ÒOur Movie Heritage is both a vividly illustrated encyclopedia and a suspense story replete with heroes and heroines and an imperiled treasure of such great worth that one feels impelled to ride to its rescue.ÓÑOlivia deHavillandÒThis book reads like a suspense story. Will we care enough, it asks, to save the rest of our great movie heritage before itÕs too late? For all of us who love the movies there can only be one answer.ÓÑFay Kanin, chair of the National Film Preservation Board
Our Movie Heritage should be read by anyone interested in motion picture history. Without film preservation, there can be no valid film history. Documents, autobiographies, oral histories, and secondary sources are of importance, but viewing the actual films preserved or restored to a state comparable to the way they were originally viewed is of inestimable importance.Rudy Behlmer, film historian and author of Memo from David O. Selznick
Our Movie Heritage is an enticing, up to the minute account of the complex National Film preservation effort, and should be read by anyone interested in our rich cinematic heritage.Mary Lea Bandy, chief curator, The Museum of Modern Art
Imagine an America without any images of itself no Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, no Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, and no Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca. Movies are an extraordinary personal and collective history of the American people. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of America's silent films are already lost to us, and more than half of the American feature films made before 1950 no longer exist. Whether it is a piece of cellulose nitrate exposed in 1910 or a strip of Eastman Color acetate stock produced in the 1970s all film self-destructs. Rapidly.
Our Movie Heritage is a highly readable and informative view of the world of film preservation, showing the work being done to save our national treasure trove of film history. Full of tales of discovery and rescue, the book is an urgent plea for preservation. Our Movie Heritage describes the race against time currently under way both in the public and private sectors in order to salvage what is left in vaults, theaters, and private collections. The book explains the basics of film preservation, covering the who, what, when, where, and how of the field, with top archivists and film restoration experts expressing their concerns and hopes for the future of movies. This beautifully produced book, with over one hundred pictures of top stars, directors, and film people, is itself a treasure that showcases the importance of this legacy.