A Normal Birth (1951)

31 Jan
Director Unknown
Producer Medical Arts Productions, Inc.
Contributors Unknown
Length 11 Minutes
B&W/Color B&W
UO Library Catalog description: A photographic record of the actual delivery in a normal birth.
Call # FILM Ma100
Genre Medical Education
Rare No
Online No
Copyright status Public Domain
Physical condition Fair
Oregon-related No

Notes: A Normal Birth is pretty self-explanatory. It is an update of a film made in 1950 meant as a revision to illustrate a normal example of childbirth through various photographic images. Lots of warpage in the film itself. Numerous splices would indicate that it was well used, possibly in an educational environment pertaining to medicine. Damage is less pronounced further into the reel. Slight acid deterioration.

The 1950’s was apparently a golden era for childbirth films. There are full DVD compilations of these types of movies available on DVD. Upon reviewing some of these films on YouTube, I’ve found that they all share a common trait: they depict childbirth as very painful, almost comically at times. A Normal Birth is unique  in its portrayal of the birthing process. It is significantly more documentarian, relying a on the static image and completely realistic visuals rather than taking any stance on the subject or dramatizing it in any way. This would further suggest its use in a formal educational environment. Collections of the more extreme 1950’s childbirth films can be found here.

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