Category Archives: Motion Pictures

Happy Birthday, Rocky Mountain National Park

On January 26, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed a law that established Rocky Mountain National Park.  That legislation laid out the coordinates of the park, and set aside the land for the “benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United … Continue reading

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Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. This quarter’s list includes two films documenting post-WWII Europe. Die … Continue reading

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Christmas in the Ford Collection: A Merry Christmas to All, 1926

Christmas movies are a staple of the holidays, with cable channels producing and airing so many that the season now seems to start sometime in November. Holiday films are nothing new, of course. The earliest known adaptation of Charles Dickens’ … Continue reading

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The Enemy Strikes: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944

Seventy years ago, on December 16, 1944, Allied Forces in Europe were taken by surprise when the Germans launched an attack in the Ardennes region, pushing into France, Luxembourg, and Belgium. The offensive came six months after D-Day and the successful invasion … Continue reading

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Favorite Film Finds of 2014

In the motion picture lab, we work on thousands of reels of film a year: tens of thousands of feet of unedited footage of Vietnam, PSAs for the Census Bureau, dozens of early NASA films, and much, much more. Over … Continue reading

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It’s No Citizen Kane: Legendary Cinematographer Gregg Toland Directs December 7th

By the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th of 1941, Gregg Toland had already won an Oscar for the cinematography of Wuthering Heights and created the distinctive look of Citizen Kane that is still discussed in introductory … Continue reading

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Mortal Moonshine: Treasury Agents Take On Backwoods Bootleggers

This post was written by Heidi Holmstrom. Heidi works in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, which is responsible for performing conservation and preservation work on motion picture records held across the National Archives. In past blog posts, we’ve highlighted some of the … Continue reading

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Mechanical Computers and Sound Collectors: World War I Anti-Aircraft Technology

This post was written by Harry Snodgrass. Harry is working on a project to preserve and digitize World War I and World War II films and photographs. As we remember and applaud our veterans for their service on Veterans Day, … Continue reading

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Home Movies from the War Front: The First Fighters in New Guinea

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  Home movies aren’t usually thought of as a rarity – especially these days as we happily capture our kids, friends, families, and … Continue reading

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This Week in Universal News: The War of the Worlds Broadcast, 1938

On October 30, 1938, CBS broadcast a radio play of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. The novel, first published in serial form in 1897, tells the story of an alien invasion of England. The Mercury Theatre on the Air production changed the location to New … Continue reading

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