This Pete Smith Specialty tells the story of the discovery of radium and how it is used in medicine. The difficulty of obtaining the element is also demonstrated. Several tons of ore yield ... See full summary »
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This Pete Smith Specialty tells the story of the discovery of radium and how it is used in medicine. The difficulty of obtaining the element is also demonstrated. Several tons of ore yield only minute amounts of the element. At the time of filming, the entire world's supply of radium was 1-3/4 pounds. Written by
David Glagovsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Oscar-nominated Pete Smith short takes a look at radium and how it become so important. Dr. Henri Antoine Becquerel (Andre Cheron) discovers that while radium has the power to kill many it also, if used right, has the power to heal. This is a shockenly sober Smith short, which normally isn't the case with his films. Often times he tells sly jokes or wisecracks but that's not the case here as he takes the subject matter very straight. There were other short series out there doing real-life dramas and I can't help but think one of those would have handled the story better. That's not to say this is a bad film because it isn't but it's not good either. Tourneur's direction really doesn't get to add much since a lot of the action is cut up to tell different parts of the story. The best sequence, where the director does get to work some magic, is when an African tribesman is buried after being injured by a tiger. I won't spoil what happens but it's a very nice sequence.
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