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Flaming Canyons

Date produced: 1939

Filmmaker(s):

Robert M. Coles

Charles Coles

Description:

"This color film was shown at Duncan MacD. Little's 11th annual International show of amateur motion pictures. The rising sun greets the golden fairyland of Bryce. Tunnels cut through the rocks, car passing through. Shot after shot of beautiful scenery with lovely sky and cloud affects. People climbing. Camp life shows the rugged simplicity of the daily routine of outdoor life. Grand Canyon nature's mightiest spectacle. Sunset. The magic of stop-motion compresses time and hastens drifting clouds. Night draws a veil over flaming canyon and wonderland" Educational Film Guide, 1945 Edition, 412.


Wild Water and Bouncing Boats

Date produced: 1957

Filmmaker(s):

Alton Morton

Description:

"Al Morton's "Wild Water and Bouncing Boats" takes us through Desolation and Gray Canyons on the Green River which flows into the great Colorado River. The Green River starts in northern Utah and joins the Colorado south of Arches Monument in Utah. The picture takes us down the Colorado as far as the Hoover Dam. The country abounds in desert and canyon scenery—to say it is spectacular is a display of modesty. There are canoes and other hand-powered craft on the turbulent rapids with upsets and the struggle to gain an island rock and the shore. There are craft equipped with outboard motors to drive it through turbulent waters and rapids. This film is packed with thrills for those who like rough water" PSA Journal, Nov. 1957, 33.


Caineville

Date produced: 1953

Filmmaker(s):

Glen H. Turner

Description:

"In Caineville, Glen H. Turner has now turned his camera on a Western ghost town, and with moments of sheer movie magic, he has brought it to life again. The slow turning by the wind of the leaves of an abandoned school book, and the slow pan to initials carved on a schoolhouse desk, evoke as if he were alive the youngster who carved them. In another scene, done with consummate smoothness, Mr. Turner shows an abandoned street on which a schoolboy, with books over his shoulder, slowly materializes into solid form — and then dissolves again into thin air. Surrounding Caineville always are the brooding mountains and the ever-encroaching river which implacably seeks to destroy the last vestiges of the crumbling village. Caineville is a triumph of imaginative creation over static material." Movie Makers, Dec. 1953, 320.


I Walked a Crooked Trail

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

O. L. Tapp

Description:

"In I Walked a Crooked Trail, O. L. Tapp has lured a good deal of motion and humor out of what must be one of the world's most static subjects — the Arches National Monument. Remembering that story interest is an important part of cinematics, Mr. Tapp has kept his very competent camera trained on continuous human action, letting his travelog unwind itself, very subtly, as a background. The film is limited by the essential triviality of its theme — the unfolding of a practical joke. But within its limits it does very well indeed." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 467-468.


Green River Expedition

Date produced: 1950

Filmmaker(s):

Alton Morton

Description:

"Al Morton has conquered another river. This time it is the unruly turbulence of the Green River in Utah. Not content to be simply a passenger, Mr. Morton built his own boat (and named it Movie Maker!) for shooting the rapids, one of three craft making up the river party. Green River Expedition is a record of lazy, sunny days on quiet stretches, of motor trouble and of scenery along the banks, of back breaking portages where the rapids are too dangerous to maneuver, and finally of the breath taking excitement of riding the tumultuous waters. To partake of this dangerous sport would seem accomplishment enough, but Mr. Morton puts it all on film as well, in about as sparkling, steady photography as one will ever see. The narrative accompaniment, while informative concerning the technique of river boating and the historical background of the surrounding country, seemed overfull. It is enough, in parts, to devote one's whole attention to the thrilling action on the screen." Movie Makers, Dec. 1950, 464.


Bryce Canyon Trails

Date produced: 1947

Filmmaker(s):

Frank E. Gunnell

Description:

"In a land that abounds in colorful formations. Frank Gunnell's discerning camera has recorded in appealing detail the less usual, as well as the familiar, views of Bryce Canyon. This thorough coverage of a popular national park is enhanced by pleasant scenes of a pack trip, closeups of the darting antics of a chipmunk and a "running gag" of the hungry cameraman, whose equipment .cases carry edibles with film and filters. Bryce Canyon Trails provides the audience with a wholly entertaining tour of this famous and awesome natural wonder. Mr. Gunnell, as always, presents breath taking camera work in his integrated and admirable reproduction of a vast canvas." Movie Makers, Dec. 1947, 514.


Adventure on the Colorado

Date produced: 1947

Filmmaker(s):

Alton Morton

Description:

"Adventure on the Colorado, by Al Morton, comprises 1 600 feet of film and (at twenty four frames a second) forty eight minutes of screen time. In it, six men in two boats travel down the Colorado River from Moab, in southeastern Utah, to Lee's Ferry, in northern Arizona. Taking fifteen days, the trip covered some 300 miles, forty of which were through cataracts already claiming twenty nine lives. These are the bare and simple facts of the case. But these facts cannot begin to tell the story of Mr. Mortons epic adventure. And mind you, we are not concerned here with the breath taking dangers of the trip itself — although these alone were awesome and challenging. We are concerned only with Mr. Morton's filming adventures and the bright, indomitable story of them as recorded so stirringly in his film. That story is one of inflexible resolve against all compromise, even in the face of well nigh impossible circumstance. At one point in the picture, Mr. Morton shows us a rugged and precipitous approach to the river known as "Hole in the Rock." It was through this narrow passage that, years ago, a little band of Mormons, sent to colonize the San Juan country, brought their wagons and their belongings. In laces where the chasm had narrowed so sharply as to block the cavalcade, they dismantled the wagons and packed them through on their backs. For they had set out to cross the river — and cross it they did. Mr. Morton's filming resolve must have been of that same high order — almost religious in its intensity. As the down-river journey grew ever more arduous, you waited with sympathetic understanding for those not quite perfect scenes which the incredible conditions must surely dictate. You were ready to make allowances, to accept the imperfect as relative perfection --under the circumstances. Not so with Mr. Morion. There was no compromise with quality in the Morton picture plan. He set out to film the river, and film it he did. Adventure on, the Colorado is a moving and splendid epic, recording both a gallant adventure and a glowing achievement." Movie Makers, Dec. 1947, 513.


Rainbow Fantasy

Date produced: 1943

Filmmaker(s):

Charles C. Hammack

Description:

"Rainbow Fantasy, in the words of Charles C. Hammack, is "an attempt to produce — not a conventional travelog — but more a story of adventure, a hiking adventure to what is probably one of the least visited of our national monuments, Rainbow Bridge, in southeastern Utah." In achieving this goal, Mr. Hammack has been largely and creditably successful. For him and his young wife, Rainbow Bridge takes on the aura of a lost horizon, a Shangri La protected from the outside world by the blistering desert heat and the brutal desert rocks. He brings this overtone of feeling to his film, both through his imaginative camera treatment of the subject and the intentionally dramatic acting of the two travelers. Mr. Hammack's is a new name in Ten Best competition, but it is one which we believe will be heard again."Movie Makers, Dec. 1943, 478.


Utah Trail, The

Date produced: 1942

Filmmaker(s):

Alton Morton

Description:

"The Utah Trail is what its producers call a "Cine Musical." In it, Al Morton and his wife have attempted to illustrate in movies a ballad which charmed them and to pay tribute pictorially to a region which they loved. They have been largely successful. The film's continuity is fluid and well integrated; the camera work is uniformly excellent and the double exposed color titles add greatly to the picture's feeling of competence and craftsmanship. Perhaps the Mortons' finest achievement in this production is the care and intelligence with which they have cut their footage to fit the ballad of their choice. The Utah Trail is a charming and colorful tribute to a well loved land." Movie Makers, Dec. 1942, 508.


Cavalcade of America

Date produced: 1940

Filmmaker(s):

Harley H. Bixler

Description:

"Harley H. Bixler, a technician, has been inspired with the might of America, and he has interpreted it according to his lights. In Cavalcade of America, taking our entire country as his canvas, he has painted in, with striking chromatic images, the physical and industrial high lights of our heritage. Here are the sinews of strength, awaiting only the activating force of human endeavor to turn them to the path of power. Here are the mills and the mines, the oil and the electricity, the farms and the factories without equal in our modern world. Mr. Bixler interprets his fine pictorial document with a narrative that is usually vivid but sometimes matter of fact and accompanies the whole with recorded music. Cavalcade of America is a striking study of a tremendous subject." Movie Makers, Dec. 1940, 602.


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