Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds quickly descends into mystifying chaos, ranging from an explosion to an avian attack on a child’s birthday party. Half a century later, the thriller is still revered and, yes, still widely feared. And though critics and the public alike have always heaped praise onto the film’s stars and director, few ever acknowledged the behind-the-scenes contributions of crew members like Harold and Lillian Michelson, the married storyboard artist and film researcher who made such lurid, legendary films a reality.
The two unsung Hollywood heroes are finally given their due in Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, Daniel Raim’s new documentary to be screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The couple added depth and distinction to an array of classics—the infamous shot of a gawky Dustin Hoffman seen through Anne Bancroft’s leg in The Graduate began as a drawing in Harold’s sketchbook, Al Pacino's Scarface started with Lillian calling an actual drug kingpin for character research—and now, with this engaging, informative, and emotionally gripping documentary, the pair is given due credit for their lasting contributions to Hollywood history, including The Ten Commandments, Rosemary's Baby, The Apartment, and others, as a cast of friends and colleagues ranging from Francis Ford Coppola to Danny DeVito illuminate the life and work of one of Hollywood's greatest power couples.
Screenings on May 26, 27, 28. Tickets $9. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. 713-639-7300. Tickets and showtimes available here.