Film: 7994

Education | 1950 | Sound | B/W


Charming 1950s American educational film which uses the story of a boy's fight to get a playground, helped by model citizen Mr Heineman, to illustrate what a good citizen should do. A good example of the public awareness that America wanted from their citizens in the fifties.

Mr Heineman talks to a smartly dressed couple (the woman wears a hat) beside him stands a boy, Jim Foster, also in a shirt and tie, they are in a living room. The woman and man talk to Mr Heineman, the mans pulls a newspaper out of his pocket and shows it to Mr Heineman, they all huddle round to look. Close up on the newspaper which reads - 'Alfred Heineman Named First Citizen of Town'. Mr Heineman laughs and talks to the woman while the man opens up thepaper and shows a page to the boy, the others lean in to read it. Close up on the page which reads - 'Check List for a Good Citizen A Good Citizen will: Perform basic civic duties, Take part in group activities, Know and obey the law, Keep informed on public affairs, Be a goo neighbor.' Mr Henineman thanks the couple, opens the door and ushers them out, he follows them and closes the door, Jim still reads the paper closely, walks over to an armchair and sits down by a window. Close up on the whole front page which shows a photo of Mr Heineman and the headline 'City Prepares Celebration', camera focuses in on the photograph.

Shot of checklist again, highlights 'Perform basic civic duties.' A hand fills in name and address on a tax form headed 'U.S. Individual Income …' A federal court building with columna and arches is seen through trees. A university building with students wandering up and down the path outside. A metal water-tower is seen above some trees. Boys and girls with books in their arms stream out of a school door. An air traffic control tower is seen with two men in it. A busy dockyard is seen from above, a sign reads 'M.B. McGowan No. 16' and a suspension bridge is seen top right. A traffic cop blows his whistle and stops traffic. Two men in hats and overalls sort post into bins from large sacks. Two young girls stand at a desk in a library, the female librarian checks a book and hands it back to them. A highway, crossed by a roadbridge, two cars pass on the road. Young men. Instructed by an older man in uniform, work a battle ship gun on land, they are watched by a class of young men sitting on tiered seating, they wear what look like Navy uniforms with white hats.

Close up on a form, focus in on the words 'Venire-Petit Jury' and Mr Heineman's namd and address. Close up on Mr Heineman sitting in front of another man wearing a suit, pans out to show the other men and women sitting in the jury, an advocant walks over and stands in front of them talking. A shop window with a sign in it which reads 'Polling Place Here', a man in a three-quarter length coat wlaks in the door. Jim, in a suit, walks into a dark room and up to a table, he opens out a ballot form and begins to tick off candidates, close up on his face in concentration.

Back to highlighted checklist, the light moves to 'Take part in group activities'. Close up ona wooden sign, it reads 'Headquarters Association for Better Government'. A woman and child walk past a white building front in a row of shops which flies the U.S. flag, and the Red Cross flag, the Red Cross symbol is above the door. Close up on a sign for 'International Hod Carriers Local 118'. A church is seen. Close up on letters spelling 'Elks Club' on the side of a building. Close up on the Roatry Club symbol. Close up on a sign hanging from a building - 'The Winnetka Women's Club Founded 1908'. A woman walks past a window decorated with slogans such as 'Georgr Crane for Mayor', inside are a few volunteers working, close up on a woman inside folding leaflets.

Light on checklist moves to 'Know and obey the law'. A hand holds a signed baseball by a broken window, the hand belongs to Mr Heineman who comes over to Jim from the window with the ball in his hand, he speaks to Jim, Jim replies. Close up on each of them as they speak. Mr Heineman walks round in front of Jim and places his hand on the boy's shoulder as he speaks. Jim is seen from over Mr Heineman's shoulder as he speaks. Four shots alternating between the two of them as Mr Heineman speaks. The two talk. Mr Heineman gets up, tossing the ball in his hand, he walks over to the window, then hands the ball back to Jim and show him out, he then goes back to the window and adjusts the net curtains.

The two, in casual clothes, stand outside the house, as Jim fixes the window, they talk. Close up on Mr Heineman speaking. Close up on Jim's hand scraping off the putty. Two shots of them talking. Close up on the mended window. Mr Heineman watches as Jim wipes the pane with a cloth. They finish talking and walk in to the house. They walk in the door and over to a desk, as Mr Heineman speaks he shows Jim some plans. Close up on his hand pointing on the map. They talk. Close up as his finger circles a place on the map. Mr Heineman looks thoughtful, Jim looks excited then theyboth speak, Jim walks over to the sofa and sits down despondantly, Mr Heineman sits down next to him, speaking. Close up on Mr Heineman as he speaks. Close up on Jim speaking. They speak to each other.

Jim stands in front of a blackboard in a school room, talking to four boys, he holds a petition. Mr Heineman reads from a sheet in front of an audience, behind him a seated man listens intently, they seem to be in a council chamber. Jim, in an outside coat with a campaign badge on it, speaks to a lady seated at her kitchen table. M Heineman talks to a man in a post office, the walls are covered in wanted posters and information about savings bonds. Close up on Mr Heineman speaking. He speaks to the man. Close up on a newspaper front page, the headline reads - 'Mayor dedicates new playground Saturday'. Jim, his friends and Mr Heineman play with a basketball in an enclosed playground. On the check list, 'Keep informed of public affairs' is highlighted, then 'Be a good neighbor'.

Jim sits reading the paper, he gets up and folds the paper and walks over to Mr Heineman who has just come in, he looks at the page with Jim, smiling. Close up on the checklist. Mr Heineman speaks to Jim. Inter-title - 'The End'.

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