Moving Pictures.

When I’m bored and find myself aimlessly wandering the internet, I often stop over to The Internet Archive and browse through some of the old short films from the 40s and 50s.

One particular short film I enjoy is titled “Young Man’s Fancy”. This film is about young Judy, who is just smitten with a friend her brother has brought home from college. She’s trying to get his attention so they can go to the dance together.

Now, you would think the title refers to Judy as the young man’s “fancy”. Nope. The twist of this film is that it’s really an infomercial for electric appliances! No specific brand names are mentioned, but mother and daughter discuss the virtues of having an electric washer and dryer and all electric kitchen, and Alex, the object of Judy’s affection, has a most peculiar hobby: “engineering and time study”. A geek before his time! I love it!

I love watching this little episodic movie for a couple of reasons. I snicker when it’s mentioned that Alex is a “really woman hater”(?!?) and he and Judy’s brother go upstairs to take a shower together. (There’s a scene where Alex is shaving and the brother is taking a shower, in the same bathroom).

The mother in the film reminds me of my paternal grandmother in her homemaking skills; “wash day”, ironing the sheets, making a hearty lunch, etc.

What I like most is the innocence in this film. It has no basis in reality but rather takes place in a utopian, innocent world where time moved slower, people dressed up for dinner (I’m lucky to have pants on when I’m at the supper table) and the most technologically advanced piece of equipment in the house was the television.

I think there’s subliminal messages in the film though. I have the urge to redo the kitchen in an early 50s motif. Complete with an all-electric laundry.
Young Man's Fancy