Tuesday, November 3, 2009

1945 - STRANGE HOLIDAY, financed and suppressed by General Motors

Arch Obler is either the poor man's Rod Serling or Rod Serling is the poor man's Arch Obler. Obler was a noted radio writer and producer who moved into film with varying degrees of success. During the 1940's Obler was as highly regarded as Orson Welles when it came to radio dramas. He wrote, produced and directed his own films and he also produced and directed one of the first 3D films.

Obler was not unlike Rod Serling in that he had a lot of half assed liberal ideas rolling around in his brain that he wanted to share with the world. The format of his radio dramas allowed him to spew out all his deep thoughts to the American public. Hired by General Motors during World War II to make a morale boosting film for it's employees, Obler presented GM with a Twilight Zone type of story about an every day American who returns from a fishing vacation to find that the United States has been taken over by the Nazis.

Obler delivered his film to GM and was told that General Motors would be withdrawing their support for his film. An angry Obler purchased the film back along with the actor Claude Rains and released it independently. The reasons for General Motors withdrawal from the film are still unclear. Obler claimed that General Motors was continuing to do business with the Nazi's during the war.
Obler may not have been that far from the truth. Apparently into mid 1941, General Motor's Opel division did design and build transport vehicles for the Nazi's.

STRANGE HOLIDAY is mostly a heavy handed propaganda piece of some historical interest. It's not unlike one of the more lame episodes of the TWILIGHT ZONE.

61 minutes.

No comments: