This week’s mystery movie was the 1952 promotional film “Flight to the Future … to the World of Plastics,” or “The Wonderful World of Plastic,” as we’ve been calling it around the Daily Mirror HQ. With Noel Neill, Robert Lowery, George Wallace, Helen Winston, John Eldredge, Charles Evans, Tom Wilde and Lyle Talbot.
Photography by Sam Leavitt, aerial photography by William Clothier, sound by Earl Crain Sr. and Roger H. White, story and screenplay by Jerry Warner, art direction by Dan Hall, color director James Sullivan, edited by Lawrence F. Sherman Jr. and Ray Sandeford. Directed by Erl Kenton, original musical score composed and directed by Morris Mamorsky, script and production supervision by J.M Mathes Inc. Produced by B.K. Blake. Kaleb Film and Television Corp. in Hollywood, Calif.
“Flight to the Future … to the World of Plastics” is online via the National Film Preservation Foundation.
I picked “Flight to the Future” to highlight film preservation, as a change of pace – OK to be tricky – and also because of Noel Neill and a cast of veteran actors. The film is a trove of images of mid-century decor, all made of plastic, and has a few interesting shots of Los Angeles. Howard Mandelbaum pointed out that I rarely do anything besides feature films and the only TV shows I recall are “Perry Mason,” “Johnny Staccato” and “Dark Shadows.” I managed to sneak in one animated film, but that’s all. So far, I’m drawing the line at drivers’ ed movies, but I may change my mind.
Curiously enough, Bosley Crowther did not review “Flight to the Future,” although I doubt that he would have approved of such goings-on. A Google search led me to “The Dollars and Sense of Business Films,” which has a marvelous, whimsical art design. It is so 1950s:
For Monday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Helen Winston.
For Tuesday, Monday’s mystery woman has a mysterious companion. And no, he does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is George Wallace and Helen Winston. And alas, I don’t have any better shots of the TV set, which I’m sure involves plastic!
For Wednesday, we have this distinguished mystery gent. He happens to approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Charles Evans, with 162 credits on IMDB.
Brain Trust roll call: Don Danard (Tuesday’s mystery gent).
For Thursday, we have the mysterious apartment house where our mystery leading lady lives.
Update: This is the Mauritania Apartments (often rendered Mauretania) at 520-522 N. Rossmore, designed by Milton Black for Jack Haley.
Also for Thursday, Tuesday’s mystery gent has a mysterious companion.
Update: This is George Wallace and Robert Lowery. Wallace (229 credits in IMDB) played Commando Cody in “Radar Men From the Moon.” His IMDB biography says he was nominated for a Tony Award for “New Girl in Town,” but the Tony Award website doesn’t list him. His IBDB listings are here. Lowery has 185 credits on IMDB.
And also this mystery gent.
Update: This is John Eldredge, with 224 credits on IMDB.
Our final guest is not especially mysterious and has amazing taste in neckwear.
Update: This is Lyle Talbot, with 332 credits on IMDB.
Brain Trust roll call: B.J. Merholz (Wednesday’s mystery gent).
For Friday, our mystery leading lady has no trouble parking her convertible at our mystery airport.
Update: Noel Neill parks her Ford convertible at Burbank Airport.
She also chillaxes with Thursday’s mystery pilot. They are crazy about each other. Can’t you tell?
Oh that wallpaper. That lamp. That ashtray. And that sofa. I’ll bet it’s upholstered in plastic!
I think our mystery leading lady is more passionate about this vacuum cleaner, frankly. Our mystery movie is brimming with mid-century decorative items made with a certain mystery material.
And here is our mysterious leading lady. She approves of such goings-on.
Update: Noel Neill.
Brain Trust call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and all mystery guests), David Inman (Thursday’s mystery gents No. 3 and 4), Benito (Thursday’s mystery guest No. 4), Gary (Thursday’s mystery guest No. 4), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and and all mystery gents), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery guests No. 3 and 4), Thom and Megan (mystery movie and all mystery gents) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie and all mystery guests). The actor playing Santa Claus is, alas, unidentified.
I think this is a New York actress ca 1960’s-70’s..perhaps Jane White.
An interesting guess, but alas…. Or let me put it this way, she’s not in IBDB.
Tuesday’s male guest looks a lot like Sheb Woolley.
Any more pics of the TV set on the extreme left?
I’ll see if I can find some Saturday. (And alas, I’m afraid not).
I have a hunch:”One of our Planes is Missing.”
Much of the mystery movie takes place on a plane, but it’s never missing….
Looks like George Wallace – the moody looking mystery companion on Monday.
An excellent guess. But alas, I’m afraid not.
It’s got to be SKY DRAGON, has it been colorized? Noel Neill Monday, Bob Curtis Tuesday, Tim Ryan Wednesday, and Curtis, Cosmo Sardo, John Eldredge, and Lyle Talbot today. The Maurtania apartments on Rossmore turn up! How great! Any more local architecture!?
“Flight to the Future …to the World of Plastics” (1952)
Tuesday: George Wallace, Helen Winston
Wednesday: Charles Evans
Thursday: George Wallace, Robert Lowery, John Eldredge, Lyle Talbot
“The Sky Dragon,” with Lyle Talbot and John Eldredge today.
Lyle Talbot today. Izzat Gregory Walcott in uniform? This looks Ed Wood-sy…
I recognize all these faces but can only think of the name Lyly Talbot. Is this what is meant by a senior moment? Perhaps, senior week?
You’re pulling a trickie, it’s not a feature, but a doc: FLIGHT TO THE FUTURE, THE WORLD OF PLASTICS. Noel Neill still on Monday, George Wallace Tuesday, Tom Evans Wednesday, Robert Lowery, Wallace, John Eldredge, and Lyle Talbot today.
Lyle Talbot with the necktie worth noticing!
And the mystery gentleman is John Eldridge if I’m not mistaken.
Our film is the awkwardly titled “Flight to the Future …to the World of Plastics”, with George Wallace for Tuesday and Thursday, Charles Evans for Wednesday, Lyle Talbot, Robert Lowery, and John Eldredge for Thursday.
Ha! This was a hoot! I loved the movie and learning about plastics (“Graduate” here we come.)
Flight to the Future—To the World of Plastics (1952)
Mon. – Helen Winston and ‘cropped out’ pilot, Robert Lowery
Tues. – Helen again and George Wallace
Weds. – Charles Evans (I think)
Thurs. – can’t make out the name of the apt. building. It looks like the Mauritania.
George Wallace, Robert Lowery, Charles Evans and my ‘ah-ha’ guy, Lyle Talbot
I’m guessing that tomorrow will bring Ms. Noel Neill and Tom Wilde and maybe a Bakelite product or two.
Thanks for this treat. Looking forward to Saturday’s breakdown.
Who played Santa Claus?
Noel Neill, Robert Lowery, and the Burbank airport.
Very clever,sir. At first I thought this was Sky Dragon with much of the same cast and much the same setting …but that is in Black and White and I know you to be a stickler for details…so I scrolled on to Flight to the Future.
I kept thinking that Charles Evans was Donald Crisp …hence my confusion all week. I got Lyle but not John Eldredge whose name would not shake itself out of my mind. I had no idea who the leading lady was but thought I remembered her as a Lois Lane once upon a time. Et voila.