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What Do You Do When You See a Blind Person? (1971)

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Museum

Sound | 1971

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  •  A blind man named Jim waits at crosswalk in busy downtown Manhattan 
  •  A sighted man named Phil clumsily attempts to help Jim cross the street 
  •  With instructions from the narrator, Phil approaches Jim and helps him walk throughout the city 
  •  Phil assists Jim in climbing a staircase 
  •  Phil stumbles over his words in fear of offending Jim 
  •  The two men dine at a French restaurant for lunch 
  •  Phil struggles to help Jim find his chair 
  •  The narrator urges Phil to use a clock as a reference point to help Jim find the items on the table 
  •  Phil guides Jim’s hands to each item on the table 
  •  Phil stands up for Jim when the server assumes Jim cannot speak for himself 
  •  Phil and Jim visit the Museum of Modern Art on their lunch break 
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This 1971 educational film provides a short narrative about a sighted man, named Phil, meeting a blind man, named Jim, for the first time. Presented by the American Foundation for the Blind, the film includes a narrator who challenges Phil’s fears and stereotypes against people who are blind. With a growing ability of Phil to help Jim in a respectful and considerate manner, the two become close friends. “What Do You Do When You See a Blind Person” includes a cast and crew of many notable people. Philip Bruns, the actor who plays Phil, was an American television actor and writer, most known as the father of Mary Hartman on the popular TV series “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” during the 1970s. Arny Freeman, spelled Arnie in the film, was also a known actor, appearing in Naked City, Miracle on 34th Street (1959) and The Untouchables (1961). Cameraman Max Glenn worked on many films including Killer’s Kiss (1955), Gangster Story (1959) and The Moving Finger (1963). Production Assistant Stephen Black co-wrote Love Among Thieves (1987), starring Audrey Hepburn; Paper Dolls (1984); and As the World Turns (1956). Production Assistant Iris Merlis produced multiple TV movies and films including Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert (2001) and ‘Master Harold’... and the Boys (1985). Assistant cameraman Pat Terzini worked camera crew for the popular TV show Candid Camera.