Monday, August 27, 2012

A generous data allowance

Dick York as Phil in Shy Guy (1947)
I was reading today about the work of Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, a massive digital preservation project that he financed himself. Amongst other things, he preserves earlier iterations of today's popular websites and other documents of historical value, such as old music, books, software, and video, including the classic 1947 social guidance film Shy Guy, starring actor Dick York. Dick York was later to find fame as the original Darren in Bewitched, but Shy Guy must surely represent the apex of his acting career.

In this schmaltzy slice of post-war Americana, York plays Phil, the teenage son of a single father who has moved to a new town. He spends a lot of time in his basement building radios and record players. Phil struggles to fit in at his new school until he finds a way to use his electronics prowess to help his classmates, and even manages to get a girl interested in him as well. Good on him.

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