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City Details

  • Runtime: 44 min.
  • Genres: Culture & Society, Social Issues
  • Director:Ralph Steiner


Based on an original idea by documentary filmmaker Pare Lorentz, was originally intended for exclusive exhibition at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Produced by the American Institute of Planners, the 45-minute film offered a look at the "perfect" city of the future, using scale models and motorized props to illustrate its thesis. The concept was to create a huge, gleamingly modernistic residential development far removed from the slums, so as to improve the quality of life in New York, Chicago and other metropolitan communities. While this may smack of segregation to the modern viewer, the idea was widely accepted as the perfect antidote to the spreading of crime and communicable diseases. This "mosaic" of sight and sound was enriched by the symphonic musical score of Aaron Copland. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi



Ralph Steiner