Freedom Highway (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #2 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 6: The Uncharted Landscape CD-ROM (Voyager)). Also, film #561 on Prelinger Archive. [Category: Industrial]

This very 50s film features a group of nice 50s people who travel across the country from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. on a Greyhound bus. Instead of becoming totally exhausted and stressed-out by this cross-country bus trip (you weren't expecting reality, were you?), they all become quite chummy and some even find a sort of patriotic salvation in "seeing the country". Featured are Tommy Kirk as a Boy Scout who utters "gee whiz!" at everything, Angie Dickenson and football star Bob Roberts who fall in love during the trip and decide to get married right away (I'd like to see her explain that to her parents!), and Tex Ritter who drops by to sing a song about the Alamo. Spoilsport Morris Ankrum plays an embittered man whose only son was killed in the Korean War but a clean-cut ghost with a crew cut straightens him out by taking him to Gettysburg. Lots of tidbits of American history are pointed out, but it's all the sort of "history-lite" you learned in grade school and later found out was apocryphal in college. It's all supposed to make you as impressed as Tommy Kirk, who, believe me, is impressed with everything. And if you're not, well you're just a rotten old spoilsport and maybe even a commie to boot. It's this kind of sugar-coated propaganda that the Firesign Theater so aptly sends up.

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

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