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Let's Be Good Citizens at School (1953)

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Uploaded on Feb 20, 2008

Shows the importance of being neat and careful and of helping in such ways as picking up another's coat and making a new child feel he belongs to the group.

What makes a good citizen at school? According to the incredibly irritating, sing-song narrator of this film, good citizenship involves "being careful not to destroy what belongs to other people," "playing safe," "being neat," "minding your own business," and making sure that your pencil has "a good sharp point." As evidence of where these rules can lead us, we are briefly introduced to Harvey -- "the happiest boy in school" -- as this tubby, mongoloid child waddles along an open-air walkway, grinning idiotically and waving frantically at every kid in the school yard, who all cheerfully wave back. It's pretty strange. This film has an actual tracking shot, as Harvey waddles quickly past his happy legions.
If nothing else, this film reflects how "safety," "togetherness" and "citizenship" all served as synonyms for "conformity" in the fifties. It's not a particularly entertaining production, but it is satisfactorily ill.

Producer: Camerart Pictures

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