Monday, August 3, 2009

Holiday from Rules (Portafilms, 1958)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2009 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

I settled in with Charles for a night of movie-watching that included a couple of oddball shorts, one an “educational” film from 1958 called Holiday from Rules, made in Walled Lake, Michigan by a company called Portafilms (which I inevitably jokingly renamed “Port-a-Pottie Films”) about a group of four kids — two boys and two girls — who complain about the rules that govern their lives and get transported by an omniscient narrator to a fantasy island where they can live on their own, without rules. It starts out as an Ayn Rand wet dream and turns into Lord of the Flies as the kids find that without rules the strongest of their number, or the ones who simply get to a resource first, can hog it all and keep the other people from getting any. One wonders how this potentially dangerous piece of socialist propaganda actually got made and shown to schoolkids!