One Man’s Car is a short film produced by Caravel Films, Inc. and presented by Socony-Vacuum, during WWII. During the war gasoline was strictly rationed and auto trips were taken only for reasons of necessity. Cars were kept in storage and in some cases drained of all fluids, and put on blocks so their tires could be used for the war effort. It wouldn’t be for a couple of years after the war ended that new cars were available so — autos had to be kept running as shown in the film.

This film follows the main character Tom and his family for roughly a decade after Tom purchases a 1936 Plymouth 4-Door Touring Sedan, and through the war, showing some of the big events of those years for the family and the world. The film begins with Tom changing the license plates on the Plymouth, hanging the old plate on a wall with all the other old plates. He recalls 1936, a year when King Edward becomes the Duke of Windsor and sits next to his American wife (00:56), Shirley Temple entertains audiences across the country at the age of 7, and the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile, and Germany tests its new weapons in the Spanish Civil War. 1936 is also when Tom buys the new Plymouth and drives it home (01:57). Tom’s kids are giddy upon seeing the new car. The family takes the car for a drive. Tom’s kids clean the car’s interior (05:06). The film recaps 1940, with scenes of Japanese attacks on a Chinese town (05:33), Nazi troops marching into Austria, the World’s Fair (06:08), Nazi forces invading Poland on horseback and in tanks, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing Congress (06:50). Tom and his wife ride in their car (08:08), and Tom accidentally bumps into a parked car. Tom and his wife sit in lawn chairs out in the yard while Tom reads the newspaper (09:14). The film reviews the year 1941 with footage of FDR being inaugurated for his third term (11:48), the New York Yankees playing baseball at Yankee Stadium, and FDR signing the Lend-Lease Act (12:26). Tom and his wife sit in their living room listening to a football game (13:34), which is interrupted with the breaking news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The recap of 1942 features a family trip in the Plymouth, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge from the point-of-view of the driver (15:46); Tom’s son and his friends load junk into the car for a scrap metal drive. The 1943 recap shows scenes from WWII, including fighting in North Africa, Italy’s Prime Minister Benito Mussolini addressing a crowd (18:46), and U.S. troops fighting in the Pacific and trekking through jungle terrain (19:04). The film continues to recap the war years, reviewing 1944 and 1945: Tom works on the Plymouth as a neighborhood kid shoots him with a grease gun (22:49); Allied forces invade Normandy (23:53); U.S. tanks cross the Rhine River; a European city is in rubble; people celebrate in the streets after Germany surrenders (24:50); General Douglas MacArthur accepts Japan’s surrender (25:20); Americans wait for the return of their soldiers (25:45); Tom’s family greets his son as he returns from the war. The film ends with Tom taking his car to a mechanic on, and then with Tom standing next to his car talking about how he’ll take his car to a quality dealer for all of his auto-care needs.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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