Friday, September 27, 2013

Another evening of shorts not on DVD

I haven't seen a lot of the Joel McCrea westerns that are airing on TCM today, and the features on tonight's "Future Shock" lineup are all listed as being available to buy from the TCM shop, so it's off to another look at the shorts, with some stuff that looks interesting even if I haven't seen it before.

First is Polar Outpost at 7:44 PM, or after Fort Massacre (which starts at 6:15 PM and is listed as having an 81-minute runtime). Polar Outpost is another of those RKO-Pathé two-reelers that were being made in the final years of RKO. A lot of these shorts focussed on current affairs issues of importance to society, even if they are a bit strident in their presentation. This time, the theme is the bases in the high Arctic that were built as part of the Distant Early Warning system of detecting possible incoming Soviet nuclear missiles. Actually, I suppose in 1957 it still would have been bombers equipped with nuclear bombs. It wouldn't be until after Sputnik was launched in October 1957 that there would be a threat of nuclear missiles. There's another short called Decade for Decision made at RKO after Sputnik that looks at the need to train more Americans in math and science, which would probably be an interesting companion piece.

Later, at 1:19 AM, there's a short called A Look at the World of "Soylent Green". You'd think this would have been more appropriate earlier in the month, before the Friday night spotlight ran Soylent Green. But, they're running it because the previous feature, The Omega Man, also stars Charlton Heston. The Omega Man is a remake of The Last Man on Earth

Finally, in the 5:00 AM hour tomorrow morning, is Lionpower from MGM. It's a hoot of a short breathlessly presenting the tremendous new releases coming up in the next season of "Lionpoer" (you have to use a different voice when you say "Lionpower" from when you're reading the rest of this post). Have fun seeing the great and not-so-great movies being flogged here.

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