Dale Phillips (Since this is an educational film dramatizing facts about the sun it would be difficult to write a summary without spoilers. This summary is meant to excite and encourage ...
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Dale Phillips (Since this is an educational film dramatizing facts about the sun it would be difficult to write a summary without spoilers. This summary is meant to excite and encourage viewing.) I saw this educational movie in elementary school in the mid-1950s. The idea was to introduce the sun and its role as center of the solar system. There are close-ups of the sun showing sunspots on the sun's violent surface. It was explained that the Earth rotates on its axis so we see the sun in daytime on our side of the Earth and our side of the earth is turned away from the sun at night. The Earth revolves around the sun in one year causing the seasons. Facts about the sun include the distance from Earth to sun, that the sun is a star, how hot the sun is no one can live there), and how the sun provides light plants need to grow and warms land and water. Without "Our Mr. Sun" Earth would be a frozen, lifeless lump and we would not be here. (I believe another film long these lines is "Hemo ...
OUR MR. SUN endlessly makes life possible on Earth.
In the mid-1950's, AT&T and Bell Science teamed with famed Hollywood director Frank Capra to produce a series of CBS television science films to educate the public about the Universe around them. A far cry from the dreary black & white fodder so often foisted off on young scholars, the Capra films would both instruct and entertain with lively scripts and eye-catching visuals shown in Technicolor. The four films - OUR MR. SUN (1956), THE STRANGE CASE OF THE COSMIC RAYS (1957), HEMO THE MAGNIFICENT (1957), THE UNCHAINED GODDESS (1958) - quickly became schoolhouse favorites, where they were endlessly shown in 16mm format.
The star of the series was Dr. Frank C. Baxter (1896-1982), an affable English professor at the University of Southern California. This avuncular pedagogue proved to be the perfect film instructor, genially imparting to his audience the sometimes complex facts in a manner which never made them seem dull or boring. Dr. Baxter, who won a Peabody Award for his achievements, continued making instructional films after the Capra quartet were concluded.
OUR MR. SUN, which won an Emmy for its editing, presents the information known about our solar neighbor at mid-century, using spectacular photography, animation and gentle humor. Film star Eddie Albert appears as the Fiction Writer, looking to get an angle on how to present the sun's story. Marvin Miller provides the voice for the animated Mr. Sun.
Strangely uncredited is Lionel Barrymore, one of America's best loved character actors, who gives the voice for Father Time. Barrymore had died back in 1954, making this his very final performance. Movie mavens will also recognize Sterling Holloway as the voice of Chloro Phyll.
The devotional sentiments spoken by Barrymore at the end of the film are completely in tune with the tenor & tone of the production.
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