Studs’ Place: Jimmy Romano is Home – The Living City

Studs' Place (1951?) produced by Charlie Andrews. This episode is called "Jimmy Romano Is Home." A neighborhood kid comes back from college on the East Coast and suffers embarrassment over his working class roots. Eventually he realizes the people in his neighborhood have more talent than he thought. Features musical performances by Chet Roble and Win Stracke. Followed by “The Living City” (1953). Instructional film dealing with urban problems such as how are existing slums to be eliminated, how to deal with congestion, etc. "How did our cities get this way?" "I was in bombed out cities in Europe in the war. And then I came back to Chicago to this." We need to tear down the slums, and build up new affordable housing. Studs Terkel narrates.

00:04Copy video clip URL Countdown and title card for “Studs’ Place: Fine Eats, Fine Friends.”

00:42Copy video clip URL Advertisement for “ABC TV’s Super Circus.”

1:42Copy video clip URL Returns to set of “Studs’ Place.” Phone rings, Grace answers to hear that James (Jimmy) Romano has returned home from college for vacation.

2:45Copy video clip URL Jimmy asks to reserve a table at their restaurant for dinner with a friend from school.

3:23Copy video clip URL Studs comes in, “What we don’t sell, we eat.” They discuss Jimmy’s new-found formality after college. Studs, about Jimmy’s parents (Angelo and Marie): “Everything they’ve done they’ve done for that kid.”

5:31Copy video clip URL Jimmy comes into the restaurant. Prepares Grace and Studs for his friend, a BMOC (Big Man on Campus). Jimmy insists on removing the toothpicks from the table, notes the holes in the tablecloth, and asks Grace/Studs not to sit with them at the table, for fear of not appearing impressive to his friend.

7:27Copy video clip URL Grace gets offended: “I will pretend like we don’t exist.” Studs suggests taking this friend back home, but Jimmy is worried about his parents’ appearance and command of English.

8:38Copy video clip URL Grace, “What’s the matter, is he ashamed of his folks or something? He’s a little pipsqueek!

9:37Copy video clip URL Studs: “Sometimes you can’t tell the meal from the tablecloth.”

10:12Copy video clip URL Chet comes in and laments the fact that Jimmy has forgotten all of his baseball knowledge.

11:15Copy video clip URL Chet sings “Back of the Yards” and plays the piano. Jimmy asks him to play some jazz classic. Jimmy expresses his embarrassment about his parents and upbringing.

13:42Copy video clip URL Win comes in and reminisces with Jimmy. Jimmy reminds Win not to mention his meager past and parents.

15:27Copy video clip URL Commercial break for a PSA about obeying traffic laws.

16:27Copy video clip URL Chet, Studs, and Grace come in with polished silver and cloth napkins.

19:50Copy video clip URL Jimmy describes the Water Tower Place as “no big deal.” He condescends to Grace and Chet about not being able to talk about architecture.

21:18Copy video clip URL Rex comes into the restaurant.

22:05Copy video clip URL Jimmy: “You don’t have a trained voice, Win! You don’t know how to play that, Chet!” Chet and Win play/sing an Italian aria. Everyone is very impressed. Win reveals that it was Jimmy’s mother who taught him how to sing in Italian. Jimmy is startled.

26:34Copy video clip URL Jimmy offers Rex a home-cooked Italian meal (lasagna). They leave Studs’ Place.

27:16Copy video clip URL Studs: “We just talked ourselves out of a customer.” Grace: “Lemme tell ya something, that’s one customer we could afford to lose.”

27:36Copy video clip URL Commercial for the “Ted Mack Family Hour.”

28:35Copy video clip URL Credits for “Studs’ Place.”

29:22Copy video clip URL Studs outro.

29:37Copy video clip URL Advertising for ABC. Cut to black.

29:52Copy video clip URL Countdown.

30:07Copy video clip URL Long shot of a construction elevator: “The Living City.”

30:49Copy video clip URL Terkel, narrator: “The problem of renewal has remained unanswered. The American city is scarred beyond belief.”

31:22Copy video clip URL “The spread of blight and decay is more spectacular than our best efforts. The overwhelming questions remain. The slums remain…How did our cities get this way?”

32:05Copy video clip URL History of the Industrial Revolution and the necessity for tenement housing near factories. Narrative describes a three-ringed structure for the city.

33:34Copy video clip URL “What are the conditions for the city in human terms?” A professional, owner of a box factory, describes living on the nicer outskirts of the city and the difficulty of the morning commute. He decides to take his business elsewhere, since “the slums” encroach on their ability to expand.

36:25Copy video clip URL Discussion of the changes from a mother’s perspective. Clips show an overcrowded classroom, a fight on the playground, and poor city services. Boys throw baseball through a glass window, flee. They pretend to shoot each other once home. Mother’s child is brought home by the police.

38:45Copy video clip URL Perspective moves to a black schoolgirl. Not much detail is given.

39:53Copy video clip URL City planner: “What does a city face when it tries to renew itself?” The camera moves from a builder, to a slum landlord, to an attorney. People talk about their “absentee” landlords and their reasons for staying in the area.

43:09Copy video clip URL Reasons for the difficulty in developing the area: “High land cost, racial prejudice and segregation, and blight.”

43:33Copy video clip URL A discussion of people fleeing to the suburbs.The City Planner talks about a payroll tax or a merger for a solution to the draining effect of the suburbs.

44:43Copy video clip URL Footage from Baltimore and an emphasis on their housing code, inspectors, and community involvement, including the Baltimore Housing Court.

47:00Copy video clip URL Shot of a series of lot transformed over time.

47:42Copy video clip URL Footage from Pittsburgh and its smokey skyline. People discuss the “Smoke Abatement Campaign.”

48:46Copy video clip URL Philadelphia. Various footage of bulldozers in tandem with children playgrounds.

50:00Copy video clip URL Terkel: “I was in bombed-out cities in the War. Then I came home to Chicago. To this.” Footage of a wrecking-ball destroying, ostensibly, a slum. “After you tear down you start building up.”

52:09Copy video clip URL A discussion of automobile travel and efficient transportation. Footage from Los Angeles.

53:06Copy video clip URL “The city is dynamic, ever-changing. Its cycle: Growth, decay, renewal.” New narrator (not Terkel) gives a summation: “We can control population density by zoning measure…” He goes into detail about the various procedures to renew city spaces.”The living city is never complete.”

55:20Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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