Strange Illusions: Poverty Row Classics Preserved by UCLA

Oct 19–28, 2017


Hollow Triumph. 1948. USA. Directed by Steve Sekely

Long before the Sundance Film Festival, independent productions flourished on Hollywood’s Poverty Row, that strip of Gower Street between Sunset Boulevard and the Paramount lot. Dozens of fly-by-night outfits came and went in the 1930s and '40s, churning out genre films that often had an edge and grittiness not found in major studio movies. UCLA Film & Television Archive has made it a mission to preserve and restore these rare and endangered works, of which this series presents 12 shining examples, with an emphasis on noir, horror, and pre-Code audacity.

Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film. Special thanks to Jan-Christopher Horak, Todd Wiener, and Scott MacQueen of UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Film Fund.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].