Monday, August 11, 2008

Other Attempts to Promote the Film

The press book offered theaters a variety of promotional material. The displays shown here on one scan include both a montage of UFO-related newspaper articles and studio artwork suggesting (in the most dramatic and ultimately irresponsible way possible) what may have caused the tragic death of Captain Thomas Mantell during a UFO pursuit. As I've tried to make clear throughout our cinematic journey, the motion picture's minimal implementation of dramatic effect and complete absence of visualized "saucers" (except for the objects seen briefly in the Utah and Montana films) simply didn't stand up to the assumptions and promises distributed via United Artists' promotional items. We should sparingly use the word, "lackluster" but, unfortunately, Clarence Greene's almost one-track-mind obsession with truth and documentation over publicly implied sensationalism doomed the motion picture's opportunity for widespread audience appeal. It's truly a shame that the film's stature as an historical masterpiece has gone unappreciated by nearly everybody except the UFO researchers who instantly comprehended its importance.

A hasty relegation of "U.F.O." to the trash heap of fifties science fiction film canisters and TV channels interested only in filling time between commercials was an injustice still unrealized by motion picture critics and historians -- primarily because they know little or nothing about the incredible events which actually transpired during the U.S. government's early years of UFO investigations. The Library of Congress and the American Film Institute, in my opinion, really should embrace and honor this movie as it has few others.