Four Hundred Years in 4 Minutes

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Four Hundred Years in 4 Minutes is a short film from 1945 released on 16mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.

Concerns methods and recipes for baking cakes from cake mix. Begins with dramatized scenes in medieval castle, showing king or lord at table surrounded by retainers, and soldiers patrolling ramparts of castle on guard duty. Continues with scenes in modern kitchen showing baking and cake preparation.

Four Hundred Years in 4 Minutes
Produced byCalvin Company
Calvin Company
Distributed byCalvin Company
Release date
Running time
2 reels
ewid: 1967 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}

Shot List

Theater organ soundtrack.

"This Story of The New Betty Crocker Method of making cake is dedicated to The Home Makers of America."

A number of interesting shots to be logged.

Betty Crocker film from 1945 about modern cake making methods. Film dedicated to homemakers of America. VS historical reenactment of the 16th century invention of cake.

Medieval monarch s cook makes first cake; monarch loves the cake.

02:05:02:14 CU hands place of table 16th century spice cake; dissolves to 17th century banberry cake; 18th century nun s cake.

02:05:34:25 CU baker decorating wedding cake.

02:05:42:29 CU cake place in glass display case with various other cakes.

02:05:49:09 Cake with American flag in icing placed on Independence Day party table decorated with American flags, red, white and blue napkins and streamers.

02:05:59:08 Mother places on tiny table a birthday cake where a little boy and girl are seated, the two children applaud cake.

02:06:06:15 CU hand putting chocolate frosting on cake.

02:06:13:13:15 Red haired woman in apron stirring bowl looks down at cookbook with look of confusion.

02:06:23:21 CU disembodied hand pours cream into mixing bowl beside bowl of eggs and begins to stir ingredients.

02:06:40:20 CU disembodied hand opens oven door, reveals two cakes in oven.

02:07:03:23 Four women in matching baby blue outfits at work in kitchen with Softasilk cake mix.

02:07:21:29 High-angle of woman mixing ingredients in bowl as another woman checks of items on list attached to clipboard.

02:07:29:10 POV shot woman mixing batter in large mixing bowl.

02:07:33:25 Ingredients being mixed in bowl with electric mixer.

02:07:38:23 VS Dozens of cakes fresh out of oven set out to cool.

02:08:35:16 CU Fan mail addressed to Betty Crocker dated 1944.

02:09:18:14 Composition with Softasilk Betty Crocker flour, container of Baking Power, and bowl of sugar.

02:09:40:25 Counter top with ingredients for baking cake; woman in yellow dress stands behind counter; audio track from woman with head out of frame says science of standardized measurements as she un-stacks the various sized, color-coded measuring cups.

02:10:27:18 CU disembodied woman s hand sets oven to 350 degrees.

02:10:58:21 Woman in yellow dress greases round cake pan with brush; CU woman brushing grease in pan then flowers pan.

02:12:11:06 Composition with dry ingredients for cake includes box of Softasilk Betty Crocker flour; hand reaches for box and holds box as woman s voice on audio track says and a high quality cake flour, especially meant to give cakes a finest eating quality , then hand takes box out of frame.

02:12:19:08 Woman in yellow dress demonstrates sifting flour; CU spooning flour with measuring cup and leveling flour in cup with knife; CU woman spoons baking soda into mixing bowl; woman spoons sugar into mixing bowl; spoons vegetable shortening into measuring cup.

02:16:00:08 CU hand holding carafe of milk, pours one cup of milk into measuring cup; measuring spoon used to add sugar into milk; glass measuring cup of milk is poured into mixing bowl.

02:16:49:27 woman brings ingredients bowl to electric mixer; CU clock at 10:00; woman turns on mixer and begins turning bowl and mixing ingredients.

02:17:27:27 CU clock reads 10:02; CU mixing bowl under electric mixer.

02:17:46:03 Woman cracks egg with butter knife; CU woman passes yoke between halves of egg shell to get egg whites into glass measuring cup; egg whites are added to mixing bowl and electric mixer turned back on.

02:18:26:20 CU clock switches to 10:05.

02:18:53:29 CU cake batter pours into round cake pan; LS woman fills second cake pan on counter with batter; CU woman places cakes in oven; CU oven door opens; CU index finger touches surface of cake in oven; Cakes are removed from oven.

02:20:23:04 CU cake delicately being removed from pan.

02:20:54:20 CU icing put on cake.

02:21:19:21 CU with bowl ingredients placed under electric mixer, ingredients are mixed.

02:21:42:07 CU piece of cake being plated.

02:21:56:16 VS CU slices being taken from various cakes.

02:22:29:00 Medieval king takes slice from giant chocolate cake; cuts to 1940 man taking slice of cake at dinner table.