Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Fifty Years Before Your Eyes was the first feature-length endeavor from compilation producer Robert Youngson. Just as he'd been doing in such short subjects as Magic Movie Moments and World of Kids, Youngson assembles rare vintage film clips into a cohesive narrative. Covering the years 1900 to 1950, the film's highlights includes the inauguration of President McKinley, the funeral of Queen Victoria, Teddy Roosevelt's presidential campaign, and thrilling combat footage culled from both World Wars. The rest of the film is comprised of the famous, the infamous, and disasters both natural and man-made. The various sequences are narrated by radio favorites Arthur Godfrey, Quentin Reynolds, H. V. Kaltenborn, Clem McCarthy, Andre Baruch, Norman Brokenshire, Milton Cross, Dwight Weist and Dan Donaldson. While 50 Years Before Your Eyes was a success, Robert Youngson was dissatisfied, feeling that he hadn't maintained complete control over the project. He was far prouder of his much-later silent-movie compilations Golden Age of Comedy, When Comedy Was King and Laurel & Hardy's Laughing 20s.