IMDb > X Marks the Spot (1944) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

Reviews & Ratings for
X Marks the Spot More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Index 8 reviews in total 

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"And without energy! Will you wake up!? C'mon!"

Author: quamp from Irving, TX
10 May 2002

This short film was designed to scare drivers in the 1940's. It talks about how drivers in New Jersey are often careless on the road. Watching Arthur W. McGee speak is like watching paint dry. After we endure his way-too-long speech, we're forced to watch a dystopian version of It's a Wonderful Life. Only the actors here can't act. Rightfully torn to shreds on Mystery Science Theater 3000, this short is boring by today's standards.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

... for boredom and stupidity. *SPOILERS*

Author: icehole4 from Irving, TX
22 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Produced by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, this short film is pretty boring. The plot goes like this: a bad driver in New Jersey is killed when he fails to yield the right-of-way. He's taken to heaven and brought before a court. The guardian angel goes over the list of how many offenses he's committed. The judge also shows him that every so often, an accident is committed in New Jersey thanks to idiots like this guy.

The main problem with this short is the acting. Everyone is pretty bad in it. Thick Jersey accents on everyone doesn't help either. Arthur McGee's speech is as exciting as watching grass grow. In the end, you'll feel that this 20 minute short lasted several hours.

Hmm... another #1 for me...

Was the above review useful to you?

Educational short film on traffic behavior

Author: Thomas ( from Berlin, Germany
23 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

These 20 minutes basically only serve one purpose. Raise awareness that careless behavior in traffic does not only put your own life in danger, but also the ones of innocent people around you. It was made shortly before the end of World War II and gives us lots of stats on traffic casualties, for example that a football stadium could be filled with people who die in car accidents within a specific period of time in the New Jersey area. They tried to give it a creative approach by including court proceedings where it is to be determined how guilty a man who just died after a car accident actually was. You could almost call it a fantasy movie because of the inclusion of guardian angels.

All in all, I have to say I was not too impressed by this black-and-white film. Still, it is not as bad as its IMDb rating or MST3000 want us to believe. I am fairly sure many people voted this down without even watching it, only because Mystery Science Theatre 3000 featured it in one episode. And anyway, if the lesson told herein saved the life of only one person by making them behave more reasonable in traffic it was already worth shooting it. Still not really worth a watch in my opinion. The title may also not be the best choice, really just a minor reference from the first half of the film. Not recommended.

Was the above review useful to you?

Worst Instructional Movie in New Jersey.

Author: CelluloidRehab ( from Hell's Kitchen, NYC
1 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The State of New Jersey probably has the worst reputation of any state in the Union, especially when it comes to driving & driving conditions within its borders. This WWII driving education short would like to remedy that by showing the results of not following traffic rules/laws, however it leads to comic situations. Do NOT watch un-MST3k.

After a brief and soporific monologue by Arthur W. Magee, the "Commissioner", we are presented with a hypothetical situation that would be a common sight to any NJ resident : namely a bad driver. We follow that typical NJ driver, Joe Doakes, in a typical driving day (where accidents seem to be possible at every intersection). Shortly after we meet Joe & live through some of his driving escapades with him, he dies in a traffic accident. (add canned shocked response here)

Instead of dying and meeting St. Peter at the pearly gates, Joe ends up in ghost traffic court with his driving-guardian-ghost defending him. Instead of St. Peter we have a judge. The rest of the film is just a series of flashbacks to all of Joe's driving indiscretions, near accidents, accidents and eventual death, as his guardian ghost recounts all.

The trial unfortunately goes nowhere. The judge doesn't make an actual ruling but either leaves that to a ghost jury (not shown) or to the viewing audience (also not shown). In the end, I'm not even sure what was at stake in the hearing, Joe's soul or Joe's ghostly driver's license. After 20 minutes, I felt much like Joe did. I pleaded with the LCD & god himself to make it stop : "Please let me go back. Just this once. Besides, I got almost a full book of 8 coupons left." Nothing but silence. Then Greg laughed.

-Celluloid Rehab

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Drive safely and live long enough to win the war

Author: Mike Sh. ( from Lowell MA
16 November 2004

This short, introduced by New Jersey's Commissioner of Something-or-Other Arthur W. Magee (who talks a lot like Arthur Q. Bryan), was made during World War Two. That is very significant in that the plea for safe driving is connected to patriotism - the soporific and indeterminate commissioner makes this explicit by saying that poor driving hampers the productivity of war workers by rendering them dead. If you're dead, you probably won't punch in on time at the aircraft plant tomorrow.

After Joe Doakes (a name which was evidently the 1940's equivalent of Joe Sixpack) demonstrates is ineptitude behind the wheel in a series of comical vignettes, the mood shifts drastically as Mr. Doakes comes a cropper at a dangerous intersection. He is then escorted by his guardian angel (who wears an academic gown and a winged mortarboard!) to the place of judgment.

There a celestial judge, who may or may not be God, interrogates the angel on how well he did or didn't look after the hapless Mr. Doakes when he was out motoring. Incidentally, the courtroom seemed to specialize in handling cases of sins committed against the motor vehicle laws of the State of New Jersey. That must be a really huge courthouse!

The angel defends his actions in a series of flashbacks showing Mr. Doakes lumbering his way through wartime New Jersey, which looks arrestingly to me like Malden, Mass. in the 1960's, when I lived there as a very small child.

Having hectored the angel for his supposed incompetence, the judge turns his wrath on Mr. Doakes, who is just now realizing that he won't be home for dinner that evening. The judge then breaks the fourth wall, calling upon us, the motoring public, to pass judgment on Mr. Doakes.

Guilty or not guilty? The jury will now deliberate....

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Forget how your loved ones will feel if you die in an automobile accident, just think about how once your dead you can't help with the war effort!

Author: Aaron1375
15 April 2012

This short that precedes the film "King Dinosaur" on an episode of MST3K, is a public safety short on driving safely. This short starts off on the wrong foot as a commissioner for driving in Jersey or something tells us, the audience that driving kills potential workers. What? So instead of trying to tell how if you die you are going to leave behind grieving loved ones, you want to say that if you die, you will no longer be able to punch in and out for work and help with the military effort? So, suffice to say, this short is dreadfully dated as these days most of us would rather die behind the wheel than put up with another day on the job as most jobs in the U.S. these days are dreadfully pointless and just simply away to consume one's day and earn a paycheck. Well after the introduction by the emotionless commissioner, we are treated to a film where a horrible driver is finally killed and is sent to heaven for judgment. Not an expert of the bible, but I am pretty sure they never really covered driving...not even in the new testament. A guardian angel recounts the horrible driving his charge has done and we get to be bored by it. I figured when you went to heaven, you were going to be judged for the amount of sins you committed and things of that nature, nope it is all about driving skills. Sorry elderly, apparently when your driving skills erode so does your chances of making it into heaven.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of MST3K's best shorts!

Author: ongerthamy from United States
26 April 2006

So, let me get this straight- according to this film, if I'm a New Jersey native and I get into an automobile accident in New Jersey, then I'm doomed to end up in New Jersey Heaven? Unless of course I pull a hit and run, then I'll be doomed to New Jersey Hell! Wait a minute...I always thought that New Jersey was purgatory- oh, never mind! I'd love to know where they actually shot this film. Was that Rutgers stadium or Roosevelt? But seriously, folks, this film was actually meant to be taken seriously at one time, and that's what makes it so much fun to watch MST3K-style! Joel and the bots are right on when they pick on McGee for his Elmer Fudd speech impediment. It had me rolling on the floor, especially since his voice alone is so similar to the cartoon character.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

My mind would have gotten x'd from the world had this not appeared on "MST3K".

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
9 July 2006

After a man classified by Mike, Servo and Crow as "Elmer Fudd" makes a long, boring speech, we get treated to a preachy look at the dangers of the road as a guardian angel defends his recently deceased client before a judge who looks like Boris Karloff on depressants. If you just watch "X Marks the Spot" in its original form, you'll wish that a car could run you over. But the "MST3K" version is perfectly enjoyable. When the people who made this drudgery first made it, they probably never imagined that a certain robot would relate it to Mick Jagger.

All in all, how cruel of Dr. Forrester to make Mike, Servo and Crow watch this swill.

Was the above review useful to you?

Add another review

Related Links

Ratings External reviews Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history