Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story


Biography / Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 523


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March 17, 2018 at 06:39 PM



Danny DeVito as Himself
Alfred Hitchcock as Himself
Mel Brooks as Himself
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
801.37 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
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1.51 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by parker-37041 10 / 10

Beyond the amazing Hollywood history is a truly inspiring love story

The first time I saw it I was inspired as I learned about a truly great unsung Hollywood craftsman who was the secret weapon of several iconic directors.

The second time I saw it, I marveled at the force of nature that is Lillian Michelson, whose remarkable research library guided generations of filmmakers.

The third time I saw it, I finally saw it — my fascination with Hollywood no longer distracting me. I saw it for the truly touching yet not romanticized love story that is at its heart, all the more real and deeply human as it plays out against the backdrop of Hollywood make-believe.

I can't think of another documentary I've seen more than twice. Go see it at least once on the big screen while you can.

Reviewed by Red-Barracuda 7 / 10

Beautiful story about two true under-appreciated cinema legends

This is the story of Harold and Lillian Michelson who were a showbiz couple who enjoyed a 60 year marriage. These guys weren't your typical showbiz people, however, as they worked the whole time under the radar and behind the scenes. Harold was a Hollywood storyboard artist and Lillian a film researcher. This may not sound like a lot but this film makes it very clear indeed that it in fact was rather a lot. If you need one individual piece of proof, look no further than the iconic shot of Dustin Hoffman framed by Anne Bancroft's leg in The Graduate (1967). An image that not only encapsulated so much of the dynamics of the film itself but more than that is generally considered to be one of the most iconic images in movie history. This was not the idea of the man who won an Oscar for directing the film, Mike Nichols, nor Robert Surtees who was nominated for an Oscar for best cinematography. It was the idea of Harold Michelson, the man who story-boarded the film. He didn't win an Oscar. He wasn't even credited.

This is but one example of the sorts of ideas Harold regularly brought to the table that were then used in a large array of films from the classic era like The Ten Commandments (1956), West Side Story (1961) and The Birds (1963), up to special effects bonanzas such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and beyond. Harold's work once again shows if proof is needed, that film-making is a collaborative effort where the director tends to get the credit for everything in spite of this fact. Throughout the film we see examples of Harold's beautiful drawings, which were so invaluable for directors trying to work out how to visualise the screenplays they had to work with.

His wife Lillian was a film researcher who set up a library that became an invaluable resource for many of the greatest film-makers in Hollywood. Circumstance led her to move it from place to place including Paramount Studios, Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios and ultimately at Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks. This library supplied the information on everything from the type of pants worn by Jewish girls in the late 19th century to the ins and outs of the hard drug trade. Of the latter, Lillian was even offered to go on a trip to Bolivia with a drug lord to see the operation at first hand! So these two individuals have made an immeasurable impact on the films coming out of Hollywood over a period of decades. And this film celebrates not only them as individuals but also as a loving couple whose marriage lasted for decades in an environment which is notoriously volatile for relationships. Charmingly, the movie is story-boarded throughout with cute drawings illustrating the narrative. There are also many film insiders on hand to offer their recollections of this fine couple, including Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks and Francis Ford Coppola. Its overall a very rich and rewarding bit of work about people who fully deserve the recognition it affords them.

Reviewed by asako 8 / 10

an uplifting film and a must-see for cinephiles

It is a very charming film. A kind of film which makes you leave the theater with a smile on your face. The film also makes you aware of a couple who worked behind the scene in the film industry for many years, loving their work and loving each other. I'm so happy to learn about them and would like everyone who care about cinema to know about them, too.

I tend to recommend films with interesting story line, films that give you emotional impact, or films that I can tell why it's worth your time. On the other hand, I leave all other films I simply love in my personal favorite list. 'Harold and Lillian' can very easily find its place in my personal favorite list, but I added to my recommendation list instead because it tells the story that needs to be told.

The tone of film largely owes lovely & positive personality of Lillian. She is such a beautiful person.

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