UHEF & Uni News


Feb, 2018

Uni the backdrop for a 1971 U.S. mental health film!

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[Posted February 7, 2018] Uni has been the scene of much filming since its opening in the 1920s, including many feature films. But it was also used by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health in 1971 for a troubling, 29-minute film called “Social Seminar: Brian at Seventeen.”

According to the description, the film “Presents an adolescent’s view of his educational needs and how school is and is not fulfilling them. Gives a perspective of his educational experience, his parents and life in general.”

The film doesn’t have much to do with Uni per se, but it was filmed at Uni and you can see glimpses of what the school looked like in 1971. The one instantly recognizable teacher in the film is the recently-deceased Arnold Rubinoff, Uni’s photography teacher for a quarter of a century.

It takes a while to wade through, but it’s a snapshot of Uni at a point in time. Thanks to Lori Rogers for bringing the film to our attention!


15 thoughts on “Uni the backdrop for a 1971 U.S. mental health film!

    • Tascha Folsoi

      I don’t think those are actors. I have a friend who worked on a lot of the Social Seminar films with Peter Schnitzler, and he said they were all cinema verité. There are no acting credits on the Cast and Crew section of IMDB for the series either. It looks like Jack Moscowitz was in it. Plus the kids who are falling asleep in class really look like kids falling asleep in class :).


      • Rick Wilson

        Was Jack one of the teachers? I have a film blog and I would like to interview the main character Brian, is anyone in touch with him?


  1. Catherine Rogers

    I guess these days “Brian” would get his own reality show! I looked in an old University High yearbook but couldn’t find Brian, I would love to know if he kept taking pictures since I’m a photographer. It was a good film


  2. Tillman

    I just watched this, I think my Dad knew Brian but he doesn’t remember his last name or what happened to him. He said you should call the school, maybe he is alumni.


  3. Rick

    Brian McDougall was in fact enrolled at Uni in 1968 and 1969. He is in the 1969 yearbook in the 10th grade section. He took an English class which was taught by a Miss Friedman. Mr. Moskowitz was seen as well as Arnold Ribenoff. (Teachers). The name of the guidance counselor in the film was Florence Fisher.


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