Clarence Brown: Hollywood Great (Keynote address) Clarence Brown Film Festival

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Teens , Adults
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Program Description

Event Details

Join Gwenda Young, author of Clarence Brown: Hollywood’s Forgotten Master, as she brings us on an audio-visual journey through Brown’s films, from his early years as the “Master’s apprentice,” to the bold and beautiful films he made in the silent era, through to the star-laden films and the compelling, personal projects of his studio career in the 1930s and 1940s.

Following the talk, the public is invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Clarence Brown Theatre and stay for an outdoor screening of National Velvet

Visitors to UT's Hodges Library should park at the White Avenue Parking Garage (G12).

Clarence Brown Film Festival

This event is part of the Clarence Brown Film Festival, celebrating the work and legacy of Knoxvillian Clarence Brown (1890–1987). Nominated for eight Oscars, Brown directed the biggest stars of the silver screen including Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Elizabeth Taylor. Events are free and open to the public.

Located among his papers in the University of Tennessee Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives is a well-thumbed flyer advertising the talents of “Master Clarence Leon Brown, Juvenile Entertainer, Dramatic Reader,” a “juvenile entertainer excelled by none. . . . He is a handsome child with a most charming appearance and personality, and with culture combined with natural magnetic force he easily captivates an audience of thousands. . . . He moves his audience to tears and laughter at will.”

This piece of ephemera, treasured by its owner for almost ninety years, is just one of the many fascinating items in the Clarence Brown collection at University of Tennessee, Knoxville–an advertisement that confidently announces the arrival of a talent who is bound to make his mark in the world…

And Clarence Brown, a devoted son of Knoxville, did just that! Over the course of a professional life spanning five decades, this prodigy carved out a prodigious, distinguished career in the heart of the famed Hollywood studio system. The skill with which he handled legendary stars, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, made him one of MGM studio’s most valued assets. His ability to figure out solutions to the most challenging situations on set–be they human, animal or technical–was borne from his early life in Knoxville, first as an entertainer and later, as an engineer.


Photo credit: Richie Tyndell


For ADA accommodations, call (865) 215-8703 or send request to 72 hours in advance of program.