November 12, 1999 As many as 3,000 "mental hygiene" films were shown in schools in the years after the Second World War. They provide lessons about dating, manners and delinquency, all wrapped up in a tidy 10-minute package. Lost and Found Sound got a tour through these films from author Ken Smith.
November 12, 1999 The years just after the Second World War saw the advent of a new genre of classroom films: "social guidance" or "attitude enhancement" films -- we'll call them "mental hygiene" films. Young people in schools across America saw films with titles like "Dating Dos and Don'ts," "Mind Your Manners," "Are You Popular?" and, "Narcotics: Pit of Despair." Topics included table manners, etiquette, fitting in, posture, dating, highway safety, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. They were tools of social engineering, made to shape the values and attitudes of an entire generation of American kids. More than three-thousand of these films were made over nearly three decades. Now, fewer than half of them survive. Ken Smith has written a new book called "Mental Hygiene: Classroom Films, 1945-1970". He'll be our tour guide through this Lost and Found Sound report on this funny, fascinating, and largely forgotten genre of American filmmaking.
August 6, 1999 Today in our continuing series, "Lost and Found Sound," we have two stories about the era of silent movies. Jay Allison, the curator of our Quest for Sound phone line introduces us to listener Bob Borgen, who has discovered tape of silent film star Buster Keaton at a party in 1962. The tape originally belonged to Keaton's wife. Keaton was a child star of Vaudeville with his family--on the tape Keaton sings songs and tells stories from those days. Our second story comes from our movie reviewer Bob Mondello, who pays tribute to the "silence" of early films. He remembers the time when movies were a purely visual medium---the introduction of sound took away some of the grace of what was taken place on the screen--this was most true for the silent film comedy stars.
April 30, 1999 Our year-long Friday series listens to the voices of one mans answering machine, painting a picture of him as mirrored in the voices of his friends and acquaintances. We hear pleas from friends for help, offers from agents, and messages from mom. In a century of recording advances, phone mail now is one of the most direct records of how we lead our lives - in this case how a professional performer leads his life in Los Angeles.
March 19, 1999 In anticipation of this weekend's Academy Awards. Critic Bob Mondello, reflects on the indelible sounds we've received from the movies, from Tarzan's Yell to the breathing of Darth Vader in Star Wars.
February 18, 1999 After many poignant roles, Dustin Hoffman receives the annual American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award. Hoffman discusses what the award means to him.
October 16, 1998 Film Critic Pat Dowell reports on Beloved, the new movie by Jonathan Demme based on the Toni Morrison novel. The movie was produced by and stars Oprah Winfrey.
January 2, 1998 NPR's Vertamae Grosvenor reflects on how experiences of the past play out in present day relationships among black women. Her observations came during the filming of Beloved. Grosvenor portrays one of 30 formerly enslaved women who live in a small Ohio town. The film, due for release later this year, stars Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey and is directed by Jonathan Demme. It's based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison.
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