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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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'Fantasia' Acclaimed as Film Masterpiece

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

Jan. 30, 1941: The Times publishes three items on the Los Angeles premiere of “Fantasia”: A review of the film by Edwin Schallert, a music review by Isabel Morse Jones and a color story on the event by Read Kendall, who said that Shirley Temple  (now at the advanced age of 12) almost walked into the theater without being noticed. 

Schallert says: The words most used to describe "Fantasia," besides the conventional "beautiful" and "wonderful" were "path-breaking" and "courageous." The phrase "courageous beyond belief" would be even more accurate.

Unfortunately, as a music critic Jones is no Martin Bernheimer. Here’s a sample from her review, which is the sort of old chestnut we never see anymore: "Stokowski raises his arms and commands heaven and earth and all the sound therein to do his bidding, and that is triumph enough for any mortal."

Notice that the reviews refer to commentary by Deems Taylor.  It’s been many years since I have watched “Fantasia” in its entirety but I can’t say I recall them. According to imdb, most of the Taylor sequences were removed in later releases. 

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  

  Jan. 30, 1941, Fantasia  
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