George Pal

George Pal (born György Pál Marczincsak;[1] Hungarian: [ˈmɒrt͡sint͡ʃɒk ˈɟørɟ ˈpɑːl] February 1, 1908 – May 2, 1980) was a Hungarian-American animator, film director and producer, principally associated with the fantasy and science-fiction genres. He became an American citizen after emigrating from Europe.

He was nominated for Academy Awards (in the category Best Short Subjects, Cartoon) for seven consecutive years (1942–1948) and received an honorary award in 1944. This makes him the second-most nominated Hungarian exile (together with William S. Darling and Ernest Laszlo) after Miklós Rózsa.

George Pal
George Pal (1979)
George Pal in 1979
Born
György Pál Marczincsak

February 1, 1908
DiedMay 2, 1980 (aged 72)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California
NationalityHungarian-American
Other namesJulius György Marczincsak
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materBudapest Academy of Arts
Years active1934–1975
Spouse(s)Elisabeth "Zsoka" Pal (1930–1980; his death)
ChildrenDavid (b. 1937)
Peter (b. 1941)
AwardsSee Awards and Honours

Early life and career

Pal was born in Cegléd, Hungary, the son of György Pál Marczincsak, Sr. and his wife Maria. He graduated from the Budapest Academy of Arts in 1928 (aged 20). From 1928 to 1931, he made films for Hunnia Films of Budapest, Hungary.

At the age of 23 in 1931, he married Elisabeth "Zsoka" Grandjean, and after moving to Berlin, founded Trickfilm-Studio GmbH Pal und Wittke, with UFA Studios as its main customer from 1931 to 1933. During this time, he patented the Pal-Doll technique (known as Puppetoons in the US).

In 1933, he worked in Prague; in 1934, he made a film advertisement in his hotel room in Paris, and was invited by Philips to make two more ad shorts. He started to use Pal-Doll techniques in Eindhoven, in a former butchery, then at villa-studio Suny Home. He left Germany as the Nazis came to power.

He made five films before 1939 for the British company Horlicks Malted Milk. In December of that year, aged 32, he emigrated from Europe to the United States,[2] and began work for Paramount Pictures. At this time, his friend Walter Lantz helped him obtain American citizenship.

As an animator, he made the Puppetoons series in the 1940s, which led to him being awarded an honorary Oscar in 1943 for "the development of novel methods and techniques in the production of short subjects known as Puppetoons". Pal then switched to live-action film-making with The Great Rupert (1950).

He is best remembered as the producer of several science-fiction and fantasy films in the 1950s, such as When Worlds Collide,[3] and 1960s, four of which were collaborations with director Byron Haskin, including The War of the Worlds (1953). He himself directed Tom Thumb (1958), The Time Machine (1960), and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962).

Death

In May 1980, he died in Beverly Hills, California, of a heart attack at the age of 72, and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California. The Voyage of the Berg, on which he was working at the time, was never completed.

Awards and honours

Pal has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine St. In 1980, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences founded the "George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film" series in his memory.

George Pal (along with the film When Worlds Collide) is among the many references to classic science fiction and horror films in the opening theme ("Science Fiction/Double Feature") of both the stage musical The Rocky Horror Show and its cinematic counterpart, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

Pal's Puppetoons Tulips Shall Grow and John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946) were added to the Library of Congress 1997 and 2015 National Film Registry.[4] One of the Tubby the Tuba models along with a frog and three string instruments were donated to the Smithsonian Institution for the National Museum of American History.[5]

Preservation

The Academy Film Archive has preserved several of George Pal's films, including Jasper and the Beanstalk, John Henry and the Inky Poo, and Radio Röhren Revolution.[6]

Live-action feature films

Unreleased, unfinished, or projected films

Posthumous collection

Bibliography

  • Gail Morgan Hickman. The Films of George Pal (South Brunswick, NJ: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1977) ISBN 0-498-01960-8.
  • Miller, Thomas Kent. Mars in the Movies: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2016. ISBN 978-0-7864-9914-4.

References

  1. ^ "Historical Development". University for the Creative Arts. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  2. ^ Pal, his wife and son, were second cabin passengers on the S.S. Statendam which arrived at the Port of New York from the Netherlands on December 3, 1939.
  3. ^ The New York Times
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  7. ^ "William Nolan recollection of history of Logan's Run Movie". William Nolan.

External links

11th Saturn Awards

The 11th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1983, were held on March 24, 1984.

12th Saturn Awards

The 12th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1984, were held on June 9, 1985.

13th Saturn Awards

The 13th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1985, were held on May 28, 1986.

14th Saturn Awards

The 14th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1986, were held on May 17, 1987.

15th Saturn Awards

The 15th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film in 1987, were held on August 23, 1988.

26th Saturn Awards

The 26th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 1999, were held on June 6, 2000.Below is a complete list of nominees and winners. Winners are highlighted in bold.

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

7 Faces of Dr. Lao is a 1964 American Metrocolor fantasy-comedy film directed by George Pal (his final directorial effort) and starring Tony Randall. It is an adaptation of the 1935 fantasy novel The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney. It details the visit of a magical circus to a small town in the southwest United States, and the effects that visit has on the people of the town. The novel was adapted by Charles Beaumont.

7th Saturn Awards

The 7th Saturn Awards were awarded to media properties and personalities deemed by the Academy to be the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror in 1979. They were awarded on July 26, 1980.

Arnold Leibovit

Arnold Leibovit (born June 18, 1950) is an American director, producer, and screenwriter of feature films and musical productions. An acting member of the Producers Guild of America, he has produced, directed, and written several feature films. As part of his career, he has devoted over 40 years to the work of George Pal. Included is the production of the George Pal biopic The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal, for which he received a CINE Golden Eagle Award in the Arts category in 1986 and The George Pal Memorial Award (also known as the Saturn Award) from The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films in 1987. In addition, he produced other works focusing on Pal including The Puppetoon Movie.In 2002 he served as the executive producer for The Time Machine. Leibovit had earlier obtained the rights to the H.G. Wells book and the 1960 MGM motion picture through the George Pal estate. This film was produced under the direction of Wells' great-grandson Simon Wells.Arnold Leibovit was born and raised in south Florida, a child of Hungarian ancestry. George Pal was also Hungarian and had fled from Germany to Holland and then to the United States as Hitler was beginning his reign in Europe. Leibovit became interested in Pal and his movies and, as he embarked on his career in filmmaking, Pal rose to the top of his interests. In 1985, he produced the first and only filmed documentary of the life of George Pal.

Atlantis, the Lost Continent

Atlantis, the Lost Continent is a 1961 American science fiction film in Metrocolor from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, produced and directed by George Pal, that stars Sal Ponti (under the screen name of Anthony Hall), Joyce Taylor, and John Dall.The storyline concerns the events leading up to the total destruction of the mythical continent of Atlantis during the time of Ancient Greece.

Destination Moon (film)

Destination Moon (a.k.a. Operation Moon) is a 1950 American Technicolor space exploration science fiction film drama, independently made by George Pal, directed by Irving Pichel, and starring John Archer, Warner Anderson, Tom Powers and Dick Wesson. The film was distributed in the United States and the United Kingdom by Eagle-Lion Classics.

Destination Moon was the first major U.S. science fiction film to deal with the dangers inherent in human space travel and the possible difficulties landing on and safely returning from our only natural satellite.

The film's premise is that private industry will mobilize, finance, and manufacture the first spacecraft to the Moon, and that the U.S. government will be forced to purchase or lease the technology to remain the dominant power in space. Different industrialists cooperate to support the private venture. In the final scene, as the crew approaches the Earth, the traditional "The End" title card heralds the dawn of the coming Space Age: "This is THE END...of the Beginning".

Jasper in a Jam

Jasper in a Jam (1946) is a short film in the Puppetoon Series produced and originated by George Pal. It starred the voice of singer Peggy Lee, and was directed by Duke Goldstone and released by Paramount Pictures. It is also on The Puppetoon Movie and 50 Classic Cartoons Volume 3 plus is the 4th and final shot on the "Cartoons R Fun- Porky's Railroad" tape.

Puppetoon

Puppetoon animation is a type of replacement animation, which is itself a type of stop-motion animation. In traditional stop-motion, the puppets are made with movable parts which are repositioned between frames to create the illusion of motion when the frames are played in rapid sequence. In puppetoon animation the puppets are rigid and static pieces; each is typically used in a single frame and then switched with a separate, near-duplicate puppet for the next frame. Thus puppetoon animation requires many separate figures. It is thus more analogous in a certain sense to cel animation than is traditional stop-motion: the characters are created from scratch for each frame (though in cel animation the creation process is simpler since the characters are drawn and painted, not sculpted).

The style and the term "Puppetoons" were invented by George Pal.

The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal

The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal is a 1985 American documentary film about Academy Award winning producer/director George Pal. It was written, directed, and produced by Arnold Leibovit. The film was premiered at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as part of the annual "George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film".

The George Pal Memorial Award

The George Pal Memorial Award is presented each year, by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, in conjunction with their annual Saturn Award ceremony. The award is given to those who have shown exemplary work in the respective film genres. It is named in honor of George Pal, a Hungarian-born American animator and film producer, principally associated with the science fiction genre.

The latest honoree is screenwriter and film producer Simon Kinberg.

The Time Machine (1960 film)

The Time Machine (also known promotionally as H. G. Wells' The Time Machine) is a 1960 American science fiction film in Metrocolor from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, produced and directed by George Pal, that stars Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, and Alan Young. The film was based on the 1895 novella of the same name by H. G. Wells that was influential on the development of science fiction.

An inventor in Victorian England constructs a machine that enables him to travel into the distant future; once there, he discovers that mankind's descendants have divided into two species, the passive, childlike, and vegetarian Eloi and the underground-dwelling Morlocks, who feed on the Eloi.

George Pal, who had made the first film version of Wells' The War of the Worlds (1953), always intended to make a sequel to The Time Machine, but he died before it could be produced; the end of Time Machine: The Journey Back functions as a sequel of sorts. In 1985, elements of this film were incorporated into the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal.

The Time Machine received an Oscar for its time-lapse photographic effects, which show the world changing rapidly as the time traveler journeys into the future.

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm is a 1962 American fantasy film directed by Henry Levin and George Pal. The latter was the producer and also in charge of the stop motion animation. The film was one of the highest-grossing films of 1962. It won one Oscar and was nominated for 3 additional Academy Awards. Several prominent actors — including Laurence Harvey, Karlheinz Böhm, Jim Backus, Barbara Eden, and Buddy Hackett — are in the film.

It was filmed in the Cinerama process, which was photographed in an arc with three lenses, on a camera that produced three strips of film. Three projectors, in the back and sides of the theatre, produced a panoramic image on a screen that curved 146 degrees around the front of the audience.

Tom Thumb (film)

Tom Thumb (stylised as tom thumb) is a 1958 fantasy-musical film directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale Thumbling by the Brothers Grimm, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.

It stars Russ Tamblyn in the title role, with a largely British supporting cast (it was filmed in both Hollywood and London), including Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews as Tom Thumb's adoptive parents, June Thorburn as the Forest Queen and comic actors Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers as the villainous duo who try to exploit the tiny hero for profit.

Director Pal worked with cinematographer Georges Périnal, animators Wah Chang and Gene Warren, art director Elliot Scott and special effects artist Tom Howard to create the animated and fantasy sequences. Peggy Lee wrote the songs, and Douglas Gamley and Ken Jones wrote the music.

The film is referenced in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) and Pinkeltje (1978). The film is also featured in That's Dancing! (1985)

The filming locations for the movie were in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA and London, England.

When Worlds Collide (1951 film)

When Worlds Collide! is a 1951 American Technicolor science fiction disaster film directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen, and John Hoyt. It was distributed by Paramount Pictures and produced by George Pal. The film is based on the 1932 science fiction novel of the same name, co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer.The plot concerns the coming destruction of the Earth by a rogue star called Bellus and the desperate efforts to build a space ark to transport a group of men and women to Bellus' single planet, Zyra.

Films directed by George Pal
Short films
Feature films
1928–1950
1951–1975
1976–2000
2001–present

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