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The Bell Science Collection DVD Bundle (The Thread of Life, Gateways to the Mind, Our Mr. Sun)


  • Catalog #: 19DB603

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$19.99

The Bell Science Collection DVD Bundle:

 

 

We are happy to present this collection of Bell Science DVD documentaries. This bundle includes 3 separate DVDs containing the following films. All DVD's are Region 0 (Worldwide).

The Thread of Life

Description:

Dr. Frank C. Baxter teaches us about genetics and heredity in this vintage TV documentary combining live-action and animation! The good doctor not only explains how DNA works, he also talks frankly about "the birds and the bees" -- or as much as he could on 1960s television. He even good-naturedly makes fun of his own lack of hair to illustrate the recessive baldness gene. Reflecting the nuclear paranoia of the era, there is disturbing footage of insects deformed by radiation (this segment was criticized by The New York Times for being too gruesome.) Thread of Life was the third of the Bell Laboratory Science Series made under the auspices of Warner Brothers. Each of the Warners entries featured animated sequences created by a different director from their legendary animation department, "Termite Terrace". In Thread of Life's case, it is Robert McKimson, the creator of Foghorn Leghorn and the Tasmanian Devil. The script was written by Rowland Barber, best known for his novel The Night They Raided Minsky's. Don Grady appears as a little boy who asks Dr. Baxter about the left-handed gene. He will be instantly recognizable to generations of TV viewers as not only a Mouseketeer, but as one of Fred McMurray's titular offspring on My Three Sons (1960-1972). Thread of Life originally aired on December 9, 1960 on NBC, and is graced with an opening narration by Chet Huntley.

DVD Details:

Run Time: 1 hours
Video: Color
Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Released: July 19, 2016
Originally Released: 1960
Label: Alpha Video

Gateways to the Mind

Description:

Dr. Frank C. Baxter takes us on a tour of the five senses in this nostalgic documentary combining live-action and animation! The good doctor explains how the human brain operates in our day-to-day life -- And how it can play tricks on you! Gateways to the Mind is the first of the Bell Science series produced by Warner Brothers after several entries under the stewardship of Frank Capra. The creation of the cartoon sequences for each film also transferred from UPA to the masterminds at "Termite Terrace," Warners' famed animation division, with each special assigned to a different Looney Tunes director. For Gateways to the Mind, they chose their top man, Chuck Jones, who adds many unusual touches, including a scene of a man undergoing an isolation experiment hallucinating "little men in black caps with their mouths open!" Also contributing are animation legends Maurice Noble, Jones' longtime assistant, and Lou Scheimer, future founder of Filmation Associates. Not to be outdone, new director Owen Crump took full advantage of Warners' Burbank lot, having Dr. Baxter speaking in front of huge expressionistic sculptures of an eye, nose, ear, and mouth designed by William Kuehl. He also adds a few trippy tableaus of his own, including a circus populated with knife throwers, sexy trapeze artists, and creepy clowns, as well as an Air Force pilot imagining an attack by a giant bat! Crump had previously been head director of Warners' Short Subjects Department, which had closed down the prior year. Originally airing October 23, 1958, Gateways to the Mind successfully reignited the popularity of the Bell Science series, ensuring its continuation. Personally supervised by Jack L. Warner, the studio executive remarked before his death in 1978 that these films were a special point of pride in his long career. Animation sequences written & directed by Chuck Jones.

DVD Details:

Run Time: 1 hours
Video: Color
Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Released: March 1, 2016
Originally Released: 1958
Label: Alpha Video

Our Mr. Sun

Description:

'Dr. Research', Frank C. Baxter, presents this Emmy award-winning documentary from the legendary Frank Capra. Our Mr. Sun is the first in a series combining live-action and animation that became a mainstay on TV and in elementary schools during the 1950s and 60s. Capra, an avid science buff, became interested in making educational films after his career in Hollywood effectively ended. The famed director commissioned scripts from first Willy Ley (Conquest of Space) and then Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) about mankind's dependence on the Sun. Unhappy with the results, he rewrote the film as a conversation between 'Dr. Research', his friend 'Mr. Fiction Writer' and 'Mr. Sun' itself. For the role of the scholarly scientist, Capra chose Dr. Frank C. Baxter, a real-life English professor who had hosted the popular series Shakespeare on TV (1953) in addition to appearing in the prologue of the 1956 sci-fi film The Mole People. Eddie Albert plays Mr. Fiction Writer. Cartoon sequences featuring Mr. Sun, Chloro Phyll, and Father Time were created by animation studio UPA, best known for Gerald McBoing Boing and Mister Magoo. These characters were voiced by Marvin Miller, Sterling Holloway, and, in his last role, Lionel Barrymore (the actor had previously worked with Capra on You Can't Take It with You and It's a Wonderful Life.) After its premiere on CBS November 19, 1956, Our Mr. Sun was made available to educational institutions free of charge, leading to screenings in classrooms all over the country. It won the Emmy for Best Editing of a Film for Television in 1957, and was followed by a series of popular science documentaries, all hosted by the affable Baxter. Voices of Lionel Barrymore, Marvin Miller and Sterling Holloway. Written, Produced & Directed by Frank Capra.

DVD Details:

Run Time: 1 hours
Video: Color
Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Released: February 2, 2016
Originally Released: 1956
Label: Alpha Video

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