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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 7, No. 4 June 7, 1944

Air Power

Air Power

To evolve a theory, to sell it to Mr. Disney, and to have him film it—that must be the dream of all American propagandists. Mr. Stokowski sold him the idea of good music for the million, Mr. Henry Wallace the idea of "good neighbourhood" (Saludos Amigos), and now comes Major de Seversky with airpower. What next? An Einstein-Disney six-dimentional musical called, perhaps, "It's the Relative Thing to Do?"

Technically the film is very good. The continuity is excellent, the facts are laid before the audience almost In words of one sylable, the cartooning is superb. There is no dialogue merely the voices of Major de Seversky and a commentator running ceaselessly through the film. Thus both theory and film must be good enough to hold the attention of the audience. They are. Music and sound effects are extremely well done—in fact the bombing and earthquake (sequences are a little too effective for comfort.

From a humorised history of aviation, the film passes on to an airpower crusader's view of World War II. de Seversky says categorically—and very plausibly—that the war can be won quickly and cheaply—and only—by heavy bombing. But haven't both the Russians and the British found that the most effective weapon now is massed artillery bombardment? And, no matter what the new and startling method is, the infantryman does the cleaning up.

de Seversky advocates the knocking out first of enemy centres of production. But after months of saturation bombing, after bombing which the Major says will crumble her to the dust, Germany appears to be able to carry on.

The film is well done and plausible. But de Seversky lets his dreams carry him away in one most important feature. Let "Life" say it for me: "Good history, fine entertainment—but when the movie deals with the future, de Seversky's extreme ideas may do airpower a disservice by beguiling a fascinated public into the belief that the war can be won by dream ships which, unfortunately, are not yet a reality."

Well, although this doesn't seem to be a film review of the ordinary type, I do recommend the film strongly. It will stimulate both your imagination and your views on air strategy. And it is very entertaining.