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Image from Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 596.

Date produced: 1938


Randolph B. Clardy




400 ft





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1938 - General Class
American Cinematographer Amateur Movie Makers Contest, 1938 - Best Photography


"Vida Pacoima, a two reel study of Mexican life in the southern California village of Pacoima, by Randolph B. Clardy, represents a near miracle in portraying a mood in motion pictures. Whether one likes (i.e., is entertained by) the film or not, there is no gainsaying the amazing emotional effect of its intelligent and beautiful cinematography. Here, in easy going and seemingly unstudied sequence, is the utter aimlessness of the slatternly village and its defeated people. Chickens and children, billy goats and black gowned old women, these are the life of Pacoima. Mr. Clardy has caught them all—either dreaming or drowsy in the sunshine—and presents them with a telling reiteration against the background of their broken homes and through the slats of their sagging fences. A sensuous delight, the photography is as nearly perfect as circumstances would permit, outstripped only by an unerring and often ineffable sense of motion picture continuity. In Vida Pacoima, Mr. Clardy is an artist to his finger tips and a movie maker down to the ground." Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 617.


Discussed in "Keen Competition Marks 1938 Contest" (American Cinematographer, Feb. 1939, 61-62) and "Setting 1938 Contest Winners to Music" (American Cinematographer, March 1939, 109).

Also discussed in "Randolph Clardy Makes First 8mm. Talker" (American Cinematographer, April 1939, 164, 189), which notes that Vida Pacoima was the first 8mm. sound film that the Los Angeles 8mm. Club encountered.

Discussed by Clardy in "Vida Pacoima" (Movie Makers, 1939, 461, 479-480). Film stills are featured, and the filmmaker compares his techniques to those seen in Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis (1927).

The film won an award in a Los Angeles 8mm. Club members' film contest in 1939 (Movie Makers, Jan. 1939, 87).


  • Pacoima, California. (Filming)





  • Screened by the Los Angeles 8mm. Club in 1939: Los Angeles, CA

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