The Dangerous Stranger (film #378 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

This earlier version of The Dangerous Stranger is a little less ridiculous than the later version, perhaps because it was made during the early 50s, when “don’t talk to strangers” wasn’t so ubiquitous. It’s also in murky black-and-white, and it seems to have been filmed in a bleak inner-city neighborhood that looks like it really is quite unsafe for kids. The campiest moment is the end, where Sid Davis hauls out silly caricatures of dumb kids getting into cars with and taking candy from strangers. These are a real hoot and definite items for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices. Overall, there is something quintessential about this kid’s safety film, making it a necessary addition to any collection of educational films.

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

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