Henry Ford’s Mirror of America (film #659 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: News]

Henry Ford set up a film studio at Ford and that studio made a lot of newsreels and documentaries, documenting American life in the early 20th century. This early 60s film commemorates the donation of those films to the National Archives and contains footage from the films in a collage of American life from 1914 to the mid 20s. We see rural life, factory footage, footage of presidents and other celebrities, lots of footage of World War I, and footage that shows how American life was changed by the automobile. Sound effects are effectively added to this footage, making it seem like sound footage at some points. Narration is added that is not overbearing or distracting, but does give you some idea of what you’re looking at. It all adds up to an interesting portrait of early 20th century American life, somewhat conventional, but with lots of historical value.

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

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