A Warning From The Past: Six Murderous Beliefs

I don’t know about you but I love watching those old short films from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that were designed to terrify my mom and dad into living a safe, upright, drug-free, patriotic, and community-centric life.  These were the short films that were designed to make sure that everyone understood just what exactly the wages of sin were. 

What I love about these films is just how melodramatic and judgmental they often were.  It wasn’t enough, apparently, to point out that people occasionally made mistakes.  No, instead, every mistake had to be accompanied by a very judgmental narrator saying things like, “No, Jimmy didn’t think before ran across that street.  And now, he’s dead.”

Seriously, if I had been raised on a steady diet of these films, I would be even more of a fragile, neurotic little thing than I am now!

One of my favorites of these films is presented below.  Clocking in at nearly 12 minutes, the classic 1955 scare film Six Murderous Beliefs is designed to make sure that we understand that not only are young people stupid but they’re dangerous as well.  The film presents 6 examples of people foolishly believing one of 6 beliefs that are (as the narrator informs us), “wanted for … MURDER!”  My personal favorite is the second example just because I’ve had the exact same conversation with my sister Erin.

(I also love how, during the first example, the pilot so clearly despises the jock who doesn’t want to wear a parachute.)

And remember … “One of these beliefs might be about to murder you!  So watch carefully…”


2 responses to “A Warning From The Past: Six Murderous Beliefs

  1. The sketch of the Grim Reaper holding a hot dog and looking over the swimming pool is unintentionally hilarious, I must admit.

    However, all kidding aside, consider all of the accidents in the world that could be avoided by exercising the sage advice contained within this short movie.

    It might sound awful to be so judgemental of people who make such mistakes, but the problem is that people so often commit these “mistakes” knowing full well that in doing so, they are endangering not only their own lives, but the lives of others.

    Offered a weird looking pill by a stranger in a nightclub? Don’t take it! Riding your bicycle along the street? Wear a helmet! Dared by friends to swim across a river in the middle of the night? Tell them where to go!

    Granted, these films do have a melodramatic quality that might make them hard to take. Seriously, if you find the above film a little over the top (and in some ways it is–the Grim Reaper likes hot dogs!) then consider its message the next time some doofus gets knocked off by doing something titanically idiotic.


    • Actually, this film was extremely even-handed, nonjudgmental, and rational when compared to some of the films that I had to sit through when I was first learning how to drive. Agck! If nothing else, those films convinced me to always drive as fast as possible because, apparently, it’s not safe spending too much on the road.


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