Seven Wonders of the World (1956)

120 or 128 mins | Documentary | 1956

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HISTORY

The working title for the film was What Happened to Smith. In press material found in the production file for the film at the AMPAS Library, special thanks is given to Gen. Merian C. Cooper, Cinerama production chief, for advice and cooperation in making the picture. According to Aug 1953 LAT and DV articles, Cooper was promoting Seven Wonders of the World as the first Cinerama release; however, This is Cinerama was released first on 30 Sep 1952 and Seven Wonders of the World became the third release for the company. For more information on the history of the Cinerama, see the entry below for This is Cinerama. The summary above was written using information from the film’s pressbook and several reviews.
       Seven Wonders of the World was shot over a period of several years, through 32 countries, and was directed by five directors using separate crews. As noted in the pressbook, the film included aerial and ground photography of more than seven wonders and portrayed both modern and ancient sites and ceremonies. An 11 Dec 1954 HR article noted that a production crew was leaving to shoot in Rome, Italy, while a 28 Dec 1954 DV news item stated that the film had completed shooting in Athens, Greece and was leaving for Cairo, Egypt followed by shooting in the Belgian Congo. A 9 Oct 1955 ^NYT article noted that the film had been in production for over a year with three different crews and added that the prologue sequence was shot in Pawling, NY.
       A 24 Dec ...

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The working title for the film was What Happened to Smith. In press material found in the production file for the film at the AMPAS Library, special thanks is given to Gen. Merian C. Cooper, Cinerama production chief, for advice and cooperation in making the picture. According to Aug 1953 LAT and DV articles, Cooper was promoting Seven Wonders of the World as the first Cinerama release; however, This is Cinerama was released first on 30 Sep 1952 and Seven Wonders of the World became the third release for the company. For more information on the history of the Cinerama, see the entry below for This is Cinerama. The summary above was written using information from the film’s pressbook and several reviews.
       Seven Wonders of the World was shot over a period of several years, through 32 countries, and was directed by five directors using separate crews. As noted in the pressbook, the film included aerial and ground photography of more than seven wonders and portrayed both modern and ancient sites and ceremonies. An 11 Dec 1954 HR article noted that a production crew was leaving to shoot in Rome, Italy, while a 28 Dec 1954 DV news item stated that the film had completed shooting in Athens, Greece and was leaving for Cairo, Egypt followed by shooting in the Belgian Congo. A 9 Oct 1955 ^NYT article noted that the film had been in production for over a year with three different crews and added that the prologue sequence was shot in Pawling, NY.
       A 24 Dec 1954 DV article and 11 Apr 1956 Var review of the film list the shooting locations for the directors on the film: Andrew Marton directed in Africa and New Delhi, India; Paul Mantz directed in Africa and Israel; Ted Tetzlaff directed in the United States and Italy; Tay Garnett directed in India; and Walter Thompson directed in Japan. The DV article added that John Farrow was named as personal consultant to Cooper. Pressbook material added that "advance arrangements" were made by Lowell Thomas, Maynard M. Miller, Robert W. Heussler and Eileen Salama.
       According to an 18 Aug 1953 DV article, production setbacks occurred in Nairobi because of the Mau Mau uprising and also in Egypt where tensions between British and Egyptians were building over the Suez Canal. An Apr 1958 Films and Filming article criticized the film for staging traditional ceremonies.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
Personal note credit:
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Sep 1956
pp. 546-47, 556-60
Box Office
21 Apr 1956
---
Cue
14 Apr 1956
---
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1953
---
Daily Variety
24 Dec 1954
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1956
p. 3
Film Daily
11 Apr 1956
p. 10
Films and Filming
Apr 1958
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 1954
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1954
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 1954
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 1955
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 1955
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 1956
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 1956
p. 4
Los Angeles Times
1 Aug 1953
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 1956
---
New York Times
9 Oct 1955
---
New York Times
11 Apr 1956
p. 29
Variety
11 Apr 1956
p. 6
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on an idea by
Scenario and narr contributions by
Scenario and narr contributions by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Harry Squire
Photog
Aerial photog
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Paintings by
DANCE
Japanese dance created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Prod staff
Scr clerk
Unit mgr
STAND INS
Pilot
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
What Happened to Smith
Release Date:
1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 10 Apr 1956; San Francisco opening: Nov 1956
Production Date:
began Feb 1953
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Stanley Warner Cinerama Corp.
11 April 1956
MP7262
Physical Properties:
Sound
Cinerama Stereophonic Sound Systerm
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
120 or 128
Length(in feet):
11,600
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

This travelogue opens in producer Lowell Thomas' study in Pawling, New York and continues its tour through 32 countries. Among the first sites are the Iguassú Falls, Sugar Loaf peak and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Religious footage includes biblical sites in Israel; St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rome, Italy; and Buddhist priests. Temple dancing in India, Watusi warrior dancers in Africa and Geisha dancers in Japan are among the traditional ceremonies portrayed in the film. In addition to ancient Greek and Roman ruins, the film includes footage of North American natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Niagara ...

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This travelogue opens in producer Lowell Thomas' study in Pawling, New York and continues its tour through 32 countries. Among the first sites are the Iguassú Falls, Sugar Loaf peak and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Religious footage includes biblical sites in Israel; St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rome, Italy; and Buddhist priests. Temple dancing in India, Watusi warrior dancers in Africa and Geisha dancers in Japan are among the traditional ceremonies portrayed in the film. In addition to ancient Greek and Roman ruins, the film includes footage of North American natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.