Lost Boundaries on
Why? Louis de Rochemont has a ready answer to that question because he's got a bug in his bonnet -- almost an obsession -- the value of real-life movie-making.
"The aim of any drama," he says, "is to give the illusion
of real things -- real things happening. So why not use real things in the
And that's exactly what de Rochemont does. The majority of
the characters of "Lost Boundaries," are very real New England people --
not caricatures of cracker-barrel philosophers. His scenes are filmed in
homes and inns pre-dating the Revolutionary war. Again,
Well," says de Rochemont, "the Hollywood people can make
good sets -- almost perfect ones in fact, but they can't give that basic,
lived-in look to them such as we have in the old inn and the Sparhawk
Mansion in "Lost Boundaries." There are the little things that count, like
aged cracks in the paint, the worn look of furniture, the wallpaper's
markings, the familiar look of furniture in the rooms ... all those
"That holds with people, too," de Rochemont continued. "If
you want a hotel clerk, who knows all the little movements, the
expressions, the nuances of feeling better than a hotel clerk
De Rochemont has injected all the fabled realism possible into "Lost Boundaries." He did it in "Boomerang," in "House on 92nd Street," in "13 Rue Madeleine," and, of course, in "Fighting Lady," that was filmed by navy combat photographers under fire in the Pacific. De Rochemont won an Academy Award for his brilliant editing of "Fighting Lady."
De Rochemont's movie-making started more than 30 years ago
when he shouldered his way boldly through a crowd watching the dedication
of some new buildings in Chelsea, Mass. A cameraman was making pictures
and Louis and a companion later saw themselves on the screen of a local
Soon, he found that there was money to be made in filming local scenes and selling them to local theatres. When he was later assigned to film the launching of the first submarine in Portsmouth, N. H., by a news reel company, he earned $40; promptly spent all of it on a trip to New York to sit through six or seven showings of t.he picture he had taken.
During World War I, de Rochemont went to the naval
aviation school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the naval
cadet school at Harvard. He stayed in the navy until 1923 when he left to
join International Newsreel. After four years he became assistant editor
of Pathe News. In 1934, he joined Time, Inc., as the originator of March
of Time. In 1940, he produced March of Time's first full length film,
"Ramparts We Watch," based on Maj. George Fielding Elliot's treatise on
the defenses of the United States.
When he quit March of Time he passed the job on to his
brother, Richard de Rochemont-"and I was glad to keep it in the family,
because it was my baby."
De Rochemont now has a contract with M-G-M-one of the most
unique in Hollywood-in that it gives him a virtual free rein, to produce
his movies on the set he selects and round up much of the talent he
His contract almost permits him to operate from his own
dinner table in his quaint Newington, N. H., farm home. All around his New
England home he is surrounded by historic communities, beautiful sea
resorts -- and, he says, "the makings and people for great movie
De Rochemont proves it in "Lost Boundaries," the dramatic story of a New Hampshire Negro doctor and his family who "passed" for whites until their secret was discovered.
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