'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)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


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

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In