Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this mock-documentary, a small town finds itself enjoying a boom and suffering an economic downturn at the same time. Dadetown, New York is a small town whose central industry is the Gorman Metal Works, a metal fabricating plant; during World War II, Gorman made a bundle from defense contracts, but today they crank out staples and paper clips. Dadetown's citizens are a stolid, conservative lot who don't much care for change, and they're more than a bit suspicious when a high-tech computer firm, API Technologies, moves into town, attracted by Dadetown's favorable tax rates and small-town charm. API is doing well in the marketplace, and the company's employees start building expensive new homes. Their presence also prompts a number of new businesses, including upscale boutiques and cappuccino shops, which the longtime residents view with extreme suspicion. Soon, Gorman's owners announce that they can't compete with foreign markets, and the folks who have been the city's backbone for most of the century find themselves out of work, while the newcomers are enjoying a prosperity they never dreamed possible. Dadetown was the directorial debut of Russ Hexter; it was also his final work, as he died of a heart condition shortly after the film's release.
business, economy, small-town, computers, modernization, metalwork