General Motors was one of the first truly multi-national corporations, boasting manufacturing plants in 250 cities by the late 1920s. The company was a global force even in its early days, and GM produced promotional videos to show the world just how global and beneficial it was. This one from 1927 is a trip through some wonderful images from General Motors factories and offices all over the world.
Set to gorgeous music by composer John Adams, the film is a history-packed trip through industrial history and nostalgia. It is, like all industrial promotional films, incredibly self-serving. But the confidence that it shows in American engineering and GM products is so wholesome it’s almost heartwarming. The film also gives a bit of a geography lesson, pointing out where each GM-connected city is located and giving some interesting facts about the population of each, comparing the global locations to the sizes of U.S. cities.