This film is part of Free
East of Suez!
A four-story issue of March of Time, the pick of which is not for the faint-hearted; a report on a US motor safety campaign that reduced deaths on the road, but may have also given a generation of children nightmares.
The highlight of this four-story issue is a film about the hazards of dangerous driving, featuring a macabre carnival float on which bloody ‘corpses’ loll from wrecked vehicles, watched by a grim-faced crowd. The other items show Jewish settlers bringing change to Palestine, a nostalgic look at a New York speakeasy during Prohibition and the latest word in travel: a Pan-Am flight across the Pacific to the Philippines.
The ‘Pleasantville’ story is based around a reconstruction of writer J.C. Furnas’s successful motor safety campaign for Reader’s Digest. The reality of ‘crushed skulls and spurting blood’ is presented in a typically bravura manner: well beyond the boundaries of good taste, but all in the name of the public good and thus perfect for March of Time’s unapologetic style. The Trans-Pacific story was actually filmed before the flying boat service began: the sleek Pan Am Clippers are the real thing but the scenes in Guam, Manila and other Pacific locations were shot in Florida.