Willard Hahn
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View Willard Hahn's Mexican Village Life  and Paraguay: a New Frontier free on the Internet Archive

Willard Hahn is one of the many relatively unknown adventurer-filmmakers who thrived in the post World-War II years.   Like others, including Les Mitchel and Paul Hoefler, the main focus of his work involved filming in foreign countries. 

Born in Tonawanda, New York on October 28, 1910, Willard Carl Hahn had an early desire to be a writer, and by 1939, he was writing for newspapers and periodicals.  His desire to discover adventure brought him to work as an elevator operator on the S.S. Lurline out of San Francisco (in 1965, he made the film Operation Liner, featuring the Lurline). He worked in various other positions aboard several other ships, was in the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and shortly thereafter became a war correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Buffalo News

Wanting to avoid working in an office, he bought a film camera after World War II, taught himself the art of cinematography, and made a documentary film in Brazil, which he sold to Standard Oil.  After making three more films in South America for Standard Oil, he began producing academic films for Paul Hoefler Productions of La Jolla, CA, shooting the footage, writing the script, and supervising narration in each film.  He made 27 films for Hoefler through approximately 1970, six of which included Spanish language versions. .  His life between 1970 and his death on June 2, 1980 is undocumented. 

Hahn’s filmography may be incomplete.  Please contact us if you can provide more information.

Willard Hahn Filmography

Films shot and directed by Hahn for Paul Hoefler Films: 

- American Samoa (1959, 17m)
- Andes Story (1954, 25m)
- Argentina's Lifestream (1954, 11m)
- Brazilian Rain Forest (1954, 11m)
- Coral Reef(1967, 17m)
- Guadalajara Family (1958, 17m)
    - Una Familia de Guadalajara (1958, 17m) Spanish version of 'Guadalajara Family.'
- Honolulu: Profile of Democracy (1960, 17m)
- Island Continent: Australia's Land and People (1966, 17m)
- Mexican Potters - Clay Art in Old Mexico (1959, 11m)
- Mexican Village Family (1959, 17m)
    - Una Familia de un Pueblo Mexicano (1959, 17m) Spanish version of 'Mexican Village Family.’
- Mexican Village Life (1958, 17m)
    - Vida en un Pueblo Mexicano, La (1958, 17m) Spanish version of ‘Mexican Village Life.’
- Mexico at Work (1960, 17m)
    - Mexico Trabajando (1960, 17m). Spanish version of 'Mexico at Work.' )
- Mexico City: Pattern for Progress (1959, 17m)
    - La Ciudad de Mexico (1960, 17m). Spanish version of ‘Mexico City: Pattern for Progress.’
- Mexico's Heritage (1960, 17m)
    - La Herencia Mexicana (1960, 17m) Spanish version of 'Mexico’s Heritage.'
- Navigators, The (1967, 17m)
- Operation Freighter (1964, 25m) Features the Matson ship SS Hawaiian Farmer
- Operation Liner (1965, 20,m) Features the Matson ship SS Lurline
- Pablo de Yucatan (1962, 11m)
- Paraguay: a New Frontier (1958, 17m)
- Paraguay - Yesterday and Tomorrow (1958, 11m)
- Peoples of the Island World (1967, 17m)
- Peru - Land of the Incas (1958, 11m)
- Peru - Upper Amazon Region (1957, 17m)
- San Francisco: Story of a City 1963)
- Taxco:  Village of Art (1957, 17m)
    - Taxco: Pueblo de Arte (1961, 17m) Spanish version of 'Taxco: Village of Art.'
- West Indies: Lands in Transition (1961, 17m)
- Yucatan : Land of the Maya (1962, 17m)

The following films, made for Standard Oil, are believed to have been made by Hahn:

- Argentina Today (1951)
- Brazilian Tapestry (1951)
- Mato Grosso Journey - Brazil (1952) 

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