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Natural Wonders of the West (1938)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 35 users  
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This Traveltalk entry looks at some natural wonders of the western United States, including the Grand Canyon and the Devil's Tower. The last stop on the tour, an "unnatural wonder," is the ... See full summary »

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Title: Natural Wonders of the West (1938)

Natural Wonders of the West (1938) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Gutzon Borglum ...
Himself
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Storyline

This Traveltalk entry looks at some natural wonders of the western United States, including the Grand Canyon and the Devil's Tower. The last stop on the tour, an "unnatural wonder," is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where sculptor Gutzon Borglum is hard at work. At the time of filming, only the head of George Washington was close to completion. Thomas Jefferson's face was almost finished; only the upper half of Abraham Lincoln's face is visible; and Theodore Roosevelt's head was not yet started. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

27 January 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

James A. FitzPatrick's Traveltalks: Natural Wonders of the West  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum is identified by the narrator. See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(uncredited)
aka "Dixie"
Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played at the beginning of the Mt. Rushmore sequence
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User Reviews

 
See Mt. Rushmore Before It Was Finished
28 May 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The focus of this short is on natural wonders of the western US. The Grand Canyon, Devil's Tower, and Bryce Canyon are all featured. The short ends with some footage of Mount Rushmore. This is particularly interesting historically as the monument wasn't finished at the time of this short so you get to see footage of it in progress. Jefferson and Lincoln's heads aren't completed and Roosevelt wasn't even started yet.

I'm a big fan of the James A. Fitzpatrick Traveltalks series of Technicolor travelogues. In the 1930s the series, including this entry, was photographed by the great Winton C. Hoch. He would go on to become the legendary cinematographer of such classics as The Quiet Man and The Searchers. The footage here is great but it's not one of my favorites in the series. I prefer the entries that feel more like a time capsule of the people and places of the era. While this does feature some footage of Native Americans and the Mt. Rushmore stuff is great historically, it just seems to be lacking a little something the better Traveltalks shorts had.


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