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Proper Social Etiquette for Teenagers: "How Do You Do?" (1946)





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Uploaded on Aug 22, 2011

"Peggy" is a teenager with a weird lisp. She sits in an overstuffed chair, sometimes talking directly to the camera, but more often talking to the narrator, who is apparently standing stage left, just off-screen (see Addressing Envelopes for similar bad technique).

Through flashbacks, Peggy remembers the day she and her friend Ann were sipping cokes at the soda shoppe when "smooth" Frank Norton (who walks like he has a 4x8 down the back of his suit jacket) and Bill Phillips, who is "kind of sloppy about such things," entered. Peggy had to introduce the two boys to Ann -- but she didn't know how! "I wish I weren't so vague about such things," Peggy sighs. "I felt so adolescent! Right then and there I decided it was high time to get the whole matter of introductions straight so I would never have to think twice about them again!"

The narrator cheerfully encourages us throughout the film that follows ("We're all apt to make a boner now and then") as we learn who to introduce to whom, when to offer our hands, when to stand, and not to say "HOW do you do" or "How DO you do" but "How do you DO". Peggy, who lives in a universe where all boys wear suits and all girls wear pleated skirts, couldn't be happier. "It's more fun to meet people when you're at ease!" she concludes. "All's well that begins well!" adds the narrator.

Producer: Young America Films


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