Film: 8186

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Opening scene of a woman sitting on a chair outside the door of an office. She looks like she is waiting to be interviewed. Over the top of this scene is superimposed a small add from a newspaper: 'A Chance to Learn: Interesting work in light engineering factory. High earnings possible...'. A close-up of the woman's nervous looking face. Close-up of the office door which has a name plate upon it: 'J.S. Collins'. More views of the woman's face. Cut to inside the office where two managers discuss the problems of a shortage of labour and the consequent productivity shortage; they do so in a frustrated manner. Back to the waiting woman. Shot of door once more, this time with the shadow of a looming figure viewed through the frosted glass panels of the door. A secretary emerges from behind the door and tells the waiting woman the 'Mr. Collins will see you now'.

The older of the two men welcomes her and asks her to sit down. She tells him that she has come about 'the job'. Mr. Collins proceeds to 'interview' her for the job in a, by today's standards, not very demanding way. There are god period details. Mr. Collins refers to full employment and states that 'we're glad to take anyone that we can find'. It is agreed that she will start work the next day, but Mr. Collins does not know quite what she will do.

Cut to the woman's (Mrs. Mun's) home where she sits and sews. Her adult son arrives home. They discuss her new job - her son express doubt as to how good it will be (he thinks that she should have gone back to her old track of clothes making).

Cut to women arriving at a factory and entering the main gates. Mrs. Mun is walking nervously up a staircase before knocking upon Mr. Collins office door. After knocking twice she enters the empty office. Soon Mr. Collins and his secretary enter. He tells Mrs. Mun that he is too busy to attend to her and asks his secretary to do so. The secretary is in no hurry to attend to her and she proceeds to put powder on her face. Next Mrs. Mun and the secretary are walking along a short corridor and entering the double door of the 'shop floor'.

Aerial view of Mrs. Mun walking alone along a desolate street. Her son rides towards her on his bicycle and meets her at the corner of the street and asks how her first day went - she tells him that it was terrible. Cut to a scene in a dress shop with Mrs. Mun holding a conversation with the shopkeeper about the lack of adequate training in her new job. Cut to Mrs. Mun's living room where a younger woman tells Mrs. Mun of the improved conditions in the clothing trade. She tells Mrs. Mun that her factory has a proper training scheme. When Mrs. Mun hears that training at this factory is not just for school leavers she is interested. Flashback of the earlier interview with Mr. Collins. Then we seen Mrs. Mun with other trainees on her first day at Arden's Clothing Factory - she is starting (the commentary tells us) on 'first the right note' - with a tone of the factory.

A scene of the machine work room in earlier days before the training scheme: Close-up of a woman working at a sewing machine watched by a younger woman; good scenes of a busy sewing machine work room. The manager, John Arden, inspects the work room. Him in his office, talking on a telephone. Cut to another manager to whom he is speaking. Cut to some scenes of factories with fifteen or sixteen year-old boy apprentices being trained.

Cut back to John Arden and his senior foreman walking the work room floor and talking. The two of them approach one woman in particular and she stops her machine work and stands and talks. The commentary tells us that because she has been identified as a good teacher she is to be sent on an instructor's course. Then we see this woman, Mrs. Scott, together with the foreman and Arden, working in an office setting. Cut to a scene of Mrs. Scott, clipboard in hand, looking over operations in the machine room. Then follows some good close-ups of sewing machinists at work. Various scenes of Mrs. Scott and the foreman talking to various women, and the foreman inspecting operations. Cut briefly to Mrs. Mun and other trainees being taught, before returning to a long scene of Mr. Collins in his office with the other manager. Next various scenes of Mrs. Mun and the other women being taught how to be machinists. We finally cut back to Mr. Collins' office with Collins talking on a phone. The film fades with an external shot of a factory at night.


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