The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

Art Directors Society Screening Tribute to Lyle Wheeler, William Cameron Menzies and James Wong Howe, ASC


September 3, 2008

Sunday, September 21 – 5:30 PM

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1938, Disney, 77 min. Dir.Norman Taurog. Writer Ben Hecht once told David O. Selznick, "The trouble with you, David, is that you did all your reading before you were twelve." And lucky for us he did! This picture represents a milestone in motion picture art direction as it brought together, for the first time as collaborators, art directors Lyle Wheeler and William Cameron Menzies. They would go on to design a series of pictures together for Selznick International, culminating in their historic collaboration on Gone With the Wind. This was the fourth attempt and is regarded by many as the best adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic novel about the world of his childhood, growing up along the Mississippi in rural Missouri. The climactic cave sequence with Injun Joe (Victor Jory) is unforgettable, and it was described at the time as "too horrible for children." Shot in Technicolor by James Wong Howe, ASC, whose work and subdued color capture so angered Technicolor that he was barred from using their system for more than 10 years after. With Tommy Kelly, Jackie Moran, Walter Brennan. 15 minute DVD presentation precedes the screening.

Discussion after the film with a panel of highly regarded industry professionals on the significant legacy of these three leading film narrative artists, moderated by designer and ADG Film Society co-chair Tom Walsh.



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