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Double Feature: "East of Eden" and "The Godfather"

Double Feature: "East of Eden" and "The Godfather"
East of Eden (1955)

Bing Theater
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

Costume designers, like so many other great talents of the film industry, are often associated with one particular kind of film, but the Academy’s new Saturday series demonstrates the remarkable creative range of many of film’s top designers over the decades. In conjunction with our Hollywood Costume exhibition, in January we will begin our series with four double features pairing impressive and varied achievements by designers working in all genres of the cinema.

Also in this series:

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Anna Hill Johnstone is represented by the James Dean tearjerker East of Eden and her iconic, Oscar-nominated creations for the 1972 classic The Godfather.

East of Eden

James Dean received a Best Actor nomination for his first lead film role in this biblical allegory about a troubled Salinas Valley family in the early years of the twentieth century. In director Elia Kazan’s emotionally powerful adaptation of John Steinbeck’s sprawling novel, Dean plays young Cal Trask, who rebels under the disapproval of his stern father (Raymond Massey). Cal finds comfort with his brother’s girlfriend (Julie Harris, in a performance Pauline Kael praised as “memorably lyric”), only to make a shocking discovery courtesy of the local madam (an Oscar-winning Jo Van Fleet). Standout elements include Anna Hill Johnstone’s authentic costumes, Ted McCord’s lovely widescreen cinematography and the satisfyingly heart-rending music by Leonard Rosenman, Dean’s friend and piano teacher whose score marked the first in an impressive, decades-spanning career.

1955, 115 minutes, color, 35mm | Directed by Elia Kazan; written by Paul Osborn, based on the novel by John Steinbeck; with Julie Harris, James Dean, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, Jo Van Fleet, Albert Dekker, Lois Smith.

The Godfather


Director Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film version of Mario Puzo’s bestseller about an Italian-American crime family in the 1940s is one of the rare films that achieved both critical acclaim and blockbuster success at the box office, and it remains one of the most respected and enduring American films forty-three years after its original release. Marlon Brando (only 47 at the time, and aged brilliantly by Dick Smith’s makeup) plays Mafia don Vito Corleone, whose battles with competing mob families force him to pass on his legacy to his unwilling son, Michael (a breakout performance from Al Pacino). Coppola directed an extraordinary cast including James Caan, John Cazale, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton; Nino Rota provided some of the most memorable film music of the era; and Gordon Willis’s cinematography changed the look of Hollywood films. The Oscar-nominated costume designs of Anna Hill Johnstone helped make the Corleones one of the most memorable dynasties of American cinema.

1972, 176 minutes, color, 35mm | Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; written by Mario Puzo, Coppola, based on the novel by Puzo; with Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Al Lettieri, Diane Keaton.

The Godfather (1972)