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.
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.
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.