|1946 March of Time
|The first public film record of A.A. work (Public Information), was the
1946 March of Time feature, "Problem Drinkers". The March 1946 issue of
the Grapevine reported the following:
"The March of Time is in the process of making a documentary film on
alcoholism, in which Alcoholics Anonymous is to play a large part. The film,
said a March of Time official, will probably not be ready for release for
several months to come. Prior to the release they will notify the Central
Office, which in turn will inform all A.A. groups in time to catch the picture
immediately it is out."
The June Grapevine reported the following:
"Release date for The March of Time documentary film on alcoholism has
been announced as June 14.
The picture includes scenes taken at the A.A. Central Office in Manhattan; the
NCEA (Nat'l Committee for Education on Alcoholism); New York's
Knickerbocker Hospital; the Yale School for Alcohol Studies; and at the
clubrooms of one A.A. group--chosen by The March of Time people because
it seemed typical.
A.A.s anonymity has been respected throughout. No A.A.s face is shown in
the film. The faces distinguishable in the shots taken at the Central Office are
those of non-alcoholics. And those seen at the group's clubrooms are actors'.
The one exception is Marty M., who emerged from her anonymity when
called upon to become executive director of NCEA."
The following are five segments of the documentary film on alcoholism,
that are from the HBO Archives collection.
|#1 New York City Intro. Segment #1
|#2 Fred Segment #2
|#3 Close of Meeting Segment #3
|#4 New York Office Segment #4
|#5 Alcoholism Segment #5
|The December 1946 Grapevine reports the following:
"Since June the Omaha, Nebr., Group has had a "skid row" Group going right across the street from
Omaha's famous Hobo Park. For another dramatic touch they had an artist make a seven-foot, well
dressed, domino-masked man to peddle a booklet on A.A. in the lobby of theatres showing "March of
Time Problem Drinkers" and late showings of "Lost Weekend." About 1,500 pamphlets were put into
circulation and phone calls at the club kept members hopping. Then, The A.A. Grapevine
correspondent goes on, "outstate members. . .are organizing their own local groups and this work
needs a hand. Even if all of us didn't want to do 12th Step work, we'd be in it up to the eyebrows."
The Muncie newspapers reported of the showing of both the "March of Time Problem
Drinkers" and late showings of "Lost Weekend", in December 1946.