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Lights, camera, Dartmouth!

Posted by Mark Feeney  July 9, 2010 06:42 PM

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2010hollywoodmid05.jpgAlthough no one would ever confuse Hanover for Hollywood, at least seven Dartmouth movie connections come to mind. One of F. Scott Fitzgerald's two most famous film credits, "Winter Carnival," is set there; its producer, Walter Wanger, was an alum. David Thomson taught there, as did Maury Rapf, who founded the school's film studies program. Two eminent screenwriters are graduates, Budd Schulberg and Buck Henry. Also, a certain pillar of Movie Nation did a bit of Big Green matriculating himself -- studying with Thomson, in fact.

Okay, eight: There's Dartmouth being the model for Faber College, in "Animal House."

Now there's another connection, albeit short-lived. "Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation" is at Dartmouth's Hood Museum of Art through Sept. 12. Kobal was the preeminent collector of Hollywood studio portraits. His collection is to the Studio Era what the Michael Ochs Archives is to rock 'n' roll. Here we see the Golden Age at its most gleaming and glamorous. The idea was to make these phenomenally attractive men and women -- Gable, Bergman, Taylor, Hayworth, Welles, to name a few -- look their very best, and they sure did. The exhibition includes 93 photographs in all, the work of 50 photographers, among them Clarence Sinclair Bull, MGM's chief studio photographer for 40 years, and George Hurrell, the Apollo of studio portraitists. Beauty has rarely looked so beautiful.

(Above: John Miehle, "Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers," for "Swing Time," 1936.)

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