A pioneering and inventive artist who helped craft the visual language of film, Oscar-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe contributed a wide variety of valuable material from career to the Academy. His career in Hollywood began as a janitor in Hollywood, cleaning out the camera room at Lasky Studios in 1917.


He remained active until 1975, earning Academy Awards for...
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In August 1929 the Graf Zeppelin made its historic circumnavigation of the globe. The enormous airship, measuring 776 feet in length, took off from Lakehurst, New Jersey and flew to Germany, then Tokyo, on to Los Angeles, and back to New Jersey. The trip around the globe took 21 days, including the three stops, with a flight time of 12 ½ days. Enthusiastic amateur filmmaker Newcomb Condee joined over 100,000 people who flocked to see the Graf Zeppelin while it was moored for refueling at Mines Field in Los Angeles, now the site of Los Angeles International Airport. While most of the spectators had to content themselves with distant views of the airship, Mr. Condee managed to obtain a press badge, which allowed him to walk right up to the zeppelin and film this impressive silent footage with his 16mm home movie camera. Mr. Condee, a lawyer who would eventually become a judge in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, can first be seen in the footage joking with armed National Guardsmen patrolling the airfield.

As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Graf Zeppelin’s remarkable feat of aviation, the Academy presents the four-evening series “Hollywood Takes to the Air.” The Academy’s celebration of cinema and aviation kicks off with “Illusions of Flight: Behind the Scenes of Hollywood’s Aviation Classics”, with program hosts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt. The celebration will continue with screenings of aviation-themed films, featuring short introductions about the making of the films by hosts Craig Barron and Ben Burtt. Airplane miniatures and other production materials from classic aviation films will be on display in the theater lobby throughout the weekend.

The Newcomb Condee Collection at the Academy Film Archive comprises 95 home movies, shot between 1926 and 1974. The films document the Condee family, their travels, and the changing landscape of Southern California, where they made their home. This footage of the Graf Zeppelin was preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2012.


Producer Darryl F. Zanuck was intent on signing Gregory Peck for the lead in the film Twelve O’Clock High even before the novel on which the film was based hit bookstores. “From the very beginning,” Zanuck wrote the actor in 1947, “we have all visualized you in the role.” As an added incentive, Zanuck pointed out that Clark Gable, who at the time was set to star in another war-themed film, MGM’s Command Decision, preferred Twelve O’Clock High...
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The Academy Film Archive, home to over 160,000 items, houses thousands of reels of home movies. From documentation of daily life, birthdays, and holidays, to unique behind the scenes footage of Hollywood films, the Archive’s home movie collection provides a rare look into the lives of its subjects – from the ordinary to the unusual. In celebration of the centennial of Beverly Hills, the Academy presents some special moments from the home movie collection, featuring silent clips of Beverly Hills landmarks and Hollywood figures at play including Ginger Rogers, George and Ira Gershwin, and Errol Flynn.

Star-Studded Stomping Ground, a new Academy exhibition of photographs in celebration of the Beverly Hills Centennial taking place throughout the city this year, is now open at the Margaret Herrick Library. This exhibit of more than 40 photographs explores the growth of Beverly Hills and the connection between the city and the motion picture industry, which have been intertwined since the earliest days of the city’s incorporation in 1914.


Actors with a long history in Hollywood, brothers Jeff and Beau Bridges are known for a close, supportive relationship that’s existed throughout their lives, even during the earlier part of their careers when both were actively trying to make names for themselves in the same profession as their father, Lloyd. Here, we take a look at early magazine articles that introduced the pair to the public.

In December 10, 1973, Newsweek featured Beau and Jeff Bridges in an art...
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In honor of the Tour de France, we’re donning the yellow jersey for a look at some film posters from our collection. The films all include bicycles as their central motif and in the international spirit of the event, we have examples from a number of different countries.


The earliest known example in our collection is this American three-sheet poster for a silent serial featuring the character Patsy Bolivar. Bolivar was...
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In 1996, Spike Lee embarked on his first feature-length documentary project, enlisting his frequent collaborator, Sam Pollard, to serve as the film’s editor and producer. 4 Little Girls, which revisits the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, went on to earn a 1997 Oscar nomination for Documentary Feature. In this clip from the Academy’s new Visual History Program Collection, Pollard discusses the creative liberation he experienced while working with Lee on his narrative and documentary films, and why he believes 4 Little Girls represents his greatest achievement as an editor.

4 Little Girls screens Sunday, July 20, at 2:30 p.m. in the Linwood Dunn Theater as part of the Academy’s month-long celebration of Lee’s career, “By Any Means Necessary: A Spike Lee Joints Retrospective.” In conjunction with the retrospective, an on-set photography exhibit titled “Wake Up!” by David Lee, Spike Lee’s brother, will be on display in the Linwood Dunn Theater Lobby Gallery.

Established in 2012, the Academy’s Visual History Program records oral histories with notable figures in the motion picture industry. The collection includes 43 interviews totaling more than 170 hours of video recorded material. For access to the material, please contact the Film Archive Public Access Center at (310) 247-3016, ext. 3380, or

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We’re saluting the centennial celebration of Beverly Hills in style with a look at costume design drawings for Troop Beverly Hills (1989).


Shelley Long
stars as Phyllis Nefler, a soon-to-be divorced mom living in fabulous Beverly Hills style. As leader of the local Wilderness Girls troop, Phyllis has her tailor customize basic uniform staples with some serious 1980s style. To quote two of the troop members, “Uniforms are sick. They blur ...
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One of the most famous films never made, Napoleon was a dream project for director Stanley Kubrick after the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), for which he won an Oscar for Special Effects. However, numerous factors (particularly the perilous financial situation of MGM) meant that it would remain a dream instead of a finalized film.

The extensive documentation and other research from the project was later compiled into a lavish book, ...
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This July marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, so this week we take a look back at the motion picture industry’s campaign to support the war effort. When the United States officially entered into the war in April 1917, Congress almost immediately passed the Emergency Loan Act to authorize the issue of war bonds. The Treasury Department enlisted Hollywood luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to help sell the securities, which became known as Liberty Loans...
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