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Fifty Years Before Your Eyes (1950) HD online

Fifty Years Before Your Eyes (1950) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Documentary / History / Sport
Original Title: Fifty Years Before Your Eyes
Director: Robert Youngson
Writers: Alfred Butterfield,Thomas H. Wolf
Released: 1950
Duration: 1h 12min
Video type: Movie
Documentary about the major events of the first fifty years of the Twentieth Century.
Credited cast:
André Baruch André Baruch - Narrator
Norman Brokenshire Norman Brokenshire - Narrator
Enrico Caruso Enrico Caruso - Himself (archive footage)
Charles Chaplin Charles Chaplin - Himself (archive footage)
William F. Cody William F. Cody - Himself (archive footage)
Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge - Himself (archive footage)
Milton Cross Milton Cross - Narrator
Eugene V. Debs Eugene V. Debs - Himself (archive footage)
Dan Donaldson Dan Donaldson - Narrator
Gertrude Ederle Gertrude Ederle - Herself (archive footage)
Dwight D. Eisenhower Dwight D. Eisenhower - Himself (archive footage)
Mohandas K. Gandhi Mohandas K. Gandhi - Himself (archive footage) (as Mahatma Gandhi)
Tomás Garrigue Masaryk Tomás Garrigue Masaryk - Himself (archive footage) (as Thomas Masaryk)
Lou Gehrig Lou Gehrig - Himself (archive footage)
Arthur Godfrey Arthur Godfrey - Narrator

According to a 7 May 1950 New York Times article, the film took three years to compile.

Reviews: [1]

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    It might seem pointless to describe this film, other that to state the obvious. It is a compilation of major American and world news events from 1900 to 1950. Obviously with a run time of only 72 minutes, the film mostly includes only the tips of the biggest icebergs.

    However, what I believe are useful to comment on are 1) the spin of the accompanying narration, and 2) some stories that seem major now but were omitted.

    The film is so pro-American and patriotic, one might consider it propaganda. The film begins with America the Beautiful and ends with the Star Spangled Banner. The voiceover says Americans were `aided by God,' would `make the world safe for democracy,' and led `the worldwide fight against tyranny.' Also `Our country springs from the principle of righteousness,' `Others look to us for leadership,' and `Americans are firm in their right as God helps us to see the right.' Communists are referred to everywhere as `Reds' (`the exact opposite of freedom'). Japanese are referred to as `Japs' (`Americans fought Jap-by-Jap' in the Pacific WW2 campaign). The film is condescending toward women in a couple of places (`Women are, after all, still women').

    There is no mention of the Holocaust (!) or U.S. internment camps for Japanese-Americans. There is virtually no coverage of civil rights, other than Jesse Owens and Joe Lewis as `breakthrough athletes,' and (appropriately) disparaging remarks about a Ku Klux Klan march in Washington.

    Nevertheless, I don't regard these `faults' as reasons to avoid the film. They may actually say a lot about the attitude of many Americans (or at least the media) circa 1950.

    This film is a worthwhile history lesson squeezed into a short space.

    I reviewed this movie as part of a project at the Library of Congress. I've named the project FIFTY: 50 Notable Films Forgotten Within 50 Years. As best I can determine, this film, like the other forty-nine I've identified, has not been on video, telecast, or distributed in the U.S. since its original release. In my opinion, it is worthy of being made available again.