Old Movies In The Classroom
Anybody recognize this little magazine? We got them every week at school when I was in the eighth grade. This issue came across my iron maiden of a bubble-gum encrusted desk the week after my fourteenth birthday, and I’ve kept it close to my bosom ever since. It was the first time in my memory that movies were sanctified by the educational establishment. Oh yes, we’d watched Paramount’s Williamsburg – The Story Of A Patriot in the sixth grade, but this was reading of which my stern-visaged teacher/sadist would approve, and there was even a class discussion on the subject! Scholastic Scope was generally a crashing bore of a "news" weekly for adolescents --- often as not it would focus upon the Suez Canal, curing molasses, stuff like that. For the sake of context, I’ve included this Kellogg’s ad from the inside cover (what other possible reason could I have for featuring The Monkees at the Greenbriar?). I wonder if the winner of the contest got to be on that episode Lon Chaney, Jr. did? Anyway, The Story Of Movies is standard issue pabulum best left, I suspect, to the kids who were making their second or third go-round through the eighth grade. Just read these sample paragraphs under the "Standard Corny Cast" header and see what I mean. That’s pretty much the tenor of the article as a whole. So few books were available on the subject at that time --- sadly it was this sort of thing that people relied upon for their film history. We may have global warming now, but at least we’ve also got TCM. Recognize those "Famous Lines from the Movies"? Neither do I, but we took them for the truth then. By the way, Bill Everson once said, rightly I suspect, that the most oft-used line in westerns was not either of these, but the simple "Let’s get out of here!" which was spoken (eventually) in virtually every horse opera they ever made. Scholastic Scope also featured a helpful letters column in each issue, "What’s On Your Mind?" and in this particular number, there was a spirited debate as to a "disgusting" article which had been previously published on hippies. The writer suggested that he could not face a society that refused to embrace them (he should have been here this past weekend for our big annual music festival --- hippies were everywhere! --- possibly the same ones he was referring to). Another scribe lamented the criticism of boys with long hair. After all, he said, George Washington and Abe Lincoln had long hair (Abe did? I’d never noticed!). Anyway, having preserved the magazine for going on forty years, it seemed appropriate that I share the enrichment with Greenbriar readers, and I welcome comments from other Scholastic Scope readers and collectors.