Alaska's Silver Millions

Millions of salmon, that is. This well-made film, sponsored by the American Can Company and narrated by "the glacier priest," first gives an overview of Alaska's geography, then shows us the life cycle of the salmon from birth to spawning, then shows how the salmon are caught and canned in Alaska's biggest pre-oil industry. It's part travelogue, part nature documentary, and part industrial film, and all three parts are quite well done and interesting. Some of the more spectacular scenes include glaciers breaking apart, salmon fighting their way upstream, thousands of salmon being caught in huge nets and traps, and the amazing, fully-automated canning process, where salmon go from live ocean fish to canned food product in the space of 12 hours. This film has a great deal of historical value and is also one of the better factory-tour-type industrial films. Corporate propaganda is kept to a minimum, probably because the visuals speak for themselves.

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

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