The Caissons Go Rolling Along (film #7 on Industrial Incentive Films (Vintage Video)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

Another World War II sing-along short, this time in honor of the army. The first minute or so is missing and the film quality is only fair.

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

Know Your Customer (film #3 on Lifestyles USA, Vol. 2 (Something Weird, 2000)). [Category: Industrial]

This limited animation film was made by DuPont for gas station owners, telling them what a large survey of customers want. The information is presented in a slightly weird way, as they keep reminding us that the survey was conducted by psychologists, they talk about customers' “hidden anxieties" (they're not as interesting as you might think, though), and the animation gets a bit trippy at times. There's plenty of sexism here––women are portrayed as being car idiots who must consult their husbands about every decision they make. All in all, it's a typical 50s animated film, both in style and content.

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

Coney Island (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #583 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]

This newsreel featurette is a real slice of life from the heyday of the amusement park. Usually these kinds of films portray activities that are fun to do but lame to watch. But this one is actually quite fun to watch, perhaps because the old classic amusement park culture has disappeared for the most part. In this film it lives again, and you get to visit the sideshows, complete with freaks (check out the wonderful advertising posters for these shows), ride all kinds of common and bizarre rides, eat traditional Coney Island food such as hot dogs and frozen custard (prices start at 10 cents!) and even get a souvenir picture postcard taken of you and your friends. The place is packed and everybody seems to be having a great time. This film is one of the best pieces of nostalgia I've seen in a long time, and that's saying a lot for what is essentially just an old Castle Films newsreel featurette.

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

BBC1 Schools: Announcement for Teachers (film #5 in the Schools section of TVArk). [Category: Educational]

This is a very staid promo for a new educational program about student volunteers. There’s just a title card and a properly British voice-over just like the ones that were sent up so well on Monty Python. Still, that makes me smile a little bit.

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

Argentina

Argentina. Standard geography film about the South American country of Argentina. There’s some historical interest here as you get to see ...