Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Linda's Film on Menstruation (1974)

Presents the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who experiences her menstrual period, describing the reaction of the girl and her sixteen-year-old boyfriend as they learn more about the subject of menstruation.

Producer: Linda Feferman

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

They Do Come Back (1940) - Tuberculosis Kiss

This film courtesy of The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
DIRECTOR: Edgar Ulmer. SPONSOR: National Tuberculosis Association. PRODUCTION: DeFernes Studios. CAMERA: Joseph Noble. EDITOR: Hans Mandl. NARRATOR: Alois Havrilla. CAST: Wilma Caspar, Edward Mulhern. NARA ARC Identifier: 98572

Aimed at spreading the word to young, working or college age white Americans, the film takes place in “EVERY TOWN USA” (which actually turns out to be Philadelphia, where the film was shot). Following the relationship of Roy and Julie, romance, here in the form of a kiss, leads to disaster. Roy coughs up blood! As the title suggests, however, there is redemption. Our characters do come back. Frantically narrated by radio personality Alois Havrilla, there is a sense of urgency to Julie and Roy’s predicament, but an equal sense that their acceptance of science and medicine is predicated on the NTA’s widespread media campaign. Directed by Edgar Ulmer.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The "Full and Complete" Story of Meat - This Is Life (1950)

"Full and complete" story of meat from the ranches and farms of America to the dinner table. Talks about how protein from meat is important to human body. Also about the entire meat process - from livestock ranchers to transportation to stockyards to meatpacking to your grocery store. Missing the slaughterhouse though. Then we see a butcher explaining about how to get four meals out of one shank of ham.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Each Child Is Different (1954)

This film was made for teachers as a reminder that learning disabilities and less-than-ideal home environments can affect students' performance and behavior. While this film was supposed to foster compassion for these children, some scenarios are so troubling and overdramatic that they could invoke a teacher's pity, thus allowing troubled students to pass onto the next grade without learning anything.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Talking Car, The (1969)

This remake of a 1953 film attempts to teach youngsters to see and be seen before crossing the street. The kid, played by Brian Forster, starred on Partridge Family a year later.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Like Bikes... (1978)

This quirky film educates young drivers to try to share the road with bicyclists. We follow the growth of Lisa from a pig-tailed bicyclist to a teen driver who now must tolerate unpredictable bike-riders. GM likes bikes too!

It's narrated by Jim Stringer - who did much of the music for Centron Films in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Your Junior High Days (1963)

This film prepares elementary school kids for the harsh lessons of junior high: You will no longer be the smartest or best athlete. Your carefree days of the teacher holding your hand are over. Your friends will leave you to befriend more interesting kids. You can be an individual by following the interests and clothing styles of the popular people. And finally, you are responsible for remembering your own gym locker combination.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Darryl F. Zanuck on Syphilis - Know For Sure (1941)

A Hollywood-produced melodramatic short that deals with prophylaxis, diagnosis and clinical treatment of syphilis. Discusses follow-up treatment, sources of infection and community control.

Unfortunately, this is edited version which is missing the graphic syphilis sores on male genetalia and the demonstrations on how to use condoms. (I say "unfortunately" because those scenes give the film a different tone than the milder version you'll see here. Still looking for a full copy of original version.)

Director: Lewis Milestone
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck
Production Company: Research Council of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Sponsor: United States Public Health Service

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joy Ride - an Auto Theft (1976)

This cautionary tale was aimed towards young, thrill-seeking teens. The exciting car chase at the end of the film may have glamorized joy-riding to students more than actually demonize it. If nothing else, the film reveals the primary perpetrator of auto thefts - bored, horny boys.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beginning Responsibility: Lunchroom Manners (1959)

The rude, clumsy puppet Mr. Bungle shows kids how to behave in the school cafeteria - the assumption being that kids actually want to behave during lunch. This film has a cult following since it appeared on a Pee Wee Herman HBO special.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

VD is for Everybody (1969)

The American Social Health Association was always experimenting with new ways to educate the public about venereal disease. They helped produce the first VD education film, "Fit to Fight", in 1918 in order to educate soldiers being shipped abroad to fight in the first World War. Although this popular TV public service announcement informs the public that everybody is susceptible to venereal disease, strangely, it also seems to imply that having VD will make you successful, attractive and happy. Also, the song is quite infectious...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hedy Lamarr in Dishonored Lady (1947)

Madeleine Damien is the fashion editor of a slick Manhattan magazine by day and a lively party girl by night. Unfortunately, the pressures of her job, including kowtowing to a hefty advertiser, and her bad luck with men are driving her to a breakdown. She seeks the help of a psychiatrist, and under his orders, quits her job and moves into a smaller flat under a new identity. She becomes interested in painting and a handsome neighbor. He soon finds out about her past when an ex-suitor implicates her in a murder. (Written by Daniel Bubbeo on imdb.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sex Madness (1938)

This is a typical sex exploitation film from the early 1930s - complete with wild parties, sex out of wedlock, lesbianism, etc. A chorus girl's exposure to the "casting couch" also exposes her to syphilis.

Exploitation filmmakers hoped to capitalize on the taboo subjects of venereal disease, sex before marriage, lesbianism, etc. while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 which forbade a film from containing such content. Films like this would tour the United States for years - mostly being shown in rundown, skid row theaters. This film has been re-edited and re-titled ("Human Wreckage", "They Must Be Told", "Trial Marriage", "About Trial Marriage") many times to attract the same audience to film, to take advantage of a taboo subject which may have gotten press recently or to appease local censors who disapproved of the film's content.

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

Also, if you are interested in the rich, uniquely American history of exploitation films, there are two excellent books on the subject:

"Forbidden Fruit - The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film", Felicia Feaster and Bret Wood, Midnight Marquee Press, 1999.

"Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919 - 1959" Eric Schaefer, Duke University Press, 1999

Director: William Curran
Production Company: Cinema Service Corp.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

40,000 March In Gala Parade On St. Patrick's Day (1936)

(1) "New York City: Forty thousand sons and daughters of Erin march up Fifth Avenue in a stirring revival of the annual St. patrick's Day parade. Half a million Gothamites watch the tremendous spectacle from packed curbstones and vantage points in high buildings." (2) Jafsie Back Home For Quiz "New York City: Dr. Condon, famous Lindbergh case witness, returns from a sudden Central American vacation to face further questioning, by Governor Hoffman, in the Executive's struggle to sift Hauptmann's actual part in the horrible crime." (3) "Boy Finds Piece of Meteor that Startled New York, at Malaga, NJ" (4) "Hibbing, Minnesota: "Pupils Gor to School in Glass House (5) "Il Duce Puts Italian Children through Vivid Gas-Attack Drill, at Turin, Italy (6) "Ice James Threaten Country Towns and Bangor, Maine" (7) "'Iron-Headed man' makes Little Impression on New Safety Glass tested in New York City (8) "Air-Line Hostesses Pass Rigid Tests at San Francisco, California (9) "Champion Trotting Horses Limber Up for New Season at Seminole park, Florida (10) "Fantastic Wrestling Bout Rouses Fans at Seattle, Washington (11) "Terrific Floods Sweep Citis In Western Penna. (Special Release: To be Shipped Separately) Pittsburgh PA: Rapidly-rising water covers fifty blocks in the heart of the city, causing damages mounting to $10,000,000 as the menace of inundation hits a wide area. Communication lines broken, isolating Lewiston and Johnstown where a repetition of the horrible disaster of 1889 becomes a terrifying possibility to 66,000 residents. Scenes of horror multiply as swirling water crushes all barriers, leaving untold thousands homeless or unable to resume their jobs." (complete newsreel)

The Real Saint Patrick - Stickfighting with a Leprechaun

SEE! Saint Patrick stickfighting with a leprechaun! HEAR! Saint Patrick talk about peace! FEEL! The history of Ireland in the popular .mpg format!

Producer: The Duffy Brothers feat. Mike Benedetti

St. Patrick's Day Nutty Irishman - Art of the Drink 53

Anthony and Stephanie show you how to make a Nutty Irishman for your St. Patrick's Day celebration!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Danger To Dignity: The Fight For Safe Abortion (1995)

After more than a century of back-alley tragedies, a national movement to decriminalize abortion took root. FROM DANGER to DIGNITY combines rare archival footage with present-day interviews to weave together two parallel stories: the evolution of underground networks to help women find safe abortions outside the law and the intensive efforts of activists and legislators who broke the silence and changed the laws.

When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories (1992)

This Academy Award-nominated film features compelling first person accounts which reveal the physical, legal, and emotional consequences during the era when abortion was a criminal act. Remembrances include those of women who experienced illegal abortions, doctors who risked imprisonment and loss of their licenses for providing illegal abortions, and individuals who broke the law by helping women find safe abortions.