07 Feb ‘A Visit With Jam Handy’
Between the 1910s and the 1980s, the Jam Handy Organization made thousands of advertising, industrial and training films, many in its studio complex on East Grand Boulevard. Here are three of the most spectacular, presented as made in 35mm and shown inside the studio where they were created. All prints lent by Prelinger Archives.
“Master Hands”: Beginning with the flame lighting the foundry furnace and ending with a bright new Chevrolet driving off the assembly line, “Master Hands” is a hypnotically thrilling symphony of industry highlighting the skilled hands of auto workers building cars in Flint. Combining beautiful photography with an intense Wagnerian score, this film will thrill film buffs and gearheads alike. Shot in GM factories several months before the successful UAW-led sitdown strikes of 1936-37, the film shows both the grandeur and monotony of auto production when Detroit had no rival. 1936, 32 minutes, 35mm.
“American Look”: If “Master Hands” dramatizes American production, “American Look” glorifies American consumption. This tribute to every realm of American mid-century design — interior, product, industrial, graphic, packaging, architectural — marvels at the bright Populuxe world of the late 1950s. Produced in delectable widescreen Technicolor, the last third of the film takes place at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, where designers toil behind locked doors to shape and style the fins of the 1959 Chevrolet. 1958, 28 minutes, 35mm, SuperScope, Technicolor.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”: Of Jam Handy’s many animated films, this is the best known. Hollywood animator Max Fleischer crafted a modern-for-its-time Rudolph story that actually resembles other Handy films more than Fleischer’s classic cartoons. This charming film may be out of season, but it’s never out of order. Directed by Max Fleischer, 1948, 9 minutes, 35mm, Technicolor.
7 p.m. Thu., April 12, Jam Handy
7:30 p.m. Fri., April 13, Jam Handy. Note: Time was originally announced as 7 p.m.