George Willeman


Today 8mm. Tomorrow, The World!


The antithesis of a stereotypical government worker, George Willeman is just as excited to go to work today as the day he started at the Library of Congress, 25-some years ago.  


Not much has changed for George since his  beginnings as a child collecting 8mm films to show to the neighborhood kids.  It’s just that now, George gets to work with  35mm, 65mm, successive exposure Technicolor negatives, and rare Biograph nitrate at the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center in Dayton, Ohio where he serves as Nitrate Vault Leader.


“I still have the very first film I ever received, from my Grandfather,” says George, “It’s a 50 foot standard 8 print of California Bound with W.C. Fields.  I keep it on my desk at work, to remind me of “humble beginnings”.


Besides being credited with finding many lost films, including the uncensored version of Barbara Stanwyck’s 1933 pre-code classic “Baby Face”, his greatest find to date would have to be the original camera negative for Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 classic “The Great Train Robbery”.


But his work doesn’t end at 5 p.m.  Geo spends some of his “off hours” presenting prints to film groups including the local chapter of the “Sons of the Desert”, an international Laurel & Hardy film fan society and speaking to local civic groups about film preservation.


If that weren’t enough, Mr. Willeman’s credits also extend to writer, producer, actor and most recently co-host of “Filmically Perfect” a weekly radio show broadcast live on 91.3 WYSO-FM.

Top 5 Recommended films:
SUNRISE                          (1927 directed by F.W. Murnau)
THE OLD MILL               (1937, directed by Willifred Jackson)
THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE                        (1933, directed by Fritz Lang)
THE BAND WAGON      (1953, directed by Vincente Minnelli)
ISLE OF THE DEAD       (1945, directed by Mark Robson)
George’s links:
•Filmically Perfect Show
•George’s Home Page
•Frozen Turkey Pictures!
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