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Featured on:Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 1
A Date with Your Family is a 1950 10-minute social engineering short film presented by Simmel-Meservey, directed by Edward G. Simmel, and written by Arthur V. Jones to primarily show youth how to act and behave with parents during dinner to have a pleasant time. The subject family consists of a father, mother and their offspring, the sister, older brother and the younger junior. The narrator tells what happens with the family; what should happen during the meal, what types of manners and socializing should be exhibited to not sour the time with your family and what should not happen. There are many stereotypical views of each person to coincide with the preferred image of a nuclear family in the post-war era of the 1950s.
The film starts with the father coming home from work in the afternoon and is met with his wife. The older brother is completing his homework while junior comes home dirty from baseball and is helped to clean up by the older brother. Then the older brother meets father to have a pleasant chat. The narrator points out that it is not the time for the son to bring up any bad news such as poor grades. Mother and sister wear their best dresses to the table to please
a digital documentary film investigating ev01ving relationships between Internet & humanity's [sub | un] consciousness, created via webcam interviews as a mash-up of internet meta-memes and phenomenon, served and presented as edutainment new media.
(Note: When viewing the list below of 30+ interviewed visionaries, some of the profile photos are missing. This is because freebase automatically pulls data from wikipedia.org)
Company:Puerto Rico Economic Development Administration
Progress Island U.S.A. is a 1973 short subject film made by the Economic Development Administration of Puerto Rico to promote the burgeoning U.S. Commonwealth.
The film, produced by Fucci/Stone Productions, Inc in 1973, presents a description of Puerto Rico of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It shows some of what the island had to offer at that time. The commercial short, which is only 13 minutes long, explains that Puerto Rico is "American in every respect" except for its "360 days of sunshine," due to the results of Operation Bootstrap.
The short appeared in Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 621, as support for the main feature, The Beast of Yucca Flats.
The Story of Menstruation is a 1946 10-minute American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It was commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company (now Kimberly-Clark) and was shown in a non-theatrical release to approximately 105 million American students in health education classes.
It was part of a 1945 to 1951 series of films that Disney produced for American schools. Gynecologist Mason Hohn was hired as a consultant to ensure that the film was scientifically accurate. Hohn was hired to increase the likelihood that school doctors and nurses would allow the film to be shown. Hohn's involvement led to a stronger emphasis on biology than other marketing by ICCC. The Story of Menstruation increased its reputation when it received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
It was one of the first commercially sponsored films to be distributed to high schools. It was distributed with a booklet for teachers and students called Very Personally Yours that featured advertising of the Kotex brand of products, and discouraged the use of tampons, where the market was dominated by the Tampax brand of rivals Procter & Gamble.
The film uses animated diagrams to detail the
Master Hands is a 1936 sponsored documentary film short which shows what work is like in a Chevrolet automobile factory. Credits include original music by Samuel Benavie, cinematography by Gordon Avil, and film editing by Vincent Herman.
It was produced by the Jam Handy Organization, a pioneer in industrial film production. In 1999, Master Hands was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Master Hands at the Internet Archive
Design for Dreaming (1956) is a musical sponsored film about a woman (played by dancer and choreographer Tad Tadlock; real name "Thelma Tadlock") who dreams about a masked man (dancer and choreographer Marc Breaux) taking her to the 1956 General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Frigidaire's "Kitchen of the Future." The entirety of the dialogue is sung, though the actors do not move their lips to their characters' prerecorded voices.
The film starts off with her in her bedroom, with the masked man suddenly appearing. He then takes her to the Motorama. After looking at several cars including Buick, Chevrolet Corvette, Oldsmobile, and Cadillacs, she is taken to the "kitchen of the future," where she bakes a cake. She then goes back to the motorama and dances the "dance of tomorrow." After looking at more cars, she and her masked man (who unmasks himself) travel on the "road of tomorrow" in the "Firebird 2" and fall in love.
The film was directed by William Beaudine.
Design for Dreaming has gained a small cult following, with some enjoying it for its perceived camp value, and others enjoying it for nostalgic reasons. One prominent showing of the film was as a short
The Selling Wizard is a 1954 commercial short film presented by Anheuser-Busch that runs for 10 minutes to showcase large modern freezers that make it easier for grocers to sell their goods and make higher profits. It is aimed at businesses that require display freezers for their products. The narrator makes points of the promoted freezer cabinet to utilize efficient design in space saving, modernized refrigeration methods, and attractive presentation of products stored in the freezer. The title comes from a spokeswoman next to the freezer who is dressed as a wizard with a wand and in revealing clothes who does not talk but motions with the narration.
This was satirized on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as a short paired with the movie The Dead Talk Back.
Mr. B Natural is a short sponsored film produced in 1956 by Kling Film Productions for the C.G. Conn Company, directed by Phil Patton. It is also the name of film's main character, played by Betty Luster.
The short was intended to be shown in classrooms and school assemblies to advertise Conn's line of musical instruments for American school bands. It fell into obscurity until it was satirized in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that first aired on November 30, 1991, after which it was celebrated as a prime example of period kitsch.
Mr. B Natural is an androgynous figure, a "hep pixie" who is meant to embody the "spirit of fun in music". In this capacity, the character inspires children to take up band instruments. The name is a pun on the musical notation B♮ (B natural), as the character explains: "that's what your feelings of music are, as natural as you can be."
The character also acts as a kind of nascent brand mascot for C.G. Conn musical instruments, though Mr. B Natural made no appearances for the company beyond the one film.
Conn provided details about the film in the Spring 1957 issue of their magazine, The Baton, distributed to public school music teachers: "Mr.
Featured on:Mystery Science Theater 3000: Shorts Volume 1
The Chicken of Tomorrow is a 1948 documentary short film about advances in chicken and egg farming. This mini-documentary was narrated by Lowell Thomas and is in the public domain.
The film was mocked in a seventh-season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The Chicken of Tomorrow deals with poultry farming and egg farming in the mid 1940s. Filmed to educate the public about how poultry and eggs are farmed, it also deals with how advances in genetic engineering and technology produces a larger chicken. Eggs are farmed and kept in industrial incubators, and an equal number of chickens are used for meat and other products. Altogether, this produces more food for less money, and allows people to support local poultry farms without breaking the bank. This is relatively similar to today's poultry farming despite there now being technological differences.
Red Nightmare is the best known title of Armed Forces Information Film (AFIF) 120, Freedom and You. It was meant to educate the U.S. armed forces about the nature of Communism. The film was later released to American television and as an educational film to American schools under the Red Nightmare title.
The film is a Cold War-era drama short subject starring Jack Kelly and Jeanne Cooper. Red Nightmare was directed by George Waggner (The Wolf Man) and narrated by Jack Webb. Though made for the Department of Defense, it was shown on American television on Jack Webb's GE True in 1962.
A man takes his American freedoms for granted, until he wakes up one morning to find out that the United States Government has been replaced with a Communist system. The basis for this short film, narrated by Jack Webb, is the alleged Soviet re-creation of US communities for the purpose of training infiltrators, spies, and moles.
The film begins in what looks like a typical American town. The camera moves back to reveal barbed wire, barricades, and soldiers in Soviet Army uniforms. Narrator Jack Webb informs us that there are several places behind the Iron Curtain used for training Soviet espionage and
Age 13 is an educational film by Sid Davis released in 1955. It is property of the public domain. The film centers around Andrew, a thirteen-year-old boy stricken with grief over the recent death of his mother. On the day of her death her radio stops working, and Andrew believes that if he can repair it his mother will return. He is left with a cold, emotionally distant stepfather. He is also teased relentlessly in school, which leads him to bring a gun with him. During an altercation with another student in a physical education class, he fires the gun, injuring no one. Following the incident he receives counseling, is administered a Rorschach inkblot test and is encouraged to open up emotionally. However, his stepfather becomes increasingly brutal. Andrew commits a virtual murder by destroying a photograph of his stepfather, whom he blames for his mother's death; afraid his feelings will lead him to actual homicide, he runs away. By film's end he has recovered, and is adopted by his aunt and her husband.
Musician Kevin Moore selected this film as inspiration for the Chroma Key album Graveyard Mountain Home. The film is included on DVD in a special edition of the album, playing at
Always Tomorrow: The Portrait of an American Business is a 1941 American promotional film dramatizing the history of the Coca-Cola company.
The film opens with Jim Westlake (John Archer) reflecting on the newspaper headlines about World War II, emphasizing a sense of uncertainty about the future. "Men's souls wrestle with the thought of tomorrow, and today is the eve of tomorrow." he says. His employee Larry Larabee (Johnny Arthur) is worried about the future of their company, but Westlake attempts to placate him by reminding him that the company has survived World War I and the lean years of the Great Depression.
Westlake narrates how he became a Coca-Cola bottler and has recently opened a new bottling plant in his town. The scene shifts back several years to the planning stages of the new factory, and Larabee worries about the risk of building a new plant during the Depression. "Right now isn't the time to go sinking a lot of money—" he begins, before a co-worker interrupts him: "Right now isn't what we're building for. It's the future". "You talk just like Jim Westlake," Larabee responds, "All he thinks about is tomorrow. Always tomorrow."
More scenes from the history of the
Peg-Leg Pedro is a 1938 Technicolor cartoon sponsored film. A boy and girl on a trip are attacked by pirates while looking for treasure. It features the character Nicky Nome. It's actually an advertisement for Chevrolet. It is a spin-off of A Coach for Cinderella/A Ride for Cinderella. It is in the Public Domain.
Destination Earth is a 1956 promotional cartoon created by John Sutherland. The 14 minute short explains the fundamentals of the petroleum industry and how petroleum products enrich everyday life in the United States of America, as well as the benefits of a free market economy.
Destination Earth begins with the emperor Ogg (reminiscent of Stalin) sending a bumbling subordinate Martian on a mission to Earth to find a better power source for his royal limousine. The Martian sets off and lands in the United States. He ventures into a nearby city and becomes awestruck when he sees average citizens with "powerful and reliable automobiles" that make their daily lives easier. The Martian then enters a library and researches the "secrets" the remarkable power source. The Martian triumphantly returns to Mars with stolen library books on the oil industry. After reading from them the population of Mars deserts Ogg and sets up their own oil companies. The short ends with the slogan "destination unlimited" written across the screen.
"Brink of Disaster!" is a 1972 American film directed by John Florea.
A student is holed up in the library while a riot rages outside. Are SDS protesters heading his way to burn the library down? Can he fend them off with his baseball bat? This film opens with actual footage of civil disturbances in the 1960s, and moves on to images of historical American figures.
Lonely Water (widely known as The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water) is a 1973 British Public Information short film made for the Central Office of Information. The film aimed to warn children of the dangers of careless or foolhardy behaviour in the vicinity of water, and was shown regularly on TV for several years during breaks in children's programming. Lonely Water is widely recalled as one of the most memorable and chilling of PIFs. In a poll carried out by the BBC on the 60th anniversary of the COI in 2006, Lonely Water was chosen as the UK's fourth-favourite PIF of all time and the highest ranked one-off production. Dozens of comments attested to the film's power and lasting impact on 1970s children.
Lonely Water was produced by Illustra Films and directed by Jeff Grant, having been commissioned by the COI as a result of official concern over the high number of child fatalities in drowning accidents in the UK. Other PIFs of the early 1970s to tackle the subject of water safety included an instalment of the Charley Says series and Learn to Swim featuring Rolf Harris, which were targeted at younger children and parents respectively. Lonely Water however was aimed squarely at the
Boys Beware is a drama short propaganda film released through Sid Davis Productions. It deals with a perceived danger to young boys: that of predatory homosexuals. The film was released in 1961 and, under the copyright laws in the United States at the time of its release, has lapsed into the public domain and is available from the Rick Prelinger archives.
The film, shot entirely in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California and produced with the cooperation of the city's police department and the Inglewood Unified School District, is narrated by a self-described police detective who is on his way to a school meeting where he is to discuss the issue of hidden sexual predators attempting to lure young adolescent males.
Aside from the film's early 1960s culturally influenced conclusion that homosexual men are inherently dangerous to young boys, the film has been noted for its unusual perception of police procedure: one boy is taken to a hotel, presumably to be molested, and later reports the crime. The perpetrator is arrested; the victim is put on probation. This could be seen as an instance of victim blaming.
Another incautious, unsuspecting boy is killed one night, "having
Hired! is a 1940 short film that was made by the Jam Handy production house for Chevrolet as a training film for sales managers. It was shown in two parts during Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes #423 (Bride of the Monster) and #424 (Manos: The Hands of Fate).
In the movie, Mr. Warren—a sales manager at a Chevrolet automobile dealership-is talking to his father about the men he hired. He complains that Jimmy and Henderson are not working out very well as salesmen. Warren's father tells him that he didn't do much better in the beginning when Harry hired him—that he made all kinds of mistakes. Warren remembers how closely Harry worked with him, and stressed to him the importance of prospects. His father asks if he has done that for the men working for him. Warren responds that he was too busy, and his father tells him that Harry wasn't too busy to help him out at first. Warren thought that Harry helped him because of Harry's friendship with his father, but his father says that Harry helped everyone who came to work for him.
Warren's father swats at insects while talking to his son, but these insects are not visible to the viewer. The father responds to the insect attack by taking
A Ride for Cinderella is a 1937 Technicolor cartoon sponsored film, and is a sequel to A Coach for Cinderella. The storyline is simple: Cinderella meets her young prince, but has to leave him when the clock turns to midnight. Meanwhile, the head dwarf has to stop the wicked witch, hired by the evil stepsisters, ruining Cinderella's chance of getting married to the prince. The cartoon is actually an advertisement for Chevrolet, and it's a Chevrolet that helps Cinderella get her prince. The cartoon was made the Jam Handy Organization, famous for their advertising films. It is in the Public Domain.
The House I Live In (1945) is a ten-minute short film written by Albert Maltz, produced by Frank Ross and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Frank Sinatra. Made to oppose anti-Semitism and racial prejudice at the end of World War II, it received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.
In 2007, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Sinatra, apparently playing himself, takes a "smoke" break from a recording session. He sees more than 10 boys chasing one boy and intervenes, first with dialogue; then with a little speech (including some guided imagery). His main points are that we are "all" Americans and that just one American's blood is as good as another, all our religions are equally to be respected.
In the film, Sinatra sings the title song, and his recording became a national hit. The lyrics were written in 1943 by Abel Meeropol under the pen name Lewis Allen. (Meeropol later adopted Michael and Robert, the two orphaned sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after the 1953 execution of the couple.)
Meeropol was enraged that in
Featured on:Classroom Scare Films Vol. 4: Manners, Health & Safety
Dating Dos and Don'ts is a 1949 instructional film designed for American high schools, to teach adolescents basic dating skills, produced by Coronet Instructional Films and directed by Gilbert Altschul with the assistance of Reuben Hill, Research Professor of Family Life at the University of North Carolina. In this film, the boy is the sole initiator of any contact with the girl, and all arrangements are made under the warm supervision of the family, particularly a matriarchal housewife for a mother.
The film follows a young adolescent boy, Woody, who receives tickets for "one couple" to the Hi Teen Carnival. At different stages in the film, it offers options on how Woody might respond to various situations:
The film then shows three options, for each opportunity, ending with what it deems the most successful. This allows the filmmakers to create an idealized scenario for a perfect first date. Woody is cautioned not to ask a girl out based on her looks as she could be aloof or boring. Instead he should ask a girl who is "fun." He is similarly told to be straightforward and not to insist that his potential date give up some other activity for him. Finally, the film depicts the
Sex Hygiene is a 1942 documentary film directed by John Ford and Otto Brower. It belonged to the instructional social guidance film genre, which offered adolescent and adult behavioural advice, medical information and moral exhortations.
Several servicemen relax by playing pool at their base. One later visits a sex worker and contracts syphilis. As a result of his unfortunate experience, there is an opportunity for sexual health information about syphilis, how it is spread and how its spread can be prevented.
One Got Fat is a 1963 bicycle safety film. It is narrated by F-Troop and Fractured Fairy Tales star, Edward Everett Horton.
In the film, ten friends who are children with monkey faces and tails, plan on going to the park for a picnic. They all ride there on their bikes, but each one meets a different fate on their way to the park as a result of their failure to follow specific bike safety rules (like not making hand signals, not reading traffic signs, not riding with traffic, riding double, or riding on the sidewalk). One by one, each of the friends makes a mistake and suffers a horrible fate. In the end only one of the friends (who not only followed all the bike safety rules, but is also a normal human, whose face is not shown until the very end) makes it to the park and eats all the food by himself. At the start of the PSA 'Slim' gave the human his picnic as it was large and the human had a rear basket. Seeing this, the others persuaded him to take their food, meaning he has it at the end. Thus, as the title says, "One got fat!" Three of the Monkeys are seen in hospital beds.
The characters and how they met their demise.
After experiencing a mild revival of popularity on the
Duck and Cover is a civil defense film (sometimes also characterized as a social guidance film or propaganda) produced in 1951 (but first shown publicly in January 1952) by the United States federal government's civil defense branch shortly after the Soviet Union began nuclear testing. Written by Raymond J. Mauer and directed by Anthony Rizzo of Archer Productions and made with the help of schoolchildren from New York City and Astoria, New York, it was shown in schools as the cornerstone of the government's "duck and cover" public awareness campaign. The movie states that nuclear war could happen at any time without warning, and U.S. citizens should keep this constantly in mind and be ever ready.
The US government contracted with Archer to produce Duck and Cover. The film is now in the public domain, and as such is widely available through Internet download sources, as well as on DVD.
The film starts with an animated sequence, showing an anthropomorphic turtle walking down a road, while picking up a flower and smelling it. A chorus sings the Duck and Cover theme:
There was a turtle by the name of Bert
and Bert the turtle was very alert;
when danger threatened him he never got