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Master Hands (1936)

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6.4
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Title: Master Hands (1936)

Master Hands (1936) on IMDb 6.4/10

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ephemeral film

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Master Hands Review
25 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Perceptions and the control of them has been an important part of society. To control the perception one has about any given topic can prove to be very advantageous for the controller. The car industry has been at the forefront of controlling an image and fostering the image to fuel the big business it is today. The movie, Master Hands, is a great example of a company attempting to change a mind frame.

The main focus of the movie is in the workers and their importance, which can be seen from the onset of the movie. It opens up with very grand music, setting the mood of the film. The workers are setting up their machinery meticulously making the little things look very big. Throughout the movie you see a constant glorification of the process of car building, more especially in the hand-offs that create it. It is important to understand that this movie was created to influence the minds of people to be more sympathetic to workers and more personally engaged in the encompassing greatness of the automobile.

The movie is centered on the manufacturing process with a great deal of emphasis on the hard labor involved made more dramatic by the scenes that show in detail the skills found in the hands of the workers who through their skill are able to achieve the creation of these machines. Surrounded by evil scary music, the watcher is shown the brute force needed to carry out the mission of building a car. The scenes are sequential so that the viewer is carried through the process and can see how through much dedication and hard work, the pieces of the puzzle start to fit so that together they can become the final creation. Organization is shown to be very important, as the newly made parts are moved into place, the better to suit the workers. Along with the organization needed there is an emphasis on teamwork during the process. The workers seem to work with little protection though the environment seems tough.

Anticipation along with imagery is a key factor in Master Hands. Though the movie makes no use of words, the music played along with the power of each scene is sufficient to sustain the viewer's attention. The audience is captivated by the crudeness of the process as well as by the resilience of mankind which allows him to create such greatness in the midst of such harsh conditions. The workers are given the power over the means of production and therefore they are essential to the creation of the automobiles. As each scene evolves into the next, the anticipation grows and with it the need to see a final product that merits such strenuous work.

Ultimately this movie is propaganda. Its goal is to control and influence the perception people have of the auto industry. The movie makes the worker grand, with the perfect balance of power and grace because to do so is an invitation to the viewer to participate in the excitement, the exhilaration, and the emotional involvement that are elemental to the auto industry.


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