'Alcohol Is Poison!' A 1950s PSA for Teens

A group of friends candidly discuss the risks associated with underage drinking.

More

What About Drinking, brought to us by the Prelinger Archive, is an educational film created at the Center of Alcohol Studies at Yale University in 1954. It centers on a group of teenagers, whose party is interrupted with news of a car accident: Bob and Ted hit a pedestrian while driving, and police found a bottle of alcohol in the car. What follows is an honest discussion among friends about underage drinking, with the girls professing more conservative (and religious) views than the boys. Three of the boys discuss the issue with their fathers as well. One father notes, “A drink before bed in the evening is just about the best thing I know of.”

Despite the teenagers’ overacting, the film is actually quite good. It renders the debate over underage drinking (and alcohol consumption in general) as difficult and highly personal. It concludes with an open-ended question to the audience: “What do you think?”

For more from the Prelinger Archive, visit their site

Jump to comments

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In