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Pest Control (1950)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 14 January 1950 (USA)
In this "Pete Smith Specialty Short," advice is given on how to deal with certain common pests.

Director:

Dave O'Brien (as David Barclay)

Writers:

Joe Ansen (original story and screenplay), Dave O'Brien (original story and screenplay) (as David Barclay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Pete Smith ... Pete Smith - Narrator

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Storyline

Among the pests that are dealt with in this Pete Smith short are a wolf cruising in a convertible who refuses to take no for an answer from an attractive young woman, the small son of a customer in an antique store who causes damage to expensive "objets d'art," a dried-out fountain pen, and a woman who rudely stares at a diner through a restaurant window. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

narrator: Any resemblance between the horrifying menace of this brat and an atomic bomb is purely coincidental.
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User Reviews

 
My how society has changed in 67 years!
5 August 2017 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

Most times Pete Smith's shorts are humorous, but here there is a real contrast in how society has changed since 1950. Smith looks at several types of common human pests in 1950 and how they are completely lacking in self awareness.

First and most striking is "the wolf". He shows a man driving slowly down the street trying to get a pretty girl who is walking down the sidewalk to get into his car. Today this would be met by rape whistles and perhaps bear mace and even screams of fright. In this short Pete advises women to stop and talk to the man, even get in the car with him, and then jump out and damage his car as a lesson to him! I guess in 1950 small town Americana didn't have the term "sexual assault" in its lexicon.

Another segment is more familiar. A woman with a small child who runs around a store destroying property while she goes about her business, oblivious to the child's behavior. Another segment deals with a man who is frustrated with a dried up fountain pen but makes the mistake of writing a letter to the pen's manufacturer using that same pen. It does still expel ink, just at all of the wrong times.

Finally there is "the starer", who today would be "the peeping tom" or maybe "the stalker". This is the weirdest segment of all. A middle aged woman just walks up to a window in a strange building and stares at a man trying to eat dinner. Some people said this was a restaurant, but to me it looked like the guy's home. If it was his home, why did the guy just sit there? Today most people would be so instantly afraid of a stranger staring at them through their own kitchen window that you better hope they are not in a "stand your ground state" or this is about to stop being a comedy! Oh what an innocent peaceful place small town America must have been in 1950, at least in Pete Smith's world! Worth it if just for comparing then and now.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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