Film: 3106

Politics | 1940 | Sound | B/W


Conservative and Unionist Film
1948 - Howard Douglas and Edward Hodge.

A conservative party political film, blatantly aimed at the 'working man'. The two principle characters 'Joe' and 'Burt' discuss the price of inflation from 1939-1948 in the pub, focusing primarily on the price of a pint and a packet of cigarettes, as well as other aspects; clothes, gas etc. Amusing use of stereotypes throughout the film.

'Conservative and Unionist film association presents', titles are imposed over a backdrop of paper money and coins. 'The life and death of a pay packet' against the same backdrop, the words roll up off the screen, preceded by the following:' The figures used in this film represent an average taking over the whole country. If you feel that we have under-estimated or even over-estimated some article, please do not discount the film for that reason alone-remember , those who live in other parts of Great Britain will probably have the opposite view. The only fact which is common to prices every where at home is-THEY HAVE ALL GONE UP FAR TOO MUCH!', as the words roll up off the screen, flames appear, burning the paper money and coins, the flames die down, revealing a local public house, a woman and man are behind the bar, puling pints, there are many people in the pub, propped up against the bar drinking and talking, a man enters the public house from a door in the far left hand corner, he is smoking a cigar as he walks through the crowded pub. Two men, one in a black suit, one wearing a flat cap, are drinking pints of beer in old fashion glass tankards, against the backdrop of the pub, the man in the suit puts down his pint, strokes his long handlebar moustache and speaks in a well-spoken 1940's English manner:' I'm telling you old boy..'. A man and a woman propped up against a bar, the man has slicked back hair and a thin moustache and is talking to the women who has her hair in ringlets. Man and a woman sitting down in a pub booth, the man has his arm around her and appears to be dressed in what is probably a police uniform, speaking in a particularly strong cockney accent. Two men propped up against the pub bar, both men are dressed in smart suits, one man is smoking a cigar and drinking from a whisky glass. Close up of a man in flat cap, talking to another man who can just be seen by the camera. Close up of a woman's hand on the pub bar, she has red nail varnish on and is wearing a bracelet, to either side of her hand are drinks, a man's hand enters the shot, he reaches over and places his hand on hers, she pulls her hand abruptly away from him, leaving his hand on the bar, tapping his finger. Two men dressed in suits, talking at the pub bar, one man looks at his watch, both finish their pints swiftly , put their pint glasses on the bar and leave, revealing two men sitting at a table behind them, both dressed in suits, one is wearing bowler hat, the other has his hair neatly swept back, both are drinking pints.

Close up of the man in the bowler hat (Joe), talking to the other man across the table (Bert). Close up of Bert talking to Joe, they're discussing money: 'I'm afraid I can't go, don’t seem to have the money these days'. Close up of Joe, nodding his head in agreement: 'You're right, but what can you expect with a government like this, I know we've had a war on but they don’t seem to have a clue how to handle the situation'. Close up of Burt:' hang on a moment it aint the socialists fault….I'm getting more money now then before the war'. Close up of Joe, shaking his head in disagreement: 'the prices rise so your nine quid ain't worth a damn sight less then five quid.' Close up of Bert, listening intently at man Joe, shaking his head: ' Your talking a load of old tripe Joe…nine quid's, nine quid'. Close up of Joe; ' I'll prove it to you', takes out a pocket note book, from inside his suit jacket places it on table. Bert listens to Joe talking. Profile shot of Joe and Bert sitting at the table, the camera pans around to a calendar propped up behind the bar, dated '1948'. The same shot but with a calendar dated'1939' is imposed over the previous shot, camera pans around to a man propped up against a bar, while the barmaid pulls him a pint. Close up of two pint glasses being filled up underneath the beer pumps. Barmaid puts pints on the bar, asking for the money for the pints (possibly asking for1/3d). Close up of front page of 'The evening news', '1948' is super-imposed over the paper, camera pulls out and pans around to a man (possibly Burt), standing next to the bar asking for two pints, turns his head to look at the front of the newspaper next to him. Camera now positioned behind the bar, bar maid pulls the pints, while Burt angles his head so as to read the front of the newspaper. Camera front of the bar, Barmaid asks him for money (difficult to distinguish how much she asks for, but it is probably more than the man paid for two pints in 1939) , Burt hands over money. Joe picks up pints and turns to walk away from the bar. Burt sits down at the same the same table as Joe: 'How much?' asks Joe, 'One and thrupence'. Bert puts a cigarette in his mouth. Close up of Joe now wearing round spectacles, writing down figures in his book, Bert lights his cigarette, Joe takes off his spectacles and puts down his pen. Close up of Bert smoking his cigarette. Joe waves his spectacles at Bert in conversation.

In a small shop, women behind the counter, behind her are shelves full of boxes and packets, man enters (probably Bert) asks for cigarettes. Profile shot of woman behind the counter and Bert at the counter, camera pans around to the rows of boxes and packages on the shelves, camera de-focuses. Camera re-focuses pans back across the shop, revealing empty shelves with only a few boxes in them, women approaches the counter: ' You don’t have any cigarettes do you?'-'No, no cigarettes, sorry'. Bert approaches the counter, very secretly asks for cigarettes, the women reaches under the counter and produces a packet. Close up of Joe still looking very secretive and shifty as he pays for cigarettes. Close up of cash register displaying:' cash - 5 -3'. Back in the pub, Joe is putting back on his spectacles, writing down more figures in his book. Bert is still smoking, listening to Joe talk, he pulls out what is probably his rent book from his inside jacket pocket and looks at it. Joe again waves his spectacles at Bert in conversation. Man (again, probably Bert) and woman at a table in a living room, Bert is sitting down, while the woman is cutting strips of material on the table. Close up of Bert sat beside the table reading out a list of prices: 'bloody income tax', the shot suddenly 'explodes', a 'star' shape wipe reveals the same woman at the table, she is dressed in different clothes and is sewing material rather then cutting it. Bert is still complain about prices' bloody income tax…anybody would have though there was a war still on'.

Camera fades back to Joe and Bert in the pub, Joe is till talking and making notes in his notebook. Bert is still smoking, they are now discussing the price of train fares. Profile shot of Joe and Bert sitting tat the pub table, Joe is still taking notes and advocating the Conservatives, recommending their financial advice. Bert's reaction to this is somewhat shocked: 'The Conservatives!…blimey I didn't think they did things like that for the working man'. Joe then starts talking about holidays: 'right then what did you do for your holiday in 1939?'. Train pulling into station. Train stopping in station, doors opening, various people getting off, Bert steps off the train with a suitcase in his hand, helps a woman off the train (probably 'his missus'). Bert and his wife walking along the promenade by the sea hand in hand, eating ice-cream. Bert and his wife out side the 'Sea view boarding house', looking at the sign and the house and nodding in agreement. Close up of 'Sea view boarding house', sign. Inside the house the landlady is standing on the stairs, looking down at the couple who are standing at the bottom of the stairs listening to her speak: 'I'm sorry it’s a bit high, but it is the very height of season'. Title: ' and 1948'. All three people are in exactly the same position on the stair but wearing different clothes .Chalkboard sign propped up against a post by the sea: 'Skylark, round the pier, 2/-'. Same sign in same position reads: 'Sky lark, around the pier 4/-'. Ice-cream sign in shop window, reads: 'Ice-cream cornets 3d'. Same shop window, sign now reads: 'Ice-cream cornets 6d'. Chalkboard propped against a bus wheel reads: ' Robinson's tours, Coach trip around the ruins, 3/-', camera stays in exactly the same place, no obvious edit but the 3 has now changed to a 6.

Back in the pub, Joe asks: 'what about the pictures?', Bert replies:' every week, my old woman will only go in the best seats!'. Camera fades out. Bert and his wife are entering the cinema. Bert tries to buy cheaper seats but his wife wont let him, they walk past the ticket booth into the cinema. Focus on a poster in the cinema entitled: 'My love wins 1948 derby' camera pans around to see Bert and his wife waiting in a queue outside the cinema, camera pans around to a sign at the front of the queue that reads: 'Queue here, 3/6', the couple read the sign miserably. Back in the pub, Joe and Bert are talking. Man reading front page of a newspaper, camera pulls out, revealing Bert sitting in a chair in a room, door in the far corner opens, Bert's wife walks in wearing brand new hat, Bert's response: ' My Goodness, what are you going to do with it? Cook it or wear it!' Close up of Bert's wife by the door wearing her new hat. Close up of front page of The Daily Mirror, headline reads: Govt spending more to peg wives' food bill', camera pans out to show Bert sitting in living room reading newspaper and his wife sitting opposite sewing: 'You men don’t realize how much simple things cost these days' wife gets in a mood, throws down her sewing and walks out of the room. Bert is annoyed and attempts to read the paper.

Back in the pub, Joe still working out prices in his book. Close up of Joe writing in his book. Profile shot of Bert and Joe sitting at the table, Joe smoking a pipe, Bert smoking a cigarette, they're discussing, gas, electricity and clothing prices.

A white rectangle drawn on a black background, it is split in half, one side has a heading of 1939 and the other half as a heading of 1948. Exactly the same shot as before, but a cream tailored shot has appeared next to the 1939 box. Same shot, but £2.10.0 has appeared in white lettering inside the 1939 box. Exactly the same shot, but £5.10.0 has appeared in the 1948 box. Same set up, the suite is still ext to the 1939 box, but inside the box is written 10/, in the 1948 box 31.5.0 is written and beside this box is a pair of trousers. Same set up, the same suit is next to the 1939 box, but written inside is £1.10, written in 1948 box is £2.7.6 and next to the box is a pair of suit trousers and a jacket. Same shot, both suits are in the same place, at under 1939: is written 4/6 and in 1948: 14/11, a folded white shirt has appeared above the 1939 box. Same shot, but a pair of grey socks has been added below the 1939 box and the prices now read; 1939: 1/6, 1948: 3/6. Same shot, a pair of 'vest and pants' is added above the 1948 box, prices read; 1939: 3/5, 1948: 10/5. Same shot, pair f shoes have bed added below the 1948 box, prices read: 1939: 12/6, 1948: £1.7.6.same shot, tie added in-between the socks and the shoes, prices read; 1939: 1/-, 1948: 2/9. Clear 1939/1948 box. A address has been added next to the 1939 box, prices read: 1939:-5/-, 1948: 16/5. Same shot, dress added to the side of the 1948 box, prices read: 1939: 8/11, 1948: £2.9.3. Same shot, pair of shoes added above box 1939, prices read: 1939: 11/, 1948: £1.5.0. Same shot, two pairs of stockings added at the bottom of the 1939 box, prices read: 1939: 1/11, 1948: 5/6. Same shot, lingerie added above the 1948 box, prices read: 1939: 5/11, 1948: 13/6. Close up of boxes, prices read: 1939: 3/6, 2/6, 1948: 8/6, 8/.

Back at the pub, Joe and Burt are talking. Close up of Bert listening to Joe. Close up of Joe, putting his spectacles back on. Close up of Joe's book and the prices he has worked out, comparing prices from 1939 and 1948. Close up of Bert's shocked face: 'You know I must be blind, I've never really worked it out before, I was wondering why it (money) was going so quickly, I'm afraid I blamed the old woman'. Bert gets up to leave the table. Bert begins to walk out of the pub, stopped by a man in the crowd: 'Bert, I'll see you at the Labour meeting tomorrow' , 'no chance, I'll be pressed enough as it is', turns to leave the pub, camera pans back on Joe finishing his pint. Landlord behind the bar calls time. Joe is at the table looking towards the camera: 'Time, I'll say its time alright, time we put the conservative back into power'. Joe gets up from table, turns to the Land-lord: 'Goodnight Guv'nor', turns to camera: 'Cheerio everybody', waves his hand and puts his pipe in his mouth. Fade to black. Close up of Joe's bowler hat on the floor, with the words 'The end' painted on top of it white. Credits roll.

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