Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reasons to be Cheerful Pt. 1 - Public Information Films

Do they still make Public Information Films? I don't think I've ever seen a contemporary 'Take Care' TV shortie. The 'Charlie Says' DVD released a few years ago, collected the best of the Sixties and Seventies P.I films and is an absolute joy packed with educational gems from end to end. Yes, there's all the textbook safety subjects...

Crossing the Road - Green Cross Code and The Tufty Club,

Swimming - Rolf Harris'Get in the Swim' and 'Meet Dave'

Driving - Think Once. Think Twice. Think Bike and 'Clunk Click'.

But the real revelation is the volume (over 150 on Vol. 1 alone), and depth ( chip pans, polystyrene ceiling tiles, and overly polished floors) of Health and Safety issues spoon fed to the public. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking these films, we could probably do with more of these punchy numbers today - mobile phones, dangerous dogs and stodge diets for starters.

Set dressed for earthy authenticity (apart from a few of the scenarios) these thumbnails capture an accurate snapshot of Seventies lifestyle and deliver all the detail lacking from the over dressed grotesques in shows like 'Life on Mars' etc..
Treat yourself and have a peep at Blunders family in 'Meet the Blunders' -
I Love the moment they've chosen to freeze frame at the end..

There's Mr Blunders

There's Mrs blunders and there's Billy Blunders

The 'Charlie Says' special edition containing Vol 1 and 2 is available from Amazon for the crazy price of £6.97 (bizarrely Volume 1 and 2 are individually priced at around £10)

If you're in the mood for more retromaniac classics have a wander over Planet Mondo for some Charity Shop sounds including Joe Loss and Manuel and The Music of The Mountains'


Clair said...

I watched a PIF today warning small children not to play with matches. At about 12.10am. What was the point of all that?

Planet Mondo said...

I think I remember the matches film, but may be confusing it with a fireworks one.
Have you seen this PIF with Donald Pleasance as a Dark Rider, warning about deep water? It's terrifying and it's here

Cocktails said...

They probably don't make many public information films these days because every second reality TV programme thinks that it is one!

Cocktails said...

PS I like PIF's too - check out my recent ramblings about sex ed.

Planet Mondo said...

Great piece and tip top blog too - have added you to the blog roll hope thats OK.

Cocktails said...

Cheers for that! Glad you like the site. I'd be more than happy to return the favour.