Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bad Dating Films from the Swell Age


The 1940s and 1950s were an odd time in the development of education. Particularly in the development of the very affordable 9mm film projector, meaning that school across the United States could afford to own multiple units. Once this occurred the educational film industry began to boom. Much like the development of computers and most currently smartboards, the use of educational shorts was considered to be the magic wand that would transform education into something easy and affordable. The educational films were often touted at the time to be  the ultimate font of knowledge for students to suckle at.  
Which of course it turned out not to be. Eventually various companies found that they could not compete with topic covering the normal range of academic subjects: Literature, science, mathematics, etc. They decided to branch off into  social guidance areas. This essentially began with Sid Meyer's classic The Dangerous Stranger, a short about being wary of people you don't know. Students at the time took these with the required pound of salt, but administrators thought they sent an "important message" so they kept ordering them.  
Among the topics covered the ones about relationships and dating are the most hysterical. As sex was a taboo subject, the films tended to flit around the subject in a ham-fisted manner, sometimes eliminating it entirely. Often the "bad relationship" or the "wrong girl/boy" are depicted as the ones having the most fun, while the good youths are boring, drab, and ultimately lifeless.  
            Below for your amusement, we have four examples of dating social guidance films. Enjoy and Caveat Emptor. 

                                                Dating Dos and Don't (1949) 

                                              Beginning to Date (1953)

                                            The Prom: It's a Pleasure (1963)


                                           Better Use of Leisure Time (1950)