Old Hollywood
Cinema
1900-1979

Nostalgia is a seductive liar - George Wildman Ball
From Rebecca’s opening sequence (1940, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, based on Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca) 
"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done. But as I advanced, I was aware that a change had come upon it. Nature had come into her own again, and little by little had encroached upon the drive with long tenacious fingers.
And finally, there was Manderley - Manderley - secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream. I looked upon a desolate shell, with no whisper of a past about its staring walls. We can never go back to Manderley again.”

From Rebecca’s opening sequence (1940, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, based on Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca

"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The drive wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done. But as I advanced, I was aware that a change had come upon it. Nature had come into her own again, and little by little had encroached upon the drive with long tenacious fingers.

And finally, there was Manderley - Manderley - secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream. I looked upon a desolate shell, with no whisper of a past about its staring walls. We can never go back to Manderley again.”

The “ice-palace” at Varykino (Dr. Zhivago, 1965, dir. David Lean) (via) Several tons of chipped marble and melted wax were used to simulate ice.

The “ice-palace” at Varykino (Dr. Zhivago, 1965, dir. David Lean) (via) Several tons of chipped marble and melted wax were used to simulate ice.

Leslie Howard on the realized set of Juliet’s garden in Romeo and Juliet (1936, dir. George Cukor) Set designer Cedric Gibbons designed the garden so there would be “a physical obstacle for Romeo to overcome” on his way to Juliet’s balcony.
Photo by William Grimes.
(via)

Leslie Howard on the realized set of Juliet’s garden in Romeo and Juliet (1936, dir. George Cukor) Set designer Cedric Gibbons designed the garden so there would be “a physical obstacle for Romeo to overcome” on his way to Juliet’s balcony.

Photo by William Grimes.

(via)

The Golem (1920, dir. Carl Boese & Paul Wegener) 
In the film, a rabbi creates a Golem, a clay figure brought to life by magic, to defend the Jews of 16th-century Prague from anti-Semitic attacks. But when the Golem is misused for an act of personal revenge, he transforms into a raging monster who turns on his creators and, in the scene pictured above, sets fire to the Jewish ghetto.
Full film online here.
(via) 

The Golem (1920, dir. Carl Boese & Paul Wegener) 

In the film, a rabbi creates a Golem, a clay figure brought to life by magic, to defend the Jews of 16th-century Prague from anti-Semitic attacks. But when the Golem is misused for an act of personal revenge, he transforms into a raging monster who turns on his creators and, in the scene pictured above, sets fire to the Jewish ghetto.

Full film online here.

(via

The Late Mathias Pascal (1926, dir. Marcel L’Herbier) (via Images du Cinema Francais)

The Late Mathias Pascal (1926, dir. Marcel L’Herbier) (via Images du Cinema Francais)

Art deco lobby set for Grand Hotel (1932, dir. Edmund Goulding) Set design by Cedric Gibbons (via)

Art deco lobby set for Grand Hotel (1932, dir. Edmund Goulding) Set design by Cedric Gibbons (via)

Julie Harris & Richard Johnson in The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise)
"It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed."
- Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

Julie Harris & Richard Johnson in The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise)

"It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed."

- Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

Fredric March as Mr. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)
Photo by Gordon Head.

Fredric March as Mr. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)

Photo by Gordon Head.

Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita (1960, dir. Federico Fellini) (via)

Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita (1960, dir. Federico Fellini) (via)

Laboratory set for L’Inhumaine (1924, dir. Marcel L’Herbier) Set designer: Fernand Léger.

Laboratory set for L’Inhumaine (1924, dir. Marcel L’Herbier) Set designer: Fernand Léger.

Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir. James Whale) (via)
Set design by Charles D. Hall.

Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir. James Whale) (via)

Set design by Charles D. Hall.

Fiona Fullerton in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972, dir. William Sterling)

Fiona Fullerton in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972, dir. William Sterling)

Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion (1965, dir. Roman Polanski) (via)
"My aim was to show Carole’s hallucinations through the eye of the camera, augmenting their impact by using wide-angle lenses of progressively increasing scope. But in itself, that wasn’t sufficient for my purpose. I also wanted to alter the actual dimensions of the apartment — to expand the rooms and passages and push back the walls so that audiences could experience the full effect of Carole’s distorted vision.  
Accordingly we designed the walls of the set so they could be moved outward and elongated by the insertion of extra panels. When ‘stretched’ in this way, for example, the narrow passage leading to the bathroom assumed nightmarish proportions.”
-Polanski, quoted in Roman (1984)

Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion (1965, dir. Roman Polanski) (via)

"My aim was to show Carole’s hallucinations through the eye of the camera, augmenting their impact by using wide-angle lenses of progressively increasing scope. But in itself, that wasn’t sufficient for my purpose. I also wanted to alter the actual dimensions of the apartment — to expand the rooms and passages and push back the walls so that audiences could experience the full effect of Carole’s distorted vision.  

Accordingly we designed the walls of the set so they could be moved outward and elongated by the insertion of extra panels. When ‘stretched’ in this way, for example, the narrow passage leading to the bathroom assumed nightmarish proportions.”

-Polanski, quoted in Roman (1984)

Die Nibelungen (1924, dir. Fritz Lang) (via)

Die Nibelungen (1924, dir. Fritz Lang) (via)

Martha Mattox in The Cat and the Canary (1927, dir. Paul Leni) 
“I have tried to create sets so stylized that they evince no reality…It is not extreme reality that the camera perceives, but the reality of the inner event, which is more profound, effective and moving than what we see through everyday eyes.”
-Paul Leni, Kinematograph (1924)
(via)

Martha Mattox in The Cat and the Canary (1927, dir. Paul Leni) 

“I have tried to create sets so stylized that they evince no reality…It is not extreme reality that the camera perceives, but the reality of the inner event, which is more profound, effective and moving than what we see through everyday eyes.”

-Paul Leni, Kinematograph (1924)

(via)