UW News

August 9, 2011

Lost and Found Films: ‘The American Dream, 1965

UW News

This weeks Lost and Found Film is titled The American Dream, circa 1965, and  comprises a series of still images, many of well-known American faces along with several titles and handbills. But, by whom and toward what end?

We see Marilyn Monroe, then what appear to be publicity photos from old silent films (likely including that steely-eyed cowboy William S. Hart). Then a comes handbill advertising an “amazing funeral plan that pays immediately,” for only $200, which gives way to the image of Mad magazines fictional publisher, Alfred E. (“What me worry?”) Newman.

Oddly following that is a well-remembered UW photo by James Sneddon of President John F. Kennedy posing with math professor and former classmate Edwin Hewitt (whose academic robe, bearing Harvard colors, the president borrowed when he spoke on campus in 1961). Then we see a logo, “The American Dream,” followed by another very 1965-sounding phrase surrounded by question and exclamation marks: “The Living End?!”

Hannah Palin, film archives specialist with UW Libraries Special Collections, says the leader on the film reads “The American Dream, unedited takes, Bluestone.” This clip is taken from the end of the film.

Palin said, “We know that George Bluestone was a professor on campus known for his seminal book on film adaptation, Novels into Film (1957).” She said he produced three films in all, one of which, Bartleby, was during his UW tenure.

Palin asks if anyone knows who made this bit of film and whether it was a student project. She also asks, “If this is the unedited version, where is the edited version?”

If you can answer these questions or provide any other information about the film, please write your comment below.  When UW Today presented earlier films from Special Collections, readers provided important information, and Palin hopes shell get a similar response now.

Some previous Lost and Found Films:

June 30: Campus Color, circa 1940-48

July 6, Research at Sea

July 14: Aberdeen Gathering

July 21: Palo Alto Home

Aug 3: University District, circa 1965