Miracle in Paradise Valley (1948)
Article 5570 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by James M. Constable
Featuring Kirby Grant, Eddie Parkes, Jean Mowry
What it is: Farm safety film
A young farmer encounters a mystical character intent on getting him involved in a movement to prevent accidents on the farm. Only by bringing the farmer into the future can the mystical character win him over.
There’s no listing for this forty-minute short IMDB, probably because it’s in that cinematic limbo which includes films that weren’t intended for general cinematic release; it was a farm safety film. I’ve seen several of these types of films, and this is one of the best ones I’ve encountered; it looks professionally done, is generally well-acted, and actually has a bit of punch to it. It’s a good example of a common strategy of these films; create a mystical character whose purpose is to pass the gospel of whatever the message is, and have him teach it to a human. It’s corny and preachy, but it also demonstrates how an effective and dramatic presentation can really bring a subject home; the high point is when the farmer attends a presentation on farm safety, and has to go on stage to keep a crowd of hecklers from derailing the message. The farmer’s ability to make farm safety a subject that touches everyone personally is pretty impressive. In some ways, it reminds me a little of the Rip Van Winkle story I saw recently.