Dating Do's and Don'ts 1949 Coronet Instructional Films, Basic Dating Skills
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Published on Nov 5, 2012
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'Shows the progress of the date, from choosing the right girl and asking her through the last "good night."'
Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Dating Dos and Don'ts is a 1949 instructional film designed for American high schools, to teach adolescents basic dating skills, produced by Coronet Instructional Films and directed by Gilbert Altschul with the assistance of Reuben Hill, Research Professor of Family Life at the University of North Carolina. In this film, the boy is the sole initiator of any contact with the girl, and all arrangements are made under the warm supervision of the family, particularly a matriarchal housewife for a mother.
The film follows a young adolescent boy, Woody, who receives tickets for "one couple" to the Hi Teen Carnival. At different stages in the film, it offers options on how Woody might respond to various situations:
- What kind of girl should he date?
- How should he ask her out?
- How should he say good night after the date is over?
The film then shows three options, for each opportunity, ending with what it deems the most successful. This allows the filmmakers to create an idealized scenario for a perfect first date. Woody is cautioned not to ask a girl out based on her looks as she could be aloof or boring. Instead he should ask a girl who is "fun." He is similarly told to be straightforward and not to insist that his potential date give up some other activity for him. Finally, the film depicts the perceived danger of immediately kissing the girl good night, or of just leaving her at her door, and instead urges the viewers to say a friendly goodbye, ending with a promise to call next week.
As Woody prepares for his date with Anne, he receives hints from his older brother, who is already an expert at dating; for instance, Woody's brother tells Woody to act like his "natural, talkative self" while on the phone, and says that Woody does not have to bring Anne flowers on her first date. He also convinces their mother to allow Woody to go on his first date even though he is young, with her adding that it would be acceptable provided that Woody only dates on weekends and comes home at a reasonable hour. As Woody prepares for his date, his mother and father reflect on their own first dates to remind Woody how important it is for him to show up on time. His mother adds that any girl who is not ready for him on time is not worthy of going out with "my boy."
The film ends with Woody leaving the door outside Anne's home, whistling happily as he contemplates his next date...
Dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. While the term has several meanings, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple.
The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country. The most common idea is two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they're compatible by going out together in public as a couple, who may or may not yet be having sexual relations. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage...
From the perspective of the history of humans in civilization, dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries. From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine. As humans have evolved from the hunter-gatherers into civilized societies and more recently into modern societies, there have been substantial changes in the relationship between men and women, with perhaps the only biological constant being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen...
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