Poor ol' Piley's still on the mend but is hoping to be back next week, until then it's me again - here to have a rumble about Public Information Films.
Do they still make them? I don't think I've ever seen a contemporary 'Take Care' TV shortie for years - they seemed to be everywhere up until the Eighties.
The 'Charlie Says' DVD released a few years ago, collected the best of the Sixties and Seventies PI 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 'Learn To Swim '
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 of Health and Safety issues spoon fed to the public.....
Tidy up at night, the dangers of chip pans, polystyrene ceiling tiles and rugs on overly polished floors...
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'. Why not treat yourself and have a peep at Billy Blunders with the great juxtaposition of "'ello me dandruffs back" and "me luck could be in 'ere" in the same sentence. (There's a complete set of shorts for each member of the Blunders family if you fancy filling your boots)
I Love the moment they've chosen to freeze frame at the end..
Or have a peep at the genuinly creepy Donald Pleasance as a Dark Rider/Grim Reaper in 'Lonely Water'
If you in the mood for more funky nuggets and youtube treats - why not pop over either of my pieces of ol' puffery for some Valentine's Day treats