You are browsing the archive for Films: 1950s.

Design for Dreaming (1956)

- January 21, 2013 in 50s, advertisements, cars, collections, Films, Films: 1950s, Films: Fantasy, Films: Short, fridges, general motors, Populuxe, prelinger archives, retro-future, retrofuturism

Over the top 1950s “Populuxe” advertisement for General Motors, set at their 1956 Motors Motorama. A woman falls asleep and dreams of a glorious future of perfect products, including a variety of shiny futuristic dream cars and Frigidaire’s fully automated “Kitchen of the Future.” The star of the story is played by dancer and choreographer Tad Tadlock. The film has over the years become a popular symbol of 50s consumerist culture and was featured extensively in the BBC documentary series Pandora’s Box by Adam Curtis. Some footage was also used in the music video for Peter Gabriel’s 1987 single “In Your Eyes”, Rush’s 1989 music video for “Superconductor”, a 1989 commercial for the Nintendo Game Boy game Super Mario Land, and a 1994 commercial for Power Macintosh. Part of the film, with dialogue, is played during the opening titles for The Hills Have Eyes. Some snippets (without dialogue) are played in the video watched by Michael Douglas during his physical in The Game and in the opening titles for The Stepford Wives. (Wikipedia) The film is downloadable at the Internet Archive, and is part of the Prelinger Archive. Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but [...]

Design for Dreaming (1956)

- January 21, 2013 in 50s, advertisements, cars, collections, Films, Films: 1950s, Films: Fantasy, Films: Short, fridges, general motors, Populuxe, prelinger archives, retro-future, retrofuturism

Over the top 1950s “Populuxe” advertisement for General Motors, set at their 1956 Motors Motorama. A woman falls asleep and dreams of a glorious future of perfect products, including a variety of shiny futuristic dream cars and Frigidaire’s fully automated “Kitchen of the Future.” The star of the story is played by dancer and choreographer Tad Tadlock. The film has over the years become a popular symbol of 50s consumerist culture and was featured extensively in the BBC documentary series Pandora’s Box by Adam Curtis. It also appears in its entirety with an amusing “commentary” as a short feature in a fifth-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Some footage was also used in the music video for Peter Gabriel’s 1987 single “In Your Eyes”, Rush’s 1989 music video for “Superconductor”, a 1989 commercial for the Nintendo Game Boy game Super Mario Land, and a 1994 commercial for Power Macintosh. Part of the film, with dialogue, is played during the opening titles for The Hills Have Eyes. Some snippets (without dialogue) are played in the video watched by Michael Douglas during his physical in The Game and in the opening titles for The Stepford Wives. (Wikipedia) The film is downloadable [...]

The Knife-Throwing Mother and her Children (1950s)

- September 3, 2012 in circus, Films, Films: 1950s, Films: Clip, Films: Documentary, Films: Ephemeral, knife throwing, non-article, texas



The knife-thrower Louella Gallagher throws knives at her daughters Connie Ann, 5, and Colleena Sue, 2.5 yrs old, in Austin, Texas. As the newscaster comments: “…Evidently Colleena Sue has more trust in Mother’s aim than the audience has. It takes a steady eye and a stout heart to heave knives at the apple of your eye, but this female William Tell has no qualms and plenty of faith…” A Universal newsreel story from the Prelinger Archives.

Download from Internet Archive

(Hat tip to Pinterest user Jen Hill through whom we first saw the film).

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










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Freedom Highway (1956)

- May 22, 2012 in america, bus, Films, Films: 1950s, Films: Ephemeral, Films: Short, freedom, greyhound, non-article, patriotism, tex ritter



In this film from the Prelinger Archives, a Greyhound bus rides from San Fransisco to Washington D.C, transporting us at the same time through the landscape of American mythology (and unwavering patriotism). The cast of bus riders include: Fred Schroder who, embittered by the death of his son in Korea, is riding to Washington to accept a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor on the son’s behalf; Jimmy Rollins, a Scout, heading to Washington for his first Jamboree; Mary (a young Angie Dickinson) and Bill Roberts, a basketball star on the make; actor and country star Tex Ritter, playing himself, taking a short ride on the bus as it passes through Texas, singing about the Alamo and the “freedom road.”; and most importantly, a black-suited mysterious stranger who appears, as if from nowhere, to transform the outlook of the passengers. Greyhound Lines and America have never looked so good. Winner of the Freedoms Foundation Special Award.

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










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Prelinger Archive 35mm Stock Footage

- March 21, 2012 in 35mm, Films, Films: 1920s, Films: 1930s, Films: 1940s, Films: 1950s, Films: 1960s, Films: Clip, Films: Ephemeral, non-article, prelinger archives, stock footage

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A fantastic new collection titled “35mm Stock Footage” has recently been uploaded by the Prelinger Archive to the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Digitized into HD from 35mm original negatives and release prints dating back to the first decade of the 20th century, these unedited sequences were shot for feature films but never used. Much of the footage is “process plates” — film shot for the rear-projection screens you see out of car, taxi and train windows in old movies. Here we have included a few highlights from the bunch – above: miniature shots of a flooding river carrying away a model house and a small plane crashing in the jungle – below: various war related footage including beautiful shots of a convoy of tanks crossing a river at night under fire, and beneath that aerial footage of military planes in flight (with some athletes running round a track sneaking in at the end).





We also recommend checking out the outtakes from these early shorts.

Note these film are in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.




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