Old tourism films are really a step into an alternate universe.
They portray the world that the marketers wanted you to believe as truth, and while the real thing was probably fairly close – let’s face it – marketing has a tendency to stretch the facts. Such is the case, I’m sure, with this promotional film done in 1970 for Miami Beach, Florida: Color Me Fun – “One place where colors and people best come together.” Film work includes ample use of hand-held cameras, unique camera angles, and plenty of ornate pseudo-classic fixtures backed by fuzzy wallpaper inlaid with gold. In short, the Tourist Development Authority of Miami Beach wanted you to imagine being part of a Chick-filled, Chivas-fueled weekend with Tiger Tom.
Today, the city’s official Visitor Page is much more subdued and – honestly – not quite as interesting.
One Island Has It All!
Color Me Fun is narrated by three young models with different viewpoints – in voices that are obviously dubbed. In common late 60s form, each of them is known only by their “color” instead of by their name (which is provided in the ending credits):
“I’m Red. I love.”
Model Julia Hayes is the passionate one who finds enjoyment in the surroundings and nightlife.
“I’m Yellow. I groove.”
Model Diane Squires is the everyday traveler on a budget. While the others indulge their appetites on fancy fare, Yellow chews on pizza and sandwiches.
Model Joan Murphy is the one who lives high and travels far. She calls the mansions in town “cottages,” speaks with an unidentifiable accent, and uses words like “Divertisment” in place of “Entertainment.”
The Color Girls navigate us through the streets and buildings of Miami Beach, sharing food, entertainment, sports, recreation; this shining beacon of marketing flash is touched by the Florida sun and punctuated by an upbeat groovy soundtrack which includes Keith Mansfield’s Funky Fanfare, an instrumental that is also used as the theme song for Animal Planet’s Pit Boss. Manfield’s Gold Medal was also used. The dialogue is peppered with Sixtyisms that describe things as “where it’s at,” “groovy,” “far out,” and “now.”
Gotta admit that it beats “ginormous” or “epic.”
Blue starts the show, pulling up to the attended parking at a swanky restaurant, and promptly visiting the kitchen to show wear all the magic is done. “Most people – whereEVER they live – are content with…Hamburger, she proclaims with smug physical punctuation. “But,” Blue continues, “when they come to Miami Beach everything changes.” Yellow orders a corned beef sandwich, happy with the notion that she orders and it arrives.
“Imagine what kind of service I’d get if I knew someone!”
Meanwhile Red is at the oldest restaurant in Miami Beach eating Stone Crab – “Cold…or in Hot. Melted. Butter,” she proclaims with a half smile.
“It may not be elegant, but it’s out of sight.”
I’ve collected some screen shots from the film and posted them in this blog. Each one tells a story stuck in time.
“We’ll shoot into the sun and have the family run past us to the shore. That technique is so new and now that people will think that Miami Beach is the grooviest place on earth! Right?”
Have no idea what they just put on the table, but I suspect that won’t matter if enough Chianti is consumed.
Where colors and people blur into a cool-hued homage to Vegas…
Yellow: “Groovy place…groovy people too.”
Cruising Highway 1A northbound.
Looking north along the Atlantic Ocean. Scenery has changed a bit in last 40+ years.
Blue: “Next year’s fashions come here first.”
Red cheers on the ponies. “Go Number Two!”
Blue: “You know I’ve been everywhere. The In Islands, the Out Islands. Anywhere that counts.”
Yellow: “If I can catch fish here, anyone can!”
What visit to Southern Florida would be complete without a rocket? This one was put into space with less computer processing power than my Smart Phone…
Red: “Miami Beach is Today, and so is the State of Florida.”
Below is a Youtube excerpt from the 13-minute film, which is also available in full HERE. It may not have been a real depiction of Miami Beach, but it sure was real entertaining. Enjoy!