Rhapsody Of Steel

rhapsodyasifa.jpg

ASIFA-Hollywood’s Animation Archive has post a complete Quicktime movie of John Sutherland’s industrial film Rhapsody of Steel (1959) on their site. At the time it was released, it was the most expensive animated industrial film ever made.

It’s a pretty spectacular film, with incredible design by Eyvind Earle, Maurice Noble and Victor Haboush, music by Dimitri Tiomkin, and animation by Irv Spence and Emery Hawkins. It was directed by Carl Urbano.


  • SoapyWater

    This looks beautiful. I love the art style of Eyvind Earle and his vibrant use of colors.

  • http://www.electricminstrel.com Brett McCoy

    Beautiful artwork! Is there a companion film on Zinc? (“Come back, zinc, come baaaaaaack!”)

    Did anyone notice how dorky the modern humans look compared to the ones from the ancient and prehistoric scenes with humans? :-)

  • http://www.partsunknown.net Chris Ferguson

    Brett, that’s funny; I just watched that Simpsons episode a couple of nights ago. “You see the firing pin in your gun was made out of…yep…zinc.”
    Can’t wait to watch this short tonight.

  • http://billfieldtrip.blogspot.com/ Bill Field

    Carl Urbano’s grandson, Steve, also an animator, is one of my best friends, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I doubt Steve has seen this film, but I’ve seen this kind of “vision” in Steve’s work, as if it’s in the Urbano DNA. I have seen this film-at least a dozen times over the years – because I’ve been directing industrials far too long, and I finally am going in the animated series and short direction that I always longed to. Carl made everything he directed an entertainment product, and what better way to fool someone into learning something, than showing them…..A CARTOON?!?!!!

  • doug holverson

    So was everyone trying to be like Ward Kimball’s Science unit?

    Not that that could have ever found a better template…..

    Sutherland did do a “Your Friend, The Atom” knockoff called “A is for Atom” that’s been posted over at Archive.org for a long time.

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com John Paul Cassidy

    This was just beautiful!

    I hope they have a restored version of this film. It deserves to be seen that way. (Especially since the storybook/record version helps you to really appreciate the art in the film!)

  • V.E.G.

    John Sutherland went Home to be with the Lord in 2001. Jesus Christ bless him and his family.

  • http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle Graeme Edgeler

    Sutherland did do a “Your Friend, The Atom” knockoff called “A is for Atom” that’s been posted over at Archive.org for a long time.

    “A is for Atom” was 1953, “Our Friend the Atom” was 1957. Sutherland certainly wasn’t borrowing from Disney :-)

  • Paul Doran

    I am delighted to find this site. My father (long since passed away) made the original recordings of the Pittsburgh Symphony used in this film. He also recorded the actual sound effects in US Steel’s Homestead works. All my copies of the recording and story have been long since lost over the years.