James Wong Howe: Hollywood’s Ace Cinematographer

This post was written by Audrey Amidon. Audrey is a Preservation Specialist in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab and writes for The Unwritten Record. James Wong Howe was one of America’s greatest cinematographers, with a career stretching from the golden age of silent cinema to the early 1970s. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, Howe won … Continue reading James Wong Howe: Hollywood’s Ace Cinematographer

Tony Curtis on Creating Good Will for America: 1956

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. In 1956, Tony Curtis was an up-and-coming actor.  In a career stretching from the 1940s to the 2000s, he starred in both dramatic and comedic films.  By 1956, he had had some success in such … Continue reading Tony Curtis on Creating Good Will for America: 1956

The King of Cool: Steve McQueen in the Archives

Today’s post is by Jason Atkinson, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives in College Park, MD. It is not every day you open a box full of government records and find an original signed and embossed letter from a major movie star. However, such was the case when I was … Continue reading The King of Cool: Steve McQueen in the Archives

Image of Frank Capra standing at podium.

Frank Capra’s Security Clearance

Today's post is written by Jacob Lusk, Archives Specialist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD.  Though best known for such classic films as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946), director Frank Capra also led a distinguished career with the United States Army. He served as a second lieutenant … Continue reading Frank Capra’s Security Clearance

“Throw Dummy Off Dam;” Filming at the Hoover Dam

Today's post is written by Cody White, archivist at the National Archives at Denver. Cut to a close-up of the turbines turning. Cut to water pouring over the dam. Cut to the kid spitting out and over the dam. Cut to the kid looking down at the water rushing past.  Voice over; “Coming March 15th, a … Continue reading “Throw Dummy Off Dam;” Filming at the Hoover Dam

Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. During World War II, the U.S. government produced propaganda films to rally public support.  Among the most famous of those motion pictures is Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress released in 1944.  The … Continue reading Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

Edith Head: Designer to the Stars

Today’s post was written by Laney Stevenson, Archives Technician at the National Archives at College Park. Although fashion may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of government records and the holdings of the National Archives, fashion and dress has, and continues to be, a significant aspect of life for many … Continue reading Edith Head: Designer to the Stars

With the Pentagon’s Blessing: Hollywood, the Military, and Don Baruch

Today’s post is written by Daniel Dancis, an Archivist in the Textual Processing Branch at the National Archives, College Park. Americans and cinema enthusiasts the world over will be tuning in this weekend to watch who will receive the Academy Awards at the 90th Oscars ceremony. Someone from the Pentagon may also be paying attention … Continue reading With the Pentagon’s Blessing: Hollywood, the Military, and Don Baruch

Myrna Loy: Her World Beyond Hollywood, Part II 1950-1993

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park On February 4, 1950,  Howland H. Sargeant, then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs wrote George V. Allen, then U. S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia, that “Miss Myrna Loy has been here for the past week…doing more … Continue reading Myrna Loy: Her World Beyond Hollywood, Part II 1950-1993

Myrna Loy, Her World Beyond Hollywood, Part I 1905-1949

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park Myrna Loy was an American actress whose 129 movie career made her a household name for decades.  A New York Times reporter wrote in November 1987, that “During the many years Myrna Loy reigned as one of America’s … Continue reading Myrna Loy, Her World Beyond Hollywood, Part I 1905-1949