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The Magic Alphabet (1942)

Approved | | Short | 10 October 1942 (USA)
This short dramatizes how the work of Dutch physician Christiaan Eijkman, who searched for a cure for beri-beri on the island of Java in the 1890's, and led to the discovery of vitamins. At... See full summary »

Director:

Jacques Tourneur (as Jack Tourneur)

Writers:

Robert Lopez (story), Robert Lopez (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephen McNally ... Dr. Christiaan Eijkman (as Horace McNally)
John Nesbitt ... Narrator
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Storyline

This short dramatizes how the work of Dutch physician Christiaan Eijkman, who searched for a cure for beri-beri on the island of Java in the 1890's, and led to the discovery of vitamins. At the end of the film, American housewives are encouraged to learn about vitamins and feed their families the proper diet as part of the effort to win the war. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 34: The Magic Alphabet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by People on Paper (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Impressive Metro short.
7 November 2002 | by MozjoukineSee all my reviews

I'm ambivalent about these filmlets that Metro and some other studios rolled out in the first decades of sound, before TV made them obsolete. They were often feeble as drama and limited in their technique. The MGM ones avoided synchronous speech and relied on narration which didn't help. However, they are a key element of the nostalgia those of us who lived with them feel for "the selected short subjects" that ran with the big pictures and we now know that some of the heavy hitters of the forties and later worked on them

Here is a very professional item with an elaborate Javanese village and Horace (soon to be Stephen) McNally toiling away with a microscope to discover vitamins, made well into Jacques Tourneur's feature career - the same year he did CAT PEOPLE. The formula - intrepid scientist benefits mankind, despite all opposition, is over familiar but the film is quite watchable and has production values that many features couldn't offer, showing Tourneur and his team's skill.


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