21 June 2005

going mental

With my affection for and interest in all things retro, I loved watching one of Ken Smith's compilation of Mental Hygiene films.

Think back to school when we watched earnest, cheesy public service films, imploring us to stay off drugs and drive carefully. Mental hygiene films are along the same lines; created from 1945-1970, the films were designed to shape adolescent behavior.

film clip

Mental hygiene films thrived in a confused and nervous America. [Youths'] rebellious behavior struck fear in the hearts of parents and educators, who foresaw dark futures for teens who broke the rules and refused to fit in with society. To battle this, adults sought help from Ph.D.s and social scientists and embraced a new technology to deliver their guidance: the classroom mental hygiene film.

film clip 2

I was excited to find about The Internet Archive. In its moving image archive, the site boasts over 16,000 files. Best of all is the Prelinger collection and AV Geeks. Both are compilations of vintage emphemera films—educational, PSAs, commercials, many mental hygiene films.

Yesterday I learned about men-strew-ation via the 1953 film Molly Grows Up.

molly grows up clip

Today I watched The Last Prom, which was made in 1980. I actually had to watch a warped video of this anti-drinking and driving film in my driver's ed class!

sandy hits head

You can watch the film through the internet or download it. I'm wondering if I could download a bunch and make a DVD out of them. (Or, rather, ask my roommate to do it for me :)

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