Harvard Celebrates 100 Years of Paramount Pictures

By Edgar B. Herwick III

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Listen to Edgar's interview with David Pendleton, programmer, Harvard Film Archive and film critic Garen Daley.

Shakespeare once asked asked, “What’s in a name?” For William Wadsworth Hodkinson and Adolph Zukor, I’d say quite a bit. In the early 1900s, they called their burgeoning film production and distribution company Paramount Pictures.

Last week on Boston Public Radio, we spoke with Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. I consulted his trusty dictionary for the exact definition of that word "paramount." It means “superior to all others.”

This year, Paramount Pictures celebrates their 100th anniversary and starting in September the Harvard Film Archive is celebrating the famed studio by screening selected films from its considerable canon.


"It's a part of our attempt to bring a broad spectrum of film to Boston and Cambridge," said programmer David Pendleton, who explained that the addition of films with a broad appeal works well in the summer and compliments the theater's usual line up of film with a narrow window of distribution.

Here are excerpts from just a few of the films screening at the Harvard Film Archive:

"In Harm's Way" (1965)

"Popeye" (1980)

"She Done Him Wrong" (1933)


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