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1999 A.D. (1967)

A whimsical yet serious-minded look into the future sponsored by the appliance and radio manufacturer. In the "1999 House of Tomorrow", each family member's activities are enabled by a ... See full summary »

Director:

Lee Madden

Writer:

Tom Thomas (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Marj Dusay ... Karen (as Marge Dusay)
Kerry MacLane ... Jamie
Wink Martindale ... Mike
Alexander Scourby ... Narrator
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Storyline

A whimsical yet serious-minded look into the future sponsored by the appliance and radio manufacturer. In the "1999 House of Tomorrow", each family member's activities are enabled by a central computer and revolve around products remarkably similar to those made by the sponsor. Power comes from a self-contained fuel cell, which supports environmental controls, an automatic cooking system, and a computer-assisted "education room".

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Genres:

Short | Sci-Fi

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Trivia

The woman says she is 43 in the short, but the actor playing her is 31. See more »

User Reviews

Fun: future as nostalgia
2 January 2018 | by lor_See all my reviews

World's Fairs are famous for projecting what life on Earth will be like in the future, and this 1967 industrial short subject from Philco (then owned by Ford) weights the prognostications heavily in self-serving promotion of consumerism.

This fairly amusing (not on purpose) short benefits from top-notch staffing: Michel Legrand's original musical score and the great Vilmos Zsigmond handling the camera/lighting. Big surprise for me was director credit to Lee Madden, a helmer whose exploitation films for drive-ins I had found wanting back in the day.

With lovely vistas of sand and surf in various set-up shots, Zsigmond gives us a rosy colored glasses look at our future, though now viewed from a 21st Century vantage point. The nuclear family presented leads an easy life, everything centered in their modular home (with extra modules posited as easily added for expansion of the family) that provides many a creature comfort. Computerization is the key here: not the pc's or smart phones we take for granted but which were not yet counted on in 1967, but rather something more similar to the Google and Amazon smart home of today.

Instead of fitbit or watches to monitor health, the tiny home gym area features a smart couch for daddy Wink Martindale (fun to see acting rather than running a TV Game Show) to lie down on for monitoring key stats of weight, body hot spots, etc.

Wife Marj Dusay, providing a lovely Lee Meredith-style classic beauty, has time for her pottery, as the house and presumably Philco built-in appliances do all her housework for her. I especially liked the closets that use sonics and sprays to automatically clean the dirt from all the hanging clothing, but the forecast of meals made simple by storage of everything frozen for automatic microwaving was a bit depressing.

Transportation is not emphasized, despite the Ford funding of the show, but it is clear that this average family of the future has been elevated to jet-set status, when Wink discusses via 1967's idea of Google Hangout or Skype with his buddy whether they should play golf at Pebble Beach or perhaps an instant jaunt to Mexico tomorrow.

Black talent is easily integrated into a cocktail party in which the costuming is more in line with the look and color of a Mad Men episode featuring Jessica Pare singing Zou Bisou Bisou.

Overall, rather off the mark, but like those many industrial shorts preserved by Something Weird Video, an entertaining bit of camp. Oddly enough, this was shown not by some Johnny Legend or nostalgia freak but on C-Span as part of its "Reel America" history on film series.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Year 1999 A.D. See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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