blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Playlands of Michigan (1949)

A shot from PLAYLANDS OF MICHIGAN, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

A more accurate title for Playlands of Michigan is Playlands of Lake Michigan, though an even more accurate one would be Michigan Playlands of Lake Michigan. “Voice of the Globe” James A. FitzPatrick takes the viewer through some of the state’s summer tourism, mostly as it relates to water activities.

The uncredited director (or directors) fails to bring much life to these activities, whether boating or swimming. There’s a magic show, but it’s unclear how much has been edited. And Playlands misses a chance for a joke with the reveal of an art class’s model.

Even narrator (and producer) FitzPatrick seems rather bored with the subject.

Then, for the finale–after a very uneconomical trip up and down the state’s western shoreline–Playlands gets good. There’s a couple minutes of phenomenal footage from the Silver Lake sand dunes. Virgil Miller’s photography is glorious.

It almost makes up for the rest.

1/3Not Recommended


Director of photography, Virgil Miller; music by Joseph Nussbaum; produced by James A. FitzPatrick; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Narrated by James A. FitzPatrick.


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