America for Me (film #341 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

A woman gives up her teaching career and her hope of earning a master's degree (for which she is writing a "theme" instead of a thesis––I wonder if there are book reports involved, too?) in order to marry a guy from Texas that she meets on a Greyhound bus. Of course, said bus exists in a 50s Jam Handy universe, where every passenger is pleasant, white, and middle-class, and there are no stinky guys, but that only makes it slightly less appalling. More appalling is the fact that everyone the woman meets tries their level best to get her interested in the cowboy, even though it's obvious that she can't exchange two words with him without feeling waves of disgust. Even more appalling is the fact that this peer pressure sinks in after the guy leaves––you can gauge the woman's slow, tragic slide into total mind control by the way her fashion sense, which was no great shakes to begin with, deteriorates throughout the movie. It's enough of a shock to the eyes in the beginning to see the woman's baby-blue eyeglass frames, which are a size usually associated with clowns and novelty stores, and shocking red lipstick that was applied with a trowel, but by the end of the film she is reduced to donning an artificial rose that is the size of the average head of cauliflower, and wearing a black dress with huge red polka-dots, a red hat that matches her lipstick, and little white gloves. And I don't even have any fashion sense, so it must be bad if I mention it! This is not the most appalling thing about the movie, though. The most appalling thing is after the woman throws her future away for the sake of Tex the Drifter, the bus driver, and then the entire bus, breaks into song. Don't say I didn't warn you about this one.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: *****.

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