Topaz is a 1945 documentary film, shot illegally (though with the assistance of members of the camp staff), which documented life at the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah during World War II.
Filmed by internee Dave Tatsuno (1913–2006), it was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress in 1996,and was the second amateur film ever selected for the National Film Registry (after the "Zapruder" film of the JFK assassination).
Tatsuno always credited his store supervisor, Walter Honderick, for helping him get the movie camera into the camp. Film was smuggled out of the camp on trips that Tatsuno made to buy merchandise for the store.
While images appear to show the internees happy and enjoying their lives, Tatsuno said that they were "hamming it up" for the camera, hiding their sorrow.
The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film directed by William Wyler, and starring Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, and Harold Russell. The film is about three United States servicemen re-adjusting to civilian life after coming home from World War II. Samuel Goldwyn was inspired to produce a film about veterans after reading an August 7, 1944, article in Time about the difficulties experienced by men returning to civilian life. Goldwyn hired former war correspondent MacKinlay Kantor to write a screenplay. His work was first published as a novella, Glory for Me, which Kantor wrote in blank verse. Robert E. Sherwood then adapted the novella as a screenplay.
The Battle of San Pietro is a documentary film directed by John Huston about the Battle of San Pietro Infine sixty miles from Naples during World War II. It was shot by Jules Buck. It was released in the U.S. in 1945 but shown to U.S. troops earlier.
A Corner in Wheat is a 1909 American short silent film which tells of a greedy tycoon who tries to corner the world market on wheat, destroying the lives of the people who can no longer afford to buy bread. It was directed by D. W. Griffith and adapted by Griffith and Frank E. Woods from a novel and a short story by Frank Norris, titled The Pit and A Deal in Wheat.
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) is a documentary film which follows a branch of the Bakhtiari tribe of Lurs in Persia as they and their herds make their seasonal journey to better pastures. It is considered one of the earliest ethnographic documentary films. In 1997, Grass was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Gun Crazy is a 1950 American crime film noir directed by Joseph H. Lewis, and produced by Frank King and Maurice King. The production features Peggy Cummins and John Dall in a story about the crime-spree of a gun-toting husband and wife.
High School is a 1968 American documentary film shot by Frederick Wiseman that shows a typical day for a group of students at Northeast High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was one of the first direct cinema documentaries. It was shot over five weeks in March and April 1968. The film was not shown in Philadelphia at the time of its release, because of Wiseman's concerns over what he called "vague talk" of a lawsuit.
Let's All Go to the Lobby is a 1957 animated musical advertisement produced for Filmack studios and directed by Dave Fleischer. The advertisement is played before the beginning of the main film or before intermission.
The Tall T is a 1957 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Adapted by Burt Kennedy from the 1955 short story "The Captives" by Elmore Leonard, the film is about an independent former ranch foreman who is kidnapped along with an heiress, who is being held for ransom by three ruthless outlaws. In 2000, The Tall T was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Tulips Shall Grow is a 1942 American animated short film in the Puppetoons series, directed by George Pal and starring Rex Ingram and Victor Jory. It was released by Paramount Pictures and originally photographed in 3-strip Technicolor. It later became the black-and-white edition by National Telefilm Associates.
A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. The story follows a woman whose unusual behavior leads to conflict with her blue-collar husband and family. It received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Director.
Amateur film is the low-budget hobbyist art of film practised for passion and enjoyment and not for business purposes.
Dave Tatsuno was a Japanese American businessman who documented life in his family's internment camp during World War II. His footage was later compiled into the film Topaz. The film was placed in the National Film Registry, part of the Library of Congress, in 1997.
The Topaz War Relocation Center, also known as the Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) and briefly as the Abraham Relocation Center, was an American concentration camp which housed Americans of Japanese descent and immigrants who had come to the United States from Japan, called Nikkei. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, ordering people of Japanese ancestry to be incarcerated in what were euphemistically called, "relocation centers" like Topaz during World War II. Most of the people incarcerated at Topaz came from the Tanforan Assembly Center and previously lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The camp was opened in September 1942 and closed in October 1945.
Down Argentine Way is a 1940 American musical film made in Technicolor by Twentieth Century Fox. It made a star of Betty Grable in her first leading role for the studio, and introduced American audiences to Carmen Miranda. The film also starred Don Ameche, The Nicholas Brothers, Charlotte Greenwood, and J. Carrol Naish.
Daughter of Shanghai is a 1937 American crime film directed by Robert Florey and starring Anna May Wong. The film was unusual in that Asian American actors played the lead roles. It was also one of the first films in which Anthony Quinn appeared. In 2006, Daughter of Shanghai was included in the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
American Pastime is a 2007 fictional film set in the Topaz War Relocation Center, a Utah prison camp which held thousands of people during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Disneyland Dream (1956) is a home movie made by Robbins and Meg Barstow that documents their family's free trip to the newly opened Disneyland. The one-week trip was a prize they won in a contest sponsored by Scotch tape. The movie was shot with a 16 mm handheld camera. It lasts approximately 30 minutes. An audio track was added to the film in 1995.
A Study in Reds (1932) is a polished amateur film by Miriam Bennett which spoofs women’s clubs and the Soviet menace in the 1930s. While listening to a tedious lecture on the Soviet threat, Wisconsin Dells’ Tuesday Club members fall asleep and find themselves laboring in an all-women collective in Russia under the unflinching eye of the Soviet special police.
Traffic in Souls is a 1913 American silent crime drama film focusing on forced prostitution in the United States. Directed by George Loane Tucker and starring Jane Gail, Ethel Grandin, William H. Turner, and Matt Moore, Traffic in Souls is an early example of the narrative style in American films. The film consists of six reels which was longer than most American film of the era.
Karen L. Ishizuka is an independent writer, curator, and documentary producer. She is a third-generation Japanese American and her family was incarcerated during World War II.
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