Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Film Ephemera

posted by Nell Minow

The AV Geeks have an amazing archive of “film ephemera,” of over 20,000 little odds and ends (mostly odds) that have been retrieved from warehouses, garbage dumps, and thrift shops. It’s like seeing our culture through the eyes of an anthropologist. You can find educational and safety films you may have seen in school or Bible study or training films you may remember from work. Take a look at “School Rules: How They Help Us” from 1953.


The AV Geeks have made some DVD compilations available including “Atomic Age Classics Vol 6 : Love & Marriage DVD” (Social-Sex Attitudes in Adolescence, How Do You Know It’s Love?, Are You Ready For Marriage?, Marriage Is A Partnership, Should I Marry Outside My Faith?) and the “I am Joe’s…” series based on the Reader’s Digest articles about the organs of the human body. Also on the site, film Professor Brian Hess shares his paper on the history of Christian educational film pioneers Charles Baptista and James K. Friedrich.

  • jestrfyl

    You said the magic word – “ephemera”. It is an elixor and intoxicant to trivia addicts. I have my own little horde of ephemera from movies and TV shows. My son is amused when I find one or another pin or souvenir tucked away in a drawer or box. Someday I hope to actually collect and display some of it all.
    I wonder if in their collections they have any of the Bell Labs films we had to watch every year, including “Hemo the Magnificant” and “Our Mr Sun”. My all time favorite, and introduction to the mystical qualities of quantum mechanics, relativity, and time, was a Bell Labs film about time – sadly, I cannot remember the title. The “Dr.” in all of these was a calm, grnadfatherly, bald guy. I think Rhino Records may have had these for a while. They were goofy, but great.
    I will indeed check this site out. Thanks!!

  • jestrfyl

    Hooray! I wen to their website and they have the films I mentioned. I had forgotten they were from Frank Capra (which explains the high quality). Frank Baxter played the calm but amused “Dr.” in these films – my image of a benevolent scientist (and someone I wonder if William Peterson modeled his Grissom character on)I don’t know if they have the time film, but they do have Hemo and Mr Sun. Awesome! I may even buy them.
    What a great link! Thanks, Nell!

  • Nell Minow

    Wonderful news! I adored “Hemo the Magnificent” and “Our Mr. Sun” (with Eddie Albert!) and included them in my book. It is great to have those treasures online.

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