The Tree in a Test Tube
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|The Tree in a Test Tube|
|Directed by||Charles McDonald|
|Produced by||United States Department of Agriculture|
|Narrated by||Pete Smith
|Music by||Edward Craig|
|Edited by||Boris Vermont|
|Distributed by||U.S. Forest Service|
The Tree in a Test Tube (1942) is a short film produced by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and distributed by the U.S. Forest Service, featuring Laurel and Hardy, with narration read by MGM announcer and producer Pete Smith.
To Pete Smith's voice over commentary, Stan and Ollie-seemingly picked at random in the street, and professing to not have any wood in their possession at the time, produce various props - the contents of a suitcase and their wallets - all manufactured from wood, or containing wood byproducts such as cellulose. (At one point Ollie even indicates that Stan's head is made of wood!) The props demonstrate the omnipresence of wood in the American economy.
The Tree in a Test Tube is Laurel and Hardy's only known surviving color film (with the exception of brief color home movies of the duo performing on stage in England and a visit with one another back home in 1956, their final filmed appearance), shot in Kodachrome on 16mm, and is basically World War II propaganda. The Rogue Song (1930), made in Technicolor and featuring the duo in their only other known color footage, is now considered a lost film, although a number of fragments have survived.
Their routine lasts around five minutes and was shot silent (their voices are not heard). The second half of the film is unrelated documentary film footage. Laurel and Hardy shot this brief film during their lunch hour on the back lot of Twentieth Century-Fox on November 29, 1941 and the film went into release in spring of 1942.
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- The Tree in a Test Tube at the Internet Movie Database
- The Tree in a Test Tube at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Tree in a Test Tube is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Complete film at Youtube
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