I happily stumbled upon the blog known as The Unwritten Record recently, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their posts. The blog is managed by the Special Media Records Division of the National Archives, and it highlights fascinating movies and other gems the archivists come across during their work of restoring and preserving the country’s historic media. I thought it was all interesting enough, but when I came across the first film below, I was alternately incensed and amused, and I definitely knew I needed to share. This is How to Succeed With Brunettes, a film produced by the U.S. Navy in 1967 meant to contribute to the “overall health and well-being of military personnel.”
“First of all, be late. That’ll show her you’re a busy, important person, that you’re not too interested in her. Play hard to get. After all, you’re worth waiting for! This will make a great first impression. Then laugh it off. Apologize? Aw, come on, don’t be a square. Okay, now the topper. Show her what a sense of humor you have by holding her coat just a little bit too high.”– How to Succeed With Brunettes, 1967
How to Succeed With Brunettes does eventually redeem itself, sort of. However, even if it’s not actively teaching men to be jerks, it still assumes women can’t do anything for themselves. A different time for sure. I’ve also included below a few more oddball military films. The mind boggles.