DeCuir becomes a concert violinist.


DeCuir attends Montebello High School.


DeCuir is hired as a matte shot illustrator at Universal Studios. 


DeCuir studies at Chouinard Art Institute under Herb Ryman. 


As a new employee at Universal, DeCuir would arrive early and brew a pot of coffee. By doing this simple thing, he caught the attention of the company’s producer. He would stop by each morning for coffee and soon enough, he began to take note of John’s work.

A cup of coffee got him his first job. That along with a great deal of talent, but the coffee helped.
— John DeCuir Jr.

the adventures of marco polo (1938)*

Director: Archie Mayo, John Cromwell

Summary: Marco Polo travels from Venice to Peking, where he quickly discovers spaghetti and gunpowder and falls in love with the Emperor’s daughter. The Emperor Kublai Khan is a kindly fellow, but his evil aide Ahmed wants to get rid of Kublai Khan so he can be emperor, and to get rid of Marco Polo so he can marry the princess. Ahmed sends Marco Polo to the West to fight barbarians, but he returns just in time to save the day.


DeCuir sketched a magnificent bar for the film Destry Rides Again, but was told that the bar simply could not be made on the film’s low, b-movie budget. But when the director saw the bar, he sent the script back to the writers and told them to make a story worthy of this bar and they raised the budget accordingly.


John marries his wife.


DeCuir is promoted to Art Director at Universal Studios.


Brute Force*

Director: Jules Dassin

Summary: At overcrowded Westgate Penitentiary, where violence and fear are the norm and the warden has less power than guards and leading prisoners, the least contented prisoner is tough, single-minded Joe Collins. Most of all, Joe hates chief guard Captain Munsey, a petty dictator who glories in absolute power. After one infraction too many, Joe and his cell-mates are put on the dreaded drain pipe detail prompting an escape scheme that has every chance of turning into a bloodbath.


Director: John Berry

Nominated for Oscar: Best Music, Original Scoring

Summary: Pepe Le Mako leads a gang of jewel thieves in the Casbah of Algiers, where he has exiled himself to escape imprisonment in his native France. Inez, his girlfriend, is infuriated when Pepe flirts with Gaby, a French visitor, but Pepe tells her to mind her own business. Detective Slimane is trying to lure Pepe out of the Casbah so he can be jailed. Against Slimane’s advice, Police Chief Louvain capture Pepe in a dragnet, but his followers free him. Inez realizes that Pepe has fallen in love with Gaby and intends to follow her to Europe. Slimane knows the same and uses her as the bait to lure Pepe out of the Casbah.



baby makes three*

Director: Henry Levin

Summary: Jackie Walsh, divorced from Vernon Walsh, faints just before her marriage to Herbert Fletcher and learns she is pregnant, and ex-husband Vernon is the father-to-be. To win their legal battle over the custody of the baby-to-be, Vernon decides to marry ex-girlfriend Wanda York. Jackie is regretting the divorce and decides to discourage Wanda by telling her she is going to have triplets.