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A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream(1935)

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Remind Me

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Olivia de Havilland, whose name was misspelled on the screen as "Oliva de Haviland," was given the role of Hermia in Max Reinhardt's Hollywood Bowl production of the play after he saw her in a small production of the play in Saratoga. She was originally hired as the understudy and replaced Gloria Stuart when she was unable to go on because of illness. Studio records indicate that Bette Davis was a candidate for the part of Hermia. Despite Reinhardt's preference for Cagney for the role of Bottom, the studio wanted Guy Kibbee. Mickey Rooney broke his leg before production started and he had to be filmed moving on a tricycle behind the scenery. Studio records indicate that Ernest Haller began as the film's cinematographer but was replaced by Hal Mohr. A news item in Daily Variety notes that publicity depended heavily on still photographs. Over 1,500 stills were taken. News items in Daily Variety note that a restraining order was issued which barred Reinhardt from participating in any directing activities on a motion filed by a French theatrical firm which charged that Reinhardt breached his contract with them. In the meantime, William Dieterle had full charge of the set-Reinhardt was not even allowed to be on the sidelines. The restraining order was lifted about a week later when a judge found in favor of Reinhardt. According to Daily Variety, Warner Bros. was "unofficially notified" that the picture would be banned in Germany as Reinhardt and Mendelssohn were both considered undesirables. Reinhardt was a famous European theatrical producer. A Jew, he left Hitler's Germany for the United States but never made another movie. He earned his living by running a drama school in Hollywood. Composer Erich Korngold was another ex-patriot. He remained at Warner Bros. where he became one of their resident composers. According to Hal Wallis' autobiography, when the forest that Reinhardt designed could not be lit effectively, Mohr thinned the trees, sprayed them with aluminium paint and covered them with cobwebs and tiny metal particles that reflected the light. As a result of his work, he became the first write-in winner of an Academy Award. The film itself was nominated for Best Picture and Ralph Dawson received the Oscar for editing. According to Kenneth Anger, he played the changeling boy.