Film: 7259

Social History | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Young people in America. Hanging out on New York streets, Playing baseball, throwing dice. Their time better spent at a youth club.

Western United States, harvesting hay. A man saws a wooden board. A hammer nails a nail into a two by four. A suburban street with electric power lines and large houses with large trees and bushes surrounding them. A young girl walks towards her house. An load of dirt drops from a large digger shovel. Water rushes out of a dam. A train rushes by on a track running through a valley. Aerial view of New York. A wide New York street with medians in the middle, possibly fifth avenue. Times Square at night, with lots of bright lights and neon. St. Patrick's Cathedral seen through a narrow alleyway. Women and children walk outside of shops with awnings drawn far down over the windows. Children play in the street, a game of keep away. A group of boys walks out of a dark stairwell into the sunny street. They greet another boy, some of the boys have sailor caps on. They run and jump on the back of a slow travelling lorry, they pick up a ride on the tailgate. They play baseball in the street, a truck drives through their game but they start again. A boy uses a long stick as a bat. He swings as the pitch comes it, then gets out of the way as another truck goes through. The boys play marbles on the sidewalk, other boys crowd around and watch. A market, with awninged stalls of fruit and vegetables. Three boys look at the fruit and then quickly grab some and run away. The grocer chases the thieves out of the market. A state penitentiary, prisoners or inmates walk in file along the floors of cells. The door of the boy's club. Groups of boys go into the club. The Boy's Club in Portland, Maine. The Boy's Club in Little Rock Arkansas. The Boy's Club in New York, New York. And again in St. Louis, Missouri, Lynn Massachusetts, San Francisco, California. Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois.
A group of boys comes into one of the clubs. They walk into reception and bug one of the boys to take off his hat. The man talks to the boys, explaining how to use the club. A doctor uses a stethoscope to examine a young boy, who is shirtless. A young boy talks to a nurse. Boys lined up on the side of the pool dive in and race to the other side. The boys sit on the side of the pool and watch as another boy dives off the diving board into the pool. A large group of kids have a water fight in the pool.
'Redfoots A.C., Leader, Mr. Schumacher'. The boys lead a meeting of the athletics club, one boy stands up to suggest an activity, the leader gets up to make his comments. A basketball game, some of the other boys sit on the bleachers and watch. Baseball in the gym as well, this time with a real bat. Boys take turns hurling themselves over an obstacle course wall. They crawl under a tunnel of wooden beams. And then climb up a wall using ropes.
In the library, boys sit at one of the big tables, reading and talking. A boy takes a large book off the shelf. The librarian talks to him, very friendly, as he sits at the table with his book. A little girls sits on the floor beside him reading her own book. She turns around as the librarian peers over the desk at her. A lady gives a speech, as a large group of boys sits on the floor around her. A games room. Lots of young boys milling around. One group plays miniature pool or snooker. Another group plays checkers. More boys play ping pong. A boy with a hammer and chisel sculpts a figure. More boys work in the wood workshop. A boy carefully uses a saw. Another boy sands a piece of board. Shirtless boys walk through the woods with their towels around their waists, on their way to the swimming hole. The bigger boys carry paddles and oars to the shore for the boats and canoes. The boys swimming in a sectioned off area of the lake. A big campfire with some of the boys standing around it. One boy directs the others in a song. Four boys smiling, walk down the sidewalk with their arms around each other's shoulders.


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