fbpx Motion Picture Industry Red Cross War Fund Week Trailer | George Eastman Museum

Motion Picture Industry Red Cross War Fund Week Trailer

00:00 Introduction by Peter Bagrov, Senior Curator, Moving Image Department, George Eastman Museum
02:49 Motion Picture Industry Red Cross War Fund Week Trailer

Motion Picture Industry Red Cross War Fund Week Trailer (US 1945)
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Cast: Ingrid Bergman
Production company: RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Distribution company: National Screen Service

Release date: 15 March 1945
Sound: sound
Color: b/w
Length (in feet): 202 ft.
Length (in reels): 1
Running time: 3 min.
Frame rate: 24 fps

Preserved from a 35mm nitrate print by Selznick graduate Heather Stilin on the Mo i Rana Fellowship
Digitized by Eastman Museum Film Preservation Services
Funded by the National Library of Norway, Rana Division Sound and Image Archive

Discovered in the Rose Theatre of Port Townsend, Washington, during renovation in the late 1990s, this short promotional film features actress Ingrid Bergman in a nurse’s uniform making a plea to theater patrons to support Red Cross initiatives during World War II. Using staged scenes of American soldiers in a Japanese POW camp, the film provides a firsthand look at how important the Red Cross packages are to fighting men. Staples such as corned beef, quinine, and a pack of cigarettes become prized possessions for incarcerated soldiers subsisting on a diet of rice. Bergman’s ever-increasing popularity with film audiences (she had just won an Academy Award for her performance in Gaslight) and her known sympathy for the Allies made her a natural spokesperson for this appeal. Very little information remains regarding the production of this Red Cross piece. When this short was filmed, Bergman was temporarily on loan from David O. Selznick to RKO, where she was making The Bells of St Mary’s with Bing Crosby. This short is the only collaboration between Bergman and film director Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, Out of the Past). The trailer was sent to more than 15,000 movie theaters for free and ran for one week, May 15 to May 21, 1945, as a part of a large Red Cross promotional campaign. It was advertised as “a MUST for showing immediately before every collection if you want to hit the top.”