Another classic Selznick film with wonderful matte paintings supervised by Jack Cosgrove.
Made during the final years of Selznick International Studio (1946).
A trio of fine cameramen shot the picture - Lee Garmes, Ray Rennahan and Harold Rosson.
Some of Cosgroves' trademark dramatic painted skies - and some of his best ever work i.m.o.
Again Clarence Slifer was photographic effects director of photography.Nice cell animation lightning effects accentuating mood.
Classic split screen mattes to extend basic settings to a more dramatic composition and mood.Effects cameraman Slifer worked on the camera crew of Willis O'Briens' "KING KONG" and it's sequel among many other films. Early matte heavy productions for Selznick such as "THE PRISONER OF ZENDA" and "THE GARDEN OF ALLAH" benefitted from Slifers' technical acumen and camera savvy.
Another classic washed looking Cosgrove sky seen above - a beautiful effects shot.
I'm pretty sure just about ALL of the western town above is painted in - even the foreground buildings.
Upper right portion all painted by Jack Cosgrove.
The early stage of a vast and elaborate pullback engineered by Clarence Slifer on his aerial image optical printer. The shot starts in very close on an aerial image of Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones faces then pulls out to reveal a totally fabricated mountain ledge, hills, valley and sunset - all manufactured in multi-plane in the Selznick special effects department.
The middle section of the grand pullback where midground and background appropriately shift in perspective during the camera move.
The end stage of the pullback with a subtle push IN to reveal the valley.
above - a paste up of the key frames from the superbly shot sequence that would have tied up Slifers' printer for quite some time I'm guessing.
|The original Cosgrove matte painting used for the closing shot, or at least what is purported to be the matte. I personally feel it's actually an oil sketch by either Cosgrove or the art director from which the final matte painting will be made, as it looks far too sketchy for a matte from that period where great detail was generally applied.|
above - matte camera operator: Harold Grigg and director of effects photography Clarence Slifer