"Quacks and Nostrums" (1959 video)

From Kook Science

"Quacks and their nostrums can kill!" ( — A fun old black-and-white film about how the A.M.A., F.D.A., Postmaster, and the states act to take down quacks and their nostrums.

When his ailing mother comes home from a "health lecture," her son (a burgeoning doctor) finds she has bought a medicinal tea from a "South Seas" Doctor. He can't convince her that she was scammed, so he goes to family practitioner Dr. Evans for the straight goods. Evans directs him to the FDA, where the tea is analyzed and found to be not dangerous-- unless it prevents someone from seeking legitimate medical attention. A suit shows him a cabinet full of "nostrums," phony medical devices and medicines sold across America, and the son says "I had no idea we were such suckers about our health!" Next stop is the FTC, where we all learn what happens when someone prints a bogus health ad. On arriving home, our hero finds that his mother has collapsed and calls Dr. Evans right away. His mother only had "gall bladder trouble," and will be fine... no thanks to the tea. Today, this well-meaning short almost plays like pharmaceutical industry propaganda, dismissing alternative medicines, however that assuredly was not the intention at the time. A mostly fun short that moves along nicely thanks to a lack of narration.

"The Instructional Films of Budge Crawley" (