Produced by Crawley Films of Canada for McGraw-Hill Book Co, Inc., When Should I Marry? is a 1957 educational film that is part of the Marriage and Family Living series. Viewers watch as a young couple, Jim and Pat, meet with their minister, Dr. Hamilton, to discuss if they are ready for marriage. Dr. Hamilton tells them the stories of two couples that highlight only the negative hardship aspects of marrying young. The film opens with a shot of Jim and Pat walking through a park holding hands. They meet with Dr. Hamilton in his home office. The minister tells them first about Betty and Burt. The film cuts to Betty and Burt—Burt is in law school and Betty is working to support the couple. Betty walks home and finds Burt sleeping in a chair in their small apartment (03:12). Betty begs Burt to take her to a party, but he refuses. The two then get into a fight about finances. They sit in silence eating dinner (05:43), then Betty proceeds to hang the laundry on the clothes line running across the kitchen. Burt is studying at the kitchen table and yells at Betty for hanging the laundry while he is studying. Back at the minister’s office, Dr. Hamilton stands up, walks to the fireplace, and tells another story to the two young lovers (08:12). Helen and Hal are another young married couple who have a baby. Helen sits in front of a mirror and gets ready for a party she is throwing for Hal’s birthday (09:11). She speaks to her little baby, which is in the crib in the corner of the small studio apartment. Hal comes home, and Helen shows him his birthday cake and tells him that friends are coming over for a small party. Helen sets the table while Hal sweeps the floor (11:50), then their four guests arrive. Two of the friends turn on a radio, and the loud music wakes the baby. Hal blows out the candles of his cake (15:30), but the baby continues to cry in her crib. Feeling awkward as Helen and Hal try to sooth the baby, the friends say goodbye and leave before Helen can cut the cake. Back in Dr. Hamilton’s office, he asks the couple a handful of questions about whether they can handle the demands and sacrifices of marriage at a young age.
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