The year was 1951 and Susie Jane was struggling to fit in at school. While everyone else was planning dances and hanging out at the malt shop, Susie was standing off to the side, quietly. Why was Susie Jane such an outsider? Was it the fault of her peers or was it her fault for being such a nonconformist?
This educational short, from Young American Films, puts most of the blame on Susie. Yes, the film suggests, her classmates could have made more of an effort to include her. But Susie also should have made more of an effort to fit in and she shouldn’t have been so quick to assume that everyone was against her. Susie might think that Marcy is only calling the house to taunt her but Marcy is actually calling because she feels guilty and obligated.
The short film may feel like one of the films that Herk Harvey made before directing Carnival of Souls but this film was actually directed by Arthur Wolf. The narrator, I have to say, is a bit of a jerk and spends the entire film talking down to Susie. Susie’s having a hard enough time without having to put up with all of that! That said, the film also takes a very 1950s approach to the issue of fitting in. Susie’s an outside because she’s shy. No consider is paid to the idea that maybe Susie just isn’t interested in doing the same thins as everyone else.
From 1951, here is The Outsider.