30 September 2005 | Ron Oliver
An MGM Pete Smith Specialty.
This unusually sober Pete Smith Short, directed by Jacques Tourneur, gives the history behind the discovery of the marvelous substance, radium, and discusses a few of its potential applications, as understood in the 1930's.
Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.