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Happy Farm Woman

Date produced: 1937

Filmmaker(s):

George Oliver Smith

Description:

"It has a story with titles in verse telling how the farm woman compared herself with the Duchess of Windsor and decides she prefers Pa to the Duke and her own simple tasks to the life of a Duchess." American Cinematographer, Feb. 1940, 87.


Cologne: From the Diary of Ray and Esther

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Raymond Dowidat

Esther Dowidat

Description:

"Filmed in 1939 by the town doctor, Cologne is a personalized portrait of a farming community that merited only a single sentence in the WPA’s 1938 guidebook to Minnesota: “COLOGNE (945 alt., 355 pop.) is a German community named for the ancient city on the Rhine.” Dr. Raymond Dowidat and his wife, Esther, arrived in 1937 for his first practice after internship, and the impulse for the film seems to have arisen from their desire to document Cologne before they moved on to his next position in Minneapolis." filmpreservation.org


Knights and Daze

Date produced: 1955

Filmmaker(s):

William Messner

Description:

"Excellent handling of camera and lights. A nice story telling family film starring Maxine (who has appeared in several other prize winning films) and her new baby." PSA Journal, Dec. 1955, 37.


Tambo

Date produced: 1933

Filmmaker(s):

Fred C. Ells

Description:

"Documentary: On the life of rural rice farm families in Japan." National Archives.


Rice

Date produced: 1932

Filmmaker(s):

Fred C. Ells

Ruth Ells

Description:

"Documentary: On peasant farm life in Korea, the rice crop and family labor." National Archives.

"'Rice,' a three reel subject in the educational class entered by F. C. Ells of Yokohama, Japan, demonstrated a fine appreciation of production and photographic values as well as how to combine it so as to make entertainment. Many were of the opinion that this picture, if it were in 35mm, would be worthy of professional theatre presentation." American Cinematographer, Dec. 1933, 321.


New Horizon

Date produced: 1933

Filmmaker(s):

Randolph B. Clardy

Description:

"In New Horizon, Cinematographer Clardy presented the life of a farm girl at a moment of crisis. One reel, almost without titles, tells the story of her efforts to marry the man she loves in spite of her father's opposition which keeps her chained to the farm." American Cinematographer, Feb. 1935, 78.

"Clardy was the winner last year of the gold medal for scenario and photography. Last year Clardy's picture was based on a western theme, while this year his scenario, although set in its greater part in the outdoors had several indoor shots. However, most to be admired was the way in which he handled his production both from composition and directorial standpoint. There were only three people in his cast with the girl assuming the major role. His sense of dramatic values, and especially his fine feeling for the proper tempo brought forth unstinted praise from the judges." American Cinematographer, Dec. 1934, 365


Dragon Fly, The

Date produced: 1927

Filmmaker(s):

Clyde Hammond

Description:

"Clyde Hammond, of 65 Murdock Street, Youngstown, Ohio, won an honorable mention in the 16 millimeter division for his study of country life, 'The Dragon Fly.'Mr. Hammond worked out a strong atmospheric study of a selfish country boy, home from college, and his hard-working farmer father."Photoplay, Jun. 1928, 137


Peer Gynt

Date produced: 1941

Filmmaker(s):

David Bradley

Description:

"Seldom has an amateur embarked upon so formidable a production as did David Bradley when he and some friends decided to film Ibsen's Peer Gynt, using Grieg's music for background. This mystic drama is considered so difficult that it has been performed only twice in the American theatre; yet the task held no terror for this group. Fashioning their own costumes and finding suitable locations in suburban Chicago, Mr. Bradley's intrepid band has done an amazingly good job. It would be easy to visualize the result had the production been in less capable hands than those of Mr. Bradley, and it is to his great credit that such quaint characters as the Button Moulder and the many trolls and woodland sprites do not appear ludicrous. The chief fault in this tremendous undertaking is that Ibsen's gigantic play has been transliterated to the screen rather than translated. That is, Mr. Bradley, by his own admission, modeled his scenario as closely as possible on a work written expressly for the theatre. Had he taken more liberties with the dramatic form in favor of a more peculiarly cinematic treatment — as exemplified so strikingly in the fine Hall of the Mountain King sequence — there would have been no structural weaknesses in his film. With this fundamental concept firmly in mind, Mr. Bradley, recently turned twenty one, should scale the heights in his future productions." Movie Makers, Dec. 1941, 566.


On the Farm

Date produced: 1940

Filmmaker(s):

Marjean Headapohl

Mary Elizabeth Headapohl

Description:

"Sunlight and morning noises, the rich, sweet smell of clover, the hot grain fields at midday and windmills drawing water from the deep earth — these are part of the common life of an Ohio farm that two young girls, Marjean and Mary Elizabeth Headapohl, have put into their film, On the Farm. It is a record as American in feeling as Walderts Pond, even though unconsciously so. Innumerable closeups show the generousness of the earth in Ohio, whether in flowers around the house or in the grain and vegetables of the fields. Day after day, the imponderable clouds drift by. Peas are shelled for dinner; the cows are brought in from the pasture by the collie dog; the farm hands return to the barn after a day of harvesting wheat. There is little more shown, in substance, and presently the film ends. But it leaves one with a conviction that this simple way of life in America cannot easily be changed, and that, as long as people of good hearts make records such as this, we cannot wholly forget that the Republic was founded on the plough." Movie Maker, Dec. 1940, 603-604.


On the Farm

Date produced: 1940

Filmmaker(s):

Ray L. Garner

Virginia Garner

Description:

"On the Farm, made by Mr. and Mrs. Ray Garner for the Harmon Foundation, is an example of visual education at its best. By the use of two charming, healthy little American children as the chief characters, it enlists sympathy before it attempts to instruct. And it never strays from the fundamental concept which, to all evidence, was in the minds of its makers: namely that, to teach children by visual aids, one must appeal to their sense of fun. Charm, here, is not outlawed simply because it is not informative. Divided into two parts, Morning and Afternoon, and illustrated with unpretentious titles, such as This is how the animals help, which are chalked in white letters on a blackboard, On the Farm tells of a common workday, in terms of what two farm children can do to assist their parents. From the sequence in which the tousled farm lad puts his head out of the window to see what kind of a daybreak it is. to the time when the sun goes down behind the silo, almost every kind of farm activity is shown. Other children in city classrooms are going to see themselves in the scenes and will want to learn more about a way of life in which they can feel so much at home." Movie Makers, Dec. 1940, 600-601.