Film: 1390

Industry + Work | 1950 | Sound | B/W


Information film to encourage people to dig out scrap metal for recycling. Some classic portrayals of middle class domestic life 1950's

Rag and bone man ("tatter") wearing hat on horse drawn cart shouting 'Any Old Iron', while driving along a quiet rather smart street. Woman with hat and shopping basket walks by on the pavement, past houses with pillars. Another shot of rag and bone man. The woman goes up the steps of one of the houses.

Man in a patterned tank top and turned up trousers kneels in front of a tiled fireplace, he is working with a trowel, the woman with the hat comes into the house and he calls her Ma'am, she tells him to put the old grate in the shed. He carries the gas fire grate away. Close up shot of rag and bone man shouting his call, ornate balconies visible on the houses behind him.

Man and wife at breakfast in typical 1950s kitchen, he is wearing a suit and reading the newspaper, she gets up and clears the plates and leans over her husband's shoulder to read an advertisement for Jack Scrap "Speed the Scrap Speed the Steel". She doesn't see the point of the advertisement, her husband tells her not to worry, the ads aren't for people like them. He kisses her goodbye. He drives his carout of the garage, the narrator invites us to look at the "junk" in the garage. We see a bicycle, an old car wheel, pans. His wife in the kitchen opens a can of beans or peas and pours them into a pan. Another shot of the rag and bone man.

Another man and his wife (also funny, great middle class stereotypes of the period) in their living room, she asks him for something from the attic and he opens a hatch in the ceiling and pulls down a ladder and climbs into the attic. There is an old lampshade and other junk. He goes back into the living room, his wife is smoking, she goes through the box he has brought down. "How you women love to hoard! I bet you haven't heard a word I said." "No Darling".

A wide suburban avenue, a woman pushes a pram along the pavement. Various shots of English streets, houses. A group of boys listen to a talk about scrap iron, they are given leaflets to distribute in their streets. Boys delivering the leaflets through letterboxes. The rag and bone man leads his horse and stops to collect scrap metal from outside houses. He loads scrap onto his cart. Another rag and bone man drives into a scrap yard and unloads his cart. The horse eats from a nosebag. A man sorts metal in the yard. He pushes a wheelbarrow. Great piles of scrap metal. Metal lifted by a crane.

The second couple clear junk out of their attic. A rag and bone man drives along the street and stops at the Duke of Wellington public house. The barman wears a tie and waistcoat. Shot of the bar, beer pumps. The "tatter" tells his friend in a flat cap what happens to all the scrap metal. Film shown on a screen of metal being lifted by cranes and loaded into a furnace. Steel being poured into moulds. Furnaces at steel plants. Shots of factories making metal products. A car drives into a garage. A stainless steel draining board. Steel goods outside a shop. Coal scuttles. Metal pails. Oil stoves. Wringers. Heaters, radiators. Dustbins. Coal bins. Wire netting. Galvanised baths. Pots and pans.

The rag and bone man finishes his drink, telling his friend not to miss the film at the pictures about scrap metal. He leaves the pub, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, and returns to his cart. Leaflets of Scrap Drive committees in the British Isles. A man collects and old metal bath from a woman at her doorway and throws it into the back of a lorry. More scrap metal is loaded onto a truck. Houses in Holborn and Belgravia, London. Holborn Council lorries. A car with a megaphone drives in front of the lorry, asking for scrap metal. Shot of balconies of flats. Men carry metal bed heads up steps. The collecting lorry empties its load in the council yard. Last shot of rag and bone man driving horse and cart down the street, a child pushes a toy pushchair in the road behind him.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 1390.