This film is part of Free
A New York dentist discovers an anaesthetic formula for pain-free dentistry, and superstar Soviet miner Alexei Stakhanov celebrates his Man of the Year award in style.
March of Time's vivid illustration of the benefits of painless dentistry is summed up in the range of expressions on the face of the boy in the dentist’s chair; from terror to relief and delight, as the anaesthetic takes hold. The second, Soviet-themed story in this episode is a mix of the compelling and ludicrous. Shots of new metro stations and crowded trolleybuses give a vivid impression of Moscow life but the description of the USSR as a consumer’s paradise gives a misleading picture of life during an era of severe deprivation.
This early issue sees the series still finding its feet. The first story with its witty recreation of Dr Hartman’s boyhood visits to the dentist’s (his screams of pain studiously ignored by a waiting parent), scientific diagrams and realistic assessment of the treatment’s efficiency, show how adept the producers were becoming at making short, informative films, shot through with humour and insight. On the other hand, the Russian story features a commentary which takes the footage (filmed by Julien Bryan) of abundant food and consumer goods at face value. The description of the Five Year Plan is more realistic, although the final scenes showing Stakhanov celebrating his achievements were played by actors.