Directed by: Ed Hartman
Written by: Ed Hartman
Starring: Ed Hartman, Chris Lyford
It’s easy to see why director Ed Hartman is so inspired by Richard Lyford. If you are one of those people who just went, “Richard who?,” then It Gets In Your Blood is definitely for you. Within 14 minutes, the documentary provides a highlight of Lyford and his praiseworthy achievements. You gather knowledge on his love for his craft but end up knowing little about his personal life. Maybe there is nothing special to dwell on there, or perhaps the runtime posed as a problem for covering his personal life in detail. Whatever be the reason, it makes It Gets In Your Blood a conversation starter. Hartman wants us to recognize this personality, and you do so with significant admiration.
Like many filmmakers, Lyford got attracted to movies when his parents gifted him a camera. He made films on smaller budgets, but they had grand ideas and impressive sets. His film As The Earth Turns has splendid writing, acting, and explosive special effects that are truly amazing given the time it was released. He was only 20 years old when he made that film. The narrator claims this film had elements that foreshadowed modern TV and movies like Star Trek, Dr. Strangelove, and Austin Powers. What’s more, it even eerily foreboded World War II!
In 1938, Lyford took his talents to Hollywood. He went there because people at Disney saw his skills and invited him to work with them. Lyford’s son, Chris, appears in between to tell a legendary “Backlot-story” that is undoubtedly the highlight of It Gets In Your Blood. Lyford continued to make films for the army and air forces in Washington DC.
If you go through Lyford’s filmography, you will come across a documentary titled The Titan: Story of Michelangelo. It’s about the Italian sculptor and painter named Michelangelo Buonarroti. The Titan received an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and was later preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2005. Lyford made the documentary after the war, and in 1952, it became the first documentary feature to be shown on network television. Hartman delights in narrating these accomplishments. You sense his respect for his idol. There is a slight pain in his tone when he wonders why Lyford didn’t become as famous as Orson Welles. Both died in the same year, but one gained fame and stardom while another is acclaimed by a minimal number of devotees. With It Gets In Your Blood, Hartman tries to tweak this narrative. Will he succeed? Only time will tell.