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William Cameron Menzies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Cameron Menzies
Menzies in 1925
Born(1896-07-29)July 29, 1896
DiedMarch 5, 1957(1957-03-05) (aged 60)
EducationYale University, University of Edinburgh
Occupation(s)Production designer, film director
Years active1917–1956
AwardsBest Art Direction
1928 The Dove ; Tempest
Academy Honorary Award
1939 Gone with the Wind

William Cameron Menzies (July 29, 1896 – March 5, 1957) was an American film production designer (a job title he invented)[1] and art director as well as a film director and producer during a career spanning five decades. He began his career during the silent era, and later pioneered the use of color in film for dramatic effect.

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Early years

Menzies was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Scots immigrant parents, Charles A. and Helen originally from Aberfeldy, Scotland. He studied at Yale and the University of Edinburgh and, after serving in the United States Army during World War I, he attended the Art Students League of New York.


Menzies joined Famous Players–Lasky, later to evolve into Paramount Pictures, working in special effects and design. He soon worked on such films as Robin Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), The Bat (1926), The Dove (1927), Sadie Thompson (1928), and Tempest (1928). His contributions to The Dove (1927), as well as Tempest (1928) led to Menzies receiving the first Academy Award for Best Production Design, an accolade for achievement in art direction. In 1929, Menzies formed a partnership with producer Joseph M. Schenck to create a series of early sound short films visualizing great works of music, including a 10-minute version of Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and created the production design and special effects for Schenck's feature film The Lottery Bride (1930).

Menzies's work on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) prompted David O. Selznick to hire him for Gone with the Wind (1939).[2] Selznick's faith in Menzies was so great that he sent a memorandum to everyone at Selznick International Pictures who was involved in the production reminding them that "Menzies is the final word" on everything related to Technicolor, scenic design, set decoration, and the overall look of the production.[3] His work on the film would also net Menzies an honorary academy award for production design.

"Production designer" (which is sometimes used interchangeably with "art director") was coined specifically for Menzies, to refer to his being the final word on the overall look of the production; it was intended to describe his ability to translate Selznick's ideas to drawings and paintings from which he and his fellow directors worked.[citation needed]

Menzies was the director of the burning of Atlanta sequence in Gone with the Wind. He also re-shot the Salvador Dalí dream sequence of Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945).[4]

In addition, Menzies directed dramas and fantasy films. He made two science-fiction films: Things to Come (1936), based on a novel by H.G. Wells, for producer Alexander Korda which predicted war and technical advancement; and Invaders from Mars (1953), which mirrored many fears about aliens and outside threats to humanity in the 1950s.


Shortly after completing his work as an associate producer on Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Menzies died of cancer. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


At the first Academy Awards, held on May 16, 1929, Menzies won for Best Art Direction for The Dove and Tempest. He was the first to win the Academy Award for art direction. The following year he was nominated in the same categories for his work on Bulldog Drummond, Alibi, and The Awakening, but lost to Cedric Gibbons.

At the 12th Academy Awards held on February 29, 1940, Menzies won an Academy Honorary Award "for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood" in the production of Gone With the Wind.


In 2005, Menzies was in the first group of art directors and production designers inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame.[5]

Several of Menzies home movies are part of the collection of the Academy Film Archive and were preserved by the archive in 2015.[6]

Silent Films, 1918-1930

Year Title Studio Director Photography Notes
1917 (released 4 November) The Mark of Cain Astra Film/Pathé George Fitzmaurice Arthur C. Miller Menzies assistant to "Settings" director Anton Grot
1918 (released 24 February) The Naulahka Astra Film/Pathé George Fitzmaurice Arthur C. Miller Menzies set associate to Anton Grot
1918 (released 27 January) Innocent Astra Film Corp/Pathé George Fitzmaurice Percy Hilburn With Anton Grot; Menzies joined the U.S. Navy before the film's completion.
1919 (released 6 April) The Test of Honor Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures John S. Robertson Jacques Monteran Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged" (uncredited)
1919 (released 27 April) Redhead Select Pictures Corp./Select Film Corp. Charles Maigne Al Liguori Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 11 May) Come Out of the Kitchen Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures John S. Robertson Jacques Monteran Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 22 June) The Avalanche Famous Players–Lasky/Artcraft Pictures George Fitzmaurice Arthur C. Miller Fitzmaurice is credited with set design. Menzies' reports "staging" the picture. (uncredited)
1919 (released 6 July) The Firing Line Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft George Fitzmaurice Al Liguori Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 14 July) His Wedding Night Select Pictures Corp./Select Pictures Corp. George Fitzmaurice Jacques Monteran Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 17 August) A Society Exile Famous Players–Lasky/Artcraft Pictures George Fitzmaurice Arthur C. Miller Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 6 July) The Misleading Widow Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft John S. Robertson Roy Overbaugh Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged." (uncredited)
1919 (released 7 September) The Witness for the Defense Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft George Fitzmaurice Hal Young Menzies credited for "Settings"
1919 (released 2 November) The Teeth of the Tiger Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft Chet Withey Al Liguori Menzies credited for "Settings"
1919 (released 21 December) His Wife's Friend Thomas H. Ince/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft Joseph De Grasse John S. Stumar Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged [art direction]." (uncredited)
1920 (released 15 March) Sinners Realart Pictures Inc./Realart Pictures Inc. Kenneth Webb George Folsey Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged [art direction]." (uncredited)
1920 (released April) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures-Artcraft John S. Robertson Roy Overbaugh Menzies provided a draft summary for the film.(uncredited)
1920 (released 2 May) The Deep Purple Mayflower Photoplay Company/Realart Pictures Inc. Raoul Walsh Jacques Bizeul Menzies credited for "Settings"
1921 (released March) Scrambled Wives Margaret Clark Productions/First National Pictures Edward H. Griffith William McCoy, Ray June Menzies reports this "a movie I have staged [art direction]." (uncredited)
1921 (released April) The Oath Mayflower Photoplay Corp/Associated First National Raoul Walsh Dal Clawson Menzies credited for "Settings"
1921 (released August) Serenade R.A.Walsh Productions/Associated First National Raoul Walsh George Peters Menzies credited for "Settings"
1922 (released 27 February) Kindred of the Dust R.A.Walsh Productions/Associated First National Raoul Walsh Charles Van Enger, H. Lyman Broening Menzies credited for "Settings"
1923 (released 27 February) Rosita Mary Pickford Company/United Artists Ernst Lubitsch Charles Rosher Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1924 (released 18 March) The Thief of Bagdad Douglas Fairbanks| Pictures/United Artists Raoul Walsh Arthur Edeson Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1924 (released 26 October) The Only Woman Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Pictures Sidney Olcott Antonio Gaudio Menzies credited for "Settings"
1924 (released 27 October) Her Night of Romance Norma Talmadge Production Corporation/First National Pictures Sidney Franklin Ray Binger, Victor Milner Menzies credited for "Art Direction"
1925 (released 8 February) The Lady Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Pictures Frank Borzage Antonio Gaudio Menzies credited for "Settings"
1925 (released 25 January) Learning to Love Norma Talmadge Production Corporation]]/First National Pictures Sidney Franklin Victor Milner Menzies credited for "Settings"
1925 (released 2 August) Her Sister from Paris Norma Talmadge Production Corporation/First National Pictures Sidney Franklin Arthur Edeson Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1925 (released 30 August) Graustark Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Pictures Dimitri Buchowetzki Gaetana Gaudio Menzies credited for "Settings"
1925 (released 4 September) The Dark Angel Samuel Goldwyn Productions/First National Pictures George Fitzmaurice George Barnes Menzies credited for "Settings"
1925 (released 8 November) The Eagle Art Finance Corporation/United Artists] Clarence Brown George Barnes Menzies credited for "Settings"
1925 (released 30 November) Cobra Ritz-Carlton Pictures/Paramount Pictures Joseph Henabery George Barnes Menzies credited for "Settings"
1926 (released 1 February) The Wanderer Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures Raoul Walsh Victor Milner Menzies credited for "Settings"
1926 (released 14 March) The Bat Famous Players–Lasky/Paramount Pictures Roland West Arthur Edeson Menzies credited for "Settings"
1926 (released 4 April) Kiki Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Clarence Brown Oliver Marsh Menzies credited for "Settings"
1926 (released 9 July) The Son of the Sheik Feature Productions/United Artists George Fitzmaurice George Barnes Menzies credited for "Settings"
1926 (released 22 August) Fig Leaves 20th Century Fox Howard Hawks Joseph August Menzies and William S. Darling credited for "Settings" Menzie's contribution was only to the Garden of Eden sequence at opening of the picture.
1926 (released 5 September) The Duchess of Buffalo Talmadge Production Corporation/First National Pictures Sydney Franklin Oliver Marsh Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 27 March) The Beloved Rogue Feature Productions/United Artists Alan Crosland Joseph August Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 20 March) Venus of Venice Talmadge Production Corporation/First National Pictures Marshall Neilan George Barnes Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 21 April) Camille Joseph M. SchenckProductions/First National Pictures Fred Niblo Oliver Marsh Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 16 June) Topsy and Eva Feature Productions/United Artists] Del Lord, D. W. Griffith (uncredited) John W. Boyle Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 23 September) Two Arabian Knights The Caddo Company/United Artists Lewis Milestone Antonio Guidio, Joseph August (uncredited) Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 12 November) Sorrell and Son Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Pictures Herbert Brenon James Wong Howe Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1927 (released 31 December) Quality Street Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Pictures Sydney Franklin Hendrik Sartov Menzies uncredited, but designed the film's Green Willow Village on the M-G-M lot.
1927 (released 31 December) The Dove Joseph M. Schenck Productions/First National Roland West Oliver Marsh Menzies credited for "Settings"
1928 (released 7 January) Sadie Thompson Gloria Swanson Productions, Inc./United Artists Raoul Walsh Oliver Marsh Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (released 22 January) What Price Beauty? S. George Ulman Productions/Pathe Tom Buckingham J.D. Jennings Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (released 4 February) Drums of Love Feature Productions/United Artists D. W. Griffith Karl Struss, G.W. Bitzer Menzies credited for "Settings"
1928 (released 24 January) "The Garden of Eden Feature Productions/United Artists Lewis Milestone John Arnold (Technicolor sequence) Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (showing 9 May) The Love of Zero Florey-Menzies Productions/(first Los Angeles showing) Robert Florey Edward Fitzgerald Menzies credited with "Staging"
1928 (released 8 July) Drums of Love] Feature Productions/United Artists John W. Considine Jr. Charles Rosher Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (released 11 August) The Woman Disputed Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Henry King, Sam Taylor Oliver Marsh Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (released 12 October) The Battle of the Sexes Art Cinema Corporation/United Artists D. W. Griffith Karl Struss, G.W. Bitzer Menzies credited for "Settings"
1928 (released 3 November) Revenge Edwin Carewe Productions/United Artists Edwin Carewe Albert Kurrie, Alfred E. Green Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1928 (released 17 November) The Awakening Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists Victor Fleming George Barnes Menzies credited as "Art Director""
1929 (released 12 January) The Rescue Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists Herbert Brenon George Barnes, Joseph F. Biroc Menzies credited as "Art Director""
1929 (released 16 February) Lady of the Pavements Art Cinema Corporation/United Artists D. W. Griffith Karl Struss, G.W. Bitzer Menzies credited for "Settings" Released in an 8-reel silent version
1928 (released 30 March) Coquette Mary Pickford Film Corporation]/United Artists Sam Taylor Karl Struss Menzies credited for "Settings"; silent version planned, Pickford cancelled it
1929 (released March) Alibi Feature Productions/United Artists Roland West Ray June Menzies credited as "Art Director""; released in 8-reel silent version
1929 (released 12 January) This is Heaven Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists Alfred Santell George Barnes, Gregg Toland Menzies credited as "Art Director""
1929 (released 3 August) Bull Drummond Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists F. Richard Jones George Barnes, Gregg Toland Menzies credited for "Settings""; released in 7-reel silent version
1929 (released 15 September) Three Live Ghosts Feature Productions/United Artists Thornton Freeland Robert Planck Menzies credited as "Art Director""
1929 (released 5 October) Impressions of Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812 Feature Productions/United Artists Hugo Riesenfeld (producer) Karl Struss Menzies credited with "Pictorial Effects"
1929 (released 26 October) The Taming of the Shrew Mary Pickford Corporation, Elton Corporation/United Artists Sam Taylor Karl Struss Menzies credited as "Art Director"
1929 (released 16 November) The Locked Door Feature Productions/United Artists George Fitzmaurice Ray June Menzies credited with "Settings"
1929 (released March) Condemned Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists Wesley Ruggles George Barnes Menzies credited with "Settings"; also released in an 8-reel silent version
1929 (released 14 December) Irish Fantasy Feature Productions/United Artists Orville O. Dull Paul Perry Menzies credited as "Producer" (with Hugo Riesenfeld)
1929 (28 December) New York Nights Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Lewis Milestone Ray June Menzies credited as "Art Director""; released in 8-reel silent version
1930 (released 18 January) Lummox Feature Productions/United Artists Herbert Brenon Karl Struss Menzies credited with "Settings"

Sound Era: 1930-1955

Year Title Studio Director Photography Notes
1930 (released 25 January) Glorious Vamps Feature Productions/United Artists Orville O. Dull Robert Planck Menzies credited as "Producer" (with Hugo Riesenfeld)
1930 (released 8 February) Be Yourself! Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Thornton Freeland Karl Struss Menzies credited as "Associate Producer" (with John W. Considine Jr.) and for "Settings"
1930 (released 1 March) Puttin' on the Ritz Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Edward Sloman Ray June Menzies credited as "Associate Producer" (with John W. Considine Jr.) and for "Settings"
1930 (released 1 April) The Wizard's Apprentice Feature Productions/United Artists Sydney Levee Alfred Schmidt Menzies credited as "Producer" with John W. Considine Jr.
1930 (released 12 April) One Romantic Night Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Paul S. Stein Karl Struss Menzies credited for "Settings"
1930 (released 3 March) The Bad One Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists George Fitzmaurice Karl Struss Menzies credited as "Art and Technical Director"
1930 (released 15 May) Hungarian Rhapsody Feature Productions/United Artists Eugene Forde Robert Planck Menzies credited as "Producer" (with Hugo Riesenfeld)
1930 (released 26 July) Raffles Samuel Goldwyn Productions/United Artists Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, George Fitzmaurice George Barnes, Gregg Toland Menzies credited for "Art Direction"
1930 (filmed July–August) Forever Yours Mary Pickford Film Corporation/never distributed Marshall Neilan Karl Struss Menzies credited as "Art Director"; project abandoned after 6 weeks of shooting. Reshot as Secrets in 1933
1930 (released 1 September) Zampa Feature Productions/United Artists Eugene Forde Karl Struss Menzies credited as "Producer" (with Hugo Riesenfeld)
1930 (released 11 October) Du Barry, Woman of Passion Feature Productions/United Artists Sam Taylor Oliver Marsh Menzies credited with "Settings"
1930 (released 25 October) The Lottery Bride Joseph M. Schenck Productions/United Artists Paul L.Stein Ray June Menzies credited with "Settings and Effects"
1930 (released 8 November) Abraham Lincoln Feature Productions/United Artists D. W. Griffith Karl Struss Menzies credited with "Settings"
1931 (released 21 February) Reaching for the Moon Feature Productions/United Artists Edmund Goulding Ray June, Robert Planck Menzies credited with "Settings"
1931 (released 14 March) Kiki Feature Productions/United Artists Earle Browne Karl Struss Menzies credited with "Settings"
1931 (released 24 May) Always Goodbye 20th Century Fox William Cameron Menzies, Kenneth MacKenna Arthur Edeson Menzies credited only as co-director, William S. Darling for Art Direction
1931 (released 27 September) The Spider 20th Century Fox William Cameron Menzies, Kenneth MacKenna James Wong Howe Menzies credited as co-director, Gordon Wiles for Art Direction
1932 (released 17 July) Almost Married 20th Century Fox William Cameron Menzies, Marcel Varnel John J. Mescall Menzies credited as co-director, Gordon Wiles for Art Direction
1932 (released 18 September) Chandu the Magician 20th Century Fox Marcel Varnel, William Cameron Menzies James Wong Howe Menzies credited as co-director, Max Parker for Art Direction
1933 (released 15 April) Cavalcade 20th Century Fox Frank Lloyd, William Cameron Menzies Ernest Palmer Menzies credited with directing "War Scenes", William Darling for Art Direction
1933 (released 21 April) Trick for Treat 20th Century Fox Hamilton MacFadden O. W. O'Connell Menzies credited for "Technical Effects", Duncan Cramer for Art Direction
1933 (released 16 June) I Loved You Wednesday 20th Century Fox Henry King, William Cameron Menzies Hal Mohr Menzies credited as co-director, Joseph C. Wright for Art Direction
1933 (released 22 December) Alice in Wonderland Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures Norman Z. McLeod, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) Harry Sharp, Bert Glennon Menzies uncredited co-director and co-screenwriter, Technical Effects by Gordon Jennings, Farciot Edouart
1934 (released 16 March) Wharf Angel Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures William Cameron Menzies, George Somnes Victor Milner Art Directors Hans Dreier, John Goodman
1934 (released 20 July) The Notorious Sophie Lang Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures Ralph Murphy, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) Alfred Gilks Art Directors Hans Dreier, Robert Odell
1934 (released 5 October) Cleopatra Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures Cecil B. DeMille, William Cameron Menzies Alfred Gilks Menzies credited with "Montage"; Art Directors Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson
1936 (released 20 February) Things to Come London Film Company/United Artists William Cameron Menzies Georges Périnal, Edward Cohen Special Effects Ned Mann
1940 (released March) The Green Cockatoo New World Pictures/20th Century Fox William Cameron Menzies Mutz Greenbaum Menzies uncredited co-producer with William K. Howard
1937 (released 26 November) Nothing Sacred Selznick International/United Artists William A. Wellman W. Howard Greene Menzies assistant to Producer David O. Selznick
1938 (released 11 February) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Selznick International/United Artists William Cameron Menzies James Wong Howe Art Director Lyle R. Wheeler; Cave sequence designed by Menzies
1938 (released 27 October) The Young in Heart Selznick International/United Artists Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone (uncredited) Leon Shamroy Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Lyle R. Wheeler Art Director
1939 (released 10 February) Made for Each Other Selznick International/United Artists John Cromwell Leon Shamroy Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Lyle R. Wheeler Art Director
1939 (released 15 December) Gone With the Wind Selznick International/United Artists Victor Fleming Leon Shamroy Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Lyle R. Wheeler Art Director
1940 (released April) Cavalcade of the Academy Awards Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences/Warner Bros. Numerous contributors Numerous contributors Menzies appears briefly in this 17 minute production, accepting a special award for Gone With the Wind.
1940 (released 12 April) Rebecca Selznick International/United Artists Alfred Hitchcock, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) George Barnes Menzies directed the shots at Manderlay, and the beach cottage scenes with the dog Jasper; Lyle R. Wheeler Art Director
1940 (released 24 May) Our Town Principal Artists/United Artists Sam Wood Bert Glennon Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Lewis J. Rachmil Art Director
1940 (released 16 August) Foreign Correspondent Walter Wanger Productions/United Artists Alfred Hitchcock Rudolph Mate Menzies credited for "Special Production Effects"; Alexander Golitzen Art Director
1940 (released 25 December) The Thief of Bagdad Alexander Korda Productions/United Artists Michael Powell, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell Menzies co-director (uncredited)
1941 (released 14 February) Meet John Doe Frank Capra Productions/Vitagraph Studios Frank Capra George Barnes Menzies reports working on this project for a month, and publicity indicated that he was production designer (uncredited), Stephen Goosson Art Director
1941 (released 14 February) So Ends Our Night David L. Loew-Albert Lewin, Inc./United Artists John Cromwell William Daniels Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Jack Otterson Art Director
1941 (released 11 April) The Devil and Miss Jones Frank Ross-Norman Krasna, Inc./RKO Pictures Sam Wood Harry Stradling Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Van Nest Polglase Art Director
1942 (released 18 April) Kings Row Warner Bros./Warner Bros. Sam Wood James Wong Howe Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Carl Jules Weyl Art Director
1943 (released 5 March) The Pride of the Yankees Samuel Goldwyn Productions/RKO Pictures Sam Wood Rudolph Mate Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Perry Ferguson Art Director
1943 (released 2 July) Mr. Lucky RKO Pictures H. C. Potter George Barnes Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Albert S. D'Agostino, Mark-Lee Kirk Art Directors
1943 (released 14 July) For Whom the Bell Tolls Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures Sam Wood Ray Rennahan Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; Hans Dreier, Akim Tamiroff Art Directors
1943 (released November) The North Star Samuel Goldwyn Productions/RKO Radio Pictures Lewis Milestone James Wong Howe Menzies credited as "Associate Producer"; Perry Ferguson Art Director
1944 (released 1 June) Address Unknown Address Unknown, Inc. (Sam Wood)./Columbia Pictures William Cameron Menzies Rudolph Maté Menzies listed as "Producer-Director"
1946 (released 31 December) Duel in the Sun Vanguard Films/RKO Radio Pictures King Vidor Lee Garmes, Hal Rosson Menzies listed as a "Second Unit Director" (uncredited), on loan from RKO, he directed the "barbecue sequence" during his 5 days on the project.
1945 (released 28 December) Spellbound Vanguard Films/United Artists Alfred Hitchcock George Barnes Menzies "consulted on the dream sequence...based on designs by Salvador Dalí."; James Basevi, Art Director
1946 (released March) Deadline at Dawn RKO Radio Pictures/RKO Radio Pictures Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) Nicholas Musuraca Albert S. D'Agostino, Jack Okey Art Directors
1941 (released 14 February) It's a Wonderful Life Liberty Films/RKO Radio Pictures Frank Capra, Joseph Walker, Joseph Biroc Menzies consulted on a number of sequences, and observed some of the shooting. (uncredited), Jack Okey Art Director
1947 (released June) Ivy Inter-Wood Productions/Universal International Sam Wood Russell Metty Menzies credited as "Producer" Richard H. Riedel, Art Director
1948 (released March) Arch of Triumph Arch of Triumph, Inc. (Enterprise)/Universal International Lewis Milestone Ray Rennahan Menzies credited as "Production Designer"; William E. Flannery, Art Director
1949 (released 20 February) The Tell-Tale Heart Menzies-Finney/Telepak William Cameron Menzies Nominated for Emmy Award for Best Film Made for Television, 1948. Released on ABC TV Actors Studio
1949 (released 21 August) A Terribly Strange Bed Telepak/ Post Pictures Corp. William Cameron Menzies Nominated for Emmy Award for Best Film Made for Television, 1948.
1949 (released October) The Marionette Mystery Menzies-Finney/Telepak William Cameron Menzies William O'Connell Nominated for Emmy Award for Best Film Made for Television, 1948.
1949 (released February) Reign of Terror Walter Wanger Pictures, Inc./Eagle-Lion Films Anthony Mann Ray Rennahan Menzies credited as "Producer", film re-titled The Black Book before October 1949 opening in New York
1951 (released October) The Whip Hand RKO Radio Pictures/RKO Radio Pictures William Cameron Menzies Nicholas Musuraca Menzies also credited as "Production Designer", Albert S. D'Agostino, Carroll Clark Art Directors
1951 (released October) Drums in the Deep South King Brothers Productions/RKO Radio Pictures William Cameron Menzies Lionel Lindon Menzies also credited as "Production Designer", Frank Paul Sylos Art Director
1952 (aired April) The Zayat Kiss Herles Enterprises William Cameron Menzies Edward Hyland Airtime for the TV production not established, made in New York, April 1952
1952 (released July) The Wild Heart London Films, Vanguard Films/RKO Radio Pictures Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited) Chris Challis Menzies "made retakes and directed added scenes, February 1951. Titled Gone to Earth in British release.
1952 (released July) We're Not Married! 20th Century-Fox Edmond Goulding Leo Tover Menzies served as "montage director". At his request, he was not extended any credit or publicity for his work.
1953 (released 9 January) Androcles and the Lion RKO Radio Pictures/RKO Radio Pictures Chester Erskine Harry Stradling Harry Horner credited as "Production Designer", Menzies uncredited. Albert S. D'Agostino, Charles F. Pike Art Directors
1952 (released July) Invaders from Mars National Pictures Corp./20th Century-Fox William Cameron Menzies John Seitz Menzies also credited as "Production Designer", Boris Leven Art Director
1953 (released 26 July) The Maze Allied Artists William Cameron Menzies Harry Neumann Menzies also credited as "Production Designer", David Scott Milton Art Director
1954 (aired 21 January) A String of Beads Everest Productions/Allied Artists William Cameron Menzies George E. Diskant A TV pilot for CBS's Four Star Playhouse
1954 (release date unknown) Star Studded Ride Universal Pictures William Cameron Menzies Short subject assembled from Sol Lesser's Three-D Follies
1943 (released 10 May) Autumn in Rome Selznick Releasing Organization/Columbia Pictures William Cameron Menzies James Wong Howe Short film to serve as a prologue to Indiscretion of an American Wife, vocals by Patti Page, score Alessandro Cicognini.
1954 (debuted 14 October) The Halls of Ivy, 39-episode TV production Television Programs of America William Cameron Menzies, Norman Z. McLeod Robert Picttack, Alfred Gilks Menzies directed half of the episodes that comprised the series.
1955 (filmed February) Johnny and the Gaucho William Cameron Menzies Menzies directed the pilot for this TV program
1956 (released 17 October) Around the World in Eighty Days Michael Todd Co./United Artists Michael Anderson Lionel Lindon Menzies credited as "Associate Producer" and "Production Designer", James W. Sullivan Art Director

Stage Chronology

Year Title Author Theater Director Notes
1923 (opened 8 October) The Lullaby Edward Knoblock Knickerbocker Theatre Fred G. Latham Scenery and costumes designed by William Cameron Menzies
1931 (Opened 21 January) The Ambulance Chaser Bella and Samuel Spewack Hollywood Playhouse Scenery designed by William Cameron Menzies
1932 (opened 28 December) Grand Guignol H. F. Maltby, Andre de Lorde, et al. Hollywood Music Box Robert Vignola, Donald Crisp, Reginald Berkeley Scenery designed by William Cameron Menzies
1941 (opened 30 July) Anna Christie Eugene O'Neill Lobero Theatre, (Santa Barbara, California John Houseman Sketches for scenery design by William Cameron Menzies. (Two-week showing in San Francisco's Curran Theatre, opened 4 August 1941)

DVD release

In October 2009, Alpha Video released the public domain collection The Fantastic World of William Cameron Menzies on DVD,[7] which included four early experimental films created by Menzies and Joseph M. Schenck, shorts that visualize great works of classical music:

According to Dave Kehr, The Wizard's Apprentice "clearly influenced Disney's version in Fantasia.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Cairns, David (March–April 2011). "The Dreams of a Creative Begetter". The Believer. Retrieved March 31, 2011. Menzies was an art director, production designer (a title he invented himself), producer, and director, the man who created the look of Gone with the Wind, unifying the work of a posse of directors.
  2. ^ Memo from David O. Selznick, selected and edited by Rudy Behlmer, Viking Press, 1972, p. 156.
  3. ^ Memo from David O. Selznick, p. 196.
  4. ^ Dalí, Surrealism and cinema by Elliott H. King, Kamera Books, 2007, p. 85–86.
  5. ^ "Ninth Annual Art Directors Guild Awards for Excellence in Production Design, Saturday, February 12, Beverly Hilton Hotel". Press release. Business Wire via FindArticles. February 11, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  6. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  7. ^ a b "Another Trippy Rabbit Hole". The New York Times. February 26, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  8. ^ "The Fantastic World Of William Cameron Menzies with Rediscovered Shorts of the 1930s DVD info,". Retrieved October 23, 2009.


  • Curtis, James. (2015). William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come, Pantheon Books, ISBN 978-0-375-42472-4

External links

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