Measure of a Man
Length: 22 Minutes
Measure of a Man is a cautionary tale that follows three teenage greasers who find themselves in a tempting situation involving alcohol and fast women. The film focuses on a young athlete who lives with his mother, exploring his background and how he has become shaped as a person with certain moral concerns. He and his two friends get a couple of sodas at the Big Boy, then go out cruising for girls (some great 1960s culture on display, complete with greaser clothing and lingo). After rounding up some young ladies and adult beverages (some funny discussion on the types of alcohol), the young man realizes that living the fast life just isnt for him and gets confronted by his friends. Measure of a Man looks at peer pressure and teenage psychology as it was perceived by conservatives in 1962, as well as facts about alcohol.
Length: 27 Minutes
Age 13 is a disturbing and unforgettable film which shows a poor little boy slide into juvenile delinquency after his mother dies. Other themes explored include child abuse, poverty, and bringing weapons to school in the 1950s. The star of the film is the poor little at-risk youth who loses his mother (one of the common causes for juvenile delinquency in child psychology); his performance shines through with a genuine character rarely seen in film. The production, by clever filmmaker Sid Davis, is masterful and includes sweeping cinematography that captures the history of Los Angeles in the 1950s. Age 13 is a gripping tale of anger, frustration, child abuse and neglect, and resolution that documents the evolution of child poverty in America and juvenile delinquency history.
Age of Turmoil
Length: 19 Minutes
This film gives parents a glimpse into the complicated lives of their teenagers. It follows six teenagers as they go through a typical afternoon and evening in their lives. Many different vignettes show interactions between teens, teens and parents, and teens by themselves. Lorne Greene narrates as teens irritate their parents with their erratic behavior, daydream, do their hair, pick on each other, have conversations with each other, and more. Green explains to parents that glandular changes can make teens seem to waste hours of time doing what parents view to be nothing.
Discipline During Adolescence
Length: 17 Minutes
This film, one in the Adolescent Development Series, encourages discussion within the audience instead of merely presenting a set of rules or guidelines. Steve, a teen who brags to his friends that hed just move out if his parents didnt let him do whatever he wanted, begins to neglect his schoolwork, stay out late, and exhibit a bad attitude. His mother talks her husband into letting it slide, hoping that Steve will grow out of it. Instead, Steves behavior gets worse, and Dad steps in with the hard hand of authority. He grounds Steve for a week and cuts off his allowance. Now Steve will miss the school dance and let his girlfriend down. As the camera pans over Steve looking through the want ads in the paper, possibly in advance of moving out, it becomes obvious that neither parents decision had a very good outcome. The audience is then asked, If you were Steves parents, what would you do?
Boy with a Knife
Length: 20 Minutes
Classic actor Chuck Connors stars as a social worker trying to quell the dangerous seething hostility of a group of delinquent boys headed by an upset teenager named Jerry. Jerry lives in an broken home along with his little brother played by the affable Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver (AKA Ken Osmond). Their home life is miserable because of an evil tyrannical stepmother. In order to deal with his feelings of powerlessness, Jerry brandishes a switchblade (switchblade knives are a classic identifier for bad guys in old movies). Connors, a youth social worker, deals directly with juvenile delinquency and broken homes. Since hes been working with at risk youth, Connors is a master of anger management techniques. In the end, Connors prevails and Jerry is transformed into a stable youth, but not before he eviscerates his stepmothers sofa cushions with multiple knife cuts! This is a well acted and fun film that demonstrates youth issues in the 1950s.
Am I Trustworthy?
Length: 11 Minutes
Young Eddie Johnson wants to be treasurer of his club, but he loses the election because he hasnt been trustworthy enough in the past. The narrator and Eddies father soon show him the error of his ways, and he learns that as a trustworthy person he must follow rules, keep promises, fulfill assignments, and return items hes borrowed. Totally converted, Eddie even makes a Trustworthiness Chart to track his progress.
A Chance to Play
Length: 19 Minutes
This 1950 film promotes the idea that public recreation facilities are the answer to juvenile delinquency and other social ills. The film first shows examples of what can happen when children do not have designated play areas. A group of little girls are shown jumping rope in the street, and then the film cuts to people standing around a car accident victim. Young men and boys are shown playing cards, smoking, and being questioned by a policeman. The solution to these problems? Public parks, courts, and pools, lit by floodlights so that they can stay open at night, when most kids get into trouble. There are many great scenes of people taking advantage of such facilities: pools, ice rinks, sledding, bocci ball, tennis, and more.
How to Say No Moral Maturity
Length: 11 Minutes
No. It seems a simple enough word but, how does a person say no without hurting other peoples feelings? No can sometimes alienate you from your friends and lower your social standing so using it diplomatically is a must. Bill, a clean cut, all-American boy, leads us in a group discussion on the topic. Taken through several examples by other teenagers we see how to diplomatically say no to such things as drinking, smoking and petting. If done properly you can maintain your friends and not lose face. The most valuable lesson the kids preach is that saying no diplomatically begins with knowing who you are and setting personal limits. This 1950s film is the epitome of post war moral purity combined with the social conformism of the time. Could you say no?
Where Does It Get You?
Length: 15 Minutes
Where Does it Get You? is a classic educational alcohol video from the 1940s. The effects of alcohol and facts about alcohol are the films subject matter. But what makes the film interesting is the opportunity it affords viewers to see how alcohol and alcohol abuse were perceived and treated in the mid 20th century. Featuring campy dated diagrams and science, the effects of alcohol and alcoholism are teased out by a detailed explanation about how the body receives and processes different blood alcohol levels. Sobriety is encouraged (of course), but the film also stresses that alcohol impairs ones ability to function as a healthy good American citizen. Drinking can be an embarrassment. This film is a fun way to enjoy the history of alcohol consumption and substance abuse in general, as well as American culture.
Understanding Your Ideals
Length: 14 Minutes
Ideals are like headlights, they light the way ahead and without them we are lost. Steve is a teenager who is doing everything in his power to be popular – girlfriend, bow tie, and driving Dad’s car. The night of a big date Dad regales on his promise to let Steve borrow the car because Grandma lands in the hospital. Steve is upset seeing his dreams of popularity being dashed in a single night. When Dad gets home he and Steve have a heart to heart and Steve realizes that family, love, and friendship are things that are important and are attainable through good ideals such as honesty, sincerity, and good sportsmanship.
What about Prejudice
Length: 11 Minutes
Filmed in Lawrence, Kansas, using local actors, What about Prejudice is another in Centron Corporations Discussion Problems in Group Living series which presented difficult social questions for audience discussion. More artful than your average after school special educational video, the main character Bruce Jones is never shown from the waist up in order to keep his race a mystery to the viewer. This allows Bruce to represent all minorities in the United States who suffered from racial, religious, or any other kind of prejudice. As the film follows Bruce throughout his day, it captures what the majority group of kids – a bunch of well-dressed WASPS – think about him. He is suspected of doing everything from causing fights to stealing sweaters (today minorities are still frequently wrongfully accused of a crime), and the kids say things like, I dont know why they let people like him go to our school anyway, and, Hes not like us and he never will be. At the prom, however, the kids get the news that Bruce has pulled two of their compatriots out of a fiery car wreck and gotten himself severely burned. Some of the kids rush to the hospital to support Bruce, ashamed of their past behavior. As they sit in the waiting room, voiceovers capture their thoughts, such as You hear about other peoples prejudice, but you never feel guilty until you realize its you! Youre the one whos prejudiced! At the end, Bruce has won acceptance into the group, but at a terrible cost. What about Prejudice is a precursor to the Civil Rights Movement and a valuable visual discussion about racial discrimination, prejudice stereotypes, and racial tensions.
Are You Popular?
Length: 10 Minutes
Are You Popular? is now considered one of the seminal social guidance films of the post-World War II era of social conformity. It covers sexual mores, appropriate limits of female behavior, cliques, telephone and date etiquette for girls and boys, the workings of the nuclear family, and the importance of good physical hygiene and correct posture. Within the context of white suburban middle class families, social groups, and schools, the film offers a utopian vision of the way many educators, parents, sociologists, and leaders in 1947 thought the world should be. Some of the advice is standard manners and etiquette, but much of it is crude by todays standards. Girls are divided into the broad categories of bad and good or popular. Popular girls are well-groomed, polite, and prompt. These girls belong to the vicious cliques that decide who should be rejected by the herd. Bad girls are those who park in cars with boys, talk and act crudely, and allow scandal to follow them. According to the film, such girls are not popular. It is tempting to believe that what this film offers is a glimpse into the real world of post-war America. What it really shows is the desperate attempt by authority figures to rewrite the rules by which adolescents navigated their social and sexual development in a world that was irrevocably changed by WWII.