has been told many times and in many different ways, but never,
it seemed to us, with the idea of jointly portraying the growth
of the movie industry with that of the town that is its home.
Believing that nowhere on Hollywood Boulevard could its millions
of annual visitors find an attraction offering them any background
on the very community they were visiting, we set out to remedy
this situation in an entertaining way that emphasizes that, no
matter how much the town and the industry have changed over the
decades, the sense of allure, romance, glamour and unlimited
possibility has remained consistent throughout the century, attracting
countless people today just as it did in the days of silent pictures.
To tell the story,
we approached numerous distinguished film personalities who were
drawn to the flame themselves and persevered to forge impressive
careers. Whether they came from afar or were native-born, we
wanted to hear what impressions our 23 celebrated interviewees
had while they were growing up, what lured them into the film
business and how they felt about it before and after "making
it." Their impressions remain vivid: Gloria Stuart remembering
when her native Santa Monica, in the 1910's, extended only as
far as 7th Street, with the open space beyond stretching all
the way to Hollywood; Robert Redford recalling how the wondrous
Los Angeles of his childhood began being spoiled after World
War II; Angela Lansbury reminiscing about the great studio era
and the town's glittering night life; Clint Eastwood recalling
his tough years of unemployment during the 1950's, when all the
young aspiring leading men seemed to look just like him; Quentin
Tarantino, by contrast, idealizing the 1950's as the best time
in the city's history, a moment when the old and the new were
both present; Jeff Bridges and Rob Reiner harking back to their
teenage days on the Sunset Strip; Kevin Spacey revealing how
he used to sneak onto the Universal lot just to watch movies
being made; Steven Spielberg recalling his awe-struck first glimpse
of a studio soundstage; Salma Hayek conveying her image of a
glamorous Hollywood as she grew up a star-struck young girl in
Mexico; and Edward Norton evoking how he first arrived in Los
Angeles amidst the hoopla of an Oscar night.
FOREVER HOLLYWOOD was
expressly designed as a film that would exclusively be shown
at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. Shooting on
35mm, we tried to achieve a look of timeless elegance to suit
the stars who appear in the film. The clips from the more that
75 feature films were obtained from the best available 35mm materials,
no longer the easiest matter given the fact that most vintage
pictures are now more conveniently preserved on video and DVD.
Archival footage, of the which we have more than 250 shots documenting
various stages of Hollywood history, is now often available only
on videotape, so this had to be transferred to film with the
utmost care. On the musical side, we are greatly indebted to
David Raksin, who generously consented to allowing us to use
his great theme from THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, music that has
never been matched in its evocation of the romance, melodrama
and intrigue of the movie world; it gave us something to aspire
to as we endeavored to portray the complex and multi-faceted
allure that has always been generated by Hollywood.
Publicity shot of Mary
Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks depicting them opening their new
studio in the silent picture era.
Henry Fonda and Barbara
Stanwyck share an off-camera moment on the set of Preston Sturges'
THE LADY EVE.
The premiere of THE
BIG PARADE (1925) at the Egyptian Theatre. Directed by King Vidor,
the film stars John Gilbert and Renee Adoree.
Garbo became an icon of Hollywood glamour and mystique appearing
in both dramatic and comedic roles in pictures such as MATA HARI
(1931); GRAND HOTEL (1932) and ANNA KARENINA (1935).
from the American Cinematheque press release.