Molly Grows Up

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Molly Grows Up is a short film from 1953 released on 16mm. It is held in the Prelinger Archives collection.


--Molly enthusiastically describes a wedding; neighbors comment on how she is growing up. --She tries on sister's hat and lipstick --Mother calmly asks Molly how she feels when she has started her first period --the "curse" --Father shows his surprise and his pride --Plumbing diagrams --Molly adoringly watches her sister in stunning formal dress leave for a dance, and narrator concludes she is looking forward to being grown up and exciting times Molly has her first period and receives sympathetic advice and instruction from her mother and school nurse. Begins with Molly gushing about a wedding and the beautiful bride to two older woman neighbors. "My goodness, Molly is certainly growing up," they say. School nurse intercepts Molly and friend as they head into school, wants to check on Molly's sore throat. Quick intervention, California-style. Nurse returns gloves that Molly's mother left over at her house last night; nurse is almost part of family. Molly in older sister Jeanie's room going through stuff, wearing hat and trying on lipstick. Jeanie is mad but not really. Goes to drawer, pulls out a Modess pad from visibly named box. Molly: "Jeanie, when do you think I'll start having periods, too?" Molly is worried she is behind her friends. Sister: "So what? Some start earlier, some later. We're all different. From the way you've been acting lately, shouldn't be long now." Molly comes home from school. Mom is in kitchen. "Mom, guess what?" "I don't know, what?"�"Mom, I started my first period." "Well, whaddaya you know. C'mon, sit down, tell me about it." (spoken with greatest of interest, putting mixing bowl down, etc.) ."...Well, my goodness. How do you feel?" (concern) "Tonight will be mother and daughter conference night." ... [mother shakes head and says "Gol-ly..., smiles] mother gives private lecture to Molly on normality, etc. "it's just part of being a woman, I guess..." "Well, if you sit and stand straight, that'll give the organs inside your body room to function better, and that'll make you feel better." Mother warns against swimming first 2 or 3 days after start of your period, Molly says sanctimoniously about how she has the curse. Mom: "You know, I've often wondered why it is that some women still call menstruation the curse." Mom to Dad (with Molly's permission): "Well, Jim, Molly's growing up. She's having her first menstrual period." Dad: "What? already? Oh, but Alice, I thought...well, I mean, after all, she's only..." Dad relents... Nurse: "she's changing from a child into an adult, and it's a little confusing at times..." Nurse substitutes for another sick teacher... "menstruation is just the natural, normal process leading up to being a mother." [diagrams] nurse explains sanitary napkins... shows elastic belt some girls prefer to use tampons "But you should be more careful than ever about personal cleanliness and daintiness. Change your underwear more often, and be sure to use a deodorant. And pay more attention to your hair and your nails. And plan to wear your prettiest dress. In other words, be your most attractive self." "Do" and "Do moderately" chart nurse gives out booklets for kids to read. narrator: "Soon, Molly will be a young woman like her sister Jeanie, having dates, going to dances in lovely, romantic dresses, and making new and important friends. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to... Growing up, it's an exciting time."

From Ed Screen April 1954:

[the committee appraisal]

"This film provides a calm, forthright, faithful, and sympathetic portrayal of a girl's experiences connected with the growing-up process. Dealing as it does with both the biological and social aspects of menstruation, the film should be useful in explaining to adolescents the menstruation process and allaying their fear. Parents should find the film helpful in suggesting ways of handling their daughter's questions about menstruation and developing desirable attitudes toward the whole process of growing up. Both groups should also find the film effective for stimulating group discussion.

"Parents and teen-agers, the previewing committee felt, would easily identify themselves with the protagonists and situations in the film. The incidental references to the sponsor's products do not seem to detract from the value of the film. The naturalness of the characters, the universal importance of the information and questions, and the clear, crisp explanations should enhance the teaching value of the film."

Molly Grows Up
Produced byPhoto & Sound Productions for Medical Arts Productions
Photo & Sound Productions for Medical Arts Productions
Distributed byPhoto & Sound Productions for Medical Arts Productions
Release date
Running time
ewid: 3238 | Fresh | || dopt: {{{dopt}}}