Odyssey of a Dropout

(USA 1966)

Odyssey of a Dropout is a black and white educational film shot on 16-millimeter that dramatizes the plight of the American high school dropout. I’ve found only very limited information about it online, and none of it lists the cast or the crew. As far as I can tell, this film is not available anywhere, but you can view other films of the same ilk here:

https://archive.org/details/coronet_instructional_videos?sort=titleSorter

If these films are anything like Odyssey of a Dropout—and perusing the titles suggests they are—it’s worth a diversion. Appropriately, Odyssey of a Dropout follows one teenage boy through his day after he drops out of school. He meanders aimlessly, going from a diner to a park to a pool hall. He hasn’t told his parents or his girlfriend, and it doesn’t appear that he’s having any fun—which is precisely the point.

Melodramatic and totally moralistic, this heavyhanded little number does a great job painting a hopelessly dire picture for those who don’t finish high school. So, it serves its purpose even if it borders on propaganda. Aside from that, it’s a neat time capsule; loaded with exterior street scenes and youngsters clad in clothes of the day, it documents small town America in a visually authentic way. I’d like to find this and see it again.

Production: Coronet Films

Distribution: Coronet Films

18 minutes
Not rated

(The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University) B-

Chicago Film Society

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