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Mitchell Leisen/Oregon filmmaker

November 7th, 2008 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 1940's, Oregon filmmaker

If you lived in Paris, you would know all about Mitchell Leisen because they’ve been running a retrospective of his films at Le Cinematheque Francaise since August. Leisen joins a number of American directors – Jerry Lewis, Brian De Palma, and Bill Plympton come to mind – who the French regard as prophets without honor in their own country.

Leisen films I can personally vouch for include Easy Living and Remember The Night, both from scripts by Preston Sturges. (Remember The Night, a Christmas movie for adults, starts off with Barbara Stanwyck shoplifting a diamond bracelet.) 

He began as an art director on a number of Cecil B. DeMille films including Sign of the Cross and Dynamite, a film I’ve never seen, but would like to, now that I’ve read the tag line, which is “She Denied Him Her Love, So He Took It! She Stole His Name, Tricked Him, Humbled Him and – in the end – Worshipped Him!”

That’s DeMille’s daughter, Katherine, above with Leisen. They’re at the races, in 1932.

Mitchell Leisen came to Oregon to shoot Golden Earrings in 1947. I claim him as an Oregon filmmaker on that basis.

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