Created in 1953, “The American Road” is an epic documentary that tells both the history of the automobile in America and the story of the Ford Motor Company. Drawing on the Company’s vast archive of films — Henry Ford spent a great deal of time and money having crews film life in everyday America — the movie shows how mass production of the automobile transformed life in America. The film was written by Joseph March, directed by George Stoney, narrated by Raymond Massey and one of the cinematographers is Robert Downey Sr. The film features images of Henry Ford, his wife Clara Ford, son Edsel, Henry Ford II, Benson Ford, Harvey Firestone, Barney Oldfield and others. The movie’s score was by Alex North, the famed composer.

The modern end segment of the film showing highways and the Golden Gate Bridge — which here appears in black and white — was actually updated several times over the life of the film (this one apparently dates to the 1970s). You can see it in color elsewhere on this channel.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit