PAL, George


PAL, George
(1908-1980)
   Hungarian film producer, based in the USA since 1940, best known for his sf and fantasy films, for which he received a NEBULA Special Award in 1976. Trained as an illustrator in Budapest, GP decided tospecialize in animation, and in 1931 moved to Germany, where he worked at the UFA studios. When Hitler came to power GP went to Paris, where he soon became very successful with a series of animated commercials and entertainment films, his Puppetoons. After emigrating to the USA he set up a Puppetoon unit at Paramount Studios.His first live-action film was The Great Rupert (1949) dir Irving Pichel, starring Jimmy Durante and ananimated squirrel. He then started work on DESTINATION MOON (1950) dir Pichel, which was so successful - it initiated the sf film boom of the1950s - that GP immediately chose another sf subject for his next film, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951) dir Rudolph Mate. This was followed by WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) dir Byron HASKIN, The Naked Jungle (1954) and CONQUEST OF SPACE (1955), both dir Haskin, ATLANTIS, THE LOST CONTINENT (1959) and The TIME MACHINE (1960), both dir GP, and The POWER (1968) dir Haskin and GP. He also made a number of pure fantasy films during this period, including Tom Thumb (1958) and The Seven Faces of Dr Lao (1964). His last film was DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE (1974) dir Michael Anderson. He is credited as co-author with Joe Morhaim of Time Machine II (1981), a sequel to H.G. WELLS's THE TIME MACHINE (1895), seemingly written in connection with a film which was never made.GP's dominant interest in special effects often led to other aspects of his films, including scripts and acting, being neglected. Most of his productions, however, possess a colourful bravura that distracts attention from their shortcomings, and he has on occasion produced memorable images.
   JB
   See also: CINEMA; MOON; ROCKETS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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