There was a time when a production company could make a decent wage making educational filmstrips to be shown in classrooms. That time was mainly the mid-40s to the 1970s, a handful of decades that amount to the golden age of personal hygiene films, also known as social guidance films. During that dark period, where else would the average teenager get information about how to properly groom, or how many boys to date at once, or how to dress exactly like their parents? It’s probably unfair to judge the kids who had to sit through these films when they were new based on their role as the audience, something apparently happened in the 70s where kids became far too cynical and worldly to be subjected to such clumsy and obvious filmmaking. Considering the acting, directing and the challenges the kids in the films are depicted facing, educational films are obviously the direct ancestor of Saved By The Bell. Since I can only assume you’re worldly too, enjoy these three of my favorite social guidance films. There won’t be any quiz afterward, so just relax and make fun of them. (And feel leave your better biting mocks in the comments.)
First up is Are You Popular? A 1947 film that explores the downsides of being an easy girl and takes a much-appreciated turn to look into the best ways to make and prepare for a date.
Next we have How to be Well Groomed, from 1948. It features a cameo by Sue’s “stubby hands” as well as her elderly parents.
Lastly today, enjoy Good Table Manners, which covers exactly what you think it does. This film distinguishes itself by going heavy on the visual effects, features implied time travel, and depicts a middle school party that includes a sit-down dinner.
There, now wasn’t that a fine way to spend your lunch break? Now back to work. You’ll surely want all of your co-workers to consider you a productive citizen, won’t you?