"A Deeper Look" Hollywood's first 3-D Wave, 1953-1954 festival to begin in August at Film Forum

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"A Deeper Look" Hollywood's first 3-D Wave, 1953-1954 festival to begin in August at Film Forum
Special thanks to 3-D Film Archive Founder and CEO Robert Furmanek, Mike Ballew, author of Close Enough To Touch: 3-D Comes to Hollywood, Jeff Joseph, Greg Kintz, Jack Theakston and Sean Thrunk. Image courtesy 3-D Film Archive.

NEW YORK, NY.- “A DEEPER LOOK”: HOLLYWOOD’S FIRST 3-D WAVE, 1953-1954, a celebration of the 70th anniversary of Hollywood’s 3-D craze of the early 1950s, will run at Film Forum, beginning with the NYC theatrical premiere of the 3-D Film Archive’s new restoration of the cult classic ROBOT MONSTER, considered the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE of 3-D movies, screening on August 6 at 8:25 and August 7 at 6:00. The festival will continue with select screenings through November, with 3-D features, shorts, trailers, and special presentations.

In ROBOT MONSTER, an alien gorilla in a fishbowl space helmet decimates Earth with death rays and soap bubbles. George Nader, longtime friend (and one time lover) of Rock Hudson, stars, with music by a pre-TEN COMMANDMENTS Elmer Bernstein. Critic/historian Leonard Maltin wrote of it, ”One of the genuine legends of Hollywood: embarrassingly, hilariously awful…and dig that bubble machine with the TV antenna!”

The series includes the first NYC 3-D screening ever THE DIAMOND WIZARD (1954), starring Dennis O’Keefe as a U.S. treasury agent sent to England to track down a ring of diamond counterfeiters, in a brand new 3-D Film Archive restoration, and Mickey Spillane’s I, THE JURY (1953), a stereoscopic Film Noir starring Biff Elliott as Spillane’s private dick Mike Hammer, restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, PKL Pictures, and Romulus Films Ltd.

In 1953, seventy years ago, 3-D conquered Hollywood. After years of speculation and experimentation, stereoscopic movies finally caught fire, luring audiences away from their televisions. Within the first few months of the year, every major studio was looking to explore the third dimension in every movie genre: horror (HOUSE OF WAX, THE MAZE), Film Noir (MAN IN THE DARK, I THE JURY), big-budget musicals (KISS ME KATE), thrillers (INFERNO, DIAL M FOR MURDER), monster movies (CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON), slapstick comedy (the Three Stooges’ SPOOKS and PARDON MY BACKFIRE), animation (Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Casper The Friendly Ghost and Popeye cartoons), war pictures (CEASE FIRE!), Westerns (HONDO, GUN FURY, TAZA SON OF COCHISE, WINGS OF THE HAWK), and sci-fi A pictures (IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE) and Z pictures (ROBOT MONSTER).

Some of Hollywood’s top directors jumped on the band wagon: Alfred Hitchcock, Budd Boetticher, William Cameron Menzies, Roy Ward Baker, George Sidney, Jack Arnold. Douglas Sirk, Raoul Walsh, and André de Toth (the latter two each with a single functioning eye that prevented them from enjoying the final effect). Nearly fifty 3-D feature films were produced in the years 1953 and 1954 alone, but the craze soon came to an abrupt end, aced by a newer and more enduring movie vogue: CinemaScope. But those two years can now be looked on as the Golden Age of 3-D Movies and Hollywood's first great 3-D Wave.

Film archivist, 3-D Film Archive founder and CEO Robert Furmanek, one of the world’s leading experts on stereoscopic movies, will introduce select screenings, as well as a special compilation of stereoscopic shorts restored by the Archive called 3-D RARITIES.

Bob Furmanek has played an important behind-the-scenes role in film preservation for more than forty years. Among his achievements, he is recognized for his restoration work with the films of Abbott and Costello and Jerry Lewis. In 1990, he began his ongoing efforts to save and restore our stereoscopic film heritage. Since 2014, the Archive has released over thirty acclaimed restorations on Blu-ray.

Top-quality Poloroid 3-D glasses provided!

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