1962 BYU Film: Measure of a Man: Booze and Broads (repost)

Third in this week’s Humbar Smoker’s Hour, with a BYU film set in Provo called Measure of a Man.

Sophisticated in its approach to peer pressure, and it’s resistance, the film shows precisly how one becomes a boozy floozy.  Alongside shots of Utah County, you also get a lovely offering of the variety of accents then common to Utah.  Big Mike joins his new pals for rootbeers at the Big Boy, and its downhill, literally, after that.  This is what happens when Jocko isn’t home taught by Slick Dave (see post below for reference).

The principle plot device is internal monologue, a revealing choice which indicates how isolated we had become by this time; also, the presumption is that our social selves are essentially postures and fakes.  And the audience is allowed accesss to their “real” selves via this narrative surveillance, while the characters are driven literally by the deceptive postures built from an overriding paranoia that one might be called or thought of as being “chicken”.  Parents, cops, and all the devices for bounding off behavior are fooled by the show and big talk; but in the end it’s self-surveillance that cannot be fooled.  Yet, the concern isn’t about right or wrong, but what would another person think.  The ideal Correlated person, in short, is unattached from actual social settings, and conducts self-surveillance and imagined dialogue with authorities in the manner shown here: “What would X think if he/she saw/heard me now?”  Don’t dare watch it?  Whatarya?  Chicken?  Hah!

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3 thoughts on “1962 BYU Film: Measure of a Man: Booze and Broads (repost)

  1. rockwaterman1 says:

    I knew I was in for a treat from the opening scene of two teenage hipsters gathered around the jukebox rocking out to “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

    I actually remember this film from my own seminary days, though it was already dated when it was shown to us circa 1968. (Hell, it was already dated the year it came out!)

    What caught my attention at the time was the protagonist combing his hair in front of the mirror using a hairbrush! The idea of a guy using a brush instead of a comb was so foreign to me that it made a lasting impression. Truly weird to those of us sporting Chip Douglas hairstyles by the late sixties.

    My friends and I were repeating the line, “Ever wonder how a beer can sweats?” for weeks. Thanks for this blast from the past, Daymon. A true delight.

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