William Cameron Menzies

  • Ludwig Berger & Michael Powell & Tim Whelan & Alexander Korda & Zoltan Korda & William Cameron Menzies – The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

    1931-1940AdventureAlexander KordaFantasyLudwig BergerMichael PowellTim WhelanUnited KingdomWilliam Cameron MenziesZoltan Korda

    In ancient Bagdad, the young prince Ahmad (John Justin) is betrayed, deposed, and imprisoned by his vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), an evil and calculating man who is also a master of the Black Arts. But Ahmad is saved from prison, and certain execution, by Abu (Sabu), a young thief who has made his way in life by stealing whatever he needs. Together they escape from Bagdad and make their way to the port city of Basra, where they hope to sign to sail with the renowned sailor Sinbad. But Ahmad chances to catch a glimpse of the daughter (June Duprez) of the Sultan (Miles Malleson, who also co-wrote the screenplay), and falls hopelessly in love with her. Read More »

  • William Cameron Menzies – The Maze (1953)

    1951-1960HorrorSci-FiUSAWilliam Cameron Menzies

    The hero of The Maze turns out to be (-spoiler removed-), but that’s hardly the most unbelievable aspect of this one-of-a-kind melodrama. It all begins when Scotsman Gerald McTeam (Richard Carlson) is called away to his ancestral mansion just before his marriage to Kitty (Veronica Hurst). Several weeks pass before it dawns on Kitty and her aunt Mrs. Murray (Katherine Emery, who narrates the film) that Gerald may not be coming back. The two women head to the mansion, where Gerald refuses to see them. Read More »

  • William Cameron Menzies – Address Unknown (1944)

    Drama1941-1950ThrillerUSAWilliam Cameron Menzies

    Classic Film Guide wrote:
    Nominated for Best B&W Art Direction-Interior Decoration and Best Music Score, this World War II drama chronicles the degradation of Martin Schulz (played by Paul Lukas), an American-German art dealer who returns to live in Germany just before the rise of the National Socialist Party. Preying (in part) on his ego, a local baron-Nazi Party member (Carl Esmond) gradually influences Schulz to abandon his principles and his Jewish friend-American partner Max Eisenstein (Morris Carnovsky), with whom Schulz had been corresponding by letter. Peter van Eyck plays Schulz’s son Heinrich, who remains in the States working for Max while Mady Christians plays Max’s daughter Elsa, Heinrich’s fiancée-actress who finds work in Germany and bravely resists a Nazi’s (Charles Halton) censorship, with tragic results. When Schulz finally realizes what he’s lost, it’s too late. The movie’s title doesn’t come into play until the end, which features a twist. Directed by Academy Award winning Art Director William Cameron Menzies (Tempest (1928)), and based on the story by Kressmann Taylor with a screenplay by Herbert Dalmas, the film is a timely and effective reminder of the power of charismatic leaders and the vigilance needed to resist their rhetoric. Emory Parnell and Frank Faylen both appear as letter carriers.
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