William Cameron Menzies


Production Designer
William Cameron Menzies

About

Also Known As
William Menzies, William C. Menzies
Birth Place
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Born
July 29, 1896
Died
March 05, 1957
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

One of the most influential designers in the history of cinema and one of the first to earn the title of "production designer" (i.e. the individual responsible for coordinating all the design-related elements of a film including sets, costumes, etc.). Menzies' artistry encompassed everything from the opulent appointments of "Gone With the Wind" (1939) to the cramped, shadowy interiors of...

Photos & Videos

Gone With the Wind - Behind-the-Scenes Stills - Production Staff
The Whip Hand - Lobby Card
Address Unknown - Movie Posters

Biography

One of the most influential designers in the history of cinema and one of the first to earn the title of "production designer" (i.e. the individual responsible for coordinating all the design-related elements of a film including sets, costumes, etc.). Menzies' artistry encompassed everything from the opulent appointments of "Gone With the Wind" (1939) to the cramped, shadowy interiors of Anthony Mann's "Reign of Terror" (1949). His directorial career was relatively undistinguished, one exception being the landmark sci-fi drama, "Things to Come" (1936). Tobe Hooper's 1986 remake of "Invaders from Mars" (1953) used some of Menzies' original designs for the project.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Invaders from Mars (1953)
Director
The Three-D Follies (1953)
Director, "Akrobaticks" and "Fun in the Sun"
The Maze (1953)
Prod Designer and Director
Drums in the Deep South (1951)
Director
The Whip Hand (1951)
Director
Duel in the Sun (1947)
2nd Unit Director
Address Unknown (1944)
Director
Conquest Of The Air (1940)
Director () Directo) (Uncredited)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
2nd Unit Director
Four Dark Hours (1937)
Director
Things to Come (1936)
Director
Wharf Angel (1934)
Director
I Loved You Wednesday (1933)
Director
Cavalcade (1933)
[Sp Effects and] War scenes
Almost Married (1932)
Director
Chandu the Magician (1932)
Director
The Spider (1931)
Director
Always Goodbye (1931)
Director

Writer (Feature Film)

Alice in Wonderland (1933)
Screenwriter
Almost Married (1932)
Contract Writer

Producer (Feature Film)

Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Associate Producer
The Black Book (1949)
Producer
Ivy (1947)
Producer
Address Unknown (1944)
Producer
The North Star (1943)
Associate Producer
The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
Associate Producer

Editing (Feature Film)

We're Not Married! (1952)
Mont Director

Art Director (Feature Film)

Invaders from Mars (1953)
Production Design
The Whip Hand (1951)
Production Design
Drums in the Deep South (1951)
Production Design
The Black Book (1949)
Art Director
Arch of Triumph (1948)
Production Design
Mr. Lucky (1943)
Production Design
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
Production Design
The Pride of the Yankees (1943)
Production Design
Kings Row (1942)
Production Design
The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
Production Design
So Ends Our Night (1941)
Production Design
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Special prod Effects
Our Town (1940)
Production Design
Made for Each Other (1939)
Production Design
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Production Design
The Young in Heart (1938)
Production Design
Kiki (1931)
Settings
Reaching for the Moon (1931)
Settings
Du Barry, Woman of Passion (1930)
Art Director
Puttin' on the Ritz (1930)
Art Director
Lummox (1930)
Art Director
Raffles (1930)
Art Director
Abraham Lincoln (1930)
Art Director
The Rescue (1929)
Art Director
Taming of the Shrew (1929)
Art Director
Bulldog Drummond (1929)
Art Director
Alibi (1929)
Art Director
Tempest (1928)
Art Director
Sadie Thompson (1928)
Art Director
The Awakening (1928)
Art Director
Two Arabian Knights (1927)
Art Director
The Beloved Rogue (1927)
Art Director
The Dove (1927)
Art Director
Sorrell and Son (1927)
Art Director
The Son of the Sheik (1926)
Art Director
The Bat (1926)
Art Director
Her Sister From Paris (1925)
Art Director
The Eagle (1925)
Art Director
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Art Director
Rosita (1923)
Art Director
Kindred of the Dust (1922)
Art Director
Serenade (1921)
Art Director
The Teeth of the Tiger (1919)
Art staff

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

Trick for Trick (1933)
Tech Effects

Art Department (Feature Film)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)
Cave seq Designer by
One Romantic Night (1930)
Settings
The Lottery Bride (1930)
Settings
The Bad One (1930)
Settings
Be Yourself! (1930)
Settings
Condemned (1929)
Set Decoration
Lady of the Pavements (1929)
Set Decoration
Drums of Love (1928)
Set Decoration
The Garden of Eden (1928)
Set Decoration
The Woman Disputed (1928)
Set Decoration
Cobra (1925)
Set Decoration

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Meet John Doe (1941)
Prod adv

Cast (Short)

Cavalcade of the Academy Awards (1940)
Himself

Life Events

Photo Collections

Gone With the Wind - Behind-the-Scenes Stills - Production Staff
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Gone With the Wind (1939). These stills hightlight some of the many staff memebers at Selznick International Pictures that worked on the film.
The Whip Hand - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's The Whip Hand (1951), directed by William Cameron Menzies. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Address Unknown - Movie Posters
Here are two different styles of American one-sheet movie posters for Columbia Pictures' Address Unknown (1944), starring Paul Lukas and K.T. Stevens and directed by William Cameron Menzies. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Things to Come (1936) - Stand to Arms The citizens of "Everytown" are both warned and reassured as they prepare for attack, while Cabal (Raymond Massey) and wife (Sophie Stewart) muse about their future in H.G. Wells Things to Come, 1936.
Things to Come (1936) - Opening, 1940, War The ominous credit and opening sequence from Things to Come, 1936, from H.G. Wells' screenplay and novel, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by famed production designer William Cameron Menzies.
Thief Of Bagdad, The (1940) - This Is No Dog Plenty of spectacle in the opening scene, introducing the evil magician Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) arriving in Basra, and the not-much-explained "Blind Man" (John Justin), in Alexander Korda's The Thief Of Bagdad, 1940.
Made For Each Other (1939) - Blood Transfusion Angling for his promotion, strapped Jane (Carole Lombard) and John (James Stewart) are entertaining his boss Judge Doolittle (Charles Coburn), his frowning daughter (Ruth Weston) and rival Carter (Donald Briggs), the temporary maid (Esther Dale) making trouble, in Made For Each Other, 1939.
Black Book, The (1949) - Dictator Of France D'Aubigny (Robert Cummings), posing as executioner Duval, led by Fouche (Arnold Moss) through the bakery to the secret lair of Robespierre (Richard Basehart), in Anthony Mann's The Black Book (a.k.a. Reign Of Terror), 1949.
Things to Come (1936) - Gas of Peace As war-lord "The Boss" (Ralph Richardson) rages, the modern allies of his captive Cabal (Raymond Massey) are dropping giant ping-pong balls containing the sleep-inducing "Gas of Peace," in designer-director William Cameron Menzies' interpretation of H.G. Wells' Things to Come, 1936.
Things to Come (1936) - I Want To Make Victorious Peace Post-apocalyptic war-lord "The Boss" (Ralph Richardson) is irritated with his court and especially with high-tech visitor Cabal (Raymond Massey) in H.G. Wells Things to Come, 1936, directed by William Cameron Menzies.
For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943) - Any Man's Death Citing John Donne, though without the attribution that appears in Ernest Hemingway’s novel, Gary Cooper as Robert Jordan, with a colleague (Feodor Chaliapin) in combat, then meeting General Golz (Le Bulgakov), opening producer-director Sam Wood’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1943.
Black Book, The (1949) - Messenger From Paris Evil Duval (Charles Gordon) gets killed by lurking hero D'Aubigny (Robert Cummings) who must then deal with Madelon (Arlene Dahl), sent to kill the same guy, French post-revolutionary espionage, in Anthony Mann's The Black Book (a.k.a. Reign Of Terror), 1949.
Alice In Wonderland (1933) - In Order Of Appearance The unique opening credit sequence, remarkable in many ways including the presentation of the only cast ever to feature both Gary Cooper and Cary Grant, from the Paramount 1933 version of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, starring Charlotte Henry, co-written by designer William Cameron Menzies.
Alice In Wonderland (1933) - Everything Is Backward A key technical sequence, Charlotte Henry (title character) through the looking glass, special effects credited to Gordon Jennings and Farciot Edouart, Colin Kenny playing the clock, in Paramount's Alice In Wonderland, 1933, directed by Norman Z. McLeod.
Thief of Bagdad, The (1924) - Happiness Must Be Earned Aphorisms at the opening, then the first scenes in Bagdad where the jaunty title character (star and de facto producer Douglas Fairbanks) is up to his daily hijinks, in The Thief Of Bagdad, 1924, directed by Raoul Walsh.

Trailer

Foreign Correspondent - (Original Trailer) A camera with gun attachment, trick windmills and a mid-ocean plane crash are some of the predicaments facing Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940).
For Whom the Bell Tolls -- (Original Trailer) Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman fight the good fight in Spain in the movie of Ernest Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943).
Gone With the Wind (1939) -- (1961 Re-Issue Trailer) Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) fights to save her beloved plantation and find love during the Civil War in Gone With the Wind (1939).
Alice in Wonderland (1933) - (Original Trailer) A trip through the looking glass and down a rabbit hole sends an English girl into a world of fantastic characters and strange potions in Alice in Wonderland (1933).
Mr. Lucky - (Original Trailer) A gambling-ship owner is out to fleece a beautiful society woman, but falls in love in Mr. Lucky (1943) starring Cary Grant.
Meet John Doe -- (Original Trailer) A reporter's fraudulent story turns a tramp into a national hero and makes him a pawn of big business in Meet John Doe (1941), directed by Frank Capra and starring Gary Cooper.
Kings Row - (Re-issue Trailer) Small-town scandals inspire an idealistic young man to take up psychiatry in Kings Row (1942) starring Ann Sheridan & Ronald Reagan.
Around the World in 80 Days - (Wide Release Trailer) A Victorian gentleman (David Niven) bets that he can beat the world's record for circling the globe in Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

Bibliography