First Steps

Preview Language:   English
ENGLISH 01-Jan-1946 00:09:56
In this film, one disabled child learns to walk. First he moves, then stands, and finally takes his first steps. Modern techniques of physiotherapy and the need to develop the whole child, emotions and mind as well as body are stressed. Skilled adult workers offer not only massage and therapy but also love and understanding.

Awards: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Award, 1948.
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Acquire
English
MP3
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Description
FIRST STEPS
FADE IN: (Music up)
THE UNITED NATIONS FILM BOARD PRESENTS

DISSOLVE TO:
A FREDERIC HOUSE PRODUCTION

DISSOLVE TO:
DIRECTED BY LEO SELTZER
Script - Albert Wasserman
Camera - Albert Mozell
Assistants - Felix Lazarus, Bert Spielvogel
Narrator - Winston O'Keefe
Medical Supervision - Dr. N. Purshottam, M.D. (India)
Produced by Karl Hinkle

DISSOLVE TO:
FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED NATIONS, UNDER SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

1. LS. Tree. Moving swing comes into frame. Camera pans with movement.
(MUSIC DOWN. SOUND EFFECTS OF CHILDREN'S SHOUTS AND LAUGHTER)
2. FS. Side angle of three moving swings.
3. FS. Swimming pool seen past swings.
4. MS. Children in pool leaping for ball.
(NARRATOR) These children, splashing and Playing like any normal children...
5. MS. Pool. PAN to wheel chair.
(N) …are all crippled.
6. FS. Boy with bad hand.
(N) Some of them may never be cured.
7. FS. Boy with bad legs.
(N) Yet all of them will become useful adults--given proper training...
8. MS. Donald carried out of pool to chair. Chair is wheeled away.
(N) … Training by skilled workers who have acquired technical knowledge of the body, the brain, and the emotions…
9. Physiotherapist and child.
(N) ... And whose professional knowledge is reinforced by the love and devotion necessary for training handicapped children.
10. NS. Donald and ÿeelbarrow.
(N) The chief training ground for a handicapped child is his home.
11. FS. The garden. Donald and wheelbarrow enter.
(N) But there are other places -- a garden. Here he can mingle with other children…
12. TWO-SHOT. Hoers.
(N) He can prepare for usefulness…
13. MCU: The hoers.
(N) ... By being useful.
14. FS. Cabbage patch and children.
15. CU. TWO-SHOT. Cabbage patch.
(N) And occupation turns his thoughts outward from his limited body to the world around him.
16. CU. Picking cabbage

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17. Boy sawing
(N) Occupation frees the mind. And also trains the muscles.
18. Donald nailing boat.
(N) Exercise is welcome when the movements produce something...
19. Sandpapering boat.
(N) ... A toy boat to sail in puddles.
20. CU. Boy clay sculpting.
(N) ... A clay mask to strengthen fingers and imagination.
21. TW0-SHOT, Girls weaving. Social worker enters.
(N) Fascinating things can be done using simple equipment—with the social worker helping maintain interest by instruction and encouragement.
22. FS. Girl, finger-painting.
(N) Even a severely handicapped child...
23. CU. Fingers, painting.
24. MS. Girl, finger-painting, and social worker.
(N) ....Can have the satisfaction of creative activity.

DISSOLVE T0:

25. MS. Counselor and music group.
(N) Music is a medium for developing co-ordination, as well as for exercising muscles.
26. CU. Cymbal player.
(SOUND EFFECTS: MUSIC)
27. PAN along music group.
28. FS. Music group.

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29. FS. Pebble game group under tree.
(N) When training starts early, the handicapped child has a far better chance for recovery.
30. MS. Pebble group. Pebble handed to child.
31. Children passing pebble.
(N) For these youngsters, the social worker uses the simple activities they enjoy.
32. CU. Hands passing pebble.
33. Boy who is 'It' (Lenny) takes hand from eyes.
(N) Through a group game...hands and arms can be trained for movement.
34. Three children, fists outstretched, and social worker.
35. Lenny, guessing.
(N) And at the same time, hearts can be trained for happiness… Lips can be trained for…
36. Lenny and three children with social worker. Lenny finds pebble.
(N) …laughter.
37. Lenny reacting.

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38. Children in sand piles.
(N) The first goal of therapy is self-help.
39. MS. Three children and social worker in sand piles.
(N) To achieve it, basic motions are translated into play.
40. MCU. Girl shovelling sand and social worker.
(N) Abduction and adduction of the shoulder become a tunnel shovelled in the sand.
41. Lenny, stacking blocks.
(N) Grasp and release become a castle built of blocks.

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42. FS. Children eating in dining room.
(N) Slowly the games change.
43. CU. Girl eating.
(N) The block becomes a piece of bread--and the child can feed herself.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

44. MS. Social worker wheeling boy to shack. (Lucy)
45. THREE-SHOT. Lucy and Helen assist boy into shack.
(N) Together with, and often before occupational therapy, more specific conditioning exercises are needed.

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46. FS. Helen massaging boy.
(N) Such exercises are provided by physical therapy.
47. MS. Helen massaging boy.
(N) The instruments of physical therapy are simple things…
48. CU. Helen’s face.
(N) ... A soft voice, a smile…
49. CU. The boy’s face.
(N) ... And hands, skilled in the education of muscles.
50. MCS. Helen’s hands massaging the boy’s leg.
(Firm, gentle massage improves circulation and prepares the limb for use.

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51. ZS. Donald carried to treatment table.
(N) Legs that can barely move can be strengthened by an over-lapping series of exercises.
52. MS. Lucy administering passive exercise to Donald.
(N) Therapy must be given regularly, over an extended period of time.
53. CU. Passive exercise.
(N) First, the feeling of motion is taught through passive exercise.

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54. MS. Active exercise.
(N) Later, active movement may be started. The first hesitant motions are hard work-- and...
55. MCU. Donald under stress after exercise.
(N) ... The social worker must watch for signs of fatigue.
56. MS. Lucy giving Donald breathing exercises.
(N) Deep breathing helps the child relax.

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57. CU. Donald’s legs. TILT UP to resisted exercise.
(N) Now his muscles are stronger. They can push against resistance.
58. MS. Donald and Lucy, finishing exercise. She leaves.
59. MCU. Donald’s face. TILT DOWN along body to his legs, as he dangles these experimentally.
(N) Slowly, his legs are beginning to feel like part of his body.

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60. CU. Donald’s feet. TILT UP along his body as he stands supported against a wall.
(N) He is ready to test them against earth. Now he can practice standing. He is first supported against a wall.

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61. FS. Donald and Lucy as he stands unsupported, holding her hand.
(N) And then, supported only by confidence....
62. INTERCUT, MS, Donald lets go, straightens up.
(N) ...In himself and in his instructor.
63. FS. Donald, standing unsupported; and Lucy.
(N) Walking is only a few steps away…

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64. MS. Social worker and boy. Boy is walking along parallel bars.
(N) Simple equipment helps him prepare for walking — parallel bars of different kinds…
65. MCU. Legs walking through bars with abduction board.
(N) .... With a board in the center to keep the knees apart.

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66. MCU. Legs walking through colored squares.
(N) ...With colored squares to train alternate stepping.

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67. MCU. Legs walking through bets with raised floorboards.
(N) … With raised bars on the floor to correct shuffling.
68. Donald walking through bars.
(N) Step after step, month after month, the training continues.
69. MS. Donald and social worker as he reaches end of bars.
(N) And with each step, each month, recovery is a little closer.
70. CU. Donald, hesitant.
71. CU. His feet step off bars onto grass.
(N) Now his legs are free.
72. Donald on grass at end of bare, wavering.
73. Donald, happy, looks down at feet, then up.
74. Donald and social worker, as they step away from bars.
(N) Because the child himself has been developed, as well as his legs... walking is a beginning, not an end.

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75. THREE SHOT. Donald and parents silhouetted in doorway.
(N) Those who have helped him -- the social worker...
76. FRONT ANGLE. The three walk out, Donald in lead.
(N) .... His parents--will still help him. Now they can begin to share his triumph...
77. REAR ANGLE. Donald walks away, turns his head, smiles as his mother enters frame.
(N) ... As with his first steps he seeks a direction.--
78. CU. His face.
(N) ... The way to usefulness and dignity among people.
79. REAR ANGLE. He walks away.
(MUSIC UP AND OUT)

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

THE END

END TITLE.
Photo Credit
UN Photo
Category
Topical Subjects
Creator
Leo Seltzer, Karl Hinkle; Producers
Contributors
United Nations Film Board, Sponsor; Frederic House Inc.; Production House, Albert Wasserman; Script, Albert Mozell; Camera, Winston O'Keefe, Narrator, Dr. N. Purshottam, M.D. (India); Medical Supervision, Felix Lazarus, Bert Spielvogel; Assistants
Physical Format
35mm
Colour
Black and White
Aspect Ratio
4:3
Asset ID
1740959