Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Mr. Sun (1956)

I saw this movie at least once a year in science class growing up. I'm sure some of the science was a bit outdated--it was 20 years old at the time! I never realized that this was a Frank Capra joint--he wrote, directed and produced it for television. It was part of a series, and I know I saw at least one other film in the series (Hemo the Magnificent, 1957). I also didn't realize that Ol' Father Time was voiced by Lionel Barrymore--it was his last film! Hell, I never realized that the writer was Eddie Albert from Green Acres! It's on Netflix, or you can watch it at (I still haven't warmed to watching movies or TV shows on the computer, so I opt for Netflix).

Funny how some of these things stick with you over time. The incredible scale of solar flares blew my mind as a kid. For some reason, I always remembered this little dramatization of a solar flare interrupting radio waves:

My favorite part was always the attempt to explain photosynthesis, with this hilarious li'l character representing choloroform:

But this time I was even more impressed by this magician character who is used to explain nuclear fusion. Just look at the character they give this guy, and the amazing stretchy poses:

Weird thing: it gets strangely God-y at the end. I never really noticed it as a kid, it seemed perfectly natural (hard to see much difference between the place you're forced to go Monday through Friday and the place you're forced to go Sunday), and it isn't really anything pushy, but it's kinda weird. This is the opening shot, by the way:


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