Saturday, November 19, 2011

Destination Earth (1956)

This little promotional film comes from a time when the oil and gas industry wasn't on one side of a huge political divide. The chasm that has opened up in this country wasn't even a crack in 1956 when this was produced. On Mars, an unpleasant dictatorship is the form of government, and the problems facing the Martian populace include no reliable fuel for powering their civilization and no lubricants for their machinery. What's a dictator to do, but send a fearless adventurer over to the next planet to borrow a cup of information. Down comes Colonel Cosmic to investigate. He lands in the USA, where he learns that the society runs on something called oil, and that the people of the land would be in a sorry state if they didn't have this miracle substance. He also learns that the idea of capitalism - the free market and a government that doesn't meddle in it with a lot of silly regulations - is another important ingredient in the success of this strange land. He returns with this important information and transforms the Martian economy in one day as the inhabitants go about prospecting for oil and setting up businesses.

This strange piece of mid-century propaganda is in the public domain and is consequently readily available in a number of places. It can be seen above, thanks to an upload to YouTube by shaggylocks.

Obscurity factor: 9 (readily available in several places, but almost totally unknown, not on DVD)