It might seem pointless to describe this film, other that to state the obvious. It is a compilation of major American and world news events from 1900 to 1950. Obviously with a run time of only 72 minutes, the film mostly includes only the tips of the biggest icebergs.
However, what I believe are useful to comment on are 1) the spin of the accompanying narration, and 2) some stories that seem major now but were omitted.
The film is so pro-American and patriotic, one might consider it propaganda. The film begins with America the Beautiful and ends with the Star Spangled Banner. The voiceover says Americans were `aided by God,' would `make the world safe for democracy,' and led `the worldwide fight against tyranny.' Also `Our country springs from the principle of righteousness,' `Others look to us for leadership,' and `Americans are firm in their right as God helps us to see the right.' Communists are referred to everywhere as `Reds' (`the exact opposite of freedom'). Japanese are referred to as `Japs' (`Americans fought Jap-by-Jap' in the Pacific WW2 campaign). The film is condescending toward women in a couple of places (`Women are, after all, still women').
There is no mention of the Holocaust (!) or U.S. internment camps for Japanese-Americans. There is virtually no coverage of civil rights, other than Jesse Owens and Joe Lewis as `breakthrough athletes,' and (appropriately) disparaging remarks about a Ku Klux Klan march in Washington.
Nevertheless, I don't regard these `faults' as reasons to avoid the film. They may actually say a lot about the attitude of many Americans (or at least the media) circa 1950.
This film is a worthwhile history lesson squeezed into a short space.
I reviewed this movie as part of a project at the Library of Congress. I've named the project FIFTY: 50 Notable Films Forgotten Within 50 Years. As best I can determine, this film, like the other forty-nine I've identified, has not been on video, telecast, or distributed in the U.S. since its original release. In my opinion, it is worthy of being made available again.
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