Communications and Our Town (film #359 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

A telephone lineman rescues a model plane from some telephone wires and returns it to the two boys who threw it there, one of whom is Jerry Mathers as the Beaver, while overly-dramatic music plays on the soundtrack. Rather than bawling them out, the lineman takes a large chunk out of his workday to talk with them about the various forms of communication in their community, including the telephone, mail, and radio. The Beave points out that an obvious form of communication is “just talking to people,” but the lineman, although agreeing with this, never lets the boys talk for themselves, but insists upon narrating the entire film in voice-over. He then creates an elaborate, though primitive, model of their town on the sidewalk, using rolls of tape, a pocketknife, and other lineman stuff, and connects everything together, including the “church,” with short lengths of telephone wire, which coincidentally form a pentagram. Just when you’re beginning to wonder about the wholesomeness of this lineman’s influence on young minds, he decides to get back to work, after giving the boys the “fun” assignment of making a list of all the different kinds of communication they can find in their town, the better to spread his Satanic philosoph––no, no, forget I said that. That pentagram means nothing, actually. Granted, Eddie Haskell did grow up to be Alice Coop––no, no, it’s just a coincidence, folks. Move along, now. Nothing to see here.

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

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