Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Tashlin Rarity: The Way of Peace

I was not aware of this film until today. It's from 1947, written and directed by Frank Tashlin for the Lutheran Church. Some of the crew, such as Wah Chang and Gene Warren, will be familiar to fans of stop motion animation of the time. The film is narrated by actor Lew Ayres.

There is relatively little animation in this film. It is more a series of illustrations to accompany the narration. I don't know how much this film represents Tashlin's own religious feeling or how much it was simply an employment opportunity.

At this time in his career, Tashlin had left Warner Bros. and was attempting to break into live action feature writing and directing. The year this film appeared, Tashlin first got credited as a screenwriter on the all-star musical Variety Girl. The Way of Peace followed a stint directing animated industrials for John Sutherland Productions, but it would be another five years before Tashlin got credit for directing his first live feature, fittingly titled The First Time.

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