Advertising Console

    1953 Cold War Conformity & Good Citizenship School Film

    This 1950's social etiquette film overtly encourages good citizenship and proper manners to young school children, as well as unintentionally representing Cold War culture. The narrator of the film introduces Harvey as “the happiest boy in school.” While he walks through the school yard, he waves and smiles at the other children, and they all happily wave back as though he is royalty. And why shouldn't he be treated royally, he's a productive member of society (by being an utter conformist)! The film teaches the importance neatness and cleanliness, simply helping others, and being conscientious about making even new kids feel welcome, all examples of good citizenship. American family values and ethical behavior are stressed as vital to teaching teens good manners. Only slightly touched upon by the film are examples of bad manners: little Tommy is always late, which is poor etiquette! While the content of the film remains utterly positive, the underpinnings of all of the "citizenship" and "togetherness" used in this film are really social conformity. The 1950's were about searching for perfection in society and the wholesome overtones of this Cold War culture film exemplify that heightened push for American individual conformity.