Footage Information

Archive Films by Getty Images
For the Living
PA-3497 Beta SP; PA-0506 Digibeta
Educational Industrial
ca. 1949
For the Living City of New York: William O'Dwyer, Mayor. The television unit of the City of New York (which is directed by Clifford Evans) presents For the Living. Story by Doris Pansohoff. Cinematography by Leo Seltzer and Bert Spielvogel. Edited by Lewis Jacobs and Rosemarie Hickson. Sound by Frank Rosa Jr. Research by Grace Bliss. Produced by Clifford Evans. Directed by Leo Seltzer and Lewis Jacobs. Narrated by Frederick March. Though ultimately a plug for the New York City Housing Authority, this film begins as a "story about a city -- this city." An extended montage of street scenes, buildings, store windows, diners, subway stations, parks, bridges (the George Washington Bridge), and libraries gives way to a short montage of "the backwash of a city's growth, the slums" (includes shots of Chinatown and the Lower East Side). The film then goes on to dramatize the ways in which people are "ghetto-bound by color, religion, and poverty" (racist landlords, unreasonable rents, etc...). From here we move into a short history of the projects the New York City Housing Authority has built (Red Hook, Vladeck House, Fort Greene, and 2 Frankfort St. are all shown). the housing projects (images here of the demolition and building of apartment complexes as people look on) are discussed as a "way to secure families" and a means to "build a living community of health and happiness" (the camera pans across mailboxes which are labeled with family names of all nationalities). More shots: Application and filing process (people filling out forms) A parade of women with baby carriages bringing laundry to the laundromat Children brushing teeth in apartment bathroom Film ends with a final conclusion from Thomas Farrell, Chairman, New York City Housing Authority and the Mayor. Final title reads "The Beginning." Contains exceptionally good shots of New York City in late 1940's. Elevated trains, pan across skyline, traffic and pedestrians, Lindy's window shopping, ethnic ghettos (Italian etc) pan up skyscrapers, phone booths, Harlem, wrecking ball, buildings being demolished, CU boy brushing teeth, much more recommended. 04:03:82 - 04:42:23 URBAN NIGHTMARES (STOCK) EXT. GS tenements and abandoned lot with fires burning. Kids run through the lot. CUT CU kids climbing a fence from lot to tenement backyard. CUT GS woman bringing in laundry off the line. CUT GS abandoned lot with laundry strung high above it. CUT GS guys standing on corner hanging out, smoking. CUT GS toddlers hanging out in windows. CUT LS girl swinging on swing hanging from fire escape. CUT VS guys throwing dice. CUT GS kids playing in a puddle. CUT GS girls playing double-dutch. 04:42:28 - 05:22:41 URBAN NIGHTMARES (STOCK) EXT. GS man entering tenement building. VS of decrepit interior: falling plater, laundry strung up in stairwell, dimly lit, holes in ceiling, etc. CUT VS overcrowded poorly maintained apartment. 05:22:43 - 05:52:20 URBAN NIGHTMARES (STOCK) EXT. VS of Lower East Side: broken windows of Aura Franklin Free Hospital for Children, tenements with laundry on fire escape. VS Chinese and Hebrew signs. Scene ends with bearded man (hobo?) walking toward camera on busy street.