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  • The '70s Dimension
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The '70s Dimension

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1-Disc Version

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Product Details

  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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: Other Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009HLBZ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,450 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Essay by Matt McCormick
  • Upcoming releases from Other Cinema

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the classic iconography of the Marlboro Man to the absurd pitches for Jack LaLanne's "Glamour Stretchers", this outrageously retro review of funky, clunky clips offers more than campy fun. In fact, it allows us precious insight into a lost, impossibly innocent world of fondly remembered looks, styles, and attitudes, from way back in the good ol' 20th Century.

Far more entertaining than it conceivably should be, The 70s Dimension is a compilation of 1970s TV commercials and public service announcements scavenged from the dumpster behind a Portland TV station. Half the disc is devoted to these hilarious artifacts of media history. The other half has experimental filmmakers Matt McCormick, Thad Povey, and others twisting these raw materials into whimsical and psychedelic found-film shorts. While entertaining in their own right, these "remixed" films don't match the absurd beauty of the original material. The commercials themselves are a riot. One ad for Tab cola, clearly designed to exploit women's insecurities, claims that a woman who drinks tab will be able to keep in shape and be a "mind sticker" in her man's mind. In apparent reaction to consumer alarm over what goes into a hot dog, Oscar Mayer released a couple public service announcements praising the safety precautions that go into making a healthy weiner; in case you still harbored doubts, rest assured that men in lab coats and hard hats with incredibly serious expressions watched an assembly line. The budget for a commercial for the US Marine Corp apparently didn't provide for any footage of actual combat, but plenty for a muscle car and a woman in a bikini. If you were tempted to "shoot dope" in the '70s, a public service announcement by a member of the band Chicago surely would have rescued you from addiction. Those who watched TV in the '70s will wonder how they had ever been brainwashed into thinking these kinds of commercials represented anything in the neighborhood of reality. Viewers who came of age after the me-decade will find ample opportunity to ridicule the fashions, products, and media of generations that preceded them. --Ryan Boudinot

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on July 16, 2005
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The 70s...big hair, red velour, Technicolor plaid polyester pant suits, smiley faces, boogie vans, roller discos, 8-track tape players, and wall-to-wall shag carpeting...a little film called Star Wars dominated the theaters, American was engaged in a foreign war, and the price of gas went through the, wait...sounds a heck of a lot the current state of affairs...I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. The 70s Dimension provides a glimpse into the early, and often painful, rapid expansion of television and its potential in terms of a tool for disseminating information to an increasingly growing and diverse public. According to liner notes on an informational booklet in the DVD case, what is presented here by filmmakers Matt McCormick and Morgan Currie was picked after rummaging through some twenty hours of material, all recovered from the dumpster behind a Portland television station. Back in the day when these ads were originally shown, they were either done live, or the shot on 16mm film. There really wasn't any intent to preserve any of this material for posterity, as it was considered disposable, not meant to live past its brief moment in the sun...the DVD is separated into two main sections, the first called `What the 70s Really Looked Like', the second titled `70s Remix'. Within the first section, which contains material as it was broadcast on TV, there are eight parts, listed as follows;

Appearance (5:54) Exercise enthusiast Jack LaLanne hawked crappy exercise equipment, Farrah Fawcett showed us how easy it was to get the feather looked with her Lady Speed Schick Styler, and Mage the manicurist enlightened millions to the miracle healing benefits of Palmolive dish soap `You're soaking in it!'.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Stewart on January 30, 2006
First of all, this is an excellent quality DVD, considering these commercials were scavenged from a dumpster at Portland's ABC affiliate. But over 90% of these appear to be from 1971-1973. The ABC fall announcement of Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angel's advertising the Schick Speed Styler appear to be from about 1976, and several others such as Crisco shortening, the Color Crossfire Antena, and Jacobsen Lawn Mower appear to be from the mid-1960's. Nice selection for sure, but too Nixon era, before the bicentenial and disco. These were my favorites:

1. Old Gold cigarettes. For "independent people". Probably a way to justify the reason the cigarette was never popular to begin with.

2. L&M cigarettes. The ultimate relaxation cigarette. The people on the commercial all look too old, healthy, or thoroughly clean and decent to be smokers.

3. The one with a 50-something woman advertising window treatments. The commercial itself is not that interesting, but the woman's bright red suit, half-horn glasses, and teased hair are downright scary. Looked like a 70's elementary school teacher, the disciplinarian you were scared of.

4. The military ones advertising the Marine reserves guaranteeing you a beautiful girl, expensive sports car, and good life, and the Air Force catering itself to females more than any other branch (which I agree).

4. The two at the begining and end of the DVD justifying hot dogs as wholesome and nutritious because each weiner has 10% of your daily protein needs and they're USDA inspected by professionals

5. The famous "Keep America Beautiful" one. The stoic Indian looking into the camera and shedding a single glycerin tear scared me when I was little and seemed so out of character.

Anyway, if the filmmakers could take commercials from about 1975 to 1980, it would be wonderful. Hopefully they read this review
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Filmscore on September 11, 2005
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Finally somebody is not only wise enough, but has the resources (meaning the actual footage) to release this cannon of 70's commercials and PSA's. This is by no means the authoratative history of television commercials in the 1970's, but it is a really good start. It's really great how the producers of this disc separated the commercials into general categories (appliances, furniture, health & beauty, etc.) to select from on the DVD menu. There are many random and insignificant commercials and PSA's scattered among many classic ones as well (such as the anti-littering campaign with the crying indian). I think my favorite things were the network broadcast logos and such for ABC, sports, after-school specials, etc. The sounds and visuals really brought back childhood memories. The only drag in my opinion is the fact that in the notes it says that they uncovered hours and hours of footage, however only a mere smattering is available here. One would hope that they would release additional volumes. However, I also get the idea that perhaps this was the best of what they found. And while there is plenty of good stuff here, the fact that there are some things here that aren't so good, makes me think that everything remotely good is on this disc. That being said, I would still love to see the rest. The additional elements on the disc are some "art films" edited together from random commercials that I don't believe appear anywhere on this disc. These are interesting but probably too bizarre for most of the general public. I'm sure the people that made them had fun though. Bottom line, not a flawless collection, but the best one I've ever seen. Enjoy.
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