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Hitchcock Alfred Hitchcock directs "Foreign Correspondent"
1940s


Special effects delight audiences in genres like fantasy ("Thief of Baghdad"), science fiction ("Dr. Cyclops') and war ("Flying Tigers"). But an increasing number of films in unlikely genres, like "Citizen Kane," "Rebecca," and "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," rely on invisible effects to tell dramatic stories.

1940
Alfred Hitchcock directs his second Hollywood feature, "Foreign Correspondent." A master of special effects, Hitchcock often used rear projection to bring exotic locales into the studio. For "Foreign Correspondent," Hitchcock and Lee Zavitz engineer a dramatic scene of a plane crashing into the ocean by using a rear projection of the ocean; on the plane's "impact," thousands of gallons of water are poured through the screen, flooding the set.

1945
Harryhausen Ray Harryhausen at work on stop-motion animation.

Willis O'Brien directs another stop-motion animation classic, "Mighty Joe Young," assisted by animator Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen went on to create more than 20 films, including "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms", "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers," "Jason and the Argonauts," and "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger." Harryhausen receives the Gordon E. Sawyer Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his technological contributions in 1991.

Continue: 1950s



Photos: Bison Archives

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