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Our Mr. Sun/Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays (1957)

 NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AKY5Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,898 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Then Baxter and Eddie Albert (TV's "Green Acres") meet Old Sol and Father Time to discover how the rays from Our Mr. Sun affect the Earth, featuring incredible nature footage and brilliant animation. Finally, Dr. Baxter gets to the bottom of the Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays, which unveils the secrets of atoms, gamma and ultraviolet radiation, and other tiny but vital fragments of our existence. Watched and adored for generations, these family-friendly films will entertain and educate viewers time and time again! 1957 Emmy Award for Best Editing, Frank Keller (Our Mr. Sun).

Product Description

Then Baxter and Eddie Albert (TV's "Green Acres") meet Old Sol and Father Time to discover how the rays from Our Mr. Sun affect the Earth, featuring incredible nature footage and brilliant animation. Finally, Dr. Baxter gets to the bottom of the Strang

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science fun from the 1950's... October 2, 2003
Here we have the first two installments in Frank Capra's Bell Science series, "Our Mr. Sun" (1956) and "The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays" (1957), underwritten by AT & T (Ma Bell, to you n' me). Capra writes and produces, Shamus Culhane offers up the cartoon animation, while "Cosmic Rays" has Bil Baird's marionettes playing the role that cartoon characters play in the other three films.
No extras on the disc, but there is an insert with some condensed liner notes. More on Baxter and Carlson, et al, would have been welcome additions to the DVD. Regardless, it will be a great treat for the science aficionado.
In "Our Mr. Sun", a young Eddie Albert plays Mr. Fiction Writer, and introduces the Imagination Screen that the cartoons are projected on. Richard Carlson ("Creature From the Black Lagoon") takes over in the remaining three installments as the Fiction Writer, while Dr. Frank Baxter is present in all four shows as Mr. Scientist.
"The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays" tries valiantly to explain, so far as we knew in 1957, what cosmic rays are and how we detect them. The idea of a mystery contest overseen by Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Fyodor Dostoevsky is clever, and the puppets make the science somewhat more accessible. Even so, this is probably the most inscrutable installment because the subject matter itself is somewhat inscrutable to the layman. Try as they might, when Carlson and Baxter start talking about Mu Mesons, some of the audience (admittedly, this includes myself), will get a bit lost.
"Our Mr. Sun" is probably the better of the two, while some of the science is clearly outdated in both. We've certainly come a long way in the understanding of the Sun and cosmic rays since 1957!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Our Mr. Sun" Is Still Great October 15, 2003
I just got my DVD of "Our Mr. Sun," the Frank Capra educational movie from 1956 based on Donald Menzel's book "Our Sun." The movie runs about 52 minutes. It includes an eclipse movie, starting with a diamond ring, interspersing views of eclipse watchers around the world, and ending the approximately 2-min segment with the final diamond ring. A little later, they show some of the High Altitude Observatory's coronagraph time-lapse movies of prominences.
The movie seems quite campy now, with primitive animation and with the popularizing scientist Frank Baxter playing "Dr. Research" and the actor Eddy Albert conversing with cartoon Mr. Sun and cartoon Father Time. But there is a lot of good material there, and there is very little I would change even after 45+ years. I didn't have a single scientific objection to the first half hour or more. The last 15 minutes or so, about solar energy, is the most dated.
Glimpses of some of the scientists of the time--Walter Roberts, Jack Evans, Donald Menzel, and others--appeared.
The quality of the transfer was pretty good. Only occasionally did I notice some film grain or scratches in the corner of the color movie.
The movie was fun to watch. Also on the DVD is "The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays," another Capra movie in the series.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informs and entertains brilliantly !!! June 2, 2006
By Ted K
Verified Purchase
These shows make learning about science fun.

The writing is first rate and the structure clear and easy to follow. The characters, the animation, the music and the scientific footage is wonderful. Each hour flies by though I recommend viewing them apart to allow the information to sink in.

There is plenty to think and talk about after each program. This is NOT mindless television.

If you have a child with any interest in science between 4th and 9th grade, this is a DVD you should own. Adults who enjoyed these programs as kids on broadcast TV or in the classroom may want to see them again. Although a little dated, most of the content holds up very well.

I saw the Bell Science series as a kid, I used them on 16mm film when I was a teacher and now I bought them for me and our child.

One of the special things about these programs is that there is a strong sense of respect for the subject, the science and the spiritual aspect of the physical world.

This DVD with two titles is a real bargain that belongs in your home video library. Enjoy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something's missing! March 15, 2007
Verified Purchase
I love these old films, and the picture quality on this disc is top-notch, but I have to give it a mediocre review because this version of "Our Mister Sun" has been edited. There's something missing in the opening credits, as evidenced by an obvious still-frame that's been superimposed over the sequence, and the closing are credits are COMPLETELY MISSING! There's just a still-frame image that says "The End." Very poorly done.

This copy of "Cosmic Rays," though, seems to be all there.

I recommend this disc for fans of this series, but you need to be aware that "Mr. Sun" is incomplete. There are no extras on the disc, either.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank Baxter Is Terrific December 19, 2011
By Westy
A once well-known fact about "Dr. Research," who appears as the avuncular scientist in these films, is that he was the most famous and well-loved member of the USC faculty in the 1950s. And he was not a science professor, but a Shakespeare expert. USC English professor Frank C. Baxter was known to the legendary Frank Capra, who directed these TV specials for the Bell Science Series, because Dr. Baxter's "Shakespeare on TV" had been the first televised college course to be taught for academic credit in Southern California. It debuted in 1953 on the Los Angeles CBS affiliate KNXT. Baxter, who earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, thought the show would be a "roaring success" if it drew 150 viewers per week. To his astonishment, it attracted 400,000.

Baxter went on to host a long list of network TV programs, including seven on science topics in the Bell Science Series. He was as familiar to baby boomers as Buffalo Bob. Along the way, he picked up a Peabody and seven Emmy awards, and Life magazine named him one of the country's eight most outstanding college professors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Were we smarter in the '50s?
The old Bell System productions are entertaining without "dumbing down" the information. Excellent for elementary schoolers and fun for us oldies.
Published 10 months ago by B. Davin
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Bell Laboratory Science series.
How good to spend an evening with kindly Dr. Research after all these years! Frank Baxter was discussing Global warming and it's causes DECADES before Al Gore made it fashionable... Read more
Published 12 months ago by James L. Newberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent films to use with teaching junior high school science
I had used these films while teaching science over the years. They are as pertinent today and they were years ago.
Published 14 months ago by Harry Gamble
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Childhood Movie - "Our Mr. Sun"
For years, I've wanted a copy of this movie, as I remembered "Mr. Sun" as the best movie I saw in school when I was young. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids guild to outer space
I am 65 years old, and when I was in grade school I remember as a boy I watched Mr. Eddie Albert on a reel to reel projection. I was amazed. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
The service was very fast and good. I would order again. I really enjoyed seeing these again. Just like my childhood
Published 20 months ago by rumpus
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Our Mr. Sun
Great video! Presents science concepts in an entertaining and easily digestible way. Great for all ages. Use of animation and humor really illuminates the topics. Read more
Published 23 months ago by olderreviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Preview edition
I first saw Our Mr. Sun in the autumn of 1956 while a pupil at the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Cumulonimbus
4.0 out of 5 stars Great education films
These two films are awesome! Our Mr. Sun is a great look at energy, especially solar energy (and how most other forms of power are indirectly derived from the sun) and the Strange... Read more
Published on May 22, 2012 by James D. Crabtree
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Edutainment from Bell Labs
What can I say? Even now, after what--50 years?--these are great films. The qualities of the prints from which they were taken were very good, considering everything. Read more
Published on October 25, 2011 by Vincent Summers
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