Sunday, February 12, 2012

Main Street Today (1944)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Short Subject, Two-Reel - Jerry Bresler

"Main Street Today" is one of the many short films produced during World War II that was made to encourage American citizens to support the war effort in some way, whether through enlistment, buying war bonds, or displaying greater patriotism. "Main Street Today" tells the story of a town that has grown upset at the government's request to add an additional shift at the factory, before one individual reminds the town of its patriotic duty.

Films such as "Main Street Today" are quite dated, and it is difficult to imagine a time in which these films could be effective. They tend to come across as quite naive and a bit ridiculous. Yet so many of these films were made that they must have been effective to some degree. "Main Street Today" isn't one of my favorites of the type, as it comes across as especially corny and over-the-top.

I will likely never understand the appeal of films such as "Main Street Today," since I was born several generations after the generation that it was made for. While there is a certain charm in these shorts, I'm afraid they're just not my cup of tea.

Remaining: 3175 films, 869 Oscars, 5454 nominations


  1. You completely miss the context of this film in relation to its time, which proves that you can't judge yesterday's art by today's standards. To disdain something that was made for an audience of nearly seventy years ago is both naive and foolish. I suppose you feel the same way about "Mrs. Miniver".

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to comment. I agree with you completely about the need not to judge yesterday's art by today's standards. I stated in my post that though the films come across as naive and ridiculous, they must have been effective to a degree in their day, due to their popularity. I also stated that I'm just not able to understand the appeal of these films . Even putting myself in the time and place of the films, they come across as goofy and ridiculous, as there are ample examples of similar themed shorts of this time that treat the subject with more depth and seriousness. These films just do not appeal to me, but I completely recognize that if I was writing this in 1944, I might have a very different reaction. But you raise a completely valid and interesting point about how to judge art one has difficulty relating to.

    I haven't yet seen "Mrs. Miniver" (but I of course will as a part of this project), but the film's director, William Wyler, made perhaps the best WWII-era film about the war in "The Best Years of Our Lives," so I have a hunch I would like it much more than "Main Street Today."