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» » Holiday from Rules? (1958)

Short summary

Four children, about eight to ten years of age, sit around a nearly empty set complaining about all the rules they must follow - whether from parents, teachers, or other adults. An off-screen narrator invites them to imagine a place with no rules, and they're transported to an island of the imagination. They're excited at first, but as they try to play games, explore, gather shells to make a necklace, get food, attend to an injury, and eat, they find that life without rules is more than difficult.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Mullador
    I'll hang out on Turner Classics just before or after a regular film to catch a short like this, usually for their insightful look at the way life used to be in an earlier era. This one, with the help of four young kids who would like a crack at childhood with no grown ups around, was intended to illustrate the old adage - be careful what you wish for. Long story short, since that's what it was, it's just no fun playing games without rules, and with no 'please' or 'thank you' to engender civility. Worse, there's no one around to cook dinner or heaven forbid, mend a broken arm if you fell out of a tree. It doesn't take long, fifteen minutes as it turns out, to convince these kids that maybe there's no place like home. No doubt, they would not have been comfortable in "Lord of the Flies".
  • comment
    • Author: Slowly writer
    Holiday from Rules (1958)

    * 1/2 (out of 4)

    Extremely bad educational short has four kids breaking several rules when our narrator gets on them. The kids then wish that they could live somewhere where there weren't any rules and they get their wish but soon they learn why rules are good. Hey, I like a good educational film as much as the next person but this one here is pretty bad because of how annoying all four kids are. The "messages" are so in your face and are presented so corny that you can't help but want to turn the film off and laugh. The sets are done so that some animation could be added and this here is a mildly interesting thing that keeps the film from being a total bomb.
  • comment
    • Author: Hurus
    . . . and never forgot how this budding "child star" violated all regulations, whether their school teams were competing in track, cross country, debate, poetry recitation, regional spelling bees, or "battles of the concert bands." Maybe Mark's flagrant cheating in Real Life began a little after HOLIDAY FROM RULES was filmed. Even before Disabled Americans has an official Act, Mark perfected a hesitant stutter-tongue at the Spelling Bees, crying "foul" and "discrimination" in order to get second, third, and fourth chances from brow-beaten judges after his frequent misspellings. Later, when the national debate topic was "Pollution," Mark came up with his notorious "Noise Contamination" case which blind-sided everyone. During Forensics competition, Mark rhymed "orange" with "strange," and became color-blind whenever this fake disability would allow him to ignore the blue and red directional flags and cut the course. Mark was caught several times splitting reeds while rival clarinetists and bassoon players were on their lunch breaks. My uncle was once 20 yards from a school record victory in a quarter-mile race when Mark stuck his leg across the curb of an old cinder track, scarring the tripped-up thin-clad for life. "Mark" might talk a good game in HOLIDAY FROM RULES, but you should NOT believe a word of it!
  • comment
    • Author: Dancing Lion
    The film begins with four kids (about age 8) talking about how rules are bad and they wish they could do whatever they want. A faceless narrator tells them they are going to an island where there are none--an idea they love. However, again and again, the kids start fighting and realize rules are good. Then they face consequences for no rules--but none of the consequences are that interesting. Seeing a couple of the runts die or it becoming just like 'Lord of the Flies" would have made this a lot more interesting.

    As a kid, if I had seen this film, I'm sure I would have made fun of it because it is so incredibly preachy and boring. I might have even beaten up kids who liked the movie--and I was normally a very nice and non-violent kid! A film COULD me made to teach kids the importance of being a mindless zombie ant had a sense of humor or wasn't so dull. Think of the poor children who were forced to watch this sort of crap in schools back in the old days! Other than being in color, I can't really think of much good about this insipid film. Yecch.
  • comment
    • Author: ZloyGenii
    This movie shows that kids and their lives would be in complete disorder if they don't follow the rules. In it, four kids and a narrator are bored with the rules, so they imagine they're on a deserted island surrounded by sharks. Which leads into the kids going through life without rules, and they eventually hate not having rules. Unfortunately, this movie lacks in many places. The children's acting is painfully obvious, and what's with the badly drawn island? It's weird. Although I guess the idea is creative, but it was not intended to be used this way. So, all in all, this film is a rather poor way of taking an idea, and smashing it into pieces. I will give this 4/10.
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