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Cinerama Holiday

Cinerama Holiday(1955)

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The working title of this film was The Thrill of Your Life. Cinerama Holiday was the second feature film to use the Cinerama widescreen process. Although the film was not viewed, according to the Los Angeles Times review, the film opened with a black and white sequence in standard 35mm, during which the Cinerama process, and its development, was featured. The footage continued in black and white during the Marshes' airplane flight to Switzerland. When the airplane traveled into a cloud formation, the image broadened to Cinerama and shifted into Technicolor. After the plane emerged from the clouds, the Swiss Alps were in view. Sequences mentioned in reviews or news items that are not referred to in the synopsis include the following: in Paris, a visit to The Louvre Museum and the Lido nightclub, a performance of a Molire play, a review of the cadets at St. Cyr military school and a marionette performance of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood; in San Francisco, a musical performance at The Tin Angel nightclub, a cable car ride and Chinese-American musicians at a club in Chinatown; in Colorado, scenes of Gore Canyon and the towns Grand Junction, Bond, Kremmling and Glenwood Springs.
       The Daily Variety review notes that Cinerama Holiday also featured a scene in which John Marsh slips away from his wife for an unexpected visit with former Navy peers, and adds that there was an intermission break that preceded the sequence in Paris. The intermission May have followed a segment in Switzerland; however, the exact sequence of events in the film prior to the intermission has not been confirmed. Cinerama Holiday marked the feature film debuts of Betty and John Marsh, and Beatrice and Fred Troller, none of whom was a professional actor. According to a Variety news item dated January 13, 1954, Betty Marsh was located through a University of Kansas City drama class. The pressbook notes that the Stollers were suggested by a Swissair airline representative, who knew Fred Stoller because of his advertising work on behalf of the airline. Both couples were selected by producer Louis de Rochemont after he auditioned numerous others.
       The pressbook adds the following information about the production: Shooting began in Paris at Napoleon's tomb in Les Invalides. The Vista-Dome railroad car was specially modified so that the Cinerama camera could fit, as well as other accommodations, including the construction of platforms for interior and exterior filming, and the installation of clear glass on the dome so that the color photography would not be adversely affected. The U.S. Navy cooperated with the filmmakers for the "Blue Angels" sequence, and approximately 675,000 feet of film was utilized for during production.
       Hollywood Reporter news items add that Cinerama Holiday cost approximately $2,000,000 to make. Invitational preview screenings were held as early as July 1954, according to a news item dated July 30, 1954. Paramount Pictures loaned composer Van Cleave for the production. Cinerama Holiday was shot entirely on location in the featured locales. According to an article in American Cinematographer, several skiiers and sledders sustained injuries from various accidents during filming in Switzerland. Motion Picture Herald recorded that Cinerama Holiday was the top-grossing film of 1955 and, according to a January 13, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, the motion picture was exhibited regularly for sixty-one weeks at the Warner Theatre in New York. For further information on the Cinerama process, see the notes for This is Cinerama (below).