The American Road.

This 70s film shows us the early history of the automobile and how it changed America's way of life. Since it was sponsored by Ford, it focuses a lot on the Model T and it has an optomistic bias (cars have obviously improved things and there's no downside, is there?). The movie ends with optimistic, populuxe proclamations that the future will be better than ever, which is curious in a 70s film. Still, this is quite well-made and it has a real human feel to it. You really get a sense of what it must have been like to live in the pre-auto world and also what it was like to whether the changes that cars brought on the scene. The film contains lots of great archival footage of old cars and also lots of historical footage of Henry Ford, his family, and his cronies (is that Edison in the background?). Like many of the better industrial films, it hooks into your emotions at times, especially the feeling of freedom that car ownership provides. An interesting document of automotive and cultural history.

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

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