George Pal

George Pal ( born February 1, 1908 in Cegléd, Austria - Hungary, as György Pál Marczincsak; † 2 May 1980, Beverly Hills, California, United States) was a Hungarian- American trick technician who as a film producer and film director by science fiction and fantasy films was released.


The son of entertainer Mary and George Pal sen. worked after the completion of the Budapest Academy of Arts in 1928 for the Hunnia film. After that, he was from 1931 to 1932 head of the Animation Department of the UFA film studios in Berlin and founded his own animation studio. During this time with the help of stop-motion technique he had a further development of the characters and puppet animation. After the seizure of power by the Nazis he was unwanted as a foreigner and he left Germany. After a short time in Prague, he went to Paris, and finally in the Netherlands, where in his own studio he produced animated promotional short films from 1934.

Pal got 1939 the American visa in 1940 and moved with his family to New York. He signed a contract with the Paramount movie studios and presented 1941-1947 no less than 40 puppet animation films, so-called Puppetoons, ago. Seven of these films were nominated for the Oscar. For the development of this trick combination that he had already patented in Europe, Pal was awarded an honorary Oscar. Also included Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen with his staff.

After these successes in the short film, he turned to the real film. With the Eagle Lion Films 1950 he produced two films. After the success of the second production he realized 1951-1955 five films for Paramount. He put as much emphasis on the producer careful execution of special effects. Destination Moon, Doomsday and the HG Wells War of the Worlds film received the Oscar for best special effects. The Paramount turned 1955 on the science-fiction film. Pal left the company. For his next project he found the support of the British MGM Studios, took the reins of the government and handed over the special effects company Project Unlimited. Under his direction, in collaboration with the Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer and the Project Unlimited, created 1960-1964 four other fairy tales and fantasy movies. Unlimited Project developed for these films special effects that were outstanding for their time. So real and animated sequences were combined with the simplest of means, which are now created only with computer support. The musical Tom Thumb and the impressive HG Wells The Time Machine film won the Oscar for best special effects. Was also nominated The mysterious Dr. Lao, but a financial failure was. Pal gave up work as a director. Another MGM production was made in 1968. Warner Bros. For 1975 he produced his last film. Other projects never came into existence.

George Pal was married since 1930 with Elisabeth Josepha ( Zsoka ) Grandjean. The sons of David ( b. 1937 ) and Peter ( b. 1941 ) came from this marriage. He died at the age of 72 of a heart attack and was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. His star on the Walk of Fame is located in 1722 Vine Street.

The memory of George Pal is today kept alive mainly by Arnold Leibovit, not only the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal brought out in 1985, but in 1987 the tribute Puppetoon The Movie. He presented 2002 The time machine in a remake and produced the 2004 film music compilation The Fantasy Film Music of George Pal. In the opening song Science Fiction / Double Feature Rocky Horror Show George Pal is sung: " But When Worlds Collide, Said George Pal to his bride, I'm gonna give you some terrible thrills, like a: ".

Filmography (selection)