One of the reasons I find the post WWII period so interesting is it was a time of social and technological change for our country. While the men were gone to war, women had picked up the slack in the offices, factories and more. When the men came home, everything didn’t just slide neatly back to the way it had been before. Everyone had experiences that changed them, and this in turn caused changes to society. I read somewhere (sorry, can’t remember where) that these changes are one of the reasons that there were so many sitcoms at the time about happy family life–they were intentionally trying to reinforce the traditional roles.
One of the big changes in the 1950’s were the way the younger generations (“Moderns” as they are called in this film) view relationships and marriage.
The film “Marriage: Today”– Talks about some of the post war societal difficulties-lack of housing, slums, and inflation. I know when my own grandfather came back from the war as a young married man (with my Mom as a baby) they had to move in with his parents, not due to a shortage of fund, but due to a shortage of housing in NYC. This generation also was a bit more cautious in some ways–having been born in the depression and lived through war. The film addresses these things and more, discussing how ladies now had the opportunity to do meaningful work and support themselves, so getting married was more of a choice for this generation rather than a necessity. “A voluntary state”.
The film then concentrates on the changes in the way couples are building their marriages compared to previous generations. There are some really good general tips on how to be realistic about love and successfully strengthen a relationship. Finally it ends with several situation where the couples have to deal with some minor conflicts maturely.
Again, I think despite it’s age, this film has some good, solid advice on how to think about love and how to stregnthen relationships. I particularly like when the one guy says “People have to be able to go on liking each other for a marriage to be successful.”
Additionally, as always, I love all the “everyday people” shots through out this film–gives a glimpse of life in the early 1950’s. It shows little moments of everyday life that really give a flavor of the times, if like me you are too young to have lived through them yourself.
What advice in this film do you find particularly relevant? Do you think any of the advice has not stood the test of time?
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