Peace on Earth & An Old Box

Being that it is Christmas time, I thought I would post Hugh Harman’s Peace on Earth, especially as this is the 70th anniversary of its release (7 December 1939); the film’s pacifist theme resonated with the American public in the wake of the outbreak of the World War II in Europe and Harman said it was his favorite film “because it has some meaning and a serious theme.” Peace on Earth, which has some echoes of William Cameron Menzies’ version of H.G. Wells’ Things to Come (1936), earned an Oscar nomination and, according to Harman, a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. The film’s success was not entirely welcomed by the powers that be at MGM, as producer Fred Quimby subsequently scotched Harman’s plans to do a version of his favorite poem, Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.”

(Incidentally, this week also marks the 70th anniversary of Dave Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels (22 December 1939), which like Peace on Earth also had a pacifist theme — though it was not so blunt in its message.)

Being Christmas, I thought I should also post Paul Driessen’s An Old Box (1975), which the great Dutch-Canadian filmmaker made for the National Film Board of Canada, with music by Normand Roger.