After too many delays to count, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is finally opening on September 30th, 2021. As a founding member of the museum, I recently had the opportunity to attend on of the preview days. I am happy to report that is very well done, with an interesting mix of old Hollywood and new, together with exhibits on more specialized niche subjects. For those of you who don’t live close, I thought I’d share some photos with you, so that you can glimpse what is there.
The Mt Rushmore backdrop used in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959):
On display were also some storyboards used in planning the movie:
Three “Rosebud” sleds were made for Citizen Kane (1941). Orson Welles didn’t like the way the first one burned when it hit the fire, but he was happy with 2nd one. This is the 3rd one. Apparently it’s on loan from Stephen Spielberg.
It was amazing to see so many Oscars lined up in one room:
Included in the display is Clark Gable’s Oscar for It Happened One Night (1934)
And the Best Story and Screenplay Oscar for Sunset Boulevard (1950), won by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and D. M. Marshman Jr.
You might recognize this outfit designed by Bob Mackie for Cher when she went to the Oscars in 1986:
The display that the Cher outfit stands on has a decade-by-decade recap of Oscar highlights:
This is the typewriter used by Joseph Stephano when he wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)
There were a few highlights, but it’s hard to beat this pair of ruby slippers made for Judy Garland to wear in MGM’s The Wizard of Oz (1939). There are now four pairs still in existence. The Smithsonian has one of the other pairs. According to the sign, this was the pair used most often in close-ups.
The ruby slippers are in a whole room devoted to The Wizard of Oz. Nearby is the Cowardly Lion’s mane and the hat of the Wicked Witch of the West:
The sign next to the Tin Man’s oil can said that during filming, they used not oil but chocolate syrup!
This is a Technicolor motion picture camera, the type that would have been used to film The Wizard of Oz:
Shirley Temple’s dress from Little Miss Broadway (1938):
These costumes were worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the “Two Little Girls From Little Rock” number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953):
You might recall seeing this credit at the end of Warner Bros.’ “Merrie Melodies” cartoon shorts:
This was the animator’s desk used by Disney animator, Frank Thomas, who worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Bambi (1942), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959). He collaborated with an architect to create the ideal animator’s desk, which has been used ever since.
This is called a maquette and is used as a reference for animators. This is for the first incarnation of Bugs Bunny for his debut short, A Wild Hare. (1940)
R2D2 from Star Wars is there too:
And of course next to him is C3PO:
And right next to him is E.T.
Nearby is Johnny Depp’s costume for Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990)
And finally Bruce the shark from Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws (1975)
Also by Martin Turnbull:
Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits
and don’t forget my latest novel, book 1 in the Hollywood Home Front trilogy:
Connect with Martin Turnbull: