Two industrial films from the 1940s and '50s that feature Studs Terkel. In "Beginning to Date" (1953) Terkel plays a high school diving instructor and offers advice to students on proper dating etiquette. The second film on this tape, "No Vacancies" (1946), is about the crisis that plagued many returning WWII soldiers who could not afford housing. Terkel is the narrator in this piece.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with black screen.
00:11Copy video clip URL As the title screen rolls, the first scene begins. High school students are seen roaming the halls with their textbooks in hand as a vertically challenged student attempts to place a poster for a school dance/party on a school bulletin board. The narrator begins to explain the situation. A group of young girls have a little dialogue in front of the poster about the potential of having a date for the event. Shortly afterwards, a group of boys does the same. Studs Terkel makes his first appearance in this movie as the school’s diving coach. He helps one of the boys get over his fear of asking a girl out through the use of a diving analogy. The narrator then takes the viewer through each one of the boys’ and girls’ experiences with dating. The narrator goes over proper dating etiquette by integrating scenes of what to do and what not to do.
05:11Copy video clip URL Fade in to a shot of one of the characters on the night of the dance. The narrator follows him as he arrives at his date’s house and meets her parents. We then follow another character as he struggles to make conversation with his date’s parents. The narrator follows a few of the dating pairs to the dance. As students arrive at the dance, some of the boys are doing fabulously, while others are making some substantial errors.
08:11Copy video clip URL Quick cut to the dance floor: one side girls, the other side boys. The narrator follows one of the young men as he asks a girl for a dance. The students continue to mingle on the dance floor and share punch and pie as the night winds down.
10:20Copy video clip URL Fade into a shot of one of the boys returning his date to her home. The narrator then gives a little summary on the lessons that should be learned from the video.
11:58Copy video clip URL Video ends. There is a black screen for close to close to thirty seconds before the second piece, “No Vacancies” begins to play.
12:27Copy video clip URL This footage begins with a closeup of a pin on the jacket of a soldier returning home from the war. Studs Terkel narrates, following the man as he desperately looks for a place to live. The soldier, dubbed Jim in the movie, makes his way over to the site of a construction company. The viewer watches him as he walks down a long corridor, almost tripping over a homeless man draped in newspapers, in order to talk with a real estate agent. Terkel describes the soldier’s dispiriting meeting with the agent (played by Win Stracke).
14:47Copy video clip URL The real estate agent goes over the pricing for the houses that his company is selling. Terkel goes over some startling statistics about soldiers not being able to afford proper housing. Terkel then follows the soldier to a a small gathering of governmental employees. Terkel talks about much of the corruption within the housing industry. Terkel then talks about the out-of-date building codes that disable any new development from taking place. He then goes on to talk about the importance of fighting this corruption on a national level.
24:19Copy video clip URL Tape ends.