Vintage Edmonton: Social Hygiene Films In Edmonton (1946-68)

Exploitation films were a money-making genre for movie theatres and drive-ins almost since the birth of film itself. The social hygiene film, marketed mostly to teen-agers, was a particularly rich vein of films that kicked into overdrive due to Kroger Babb's Mom And Dad (1945). Made in one week and on a $70,000 budget, the story tells of of a High-school girl who gets pregnant by a boy, who then dies shortly afterwards. A sex education teacher then teaches the girl (and audience) about venereal diseases and birth itself, in clinical and explicit detail.

Babb himself was a visionary in selling the film across North America with screaming theater bills announcing the film in each city and in a genius PR move, hired local actors to portray 'noted hygiene expert Elliot Forbes' in each city to give a live lecture at the intermission.



The Story of Bob And Sally (1948) was Universal Studios' (comparatively) big-budget  reaction to Mom And Dad's success in theatres and drive-ins. Mirroring the former's plot more or less, the budget and acting was clearly more professional. However, the even-more clinical and explicit subject matter was too much for distributors in the US and was never shown there, though the film made it to Edmonton many times over the years




The Story Of Bob And Sally was repackaged as "The Second Instinct" and later, "Because Of Eve" in the mid/late 1960s for another very successful set of runs in Edmonton, w/ 'Scot Fraser' and 'Alexander Leeds' mimicking 'Eliot Forbes' role in the intermission as sex expert.



As noted, the film is explicit in it's subject and scenes, though w/ 'Alexander Leeds' making an appearance in the intermission:

                     The Doctor Speaks Out (1966) was a Swiss drama that was more in tune with Art House viewing than drive-in exploitation, but had enough (English dubbed) talk and scenes about forbidden subjects (abortion, among others)  to slot it for the teen crowd in 1968:

CHED-AM apparently was the sponsor of this run, and I'm sure they added a nice dose of levity to the after-affects  of the film: