I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard the title of this film, but I was pleasantly surprised how invaluable the Michelson's contribution is to Hollywood history. Their story is quite unique and kismetic. Together they helped enhance the little nuances of films that were made. "His creative sets and images and her research abilities forever changed the game of Hollywood standards. No two pair were ever so perfect for silver screen and the stars." Daniel Raim captures their nostalgic memoir through interviews, movie references, film, photographs, and comic drawings.
Harold got drafted in 1941 and flew as a pilot in WWII. His commanding officer suggested that he become an artist. Harold wanted to leave his assignment early; he had enough of the war, but he couldn't leave. After the completion of his military assignment, he came back to Miami, Florida and worked odd jobs. He met Lillian when she was 17, and he was 28. Although she was orphaned, she was very bright. But Harold's family didn't approve of the union. Never-the-less, after he found a job in Los Angeles, she joined him and the couple wed in 1947. Harold started at Columbia for one of his first artist jobs. He was hired off and on. Money was scarce for the Michelsons, especially after the children were born. The Michelson's had an autistic (savant) son and struggled to pay for care for him initially. (Later, their son would be requested to be the topic study for the movie "Rain Main" with Dustin Hoffman.)
Harold used ink and charcoal to draw his story boards. He was credited for "Winter Kills" (Jon Huston and Jeff Bridges), "The Ten Commandments" (parting of the Red Sea), "Spartacus", "Ben Hur", "The Birds" (noted gasoline spill-cut to Tippi Hedren), "Marnie", "West Side Story", "The Graduate" (notable famous transition scenes from pool to bed, banging on glass at the chapel, Ann Bancroft triangle leg composition, and Ms. Robinson pacing back in front of tv with additions of clothes), Star Trek and Terms of Endearment Academy nominations for production design and art design. He was good friends with Danny DeVito and Mel Brooks, in which he contributed to the storyboarding and set design with Throw Mamma from the Train and Spaceballs.
The Lillian Michelson Research Library-
Lillian eventually inherited one of the first research libraries from Lilia Alexander at Samuel Goldwyn Mayer, in 1969, when library had to close. Lillian speaks about Francis Coppola and David Lynch as frequent visitors of the research library as well as good friend Danny DeVito over time.
Paramount housed the library for 9.5 years until Francis Ford Coppola acquired the library for Zoetrope Pictures 1981. After some time, the library moved again because of financial troubles at Zoetrope. Dreamworks also aquired the research library and Lillian worked there from 1999-2006 until she retired.
Lillian was known for her contributions on "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?", "Scarface", "Rosemary’s Baby", "Full Metal Jacket", "The Birds", "The Manchurian Candidate", "Cape Fear", "The Longest Day","Fiddler on the Roof (undergarment clothing of women of the early 1900's during the time of Lenin's Revolutions in Russia), "The Graduate", "RumbleFish", and many more.
As a couple the two were an great match and proved to be the best of what Hollywood had to offer. The Michelsons are immortalized in the characters from "Shrek 2" as King Harold and Queen Lillian. Lillian worked at Dreamworks from 1999-2010.Harold's health began to decline after the move to Dreamworks and he passed away in March 2, 2007.
Lilian Michelson-Hollywood library is named after her
Harold Michelson-Hollywood story board artist, art director, set designer
Danny Divito-(Producer/Director/Actor)"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", Romancing the Stone", "Terms of Endearment", "War of the Roses," "Throw Mamma From the Train",
Francis Ford Coppola-(director) "Patton","Apocalypse Now", "The Godfather", The Conversation," "The Outsiders"
Mel Brooks- (Director/Producer/Actor)"Blazing Saddles", "Spaceballs", "The History of the Word Part 1", "The Producers"
Gene Allen-(art director and production designer)"My Fair Lady", "A Star Is Born"
James D. Bissell- (prodcution design) "Night and Good Luck", "Jumanji", "The Falcon and the Snowman", "Twilight Zone: The Movie", "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial",...
Rick Carter-(production design)"Forrest Gump", "Avatar", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Stuart Cornfeld-(producer)"History of the World Part 1", "The Elephant Man"
Gabriel Hardman-(art department)"Inception," "Dark Knight", "Interstellar", "Logan"
Tish Hicks-Young Lillian (voice)
Bill Krohn-Film Critic
Patrick Mate-(animation department)"The Prince of Egypt", "Puss in Boots"
Anahid Nazarian-(archivist and script supervisor)"Apocalypse Now," "The Godfather Part III", "The Outsiders"
Norman Newberry-(art director and production designer", "Jurassic Park", "Avatar", "Star Wars", "Force Awakens"
Richard Sylbert-"Rosemary's Baby", "China Town",
Will Vought W-Young Harold (voice)
Thomas A. Walsh- (President of the Art Directors Guild)
Marc Wanamaker- historian, archivist, and lecturer in film history, Founder of the Bison Archives