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Heavy Petting (1989)

Cast: David Byrne, David Byrne, Sandra Bernhard, more...
Director: Obie Benz, Josh Mostel, Josh Mostel, more...
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Studio: Docurama
Genre: Documentary
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Those of us who had to suffer such "instructional" films as Dating Do's and Don'ts in high school will be especially entertained by Heavy Petting. In the visually sarcastic manner of the nuclear-age documentary The Atomic Cafe, the film assembles masses of information and misinformation about teenage dating rituals of the 1950s. Clips from contemporary movies, TV programs, commercials, and "sex hygiene" short subjects are used throughout; perhaps once upon a time these vignettes could have been taken seriously, but here they're only good for howls of laughter. Interspersed among the vintage footage are interviews with such children of the 1960s as David Byrne and William S. Burroughs. One look at the 1950s as depicted in Heavy Petting, and it's easy to see how the sensuous, psychedelic '60s came to be. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Heavy Petting (Disc 1 of 2) (1989)
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7.00 (3 votes)
Heavy Petting (Disc 2 of 2) (1989)
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5.00 (5 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Source materials by emdoub November 11, 2012 - 10:53 AM PST
This disc contains a brief (4 minute) introduction by the director and 10 of the source films used in Heavy Petting.

1. As Boys Grow...
2. Molly Grows Up
3. Dance, Little Children (VD warning)
4. The Innocent Party (VD warning)
5. In Defense of the Nation (War Dept. VD)
6. Easy to Get (War Dept. VD)
7. Know for Sure (VD warning)
8. Perversion for Profit (anti-porn)
9. Printed Poison (anti-porn)
10. Social-Sex Attitudes in Adolescence

Stroll down memory lane by emdoub November 8, 2012 - 10:11 AM PST
Not exactly a documentary, not exactly a comedy; a trip down memory lane for the Boomers who came of age in the 1950s.

Snippets of educational films, movies, television shows (you'll have to recognize them - listed at the end, they're not identified while they're on-screen)and interviews with survivors (and again, they're listed in the opening credits, but not identified until the end credits - you'll have to recognize them), overlaid with music from the period.

No analysis, no conclusions, not even any real information other than "this is what I did" interviews and the clips. Not unentertaining, but it's not likely that you'll be learning anything here.

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