Courtesy for Beginners (available on A/V Geeks. Also available for download from Google Video). [Category: Educational]

This 60s manners film for gradeschoolers is pretty campy, but it’s also so utterly charming that you don’t want to be too hard on it. Most fun is a scene of kids practicing greetings by speaking into a tape recorder. They do the greetings in a stilted, yet realistic (for kids) fashion, then make faces when they hear their voices played back. Then they have other kids respond politely to the recorded greetings, and this is also a lot of fun. OK, it’s important to teach kids manners, and the basic civility taught in this film is reasonable, but it’s hard not to start giggling at the earnestness portrayed here, while still being swayed by its charm. This is a late-60s Coronet film, with all of the Coronet earnest charm, which wouldn’t be around for much longer, so there’s a wistfulness about this film, too.

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

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