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New Roadways (1939)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 35 users  
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The "new roadways" of the title refer to various projects, carried out in the USA's research laboratories, that benefit mankind. These include solar energy projects, making glass that can ... See full summary »

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Title: New Roadways (1939)

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Cast

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John Nesbitt ...
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Storyline

The "new roadways" of the title refer to various projects, carried out in the USA's research laboratories, that benefit mankind. These include solar energy projects, making glass that can be rolled up like a carpet, and diet experiments with mice that might lead to a cure for color blindness. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Short | History

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

28 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 2: New Roadways  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Followed by A Really Important Person (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solar Power in 1939!!!
14 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just happened to catch this short in passing on TCM and I must say I'm totally amazed. The theme is that while the front pages of newspapers are dominated by stories about death — disasters, war, crimes and other morbid subjects — buried in the back pages are tales of intrepid scientific researchers at major universities who are figuring out ways to make our lives better. The second half of the short, which offers plastic surgery as a way of deterring crime on the basis that if people are ugly they won't be accepted by society or be able to work normal jobs, so if we just make their faces over they'll become law-abiding citizens, is pretty silly — especially since the actor playing the "ugly" brother who becomes a criminal is actually pretty attractive (he seems to be rendering "ugliness" just by twisting one side of his lip, sort of like Elvis). But the first half is pretty astonishing, especially in its revelation that we were able to convert solar power to electricity as early as 1939. The fact that we still haven't developed solar technology and instead have run down our stock of fossil fuels, jammed the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and created a global-warming crisis that threatens to become a catastrophe — and that there are "drill, baby, drill" idiots in this country who want us to feed our fossil-fuel joneses into human extinction instead of looking at renewable alternatives — is a great point of shame for the human race in general and the United States in particular. What a different world we'd be living in now if we'd put as much money and social investment into developing solar power as we did into the interstate highway system and the evil demon of nuclear energy (war AND "peace") in the 1950's!


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