Video: Yesteryear Travel: Fashion Horizons

Yesteryear Travel: Fashion Horizons

"Horizons in the air, like fashion horizons, are reached -- only to appear again and again!"

Even if you had a time machine and could travel to New Mexico in 1940, it's unlikely you'd experience it the way Esther Fernandez, Margaret Hayes, and Virginia Dale do in Fashion Horizons. The three Hollywood starlets arrive in Albuquerque on TWA Stratoliners from New York and Los Angeles, and are met at the airport by a group of colorful Pueblo Indians -- who immediately launch into a spontaneous Buffalo Dance. Esther, "Paramount's Mexican Discovery," takes advantage of the bouncy ambassadors to film a screen test!

It's interesting to see Albuquerque as Hollywood saw it long before it was made synonymous with meth labs and Breaking Bad. In this film clip, Margaret and Virginia visit the Pueblo and Mission at San Antonio de Isleta, where Margaret's tan topcoat "blends with the crumbling adobe ruins." Virginia is met by "One little, two little, three little Indian girls" in wool ponchos, while the three starlets probably needed a third Stratoliner just to carry all the outfits they wear in this 20 minute film on their improbable sightseeing jaunt.

The film, in vintage Kodachrome, was produced and directed by Harry D. Donahue on behalf of Paramount and TWA. It was probably shown at women's clubs, which in 1940 were very popular, and whose audiences obviously didn't mind some Hollywood fantasy mixed into their travelogues.

Old Films: Fascinating!

Yesteryear Travel.

The RoadsideAmerica.com Team has a special appreciation for archival films -- from family home movies to sponsored travel shorts. Senior editor Ken Smith is author of "Mental Hygiene," the definitive book-form history of America's classroom educational and industrial films. He was an archivist and cataloger for Rick Prelinger in the early days of the Prelinger Archives. This film is made available through the Prelinger Archives.

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