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Film / Progress Island U.S.A.

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Progress Island, U.S.A. is a 1973 Promotional short that extols the benefits of traveling, living and starting your business in Puerto Rico. Interestingly, the short repeatedly highlights the similarities of Puerto Rico to the rest of the United States. The film was made encouraging businesses to take advantage of Project Bootstrap, and to move the family because, hey!, not only do we have a yearlong warm climate but McDonald's, too!note 

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(And in a mild subversion, Project Bootstrap really did help Puerto Rico modernize and made it one of the wealthiest Caribbean isles.)

Compare with Assignment: Venezuela, another Latin-American travelogue short, this time about Venezuela (as the title implies).

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.


Progress Island, U.S.A. contains the following tropes:

  • The '70s: From the fashions to the technology, and not forgetting the score! "With wah-wah pedals playing constantly!"
  • Insistent Terminology: Throughout the short, the narrator refers to Puerto Rico as Progress Island.
  • Fashion Dissonance: Seventies fashions proliferate throughout, naturally; but one tourist mom is wearing what has to be the widest, loudest, plaidest, bell-bottomest trousers in the history of ever. (And she has Hartman Hips too, so you really do get an eyeful.)
  • Zeerust:
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    • Record playersnote  and DEC PDP-11 computers are highlighted as products of Puerto Rico's cutting edge industry.
    • Of note is what is perhaps a sculpture of a transistor outside of DEC's factory.
    • Rum, on the other hand, is timeless. (hiccup)
    • So is sugar. (hyper)

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