Social guidance film

Social guidance films constitute a genre of educational films attempting to guide children and adults to behave in certain ways. Originally produced by the U.S. government as "attitude-building films" during World War II,[1] the genre grew to be a common source of instruction in elementary and high school classrooms in the United States from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. The films covered topics including courtesy, grammar, social etiquette and dating, personal hygiene and grooming, health and fitness, civic and moral responsibility, sexuality, child safety, national loyalty, racial and social prejudice, juvenile delinquency, drug use, and driver safety; the genre also includes films for adults, covering topics such as marriage, business etiquette, general safety, home economics, career counseling and how to balance budgets.[2] A subset is known as hygiene films addressing mental hygiene and sexual hygiene.[3]


Social guidance films were generally produced by corporations such as Coronet Instructional Films, Centron Corporation for Young America Films, Encyclopædia Britannica Films, and occasionally by better-known companies such as Ford Motor Company and Crawley Films for McGraw-Hill Book Company. Many were also made by independent producers, most notably the prolific maverick independent filmmaker Sid Davis. Few of these films featured notable actors or celebrities, and only a few were ever produced by a major Hollywood studio, such as the films made by Walt Disney Productions and Warner Bros. In rare instances, the films were sponsored by a major company such as Kotex or General Motors. Ken Smith, in his seminal 1999 book on the genre, Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945 - 1970, estimates that there were "around three thousand" films made that fall into the "social guidance" film genre.[2]

While many of the films were merely instructional (like 1941's Posture and Exercise, 1949's Posture and Personality and 1952's Duck and Cover), others ended with an invitation for a classroom discussion of the topic (1956's What About Alcoholism?; 1959's What About Prejudice?), whereas others were presented as striking cautionary tales (1959's Signal 30; 1961's Seduction of the Innocent; 1967's Narcotics: Pit of Despair).

Although sometimes viewed as conservative or reactionary by today's standards, Smith points out that these films were not made by conservatives or reactionaries but instead "by some of the most liberal and progressive-minded people of their time."[2]

Appearances in other media

As films in this genre are largely in public domain, they have been used in modern productions outside of their intended purpose, usually as a means of unintentional comedy. A number of short social guidance films, such as Posture Pals (1952) and Are You Ready for Marriage? (1950), were featured and lampooned on the television comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 to provide padding for episodes in which the featured movie segments did not fill out the program's roughly 90-minute running time. On The Weird Al Show, clips from still other films were taken and edited together with new voiceovers to make parodies.

The 1999 feature film, The Iron Giant, set in 1957, features a social guidance film-within-a-film titled, Atomic Holocaust, the style and tone of which parody 1952's Duck and Cover.

A fifth season episode of the AMC series, Mad Men, which takes place between July 1966 and August 1966, uses the title of 1959's Signal 30 as the episode title.

See also


  1. ^ Cripps, Thomas (1993). Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 161. ISBN 0195076699.
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Ken (1999). Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films 1945 - 1970. New York City: Blast Books. p. 238. ISBN 0-922233-21-7.
  3. ^

External links

Bahar (film)

Bahar (Hindi: बहार; English: The spring season or happiness) is a 1951 Hindi Black-and-white social guidance film written and directed by M. V. Raman. It was a remake of the 1949 South Indian blockbuster film Vazhkai. The film starred Vyjayanthimala in her Bollywood debut, Karan Dewan and Pandari Bai in the lead with Pran, Om Prakash, Leela Mishra, Sunder, Tabassum, Indira Acharya and Chaman Puri, forming an ensemble cast. The film was produced by A. V. Meiyappan with his production company, AVM. The music was composed by S. D. Burman with lyrics provided by Rajendra Krishan, while the editing was done by K. Shankarand and M. V. Raman and the camera was handled by T. Muthuswamy. The story revolves around Lata, Vasant and Malti.

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue is a 1990 American animated drug-abuse prevention television special starring many of the popular cartoon characters from American weekday, Sunday morning, and Saturday morning television at the time of its release. Financed by McDonald's, Ronald McDonald Children's Charities, and Chuck E. Cheese's, it was originally simulcast on April 21, 1990 on all four major American television networks (by supporting their Saturday morning characters): ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and most independent stations, as well as various cable networks. McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese's also distributed a VHS home video edition of it, produced by Buena Vista Home Video, which opened with an introduction from President George H. W. Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush and their dog, Millie. It was produced by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation and Southern Star Productions, and was animated overseas by Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd.. The musical number "Wonderful Ways to Say No" was written by Academy-Award winning composer, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who also wrote the songs for Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

The plot chronicles the exploits of Michael, a young teenage boy who is using marijuana and stealing his father's beer. His younger sister, Corey, is constantly worried about him because he started acting differently. When her piggy bank goes missing, her cartoon tie-in toys come to life to help her find it. After discovering it in Michael's room along with his stash of drugs, the cartoon characters proceed to work together and take him on a fantasy journey to teach him the risks and consequences a life of drug use can bring.

In recent years the special has been mocked for being over the top with its depiction of marijuana use. Some have also pointed out the hypocrisy of it for being sponsored by McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese's considering the health risks linked to consumption of fast food while it tries to point out the unhealthy risks of drug use.

Centron Corporation

Centron Corporation was a leading industrial and educational film production company, specializing in classroom and corporate 16mm films and VHS videocassettes. Although a slightly smaller company than its contemporaries (Encyclopædia Britannica Films, Coronet Films and Learning Corporation of America), it was nonetheless very successful from the late 1940s through the early 1990s, gaining added fame with the Academy Award nominated Leo Beuerman in 1969.

Chroma Key

Chroma Key is a band of Kevin Moore, known for his work with the bands OSI and Dream Theater. Although primarily a solo project, several other musicians have recorded as part of the band such as bassist Joey Vera, drummer Mark Zonder, and guitarist Jason Anderson.

Chroma Key's music is a mix of psychedelia, electronica and ambient, with detailed keyboard sounds and a slightly dark mood.

Duck and Cover (film)

Duck and Cover is a civil defense social guidance film that is often popularly mischaracterized as propaganda.

With similar themes to the more adult oriented civil defense training films, the film was widely distributed to United States schoolchildren in the 1950s. It instructionally teaches students on what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion.

The film was funded by the US Federal Civil Defense Administration and released in January 1952. At the time, the Soviet Union was engaged in nuclear testing and the US was in the midst of the Korean War.

The film was written by Raymond J. Mauer, directed by Anthony Rizzo of Archer Productions, narrated by actor Robert Middleton, and made with the help of schoolchildren from New York City and Astoria, New York.

The film is now in the public domain, and is widely available through Internet sources such as YouTube, as well as on DVD. It was selected by the National Film Registry for preservation in 2004.

Encyclopædia Britannica Films

Encyclopædia Britannica Films (also named EB Films for short) was the top producer and distributor of educational 16 mm films and later VHS videocassettes for schools and libraries from the 1940s through the 1990s (by which time the internet replaced video as a primary source for educational media). Prior to 1943, the company operated under the name of Electrical Research Products Inc. (ERPI) Classroom Films.

Get a Job (1985 film)

Get a Job is a 1985 comedic musical animated short by Brad Caslor, featuring a rendition of the song of the same name, made famous by The Silhouettes. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in Winnipeg, the project took Caslor seven years to complete, from conception to release. Caslor began the film as a social guidance film for the Canadian government, however, during production it evolved into a more comedic work, incorporating a wide range of classic animation characters and techniques, including the styles of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. Al Simmons and Jay Brazeau perform in the film, which received the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Animated Short at the 8th Genie Awards.Fellow Winnipeg animator Cordell Barker did animation work on the film.

Graveyard Mountain Home

Graveyard Mountain Home is the third studio album released under the name Chroma Key by American keyboardist Kevin Moore. It was released on November 8, 2004 by InsideOut Music. Moore originally started work on the album in 2003, planning to release a less electronica-influenced album than previous Chroma Key albums, but put it aside to work on the first OSI album. He then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where he wrote Ghost Book, the soundtrack to the film Okul. Enjoying the experience of writing music to film, Moore scrapped his previous plans for the third Chroma Key album, instead writing an album as an alternate soundtrack to an already-existing film.

Moore found the social guidance film Age 13 in the Prelinger Archives, which served as his main inspiration. He slowed the film down to half its original playback speed to allow a full album to be written around the twenty-five-minute film. With complete creative control over the album, Moore was free to experiment, sometimes writing music "not necessarily to always match the images on the screen, but to sometimes play against it." The deluxe edition of the album contains the film in its full length, played at half speed, with the album as a soundtrack in place of the original audio.

Critical reception of Graveyard Mountain Home was generally positive. Critics noted that the album was a departure from Moore's previous works, and that it was best experienced as an alternate soundtrack to Age 13. Moore played songs from Graveyard Mountain Home live for the first time in a small club in Istanbul in 2007, and planned to tour more extensively in the future.

Jeevitham (1950 film)

Jeevitham (Telugu: జీవితం; English: Life) is a 1950 Black-and-white Telugu social guidance film produced and directed by A. V. Meiyappan with his company AVM Productions. The film stars Vyjayanthimala in her Telugu cinema debut with S. Varalakshmi, T. R. Ramachandran and C. H. Narayana Rao forming an ensemble cast, with many actors appearing in other significant roles. Actress Lalitha and Padmini made guest appearances as stage dancers.

The film was a remake of the 1949 Tamil film Vazhkai, which was also produced and directed by A.V. Meiyappan with Vyjayanthimala in the lead. Following the success of Vazhkai and Jeevitham, it was remade in Hindi a year later by A. V. Meiyappan as Bahar, however the Hindi version was directed by M. V. Raman, who was the writer in the Tamil and Telugu versions. Vyjayanthimala is the only star to reprise her role in all three versions, where she made her screen and regional debut through all films.

List of Coronet Films

This is an alphabetical list of major titles produced by Coronet Films, a leading educational film company from the 1940s through 1990s (when it merged with Phoenix Learning Group, Inc.). The majority of these films were initially available in the 16mm film format. The company started offering VHS videocassette versions in 1979 in addition to films, before making the transition to strictly videos around 1986.

For space reasons, only a very select number of independently produced films that Coronet merely distributed, including many TV and British productions acquired for 16mm release within the United States, are included here. One example is a popular series, “World Cultures & Youth”, which was actually produced in Canada, but with some backing by Coronet. Also included are those Centron Corporation titles released when Coronet owned them, although their back catalogue of films made earlier were reissued under the Coronet banner.

It was quite common for a film to be re-released as a “2nd edition” with only minor changes in the edit and a different soundtrack, with music and narration styles changed to fit the changing times. This was especially true in the 1970s, when classrooms demanded more stimulating cinematic lectures. Quite often, only the newest edition of a film is available today. Those titles involving more serious edit changes or actual re-filming are listed as separate titles. In most cases, additional information is provided in the “year / copyright date” column.


Pederasty or paederasty (US: or UK: ) is a (usually erotic) homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male. The word pederasty derives from Greek παιδεραστία (paiderastia) "love of boys", a compound derived from παῖς (pais) "child, boy" and ἐραστής (erastēs) "lover". In French, however, pédérastie has been used as a synonym for homosexuality between adult males (see Histoire du mot pédérastie).

Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and practices within different cultures. The status of pederasty has changed over the course of history, at times accepted and at other times a crime. In the history of Europe, its most structured cultural manifestation was Athenian pederasty, and became most prominent in the 6th century BC. Greek pederasty's various forms were the subject of philosophic debates in which the purely carnal type was unfavorably compared with erotic friendships and moderate forms, known as Sophrosyne.In most countries today, the local age of consent determines whether or not a person is considered legally competent to consent to sexual acts, and whether such contact is abusive to the young person, under the law.

Sex Hygiene

Sex Hygiene is a short 1942 American drama film directed by John Ford and Otto Brower. It belonged to the instructional social guidance film genre, which offered adolescent and adult behavioural advice, medical information, and moral exhortations. The Academy Film Archive preserved Sex Hygiene in 2007.

Signal 30

Signal 30 is a 1959 social guidance film made by the Highway Safety Foundation in the vicinity of Mansfield, Ohio. The film, shown widely to high school students across the country during the 1960s, was produced by Richard Wayman and narrated by Wayne Byers, and takes its name from the radio code used by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for a fatal traffic accident.Similar to Red Asphalt, Signal 30 features graphic footage of crashed automobiles and their horrifically injured and dismembered occupants. Despite its gruesome nature, the film later won the National Safety Council Award. It was followed by two sequels, entitled Mechanized Death and Wheels of Tragedy, and inspired a whole genre of similarly gory road safety films.

Sponsored film

Sponsored film, or ephemeral film, as defined by film archivist Rick Prelinger, is a film made by a particular sponsor for a specific purpose other than as a work of art: the films were designed to serve a specific pragmatic purpose for a limited time. Many of the films are also orphan works since they lack copyright owners or active custodians to guarantee their long-term preservation.

The genre is composed of advertising films, educational films, industrial videos, training films, social guidance films, and government-produced films. While some may borrow themes from well-known film genres such as western film and comedies, what defines them is a sponsored rhetoric to achieve the sponsor's goals, rather than those of the creative artist.

Sponsored films in 16mm were loaned at no cost, except sometimes postage, to clubs, schools, and other groups. AT&T was for decades one of the most active sponsored film distributors; others included airlines who offered travelogues on their destinations. Local television stations also used them as "filler" programming. Some distributing agents packaged films from various sponsors into TV programs with titles like Compass, Color Camera, Ladies' Day, and Adventures In Living.

The films are often used as b roll in documentary films, for instance the social guidance film The Terrible Truth (1951, Sid Davis) appears, desaturated, in Ron Mann's Grass (1999) as an example of what he perceives as hysteria over drug abuse, as well as an example of the slippery slope fallacy.

Prelinger and other film archivists generally consider the films interesting for their sociological, ethnographic, or evidential value: for instance, a mental hygiene film instructing children to be careful of strangers may seem laughable by today's standards, but the film may show important aspects of society which were documented unintentionally: hairstyles, popular fashions, technological advances, landscapes, etc.Prelinger estimates that the form includes perhaps 400,000 films and, as such, is the largest genre of films, but that one-third to one-half of the films have been lost to neglect. In the late 20th century, the archival moving-image community has taken greater notice of sponsored film, and key ephemeral films began to be preserved by specialized, regional and national archives.A number of British films in this style were re-evaluated and released commercially by the British Film Institute in 2010 as part of its Boom Britain / Shadows of Progress project.

Examples of sponsored films include Design for Dreaming, A Touch of Magic, and A Word to the Wives. Technicolor for Industrial Films is a sponsored film about sponsored films.

Supervising Women Workers

Supervising Women Workers was a short social guidance film produced by the US Office of Education and aimed at male foremen who now had to supervise women for war work.

The film depicts the social and gender relations and attitudes of its time. It notes that most of the women had never been in industry before, and were unfamiliar with the terminology and mores common to the plant. Each thing had to be broken down and explained in detail. The film also reminds men that women of the day have been at work in things like knitting and sewing, and that these skills could be appropriated for war work. In a short vignette the foreman returns home to his wife, complaining about all the women asking for time off. His wife then tells him she had to cook, clean, and take care of the children all day, at which point the foreman realizes that women really work two jobs, one in the factory and the other at home. In another vignette a foremen gets into an argument about a woman not wearing a protective hat, and it is shown that he has to explain to her why the protective cap was necessary.

According to the film, there are four basic rules to supervising women workers:

don't mix business with pleasure

remember that women are awfully jealous of each other

avoid undue familiarity

women are more sensitive than men.

Trigger film

A trigger film is a type of short social guidance educational film intended for student audiences. It is often presented in elementary and middle school classrooms and carry themes that are often about subjective topics such as morality, ethics, and safety. The movies often carry a loose, disconnected, plot that intentionally lacks a conclusion or even a moral.

Vaazhkai (1949 film)

Vaazhkai (English: Life) is a 1949 Indian Tamil-language social guidance film produced and directed by A.V. Meiyappan through AVM Productions. It stars Vyjayanthimala in her screen debut with M. S. Draupadi, T. R. Ramachandran and S. V. Sahasranamam forms an ensemble cast along with many actors appearing in other significant role. Telugu Jeevitham (1950 film)

Upon release the film was well received and it won the Best Tamil Film Award at the 1st Film Fans' Association Awards. Vyjayanthimala and M. S. Draupadi received the Second Best Tamil Actress and Third Best Tamil Actress Awards respectively. It also broke some box office records in South India.

The film was simultaneously released in Telugu as Jeevitham. The film was later remade in Hindi as Bahar (1951) directed by M. V. Raman. Vyjayanthimala played the lead role in all these versions with Meiyappan as the producer.

Women in the workforce

Women in the workforce earning wages or salary are part of a modern phenomenon, one that developed at the same time as the growth of paid employment for men, but women have been challenged by inequality in the workforce. Until modern times, legal and cultural practices, combined with the inertia of longstanding religious and educational conventions, restricted women's entry and participation in the workforce. Economic dependency upon men, and consequently the poor socio-economic status of women, have had the same impact, particularly as occupations have become professionalized over the 19th and 20th centuries.

Women's lack of access to higher education had effectively excluded them from the practice of well-paid and high status occupations. Entry of women into the higher professions like law and medicine was delayed in most countries due to women being denied entry to universities and qualification for degrees; for example, Cambridge University only fully validated degrees for women late in 1947, and even then only after much opposition and acrimonious debate. Women were largely limited to low-paid and poor status occupations for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, or earned less pay than men for doing the same work. However, through the 20th century, the labor market shifted. Office work that does not require heavy labor expanded, and women increasingly acquired the higher education that led to better-compensated, longer-term careers rather than lower-skilled, shorter-term jobs.

The increasing rates of women contributing in the work force has led to a more equal disbursement of hours worked across the regions of the world. However, in western European countries the nature of women's employment participation remains markedly different from that of men.

Although access to paying occupations (the "workforce") has been and remains unequal in many occupations and places around the world, scholars sometimes distinguish between "work" and "paying work", including in their analysis a broader spectrum of labor such as uncompensated household work, childcare, eldercare, and family subsistence farming.

X marks the spot

X marks the spot may refer to:

X Marks the Spot (1931 film), a 1931 film directed by Erle C. Kenton

X Marks the Spot (1942 film), a 1942 film directed by George Sherman

X Marks the Spot, a 1944 social guidance film, spoofed in Season 2 of Mystery Science Theatre 3000

X Marks the Spot (game show), a BBC Radio 4 game show which aired from 1998 to 2006

X Marks the Spot (album), an album by Ex Girlfriend

"X Marks the Spot", a song by Coldplay on their 2015 album A Head Full of Dreams

"X Marks the Spot", a song by Sonata Arctica on their 2014 album Pariah's Child

"X Marks the Spot", an episode of the television series Never the Twain

"Planet X Marks The Spot", a song by Doctor Steel

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