A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind has attempted to create the illusion of depth & movement by artistic, mechanical and photographic means. Cinerama format opens with Rockaway Playland Roller Coaster, then Temple Dance from “Aida”, views of Niagra Falls, Long Island Choir – an early test of CineramaSound in B&W then to Cypress Gardens, Florida, for trick water skiing and boating scenes. The last half of Act II- “America the Beautiful”- is viewed from the nose of a low flying B-25 aeroplane. Finally, credits. —IMDb
American producer and director Merian C. Cooper met his partner Ernest B. Schoedsack in Poland just after serving as a lieutenant colonel with the Kosciusko Flying Squadron during World War I. Together the two went on to co-direct two documentaries. Their success lead Cooper and Schoedsack to begin working in fictional features notable for their exotic backgrounds. Their most famous film is the classic King Kong (1933), in which Cooper also acted. In 1933, he gave up directing in favor of full-time producing when he succeeded long-time friend David O. Selznick as vice president in charge of production at RKO. Selznick then appointed Cooper the vice-president of Selznick International Pictures in 1936. Cooper entered the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II where he became a colonel and chief of staff to General Claire Chennault in China. When he finally retired from the military, he was a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. In 1947, he and director John Ford formed Argosy Pictures… read more
Six-foot-six Iowa-native Ernest B. Schoedsack was fascinated with the mechanics of film photography long before taking his first movie job with the Keystone Studios in 1914. During World War I, he worked as a Signal Corps cameraman, and after the Armistice he labored mightily on behalf of Polish war relief, helping thousand of Poles escape the Russian occupied territories. While in Ukraine in 1920 he met Captain Merian Cooper, who, like Schoedsack, was a fervent anti-Bolshevik — and also an aspiring film director. The men renewed their friendship after the hostilities, collaborating on a brace of documentary films, Grass (1926) and Chang (1927). Still in partnership with Cooper, Schoedsack co-directed the fictional adventure film The Four Feathers (1929), then, after another documentary, the Cooper-Schoedsack team helmed RKO’s The Most Dangerous Game (1932), which featured Four Feathers leading-lady Fay Wray. Concurrently with Game, Schoedsack and O’Brien launched their most ambitious… read more
Cinerama, a panoramic process that involved projecting on three screens made its debut in this glorified slideshow presented by Merian C. Cooper that toured the nation in 1952. Basically just an extended clip show meant to showcase the technology, the film features lots of sweeping shots of landscapes, a roller coaster ride, and a thrilling boat race. Most notable as a historical curiosity, but gorgeous nonetheless.