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Great American Inventors

Learn all about America's greatest inventors in this collection of rare vintage films, including "The Man Who Took a Chance: Eli Whitney" (1952), "Mr. Bell" (1947), "The Story of Thomas A. Edison" (1950), and "Henry Ford's Mirror of America" (1963).
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List Price: $7.98
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 7890D
Brand New
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 55 minutes
  • Video: Black & White / Color
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: December 20, 2016
  • Originally Released: 1947
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

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Entertainment Reviews:

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THE MAN WHO TOOK A CHANCE: ELI WHITNEY (1952): The long-running television anthology Cavalcade of America told the story of a different American innovator every week from 1952 to 1957. In this way it reflected sponsor DuPont's motto, "Better things for better living." Set during the American Revolution, "The Man Who Took a Chance" shows how Eli Whitney turned the tide of war by mass producing muskets for our soldiers. He would later become famous as the inventor of the cotton gin. Whitney is played by Richard Denning, the star of the sci-fi classic Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and the TV series Mr. and Mrs. North (1952-1954). Also appearing are stalwart character actors Byron Foulger, John Litel, Rhys Williams, and Lewis Martin.

MR. BELL (1947): A dramatic reenactment of the life of Alexander Graham Bell and his invention of the telephone. Produced by RKO in association with AT&T, Mr. Bell is the only on-camera appearance of lead actor Raymond Edward Johnson, who as "Raymond" was the host of the long-running horror anthology Inner Sanctum on radio (1941-1952). Director Richard Fleischer went on to much greater success with films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and Soylent Green (1973).

THE STORY OF THOMAS A. EDISON (1950): A classroom film detailing the life of the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, movie camera, and so much more, utilizing still photographs and footage shot at Edison's winter home in Fort Myers, Florida. Its director, Julian Roffman, later made the surreal horror movie The Mask (1961).

HENRY FORD'S MIRROR OF AMERICA (1963): At one time, Henry Ford owned one of the biggest movie studios located outside Hollywood. Starting in 1914, the Ford Motion Picture Company regularly released newsreels and travelogues to theaters, called alternately The Ford Animated Weekly or The Ford Educational Weekly. In 1945, the over 1,800,000 feet of film that had been shot for these was donated to the National Archives. The best of this footage was then edited into Henry Ford's Mirror of America in 1963. Considered one of the most impressive collections of vintage film ever compiled, this documentary is an indispensable record of American life between 1915 and 1930 and features jaw-dropping scenes available for viewing nowhere else.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 26,575
  • UPC: 089218789099
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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