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This 1969 color film “The Time of Man” from “The Natural History of Our World” series combines footage of animals, indigenous people, and anthropologists to present a brisk overview of human development, highlighting historic threats to survival (TRT 49:15). It was produced and directed by visionary filmmaker Marshall Flaum, edited by Nicholas Clapp, narrated by Richard Basehart, and has a score by Lyn Murray. It was produced by MPC in association with the Museum of Natural History.
A gorilla child and silverback adult male (0:06). A rocket launches (0:26). A nude man from behind in an urban environment (0:31). Title card (0:51). Exhaust from trains and trucks. Freeways. Dead fish and polluted waters. A tree felled by a chainsaw (1:23). Stumps transition to high-rise skyscrapers (2:12). An animated blue light forms a blazing ball. Interstellar views and a sunset overlaid by an eruption of red hot lava (2:32). Time-lapse skies. Rolling waves and ocean breakers (3:41). Microphotography of a cell dividing. A diorama of a coral reef (4:13). Dr. C. Robert Smith, puts on flippers, a diving mask, and oxygen tank (4:48). Fish swim among coral underwater. Reef fish and a long-spined sea urchin (5:10). Dr. Smith speaks (6:01). A diorama of a taxidermy eagle at the American Museum of Natural History (6:26). A taxidermy buffalo bull, walrus, and tiger. A model Blue Whale (6:39). An early truck off-road in b&w footage depicting the 1923 “Central Asiatic Expeditions” by Roy Chapman Andrews (7:19). Truck wheels spin in Mongolian mud, the Gobi Desert. A man kicks a camel. Camels rise and march across the desert (7:34). Picking through rocks for a fossil. A fossilized dinosaur egg is excavated (8:05). Renderings of dinosaurs (9:07). Rock formations in Lance Creek, Wyoming. Anthills and Dr. Malcolm McKenna (9:33). An ant carries a rock (10:42). A dinosaur bone is excavated (10:59). African giraffes, gazelles, bison, birds in silhouette (12:48). A lioness and cub. Male lions stalk, chase, and eat wildebeest (13:48). Sunlight. The Serengeti plains. Elephants dig (14:33). Snakes and zebras drink. A rhino (15:18). A dead zebra. A gazelle fawn (16:01). Birds of prey scavenge. Vultures (16:46). Montage of animals in water (17:37). Aerial view (18:16). Chimpanzees (18:21). Busts of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon men (19:44). Sketches of early men with tools and fire (20:34). Drawings and wax figures of Pygmy people (21:43). Anthropologist Colin Turnbull (21:58). Footage of Pygmies gathering sticks. Children swing and jump rope (22:36). Bantou people (23:20). A boy runs a gauntlet in an initiation rite (23:48). Ik people sit in shade (24:44). An Ik village of huts (26:18). A mother lights a pipe. Gaunt Ik elders walk slowly (26:17). Dugum Dani or Ndani natives of Western New Guinea charge with spears. Dancing. A man climbs a watchtower (28:27). A birds-eye-view. Farming. Boys play (29:08). Fire on the plains. Warriors throw spears (29:54). Wounded men. A boy’s funeral (31:45). A pig is sacrificed. Mourning and building a pyre (32:20). Margaret Mead (33:37). Mead is helped from a boat by children in New Guinea. She greets her hosts (34:22). A diorama of outrigger canoes (35:40). Mead’s visit (36:20). Rocket launches. Mission control (37:12). Extended montage: Edison, Kinetoscopes, Teddy Roosevelt, the Wright Brothers, Charlie Chaplin for “Liberty Bonds,” U.S. sailors, German WWI soldiers, Lenin, assembly lines, the Charleston, Babe Ruth, Lindberg, Depression-era soup lines, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, the Roosevelts, Einstein, Gandhi, Hitler, scenes of the Holocaust, Hirohito, firing squads, Mussolini, Chamberlain, bombs (37:43). Montage continues: Occupied France. Horrific footage of Jews in a concentration camp. Piles of dead bodies. Planes dropping bombs. Winston Churchill, Normandie, DeGaulle. The atomic blast, Japanese radiation victims, Stalin, Mao, Castro, JFK, Nixon, Alan Shepard, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Jack Ruby, Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam, MLK, Bobby Kennedy, a jetpack (40:13). Apollo 11 (43:17). Urban pollution and a growing population (43:43). Dr. Harry Shapiro (44:53). Slides projected over Dr. Shapiro (45:51). End credits (48:03).
This MPC film production was written and directed by Marshall Flaum in association with the American Museum of Natural History. It highlights the Centennial “Can Man Survive?” exhibit, which was the first multimedia environmental installation of its kind.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit