As the 1940s began, Hollywood was a glittering town of unspeakable wealth, barely feeling the claws of the Great Depression. To the rest of the population, Tinseltown's occupants were larger than life heroes approaching royalty. They were also considered frivolous and self-absorbed, with little concern for the average American who lay somewhere beyond their outsized swimming pools and well-manicured lawns. This shallow image was put to rest during the Second World War. The movie colony made sacrifices as did all other Americans, donned uniforms, and used their mammoth industry to aid in the biggest war ever fought. R. J. Thomas' "Man the Guns" is an affectionate collage documentary about Hollywood's tireless contribution to the war effort. The DVD, hosted by Mr. Thomas in a parody of a service training film, features clips of war shorts, propaganda films, U.S.O. shows, war-themed pictures, training films, war bond promotions, authentic battle footage, and war-related cartoons.

"MAN THE GUNS" * DVD * 52 Minutes * $19.95 + $2.95 S & H

"Western Flickers" is R. J. Thomas' mock-documentary about a Texas lawman named T. J. Spikes who, in 1913, came up with an ambitious plan to get himself into the history books. Anxious for notoriety after a lackluster career as a bounty hunter, Spikes asked the Western Flickers Motion Picture Company of Hollywood to come to Texas and film his pursuit --- and, hopefully, capture --- of the Cactus Kid, a notorious outlaw who had been robbing banks and trains for twenty years without being caught. Told in a documentary fashion a' la a 70's "In Search Of"-style show called "America's Legends and Mysteries," "Western Flickers" follows Spikes' colorful adventures, near-misses, blunders, and left-handed triumphs as he pursues the elusive Cactus Kid.

"WESTERN FLICKERS" * DVD * 56 minutes * $19.95 + $2.95 S + H

They called them serials, cliffhangers, or chapter-plays, and kids would flock to the local Bijou to see them. The adventures were broken up into chapters that played over several weeks, each one ending with the hero in a very dangerous (and sometimes insurmountable) fix. These cliffhanger endings would entice the youngsters to return to the theater the following week, anxious to find out what happened to the Green Hornet or Ace Drummond or Crash Corrigan. R. J. Thomas' "The Saturday Afternoon Serial" takes us back to those thrilling, campy, and corny mini-movies of yesteryear. Hosted by Mr. Thomas in a parody of a Dick Tracy-type gumshoe hero, the documentary gives the audience a taste of the old-time Saturday afternoon experience.

"THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON SERIAL" * DVD * Approximately 45 Minutes * $19.95 + $2.95 S & H

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