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Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950

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May 16 – Oct. 15, 2017

Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, “Light & Noir: Exiles & Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950″ highlights the history of émigrés in the American film industry who fled Europe as refugees of Nazi persecution and their legacy in American cinema and culture through achievements in the film noir genre and classic films, such as “Casablanca” (1942), “Double Indemnity” (1944), “Mildred Pierce” (1945), “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) and more.

Drawn from the collections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Paramount and more, artifacts from the 16 films featured in the exhibit tell the history of Hollywood’s formative era through the lens of the émigré experience, demonstrating experiences of immigration, acculturation and innovation that intersect with the flourishing of Hollywood as an American cultural phenomenon whose legacy continues to shape the industry today. Highlights include:

  • Posters, costume and concept drawings, scripts, musical scores, lobby cards and props from the set of Rick’s Café from “Casablanca” (1942)
  • Storyboards and set drawings from “The Killers” (1946) starring Burt Lancaster & Ava Gardner
  • Dresses worn by Marlene Dietrich in “A Foreign Affair” (1948) and Joan Crawford in “Mildred Pierce” (1945)
  • Oscar won by acclaimed director Billy Wilder for “Sunset Boulevard” (1950)