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Where Were You? Pt. 1 of 3

Reel Number: 221142-05

Color: Black and White

Sound: SD

Year / Date: 1950s

Country: USA


TC Begins: 04:42:08

TC Ends: 04:52:30

Duration: 00:10:22

Where Were You? Pt. 1 of 3 MPO Prods. Presented as a Public Service by Ford Motor Company Introduction by man (Henry Ford Jr.?) behind desk explaining reasons for film - “everyone should take a more active interest in political affairs”, Ford Co.’s desire to help local groups “awaken political conscience of the public at large”. 04:43:55 Musical sequence w/ car thru street of small town w/ loudspeakers & campaign banners ‘Folks for Doakes’. Townspeople watch it pass, from sidewalk & windows; kids run across playground to look. Cheesy tune playing re democracy. 04:45:16 Joseph Welch in library - declares to camera that he went to the polls & cast his vote against John Doakes - “...by the way, where were you?” - Titles. 04:45:47 Man at home watching election broadcast on television - presenter seen filling in wallchart w/ columns for candidates ‘Doakes’ & ‘Smith’ & districts - wife says it’s a bore & he changes channel to western film while she paints her nails - interrupted by special bulletin on election w/ announcement of Doakes’ victory. 04:46:54 Victory celebrations at party headquarters w/ Doakes supporters singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” & waving campaign flags - Doakes makes acceptance speech - “I solemnly promise to the voters who elected me that I will consider my office a sacred trust” - hugs wife. 04:47:44 Interviewer taking vox pops in street - people expressing indifference or surprise at Doakes’ victory - “I’m just on the outside looking in” - “there was hardly any choice” etc. Flashback to start of Doakes’ campaign eight months earlier. Party chiefs at caucus / meeting, decide on slogan & debate choice of candidate. Cut to presenter Jseph Welch explaining Caucus process to camera - many people “forfeited valuable privilege” in not exercising right of attendance at meeting - first step of Doakes’ career made possible by “political ignorance” of the voters. Politics. Voting. Democratic Process. Local Government. 1950s. Democracy; Elections; Stereotype

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