Live location photography, stop-motion and special effects chronicle an industry that contributes to everyday living and national defense. The documentary opens in the mile-high bauxite mines of Jamaica, from which the bauxite ore is conveyed over an aerial tramway to waiting ships, then carried to a factory. At the factory, the ore is digested, settled, washed and “unlocked” from the earth. Emerging as a snow-white powder, the “alumina” is used for soil conditioning, as an abrasive and for conversion to solid sluminum at reduction plants through the electrolytic process. To vivify the versatility and flexibility of the metal, the film employs “marching” ingots, blooms, billets and extruded shapes.
Rapidly, the film pictures aluminum applications in car styling, home appliances, packaging, “Reynolds Wrap” for cooking and preserving, as a “do-it-yourself” material, and as the key metal in jet airplanes, Diesel engines, buses and heavy industries. The ease with which aluminum can be handled is demonstrated in a sequence showing a farmer using it for siding and insulation and to irrigate a field. The piping in this scene is shown to be highly portable, being moved in sections by one person.
In a “pageant of packaging” the film presents row on row of familiar brands parading in step to stirring martial music, against a background of brilliant colors. ALUMINUM ON THE MARCH concludes that more products will join the parade, that this definitely is not “The End.” [Business Screen 17:8, 1956]
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