SHEER UNIMAGINABLE TERROR and a kitten

We promised, and for once, we've delivered. The 'missing' Richard Massingham film has now been uploaded to YouTube, meaning the internet has subsequently been improved by 6.2% (we'll assume the lack of comments from excited Massingham fans after our last update is due to a fault with Blogger's servers). And also, a couple of scary public information films, with contrasting levels of success. First up:

Five Inch Bathers
1942, Dir: Richard Massingham



Britons! Hankering for those opulent pre-war days when you could splash around to your heart's desire every bathtime? Well, just because there's a war on, that doesn't mean bath time needn't be fun! Richard Massingham explains. (With a voiceover performed by himself, which seems wrong, as he's clearly too posh to be playing the role of Generic Chump. Luckily, his later films saw him play a mute chump, endlessly bollocked by the off-screen announcer, which was much funnier.)

It's worth noting that there has been a remix of the 5"B video on YouTube at this location, even though the original wasn't on there. Someone in the comments section for that requested the original, so here it is. And only ten months late, too. We're tardy, but cheery.

Stored For The Duration
1945



With World War II having just finished, a beleaguered nation of upright citizens attempt to get their lives in some sort of order. Lots of cars could now be taken back out of storage, and back onto the roads. And into ditches, lampposts and bus queues, if you hadn't checked your motor car after wiping the dust off of it. Tsk. Helpfully, a couple of Cholmondeley-Warner types are here to warn us, by way of scaring the willies out of everyone.

Of course, in actual fact it's not even remotely spooky, despite the intention. But to be fair, after getting bombed by the Luftwaffe for half a decade, the audience probably had a high fright threshold right then.

Grain Drain
1975



Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Argh! Hang on, is that voice the bloke from Duty Free?



It's worth pointing out that all three of these clips can be found on the excellent Charley Says vol 2 DVD, along with [scrambles for DVD case] precisely 130 other clips, including a lovely one right at the beginning with Michael Palin in it. The cheapest place to buy it seems to be direct from the manufacturer, Network DVD, where it can be sitting amongst your DVD collection for under five or your British Pounds. You can also pick up Volume One for the same price, as well as both volumes in one box for a price greater than the two individual sets added together, so enough said about that.

Having found it when trying to track down a date for Five Inch Bathers, we also feel compelled at this point to mention Noise To Signal's coverage of Public Information Films, which is annoyingly more comprehensive, informative, better written, and generally more good than ours. Damn their eyes and work ethic.

Further Massingham Magic previously uploaded to YouTube by us:
Coughs and Sneezes (1945)
Jet Propelled Germs (1948)
Pedestrian Crossing (1948)
A Warning to Travellers (Five Pounds in Notes) (1949)


3 comments:

roy rocket said...

There's a PIF from this time, I'm sure Massingham was responsible for it, that was just so odd.

Everyone's so gloomy and constantly moaning due to rationing and other hardships, it seems the nation is in danger of slipping in to a mass depression.
A couple of old miseries attempt suicide by throwing themselves into a river with rocks tied around their necks; [un]fortunately the water only reaches their knees, forcing them to see the absurdity of the situation leading to much laughter.
They then go on to laugh at everything, like a right couple of old mushroom heads.
Strange Hitchcockian style angles and shots were used throughout; standing up pretty well as a surreal film in its own right.
The point seems to be stop moaning.
Laugh and everything is fine.
That's it.
They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Have you seen that one?

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