The Du Pont Story (1951)

72 or 88 mins | Drama | 1951

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HISTORY

The closing credits end with the the Du Pont corporation's famous motto: "Du Pont, Better things for better living...through chemistry." Although the copyright file lists the film's running time as 88 minutes, the print viewed was 72 minutes long, the same time listed in the Exh review. Records of the NYSA list the film's running time as 40 minutes when it was submitted for review in New York state. The Du Pont Story was sponsored by the Du Pont corporation to document the history of the organization. Throughout, the film maintains a tone of great admiration for each leader and product of the company. The picture may not have been released theatrically, but was shown at various non-theatrical venues across the country. According to a Jan-Feb 1951 Du Pont employee magazine, the film had its premiere in the spring of 1951 at company plants and sales offices. The article also states that many scenes were shot on location at various ... More Less

The closing credits end with the the Du Pont corporation's famous motto: "Du Pont, Better things for better living...through chemistry." Although the copyright file lists the film's running time as 88 minutes, the print viewed was 72 minutes long, the same time listed in the Exh review. Records of the NYSA list the film's running time as 40 minutes when it was submitted for review in New York state. The Du Pont Story was sponsored by the Du Pont corporation to document the history of the organization. Throughout, the film maintains a tone of great admiration for each leader and product of the company. The picture may not have been released theatrically, but was shown at various non-theatrical venues across the country. According to a Jan-Feb 1951 Du Pont employee magazine, the film had its premiere in the spring of 1951 at company plants and sales offices. The article also states that many scenes were shot on location at various plants. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
International Photographer
Aug 51
p. 21.
The Exhibitor
16 Jul 52
p. 3332.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Interior dec
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Release Date:
1951
Production Date:
1950
Copyright Claimant:
Apex Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 December 1950
Copyright Number:
LP1061
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
72 or 88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In Wilmington, Delaware, workers stream into the headquarters of chemical company V. I. Du Pont and Amours & Co. Across the nation, eighty-five thousand employees make up the Du Pont corporation, creating cellophane, dyes, polyester, sulpher and much more, and the company's executive committee is influenced by the guidelines set by past leaders: In 1800, French immigrant Eleuthère Irénée du Pont grows frustrated by his misfiring musket and is urged by a close friend to return to his former specialty, gunpowder production. Although his wife Sophie is at first disappointed that he is going to work at this dangerous task, she remains supportive. Soon, du Pont brings his plans for large mills to President Thomas Jefferson, who applauds the entrepeneur's attempt to help make America less dependent on British imports. Over the next years, du Pont spends all his time developing and running a superior mill with rigid safety rules. Stockholders are at first disappointed that all the returns go back into the booming business, but the company continues to grow along with the nation. By 1818, du Pont has ten mills, and when an explosion occurs at one, he arranges for the care of the families of the men killed in the blast. Although the country is in a depression, the bank continues to back the proven success, and the name of du Pont grows more famous. In 1834, a weary du Pont dies and is replaced by his son Alfred, who continues his father's mission to make products that are better and cheaper. Alfred oversees the company as pioneers use du Pont gunpowder to help settle the West. Years later, his younger brother Henry takes over, and ... +


In Wilmington, Delaware, workers stream into the headquarters of chemical company V. I. Du Pont and Amours & Co. Across the nation, eighty-five thousand employees make up the Du Pont corporation, creating cellophane, dyes, polyester, sulpher and much more, and the company's executive committee is influenced by the guidelines set by past leaders: In 1800, French immigrant Eleuthère Irénée du Pont grows frustrated by his misfiring musket and is urged by a close friend to return to his former specialty, gunpowder production. Although his wife Sophie is at first disappointed that he is going to work at this dangerous task, she remains supportive. Soon, du Pont brings his plans for large mills to President Thomas Jefferson, who applauds the entrepeneur's attempt to help make America less dependent on British imports. Over the next years, du Pont spends all his time developing and running a superior mill with rigid safety rules. Stockholders are at first disappointed that all the returns go back into the booming business, but the company continues to grow along with the nation. By 1818, du Pont has ten mills, and when an explosion occurs at one, he arranges for the care of the families of the men killed in the blast. Although the country is in a depression, the bank continues to back the proven success, and the name of du Pont grows more famous. In 1834, a weary du Pont dies and is replaced by his son Alfred, who continues his father's mission to make products that are better and cheaper. Alfred oversees the company as pioneers use du Pont gunpowder to help settle the West. Years later, his younger brother Henry takes over, and is dubbed "Mr. Henry the General" for his precise, detail-oriented leadership style. Working alongside him is his nephew Lammot, a forward-thinking chemist who, despite Henry's disinterest, continues to develop a formula for dynamite. By the time the Civil War has ended, even Henry recognizes the need for dynamite, and the resulting product feeds American industries such as railroads and various mines. After Henry dies, son Eugene takes the helm, but when he is too busy to train younger relatives to run the company, they leave for other jobs. Eugene dies in 1900 without an heir, and the employees worry that the company will have to be sold. Instead, Alfred brings in cousins Coleman and Pierre, and the three divide the company responsibilities among them. Production continues to increase and prices to fall. Pierre champions the production of cellulose-based plastics and expands their laboratories. By World War I, Pierre wants to focus on better dyes, and finally convinces the executive committee to turn some funds away from explosives and into research. Irénée inherits the company years later and with it, the problem of the still-unperfected dyes. For years, the company pours millions of dollars into research, finally producing great dyes. Irénée proposes a diversified structure which breaks the company down into many departments, each with its own leader. Over the next decades, the labs create automobile paints, lacquer and cellophane, generating thousands of jobs. Six years or research lead to the discovery of plastic threads used to make the first polyester fabric, and then nylon. In 1941, Walter S. Carpenter, the first non-family member to head the corporation, turns all production to the war effort, and after the war research continues, regardless of the risk to the company. The mills still stand, as proof that one man's dream can come true with the help of thousands of good people. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.