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Before the Wind

Date produced: 1940

Filmmaker(s):

James H. McCarthy

Description:

"When the schooner yacht Enchantress put out from San Pedro for a five weeks' marlin fishing cruise in the Gulf of Lower California, fortunately James H. McCarthy was on board with camera, Kodachrome and a filming plan. The result was Before the Wind, as happy a movie yarn of a pleasure cruise as we have ever seen. A spirit of jollity and a general good time pervade this chronicle, which is adequately strung on the thread of a series of entries in the ship's log of the Enchantress. This casual continuity is entirely sufficient, for each episode is beautifully sequenced, and the whole film reflects a consistent happy go lucky holiday spirit. Exquisite shots of the schooner in translucent California Gulf waters, numerous studies of ship life, handsomely lighted interior views in cabins and engine room are all technical accomplishments in this picture. The sequences of marlin fishing and of clam digging on the Mexican shore are gems of good film planning and good cutting. The movie is presented with an intelligently planned musical accompaniment that really fits the film, but it is the natural handling of sequences of people on a carefree sea vacation that makes this picture superb entertainment." Movie Makers, Dec. 1940, 577.


Will and the Way, The

Date produced: 1940

Filmmaker(s):

Chester Glassley

Description:

"The Will and the Way is a simple story of '"little people" — but it looms large in its appeal to the human heart. There are, in its tender adventures, the laughter of sympathy and the tears of pathos. From these, as from any great expression of beauty, there comes the genuine and ennobling uplift of the spirit which is so rare in a workaday world. Chester Glassley has been equal to his task. His photography, both indoors and out, is as nearly flawless as skill and patience will permit. His camera treatment is marked by a wise concentration on close views, a dramatic selection of angles and a fine sense of matching and contrasting color values. Good cutting, paired with a brilliantly executed montage sequence, rounds out the technical achievements. But his greatest production triumph lies in the casting and direction of the two lead players, who bring to the amateur screen its most genuine and sensitive acting to date. A young wife is to have a baby. Because of a harsh experience with a rum sodden doctor, she turns blindly toward the thought of going only to a specialist, a great obstetrician, famed both for his fine care and his $1000 fees. Her young husband's reaction as he learns of this feeling is the simple theme of the entire story: "I don't know where we'll get the money, but if that's the doctor you want, then that's the doctor you're going to get!" From then on. life for the young couple is a race against time, punctuated for the husband by a frantic search for cash, which leads him through the indignities of a pie eating contest, the insults of '"amateur night" and the bruises and battering of a vastly unequal prize fight. But the baby wins in the end. The harried father collects only three hundred dollars of the specialist's fee, a sum he begs the great doctor to accept as a down payment. This the physician does, only to return the entire amount later — with a receipted bill — as his tribute to the boy's courage. The Will and the Way is a short, unassuming film, made technically with the simplest tools provided by the craft. But, in its unfailing imagination, its moving tenderness and. above all. in its deep understanding of the human heart, this film is a proud peer among its colleagues of the Hiram Percy Maxim Award." Movie Makers, Dec. 1940, 576-577.


Story of Bamba, The

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Ray L. Garner

Virginia Garner

Description:

"The Story of Bamba is a drama filmed in Africa by Ray L. Garner for the Harmon Foundation in New York. This reviewer calls the production a film drama advisedly, for, although it is made as a report of the medical work of a missionary group in Africa, the picture is, in itself, an entertaining photoplay. The boy, Bamba, is the nephew of the tribal witch doctor who cures sickness with his fetishes. Bamba is to become the medicine man's successor, but he falls ill with the fever and is deserted by the tribe when they hurriedly flee their village to rid themselves of a plague. Rescued and cured by the native representative of the missionary medical center, Bamba is sent to school so that he too, can cure in the white man's way. An adult, he returns to his own tribe, where he meets and finally overcomes the resistance of his uncle. Thus, the plot unfolds clearly and entertainingly, yet the story does not interfere with a complete exposition of the medical work of missionaries. Skillful handling of native actors is apparent in every scene, for there is scarcely an unconvincing piece of business in the whole film. Camera treatment is matter of fact but adequate." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 637.


Keeping in Touch

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

T. W. Willard

Description:

"Keeping in Touch, planned to indicate how printer and ink maker alike must keep in touch with fundamental research which is revolutionizing the graphic arts, was produced by Willard Pictures for International Printing Ink, a division of Interchemical Corporation, in New York City. A complex technical subject, involving such problems as spectrophotography and the effective filming of many gleaming machines, the production has been handled smoothly and clearly. In a pictorial argument where accurate color renditions of many differing materials were of paramount importance to the client, Willard Pictures has given its customary first class account of technical ability. The development of the film is well paced, and the use of music and narrative intelligent." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636-637.


Film Editing

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Kenneth F. Space

Description:

"Film Editing, an exposition of this topic, is a single subject in the series, You Can Make Good Movies, produced by the Harmon Foundation of New York and photographed by Kenneth F. Space. This film presents the successful use of a medium to explain its own working and is divided into two parts — first, the mechanical operations involved in editing and splicing and, second, the methods used to present simple cinematic ideas through cutting. The clear and well ordered presentation of this subject is noteworthy. The first part of the film is characterized by a number of excellent, unusually large closeups showing the operations of scraping the film, applying cement, splicing, etc. In one or two of these closeups, however, the significant action was partially obscured, as in the case of closeups showing the application of cement to a splice, where the cork at the end of the brush got in the way. In general, however, the presentation was very clear and well photographed. Other methods than those shown could have been employed to produce the same results, but, in an instructional film of this nature, it is taken for granted that only one method can be presented without confusion." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636.


Complete Immediate Denture Technique for the General Practitioner, A

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

James E. Bliss

Description:

"In A Complete Immediate Denture Technique for the General Practitioner, Dr. James E. Bliss offers a striking example of how skillfully motion picture technique may be adapted to a subject as highly specialized as dentistry. An intelligent and systematic scheme of varying camera positions serves to present detailed material in as effective a manner as possible. Unhampered by the conventional idea, that the camera should rarely be shifted from one viewpoint to another when making such a film, Dr. Bliss has approached the subject with a plan of shooting sequences just as if he were making a dramatic film. The whole scheme of shots is simply considerably closer than it would be in the case of an ordinary subject. The result gives a feeling of unity and assures one that he is not looking at a series of movie slides. The ultra closeups in color are among the finest that have ever been filmed and, because of excellent lighting and precise focus, they make an outstanding teaching film." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636.


Staff of Life, The

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Jack L. Krapp

Description:

"Good organization of material and excellent photographic presentation of a familiar story make The Staff of Life, by Jack L. Krapp, an attractive and interesting film. Mr. Krapp has an eye for beauty in everyday subjects, and his progressive story of raising, harvesting and milling wheat leaves no detail uncovered in its searching, yet interesting story. Baking procedures are equally thoroughly covered, all in competent cinematography. For those who feel handicapped when working in 8mm., this film would be an inspiration, for certainly one is conscious of no limitation. A noteworthy feature is the clean cut handling of the titles." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636.


Book of Ruth, The

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

C. Manley DeBevoise

Description:

"In the best tradition of filming technique, a movie should be an independent story telling medium. It should not require explanation or demonstration to make its meaning clear. Yet, there is no reason why this cardinal principle should not be violated, if the variation from accepted technique serves an artistic purpose. The Book of Ruth, by G. Manley DeBevoise, involves a new departure from tradition, for the film itself is an illustration in motion of the Biblical story, rather than a complete dramatization of the story. The tale is told by a narrator in synchronism with the appearance of the scenes on the screen, and, without the narration, the movie would be incomprehensible. Yet the two form a perfect unit which resents a fuller interpretation of the story of Ruth than would be possible by any other means. Costuming and selection of properties for this film are excellent and accurate. A church group worked for months in research to avoid anachronisms. The result is a splendid religious teaching film. The narration is given in person, and music is carefully scored by double turntable." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 636.


Streets of Peace

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Lewis B. Sebring

Description:

"In Streets of Peace, Lewis B. Sebring, jr., presents a manifold accomplishment in film. Here is a record of the New York World's Fair 1939, but a record which, because of its selectivity, gives the impression of completeness in setting forth a single theme, although the material is both voluminous and varied. Here, also, is an interpretation of the epic idea behind the foreign participation in this great American exposition, the vision of peace, which has since been so rudely interrupted. Mr. Sebring takes his camera through the streets of peace, literally, and we see one after another of the foreign buildings and exhibits at the Fair; we also look at the different national celebrations in the Court of Peace. The visit of the King and Queen of England is recorded in considerable detail. After a scene of children of many lands uniting in a gathering in the Children's World, we find the pointed query as to what these youngsters will make of the "world of tomorrow," and the picture closes with distinguished shots of the United States Building, with its flag and the word "Peace," which appears on its façade. Mr. Sebring's titling is admirable, both in wording and in execution. His Kodachrome exposures have less good moments, but his camera handling is otherwise pleasing. Here is a workmanlike and finished recording of a great international event." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 635-636.


Peggy’s Cove [1939]

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Francis M. Hirst

Description:

"Francis M. Hirst's Peggy's Cove is 8mm. scenic cinematography of a very fine kind. This familiar movie subject for personal filmers is given added interest and beauty by Mr. Hirst's handling of it. He has not departed from the high standard set by Edward Bollinger in the first of the many Peggy's Coves to be offered for Ten Best. While Mr. Bollinger had the advantage of a larger frame size, Mr. Hirst had the added factor of color, and he makes the most of it, hurdling the problem of distant shots in 8mm. Kodachrome in gallant fashion. Here we have the sincere recording, by an artist with an instant eye for beauty, of a locale that will, for years to come, invite the attention of filmers who wish to match their art against a distinguished subject." Movie Makers, Dec. 1939, 635.


Total Pages: 215