WAY DOWN EAST once the cameras started to freeze and they couldn't shoot anything. We also get to hear how Bitzer and Griffith came up with the idea of blocking out reflections and making sure that the eyes could always been seen. One of the best moments happen early one with the filmmakers turn on a camera used in the silent days and show how loud it actually was and give us a detailed example of what one would have to do to be sure they weren't cranking too hard. I really had a lot of fun with this episode simply because you don't get to hear about these men too often. We learn about Mary Pickford and her favorite cameraman as well as Greta Garbo who refused to let anyone else photograph her.


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