These films are for anyone who loves the great old funny table etiquette, table manners and good manners film that permeated American educational culture following WWII. These fascinating films in this collection aim to teach teens and children proper lessons on table manners. These films are hilarious etiquette training classics, a rare look into the American culture of the past. See how they used to teach teens about proper table manners or revisit the same movies you viewed as a youngster. These films also shows how to set buffet tables, tea tables, and holiday meals. Bad manners will not be tolerated, so bring your proper manners and good social etiquette and watch these great table manners and etiquette movies.
Arranging a Buffet Supper
Length: 6 Minutes
Arranging a Buffet Supper is a straightforward, step by step 1940s film on how a traditional American housewife can prepare a sumptuous meal for a large number of guests. As the film will tell the viewer, hosting a buffet supper for friends is not an easy feat, and a task that requires a great deal of organization. A dinner party begins with the invitation of guests, which can be made by telephone. Then the décor must be considered. A clean linen tablecloth is needed for the table and a small dish of fruit will make a good centerpiece. Some less common sense rules are also revealed. For instance, if candles are not to be the main lighting in the room, they should not be used as a centerpiece. Oozing domesticity and traditional social conformity, every last detail is accounted for with the utmost consideration. The main entrée should be put in a pan and set on the table. The entree should not require the use of a knife since the guest will not be seated at a table. All foods should be informal. Rolls should be buttered in the kitchen before being served, and kept warm under a napkin until guests can eat them. The entire meal should be on the table with the exception of the drinks, which should go on a separate table. The dinner etiquette is strictly defined. Not just a useful manual for hosting a traditional dinner party, Arranging a Buffet Supper is also an absorbing glimpse of 1940s social norms and family social values.
Arranging The Tea Table
Length: 8 Minutes
This film teaches the budding post-war typical American family housewife how to impress her friends and neighbors with the amount of caring and consideration she can display by setting a beautiful tea table with creative tea party ideas. A bombastic male narrator describes and explains while the footage shows an older woman instructing a younger one in the art of how to set a table for a tea part, choosing a tablecloth, arranging a floral centerpiece, acquiring tea party supplies, placing candles and dishes, and arranging tea sandwiches and napkins. A painstaking attention to detail really shines through in this film, which shows many classic pictures of a 1940s formal dining arrangement and rules of etiquette. This cult of domesticity and social conformity is a hallmark of the 1940s.
Length: 10 Minutes
Dining Together, a film about teaching children dinner etiquette, is a powerful example of social conformity and what a traditional American family is supposed to resemble. Gender roles are clearly defined: mom cooks, dad carves. As this typical American family works on dinner table etiquette at Thanksgiving, the children are also indoctrinated into American family traditions as well as social influence and conformity. Family social values are laid down hard with a smile that exemplifies conformity for a Cold War American family.
Length: 16 Minutes
An amusing and antiquated film where socially awkward teenagers is ridiculed, Dinner Party is one of the most hilarious social etiquette films from the 1950s. Never coming close to notions of increased confidence and self esteem, this film likes to guide the understanding of dinner etiquette by criticism and guilt! In learning how to have a dinner party, the kids will be overcoming social anxiety and the bad manners etiquette theyve learned. The psychology of guilt is very closely examined. The biting narrator constantly points out the failings of the party attendees, and the tension brought on by their lack of understanding is pushed to the forefront. A bizarre movie of its kind, Dinner Party is must see vintage entertainment.
Good Table Manners
Length: 10 Minutes
In Good Table Manners, Chuck, an insecure teenager, has social anxiety surrounding parties and other gatherings, resulting in bad manners. What really trips Chuck up is a lack of understanding about conventional 1950s social behavior, especially dinner etiquette at a dinner party! Chuck gets a little help from a very interesting positive role model: himself at age 21! Guided by his older and wiser future self (who has a vested interest in teaching teens good manners), Chuck learns proper dinner etiquette and party etiquette. With renewed confidence and new social skills, Chuck enjoys the party without making a fool of himself. Good Table Manners is a splendid example of social concerns and expectations in 1950s culture. At the heart of the movie is an aversion to socially awkward children and a strong push for parents as role models.
Length: 10 Minutes
Famous etiquette coach Emily Post presents and narrates this film on how to behave properly at a dinner party. The film starts out with Mrs. Post in her garden in Edgartown, Massachusetts, wearing a floral dress, pearls, white gloves, and hat, talking about how most people feel unsure of their table manners at a dinner party. Having touched upon social anxiety, the film then moves quickly into genuine Emily Post etiquette. At a formal dinner party Post instructs diners on how to eat awkward foods like soup (sip straight from the bowl), spaghetti, asparagus, and sticky desserts. These tricky dishes can be quite a challenge to proper dinner etiquette. Post shows the audience which utensils to use for each course, how to deal with unwanted morsels, and how to carve dinner entrees. Some examples of bad manners are also shown in an effort to keep the intended male audience from persisting in any bad habits they might already have. Classic Emily Post quotes punctuate this florid film about dinner party etiquette.