This recent release follows Volumes 1 and 2; I reviewed Volume 1 last June and Volume 2 in November.
Volume 3 contains 64 Traveltalks shorts released from 1940 to 1954; the majority of the shorts are from the postwar era. The previous volumes had 60 shorts apiece, although Volume 2 had one short which was inadvertently duplicated from Volume 1.
The new set also includes a pair of "extras," the 20-minute MIGHTY MANHATTAN, NEW YORK'S WONDER CITY (1949) and a promotional short for QUO VADIS (1951) called ROME, THE ETERNAL CITY (1951). The box thus advertises 66 shorts on its cover.
My previous reviews include background information on Traveltalks and what makes them special. Thanks to Volume 3, viewers can once again "armchair travel" around the world, from California to New York, Nova Scotia to Brazil, and Spain to India, with many more stops along the way.
The Traveltalks allow time traveling back to cities and famous sites as they were decades ago, which is mostly fascinating and very occasionally disturbing. A notable example of the latter is a children's park in PRETORIA TO DURBAN (1952) labeled "Europeans Only"; it took a second for the meaning to register, that the park was segregated. Still, that's as educational to the modern viewer as any of the more lighthearted scenes.
My favorite short in the set is perhaps GLIMPSES OF CALIFORNIA (1946), which tours Hollywood Boulevard, the Farmers Market, and Forest Lawn Glendale. It's fascinating to see the Chinese Theatre with a big parking lot next door!
AROUND THE WORLD IN CALIFORNIA (1947) is also fun, featuring tours of Olvera Street and Chinatown in Los Angeles, as well as a visit to actor Leo Carrillo's ranch, seen at the left. Leo Carrillo State Park and Beach would later be named for Carrillo, along with an elementary school in nearby Westminster.
Print quality of the shorts is variable; for example, the California shorts mentioned above look terrific, while SCHOLASTIC ENGLAND (1948) and PLAYLANDS OF MICHIGAN (1949) are faded, and a few scenes in the latter short are yellowed.
This set consists of three discs; the discs in the set I received for review were silver-backed pressed discs. All three volumes are highly recommended.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD set. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.