LENGTH: 22 min
CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Sound, Black & White
DIRECTOR: Arthur Lubin
PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: Walter Wanger with United States Public Health Service
Warning: The film contains explicit images of disease and intrusive medical treatment. Viewer discretion advised.
Convinced that motion pictures could convey information more effectively than almost any other medium, the United States Public Health Service, led by Dr. Thomas Parran, produced or contributed to about a dozen films on venereal disease in the 1930s and ‘40s. Some were aimed at clinicians, others at soldiers, and others at the public. Parran and his colleagues at the PHS sought to frame the battle against VD as a public health concern—how to prevent it, how to treat it—rather than a moral one focused on abstinence….Read the Essay
View another film featured in the essay.
Film Stills from To the People
In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine
NLM Prints & Photographs Collection
NLM Rare Book Collection
NLM Historical Audiovisuals Collection
Explore digitized films on venereal disease in the NLM Digital Collections
Related Resources from the National Library of Medicine
Visual Culture and Health in Profiles in Science
PubMed Central Full-Text Journal Articles
PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).
Explore current and historical research on sexually-transmitted diseases.
MedlinePlus Consumer Health Information
MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends.
Find current, accurate health information about sexually-transmitted diseases.
Articles and Websites
Read a 1955 article about the American Social Hygiene Association’s continuing efforts against prostitution, vice, and venereal disease.
Visit the website of the American Sexual Health Association (formerly the American Social Hygiene Association.)