More Dangerous Than Dynamite (film #4 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 4: Menace and Jeopardy CD-ROM (Voyager)). [Category: Public Service]

This 1930s safety film, sponsored by the California State Fire Marshall, focuses on an unsafe practice that is rare today, but common back in the 30s: home dry cleaning using gasoline or other flammable liquids. We see a young housewife get badly burned in an explosion that happened while she was cleaning clothes with gasoline. We're also shown all the safety features a licensed dry cleaner has installed to prevent fire. It's more than a little obvious that safety was not the complete reason behind this film. Although home dry cleaning is genuinely dangerous, the dry cleaning industry seems to have more than a few fingers in this pie. Watch for the poorly-animated flames in the scene where the housewife gets burned. This film has another great item for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices. Like Master Hands, it has its credits cast in bronze––there's even a "The End" plaque. But the plaque I really want is the one that identifies the business we see as a "Reputable Dry Cleaner".

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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