Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dirty Homer

"Personal Hygiene" Part 1.

Army Training Film T.F. 8-1665 produced in 1950 is arguably the most bizarre military training film ever made. Titled, "Personal Hygiene", the film's Hollywood production values and 'Capraesque' direction make it unusual among military training films. But where this film leaves all others behind is in its plot.
Here we see the story of Homer Turner, a semi-literate country boy that, quite frankly, stinks. When Homer reveals to a barracks-mate that the printed Army training material on military sanitation is too difficult for him to read, his buddies decide to help him with song.
In part 1, we meet Homer and the boys decide to render the army hygiene manual to the tune of various American folk songs

"Personal Hygiene" Part 2.

In part 2, the troops compose and perform several songs. Homer is forcibly gang scrubbed in the shower to the toe-tapping "Soap and Water". Homer gets a clue.
This segment may cause you wonder if the Army was conducting their experiments with LSD in conjunction with the making of this film.

"Personal Hygiene" Part 3.

In part 3, Homer has mastered his funk and is ready for graduate education in diet, exercise and latrine etiquette.
The troops in the mess hall scold Homer for his unhealthy candy bar snack while blowing a steady stream of unfiltered Lucky Strike smoke in his face.
Latrine procedures are covered and the campfire song "Fly-Yi-Yippie-Yi" is a highlight.

"Personal Hygiene" Part 4 - Final.

In part 4, Homer's cleanliness pays off and he gets his "Class A Pass" for a little off-base liberty.
The tension among the troops over presumed camp follower and local skank, "Myrtle", reaches the breaking point.
The barn dance sequence features a Busby Berkeley type overhead shot of the square dancers and enough detail to qualify as an Army training film on "Square Dancing for Soldiers".

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