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Seven Wonders of the World

Seven Wonders of the World(1956)


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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 August 1953 Los Angeles Times and Daily Variety articles, Cooper was promoting Seven Wonders of the World as the first Cinerama release; however, This is Cinerama was released first on September 30, 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 December 11, 1954 Hollywood Reporter article noted that a production crew was leaving to shoot in Rome, Italy, while a December 28, 1954 Daily Variety 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 October 9, 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 December 24, 1954 Daily Variety article and April 11, 1956 Variety 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 Daily Variety 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 August 18, 1953 Daily Variety 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 April 1958 Films and Filming article criticized the film for staging traditional ceremonies.