The Educational Archives, Vol. 3: Driver's Ed. [DVD] [2002]

Fantoma's Educational Films,Vol. 3: Driver's Ed is a kind of a hoot, comprised as it is of 10 films on the subject of driver education, ranging from the low-key, black-and-white 1950's elementary school mentality of Tomorrow's Drivers (the kind of movie that Beaver Cleaver's class on Leave It To Beaver would have seen) to cautionary tales like Joy Ride (from the 1970's, in color, with long-haired teens) who come to no good end. Alco Beat is a warning film about alcohol and driving, showing test course results with intentionally drunk drivers, while The Bottle And The Throttle takes a more guilt-oriented approach to the same subject. Pedestrian safety for children is the subject of The Talking Car, which takes a dream-fantasy approach to that a lot of kids even in the 1960's would have felt was condescending. The Indiana-made The Last Prom is the most notorious of the movies here, a warning film that has terrified high school driving students for decades -- think of a Brady Bunch episode with multiple fatalities at the denouement. A Safety Belt For Susie is about seatbelts, dating from a time before the public's consciousness had been raised, while I Like Bikes, But . . . deals with bicycle safety, from te cyclist's and the car driver's point of view. Highball Highway is another drunk driving warning, and The Crossroads Crash is the most lighthearted piece here, opening with a parody of late 60's crime movies as a means for showing the dangers of rushing on the road. All of the films have missing frames and scratches, which enhance the classroom viewing verisimilitude, though if that's not enough, then the disc can be played with the audio set to include 16mm projector noise. The menu is simple but entertaining, and opens automatically on start-up, and each individual movie gets a separate chapter marker.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Over 2 hours of digitally mastered shorts from original 16mm prints
  • Notes on each film by collection curator Skip Elsheimer of the A/V Geeks Educational Film Archive
  • Optional "Classroom Experience" Dolby Digital 5.0 sountrack

Synopsis

Educational Archives: Driver's Ed
This release compiles driver safety films from the forties and fifties. Due to their earnestness and occasionally graphic content, these films continue to have a cult following. Included are films with the titles The Bottle and the Throttle, Safety Belt For Susie, The Last Prom, and The Talking Care. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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