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FLICK PICKS: 'The March of Time'
September 3, 2010  | By Diane Werts
 
newsreel-theater-march-of-time.jpgIn our instantaneous age, it's hard to imagine people getting their latest look at world news in movie theaters many days or even weeks later. But that was the norm during Hollywood's studio heyday, from the 1920s into the '50s.

Turner Classic Movies offers a great taste of old-time newsreels this weekend, saluting The March of Time for four hours (Sunday 8 p.m.-midnight ET).

TCM unreels restored versions of 10 chapters that premiered on movie theater screens between 1937 and 1950.

This most famous series of news-documentary short subjects is actually more like a newsweekly than a newspaper -- less a what-happened digest than a broader-perspective examination of topical subjects, from the Dust Bowl to World War II to Jews resettling in Palestine, even cultural trends like alcohol use or restless youth.

"Inside Nazi Germany" (Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET on TCM) may be the series' most celebrated episode, filmed in 1937 with hidden cameras in Berlin. It gave many Americans their first close-up look at an Adolf Hitler little understood in those pre-war years.

The entire documentary series, which ran in theaters 1935-1951, has been restored by HBO Archives (a fellow Time Warner company to TCM) in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the series' 75th anniversary.

march-of-time-poster.jpgThere's lots more about it, including dozens of cool video clips, at the March of Time Facebook page.

TCM's website hosts its own storehouse of info about The March of Time. And here's the on-air lineup this Sunday, Sept. 5:

8 p.m.- "Dogs for Sale" (1937), "Dust Bowl" (1937), "Poland and War" (1937)
8:30 p.m. - "Inside Nazi Germany" (1938)
9 p.m. - "Show Business at War" (1943)
9:30 p.m. - "Youth in Crisis" (1943)
10 p.m. - "Palestine Problem" (1945)
10:30 p.m. - "American Beauty" (1945)
11 p.m. - "Problem Drinkers" (1946)
11:30 p.m. - "Mid-Century: Halfway to Where?" (1950)

 

 

2 Comments

 

Jim said:

Thanks for the tip!

Jim said:

Although "March of Time" ceased production in 1951, Wikipedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsreel) that newsreels continued until 1967, when Universal Newsreel and Hearst Metrotone News both ceased production. I remember them as some of the "selected short subjects" before the features when I was a kid in the mid-1960s.

 
 
 
 
 
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