Tuesday, March 15, 2016

3,000th Post Celebration: Mom & Dad (1945)

This is the only Color you're going to get, so enjoy!  It is Post #3,000 time...
How can you impact so many and make so much money...but nobody remembers you?  Today's Film is Mom and Dad, a 1945 PSA-style Film.  The message: Sex Education is important.  Somehow that is *still* a problem today- thanks alot, William Beaudine!  Yes, this comes to us from the 'famed' Director of such Films as Billy the Kid vs. Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter.  It is sad that we never got to see the third part in the Series- Wyatt Earp vs. The Wolfman.  Get on that, Asylum!  In any case, there is a reason to feature some random Film from the 1940s for this occasion.  The Film- while largely unknown today- played on the Roadhouse Market for over 20 years!  Star Wars was in Theaters for about one, but this one lasted two Decades!  The Film is one of the most successful Films from the 1940s, 50s and 60s!  So how did this happen?  Well, the Film tells the Story of a girl who meets a mysterious boy at a party.  Things happen and suddenly her lack of sex education becomes key.  Will things work out?  To find out, read on...
The Film proper (more on that later) begins with some narration telling you about how kids aren't the problem- STDs are!
In Pleasantville (not really), a prudish woman raises a young girl.  She's so much of a prude that people drinking on a Train near her is offensive!
The Daughter goes to a Dance that has such events as a Jitterbug Contest and some Gymnasts performing.  Didn't your Prom have pre-teen contortionists?
She abandons her date- since he's not a mysterious newcomer- and eventually tricks her Parents into letting her date the guy again.  Things happen (when the Film fades to black)...
She later learns that the mysterious boy has died (off-camera) in a plane crash.  She's feeling sick, so what could it be?

Hold that thought though...
I hope that helped.

Back in the Story, the Teacher who pushed for Sex Education is fired and becomes an Insurance Salesman.  When our Heroine realizes that she is Pregnant...after about 4 months, her Brother goes to him for help.
This totally-ironic event leads to the Adults finally covering the subject.  As the audience, you get to watch some lovely Educational Shorts along with the Audience.  Meta much?
I'll spare you the actual Screen Caps of what they show you here.  You're welcome.
In the End, our Heroine has her baby and survives.  There are supposedly multiple Endings, but good luck proving that.  The End.
Old-timey crap.  The whole thing is all sorts of maudlin and silly.  It is pretty basic, Soap Opera-style stuff.  The Acting and overall Production is just so-so.  Mind you, this was Directed by William 'One-Shot' Beaudine, so is that a surprise?  The whole point is just to tell a basic Story, so I shouldn't be too picky about that, I suppose.  I nitpick segments from the 1985 Twilight Zone Show, so that is kind of what I do.  The big thing is how the Story works together with the 'educational' material.  Right off the bat, it is funny to see the part where the Film stops for a Doctor to tell Parents about Sex Education.  Oh yeah, there is no Elliot Forbes, by the way.  He's just as much of a Character as the Mother or the Girl.  The difference- he was a series of Actors designed to sell pamphlets at Roadshow Screenings.  If they were actually designed to help, I guess I can live with the crass commercialism and lying.  Plus, Elliot Forbes is famous for being attached to the Film, so it is a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy.  The parts where you just see Short Films in the last 20 minutes is all sorts of weird and forced.  What I'm saying is that so much of this Film made 71 years ago seems odd to me today.  Alert the Media!  Mom & Dad is a weird bit of Pop Culture History that still stands out today, if only for the oddest of reasons.  Considering that getting Sex Education taught in Schools is still a problem (albeit a smaller one), I guess it still has its place.  It also opens the way all American Films should...
Next up, there is a danger in the Woods greater than Bigfoot or Aliens!  In this case, it is Direct-to-Video Horror from the 2000s!  Stay tuned...

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