Monday, January 9, 2012

Your Name Here!

You may not be familiar with the name The Calvin Company, however they were one of the most commercially successful movie companies of all time. From the 1930s through the late 50s, they were the undisputed master of the industrial film genre, producing hundreds of high-quality training and promotional films for such clients as DuPont, Westinghouse, General Mills, the Department of Agriculture, and even the U.S. Navy and Air Force.

Industrial films tend to be rather dull affairs, funny only in retrospect on account of their unintentional campiness and humorless self-importance. However, nobody was more aware of this than the Calvin Company, who slyly lampooned their own industry with a dead-on parody called Your Name Here, a hilarious 1960 spoof of the ultimate generic marketing film in which typically bland, nonsensical hyperbole is accentuated by patriotic imagery of farms, highways, historical figures, unidentified manufacturing operations, super-scientific laboratories, and every other visual cliché known to man. The frequent in-jokes (such as "Use Robert E. Lee Here if Desired") are made all the funnier by the stentorian presenter, who deserves some sort of award for his brilliantly deadpan performance.

Another rare gem of mid-century popular culture from The Prelinger Archives

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