This fourth collection of classroom shorts from the A/V Geeks Film Library reveals how sly marketers used 16mm films to shape new generations of loyal consumers. Under the pretense of education, these filmmakers in gray flannel suits promoted their products in the guise of phony newsreels (News Cavalcade), classroom shorts (Your Daily Bread), and travelogues (This Is…Elk Country) — forerunners of the modern-day infomercial. They depict an American consumer wonderland in which furniture is doused with DDT (Doomsday for Pests), a blender is a piece of modern sculpture (Comprehending Blending), and sex goes hand-in-hand with the sale of copier toner (Miss Puff).
As an added insight into the world of these real-life Mad Men, THE CELLULOID SALESMAN includes a sampling of rare promotional films not intended for public consumption, such as Freeze-In (a spin-off of TV’s Laugh-In, aimed at appliance salesmen) and A Summer Opportunity (in which Alistair Cooke extols the benefits of a career in encyclopedia sales).
Curated by Skip Elsheimer
Produced for video by Bret Wood Buy this film on DVD.