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Conquer by the Clock (1942)

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(as Phil Reisman Jr.)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Genres:

Documentary | Short | War

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Release Date:

18 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Victory Specials (1942-1943 season) #1: Conquer by the Clock  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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tickticktickticktick
18 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

This Oscar-nominated short urging people to work hard and ceaselessly for the American war effort was directed by Slavko Vorkapich, a man justly celebrated for his montage work. That's the message of this film. With an average shot-length of slightly under two seconds, beautifully reinforced by Erno Rapee's driving score and a series of clocks running at about five times their normal rate, it makes its point with a sledgehammer -- but one precisely applied.

After an introductory section, we get a couple of stories: Jean, who is an inspector on a production line for bullets, who lets bad shells go through because she takes too many cigarette breaks, and a man who delays shipping out lifeboat supplies. The music disappears and the shot-lengths expand during these sections, and then contract again while showing the consequences of their inaction. It's a fine example of what can be accomplished by great montage work.


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