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Mural Midwest Metropolis

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Film Identifier: F.2004-02-0017
Run Time
0h 26m 9s
Date Produced
circa 1960
Promotional film for Chicago as a tourist destination. The narrator highlights many attractions, including: boating on Lake Michigan; going to the beach; beautiful cityscapes; architectural detail; shopping on the Magnificent Mile; Grant Park; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the hustle and bustle of pedestrians and commuters. Most footage is of Chicago captured in action with some directed scenes and stylized shots.

Some of the vital landmarks captured in this film include the Executive House, London Guarantee  Building, Michigan Avenue Bridge, Hubbard Woods Station, Dempster Street, Morton Grove, Central Station, Carsons on State Street, Pure Oil Building, and Fullerton Apartments. 

Narrator introduces Chicago with a series of scenes of everyday life in the bustling city. 00:00 - LS sunrise over Lake Michigan harbor, cloudy sky, POV from boat PAN RIGHT, MS captain of ship, LS shore 0:25 - TILT UP water to two beachcombers with high rise buildings in background 00:38 - Var MCU dachshund on leash walking Chicago sidewalks 00:44 - LA TS construction worker in crane in front of high rise 00:51 - TS HA view sidewalk and strip of shops 00:58 - HA busy intersection below from POV on top of high rise 01:04 - man looking at cityscape POV through sunglasses 01:15 - MS interior full sightseeing bus, TILT UP out roof window TS buildings downtown 01:72 - FA young man and woman lying on beach blanket on beach flirting, cityscape in background 01:35 - MS man in business suit depositing mail in mailbox, CU man POV from inside mailbox Man picking up litter, woman drawing city, CU rendering of cityscape, narrator speaks of how the city draws its own portrait. 02:13 - ZOOM OUT busy sidewalk, cityscape Compares Chicago to a woman shopping around the city “demanding attention” from construction workers. Men begin to paint “her,” or “Chicago,” on a large billboard mural. 03:44 - HA LS bridge over Chicago River, top of the Wrigley Building, HA ELS TILT UP full cityscape of Chicago Opening credits, scenes of Chicago starting its day. 04:29 - Var shots people waiting on platform, HA train tracks, LA ZOOM IN elevated train pulling into station 05:04 - Var shots women being neighborly in front of suburban home 05:35 - CU pink rose in foreground, Var MS, POV CU children riding bikes around shopping centers with landscaping throughout, MCU girl on sidewalk pony ride 06:12 - HA POV high platform, train passing below 06:18 - Montage of fast TS, POV from car, highway ahead, POV from train, tracks ahead, passing shopping centers, other trains, neighborhoods, HA people on platform getting on train, Red Line “L” train going underground, HA CU cars speeding towards camera one at a time, ZOOM OUT LS highway full of cars driving towards camera, then driving towards cityscape, continue montage of TS cars driving under “L,” on highways, nice view of cityscape from highway, crossing bridge looking over Chicago river 09:20 - CU sign N. State St. and E. Madison St. 09:27 - Var HA LS, MS people exiting “L” train, POV riding up escalator, FA crowd walking across street, LA feet, sunset in background 10:10 - Var shots loading goods onto a large ship with Chicago cityscape in background Montage of signs and advertisements, ZOOM OUT billboard mural from earlier in film with more paint as we see more of the city. Scenes of shopping in Chicago. 10:58 - Montage of police officer directing busy crowds of people walking and window shopping on the Magnificent Mile 11:38 - HA POV from high rise “L” train coming around loop 11:43 - LA PAN RIGHT in complete circle capturing high rise buildings above POV from sidewalk 12:48 - Man [acting] pantomiming in shop window with mannequins inter-cut with people window shopping “Time for lunch” 14:17 - Var shots people sitting in Grant Park, Michigan Ave. 14:50 - Var shots interior Art Institute of Chicago, grand staircase, people in galleries 15:04 - Var MS model plan of Chicago 15:28 - Var stylized shots architectural details and cityscapes 16:10 - TS POV exterior elevator going up, cityscape 17:37 - Montage MCU midsections of people carrying shopping bags “Going Home” 20:04 - LS cityscape, PAN RIGHT ZOOM IN to Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park 20:20 - Stylized vignettes children playing make believe in city, inter-cut with goods to buy, “I will have everything when I grow up.” 22:32 - Var shots people going home, sun setting on city Billboard mural painted throughout the film is now finished. It reads “’Make no little plans...’ Daniel Burnham” 23:21 - MS dark profile people waiting on platform, sun setting in background 23:37 - LA boats passing by on water, dusk, high rise, night 24:45 - Var LS Chicago cityscape, sunset Credits painted on billboards, message reads “’Mural Midwest Metropolis’ is a tribute to the people of Greater Chicago who insure the city’s continued growth and bright future...”
Main Credit
Sperry and Hutchinson Company (corporate name)
Weisenborn, Gordon (is director)
Fred A. Niles Communications Centers (is production company)
Additional Credit
Costikyan, Andrew (is cinematographer)
Harder, William (is contributor)
Henning, Robert (sound)
Hurt, Orville A. (is contributor)
Romolo, Frank (is editor)
Siegel, Sid (music)
Weisenborn, Gordon (is writer)
Weisenborn, Selma (is writer)
Related Place
Chicago (production location of)