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Film / Young Man's Fancy

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Young Man's Fancy is a 1952 industrial short produced by The Jam Handy Organization for the Edison Electric Institute. Essentially, its obscure purpose is to promote how wonderful electric appliances are for the house, even in 1952.

The twist is that this nugget is coated with two shells: a red-herring discussion of time and motion study, and the real draw for the movie, an awkward game of unrequited love lust.

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The story begins by introducing us to the spry young Judy Adams and her beret-wearing mother, focusing on chores aided by the wonders of electricity. As they discuss these wonders, Mother brings up a letter from Judy's older brother Bob. Bob is bringing home one Alexander Phipps, who has "no time for girls." Upon hearing this description of Alexander, Judy writes him off and figures that the man will be a complete bore.

When Alexander arrives, Judy is immediately smitten, and thus begins a...cunning(?) plan to win Alexander's affections. Oh, and promote the wonders of electricity.

This film is viewable at the Internet Archive, and was featured as a short in Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 610 The Violent Years. MST3K recap here.

Not to be confused with The Twilight Zone (1959) episode with the same name.

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Tropes:

  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Judy calls her brother "a stinker."
  • Chewing the Scenery: Judy's OTT acting has a slight (and hopefully unintentional) maniacal edge to it.
  • Fantastic Time Management: Alexander's apparent field of study. It's how the short works in electric appliances to his business.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Judy and her mom.
  • The '50s: Embarrassingly so.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Bob casually includes the fact that Alex is "quite a woman-hater" in the description of him in his letter.
    • Though Alexander is hardly a "he man" and the "woman hater" part was invented by Bob to keep Judy away.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: The only interpretation of Judy - the girl initially wants to get together with Alexander despite never having even met him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Either Judy and her mother are Supreme Chefs, turning an utterly ordinary meal into a grand feast worthy of kings, or Alexander is easily impressed.
  • Product Placement: Ridiculously so.
  • Society Marches On: If you wonder what Bob was referencing when he said, "Let me guess - you're the twin without the Toni", this will explain it.
  • Through His Stomach: Judy wins over Alexander by cooking a grand feast.
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    • Invoked by Judy's mom. Judy initially dismisses it, telling her mom the old adage is corny because everyone likes good food.
  • Totally Radical: Judy's slanging seems to peeve her mother a slight bit. However, Mom states that Bob is giving Judy "the reds".
  • Unusual Euphemism: Alexander makes Judy "squishy."
    • Alex is also "a real cool Jonah" who isn't like the "trips" she goes to school with.

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