Century 21 Calling

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Moving Image:Century 21 Calling
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Century 21 Calling is a short film from 1964 released on 35mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.

Shows and explains telephone services of the future, many of which have been on exhibit at the Seattle World's Fair.

a "gee whiz" teen boy and girl visit the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Many good shots of various pavilions and exhibits at the Fair, including the Bell Telephone exhibit showcasing 1960's "cutting edge" telephones and communications. Excellent shots of the SPACE NEEDLE (panning up, day and night shots, and filmed at night atop the Needle looking out over Seattle. Also, view from Space Needle elevator as it rises to the top, at night.)

From Internet Archive annotations:

Reviewer:  Steve Carras - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 19, 2009

Subject: Hmmmm...! An odd duck of a Industrial flick. As Dodsworth the Cat said correctly, it has recognizable stock themes, including the Ozzie and Harriet theme at about 4 minutes. The Light Melodic 13 at 3:19 is great in my opinion as well. The tracks were from the mid fifties-late fifties library, and written by Jack Cookerly, Emil Cadkin, William Loose and Phillip Green according to everything that I've research.

Jerry Fairbanks had a VERY interesting and varied career..Speaking of Animals, and the produciton of Crusader Rabbit with Jay Ward. Thanks to Dodsworth for updating us on the identities of the composers. Phil Green alone did a lot of stock cues. I had tried to find the show Happy with Ronnie Burns, and which I had mis-remembered Mickey Rooney as being involved with for some reason, and was tyring to get it on here after seeing only a little elsewhere..I had cau8ght a glimspe of Little Amy and Meet Corliss Archer earlier--these also had similiar cues..]

Reviewer: Dodsworth the Cat - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - August 15, 2009 Subject: An Industrial Film Mish-Mash This truly is a disjointed promotional film because it begins as a 1962 Seattle World's Fair travelogue. It takes four minutes and 50 seconds to get to the point: this is meant to push the wonders the folks at Bell will bring you today and into the future. Then it becomes a travelogue again. Take out the Bell portion and the rest of the movie could have used for any potential Fairbanks client.

Only the Bell segment was shot with sound, with a sudden and short narration by Dick Tufeld, the voice of the robot on Lost In Space. His brief vocal appearance almost appears to be an after-thought as if to try to bind the two disparate elements of the film together.

The poor unnamed teenaged actors in this one seem to been given a couple of bags of sugar before the cameras were turned on. A glucose high can be the only explanation for the utter glee the girl has in seeing a mock-up DNA molecule. (The boy looks as if he could have been one the Brewer twins engaged in time travel).

The Fairbanks Studio utilised the Capitol Hi-Q library for the music. At 2:44, the cut is PG-263 'Light Vermillion', at 1:36, it's PG-266 'Traffic Signal Green' while at 3:19 we get PG-275 'Daffodil Yellow', a personal favourite. And at 4:30, it's PG-270 'Blush Rose'; all are by Phil Green. Unfortunately, the film editor just mashes them together without any flow, as if he had an hour to put together a soundtrack.

The less said about the second-rate Jerry Vale-style jingle praising the future, the better.

The opening music, which sounds like it was started from a too-tightly-cued reel, is SF-221 'Vitesse' by Roger Roger.

Director Robert Larsen may be the Robert W. Larsen who directed "The Narcotics Story", a 1958 quasi-documentary narrated by the King of 50s Movie Trailers, Art Gilmore (who, before going to Hollywood, worked in radio in the Seattle area).

The highlights of the film are no doubt the same things that would have interested audiences in 1962. The perspective view of the monorail is a nice opener, even if a little clich d. Then there are all those Wonders of Tomorrow, like (gasp!) phones that don't have dials, and phones that can help water your lawn. The opening theme is great for fans of that era's production music.

It's not a great, or even well-crafted industrial film, but it has enough interesting little spots to be worth a view.

Century 21 Calling
Produced byFairbanks (Jerry) Productions
Fairbanks (Jerry) Productions
Distributed byFairbanks (Jerry) Productions
Release date
Running time
ewid: 2260 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}