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City of Children (1949) HD online

City of Children (1949) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Short / Documentary
Original Title: City of Children
Writers: John Nesbitt
Released: 1949
Duration: 10min
Video type: Movie
Thirty-fives miles west of Chicago lies the small town of Mooseheart, Illinois, which has many attributes of many small mid-western American towns. But its one special characteristic is that its citizens are primarily children, specifically orphans. The town was conceived in 1909 by the Loyal Order of the Moose, who wanted orphans to grow up in loving, happy homes rather than institutions and to have fun as children should in addition to learning hard work and discipline through the learning of what is traditionally considered grown-up work for their future security. Some are also provided with what is generally the privilege of upper class homes, such as private music lessons. The town's development was possible through sizable donations. Much of that money is spent on the science behind raising parent-less children, making sure that the children's well-being is foremost.
Cast overview:
John Nesbitt John Nesbitt - Narrator (voice)

Final episode in the long running Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Passing Parade one-reel series.

Reviews: [3]

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    I'm basically as old as this short film documentary and for the life of me, I can't imagine why I've never heard of Mooseheart, Illinois - City of Children. I think the concept is terrific and sets an excellent example of how love and dedication to nurturing young orphaned children can develop them into happy, productive adults. Founded in 1909 from a donation by the Loyal Order of Moose, City of Children adopts three principles to their effective program - children live in homes instead of dormitories, they wear bright clothes instead of uniforms, and they are instilled with a freedom that goes hand in hand with discipline. The documentary depicts the youngsters learning trades like carpentry, farming, and clerical, as they are observed from an early age by child psychologists in order to help determine what career path to take to become productive members of society. A quick internet search indicates that the community continues to thrive to the present day, a lasting tribute to the effectiveness of a program that grew out of desperate need and continues to imbue young minds and hearts with hope for a better future.
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    City of Children (1949)

    ** (out of 4)

    This seventy-second episode in John Nesbitt's Passing Parade series is one of the weaker entries I've seen. The film takes a look at Mooseheart, IL, a place where there's an entire city of children who are taught how to live life after being abandoned by their parents. This series has always been one of my favorites because it either recreates great drama or tells great stories that many people might not know about. This film doesn't do either because there isn't any drama and the actual story being told isn't all that entertaining. The movie is incredibly flat from start to finish because we get a lot of stock footage and Nesbitt's narration just isn't what it normally is. The entire film has a lazy feel to it and I found myself looking at the clock a couple times too many, which isn't normally the case with this series. This was the final entry in the series and it wasn't a good one to go out with.
  • avatar


    This short subject, the last one in the Passing Parade series that John Nesbitt did for MGM concerns a town named Mooseheart, Illinois. It was founded by the Loyal Order of the Moose fraternity in 1913 and even today is still going strong 10 miles west of Chicago.

    It's got some adult supervision the documentary wasn't terribly clear about that, still it's residents are primarily young people, orphans who the Moose have gathered from the various places where there is a Moose Lodge.

    It was founded almost a decade before Father Frank Flanagan founded his Boys Town in Nebraska. It seems like a non-clerical version of same.

    And its coed.

    An interesting story despite the omissions.