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What Makes a Good Party? (1950)

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Uploaded on Jun 10, 2007

This film creates a world so innocent that it's embarrassing. Jean, Nora and Eileen are high school girls who want to throw a "coming out" party to introduce college boy "Steve" to the rest of the gang. But whoa, let's not be impulsive, the narrator cautions, for "a successful party needs planning and skill." Accordingly, every detail of the get-together is mapped out beforehand, from the refreshments (hot chocolate and sandwiches) to the "well-chosen games" (a hat-making contest and Charades). "Everyone's out to have fun and to help OTHERS have fun," the narrator emphasizes. This need to do everything collectively, to allow no room for individual interests, to "help keep the party fun for all," is shown when Nora attempts pull Steve aside for some conversation. Nuh-uh! Who knows where that behavior would lead! Jean drags the two rebels back into the group, and the gang soon has a grand time singing Jimmy Crack Corn around the piano. The narrator offers one last nugget of wisdom -- "Part of a good party is knowing when to go home" -- and the kids do just that.

The disapproval of anything impulsive or individual in this film shows a really warped sense of "democracy," and more closely resembles socialism, if you think about it. According to Ted Peshak, "This whole part of the north Chicago area has changed because of that film."

Producer: Coronet Instructional Films

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