Film: 9073

Medicine | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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Hygiene and germ control in the home 1970's

A dinner party. Then camera pans away from those eating and passes over a dirty kitchen. Warlike sounds as it does so. Dustbins. Empty cans of baked beans in the dustbin. Signs on the can: War Dept. Keep Out, GHQ (Germ Headquarters). Eyes in the dark inside the can. The light comes on. Evil looking cartoon germs around a table. A large germ brings the rest to order. More germs appear. The big germ says that things are getting better. Another germ appears. The war to eliminate the humans is not going well. More germs appear. Battle of the bowel. Bronchitis. Typhoid. 1930 Ministry of Health report. Diphtheria: 73953 cases notified in England and Wales. Ministry of Health report 1940-1945. Increase in dysentery and intestinal diseases.
Ministry of Health report 1969 Deaths from respiratory illnesses 75183. In an influenza winter, deaths from these diseases may range from 5000 up to 35000. Woman cleaning kitchen floor. As she squeezes the cloth into a bucket, germs in helmet leap onto her hands. She's baking bread - more germs. A baby. Changing nappy - more germs go onto the mother's hands. Putting a teat on a baby's bottle. Germs on the bottle. One plants a flag with a skull on it on the nipple on the bottle. The germs cheer.
A man by a market stall blows his nose. Lots of germs with swords. He puts grapes into a bag. Lots of germs with swords. In a butcher's. Meat on a chopping board. The butcher has a bandaged finger. He cuts the meat. The head germ. Germs with rifles go from the bandage to the meat. A flower. Someone's wedding ? Germs go from the silk to the gardener's hand. Someone takes a chocolate from a box of chocolates. He puts it in his mouth. Joint of roast beef on a plate. The plate is lifted. It's put on a shelf beside some eggs and packaged food. Meat in a butcher's window. Fruit and vegetables in a greengrocer's. Buns and cakes in a baker's shop. Filled rolls. A tart and some buns. Flies on the food. Flies on strawberries. Flies on a jam jar. Flies on bread. Flies on meat. Flies on bread. Flies on strawberries. Flies on bread. Flies on meat.
A lid is put on a plate of ham. Washing up. A plate is put in a rack. It's still a bit dirty. Cups and saucers. Dirty forks. Germs on a fork. Someone eating mashed potato and steak? The man puts the mashed potato with germs on it in his mouth. A dog trying to get meat from a dustbin. The dog beside a toddler. The child starts crying. Animation - germs watching this on film. The head germ says people unwittingly help germs. Curtains, a carpet. A woman's calves and feet. She's wearing red shoes. A coal fire. A ventilator. Lots of germs on the ventilator. A budgerigar in a cage and an old woman. The germs aim their rifles at the woman. The head germ gives the order to fire. They do. The woman coughing.
In the germ headquarters. The head germ turns the light on. Head germ and germs. Bronchitis killed 34000 people in the United Kingdom in 1969. Close up of head germ. Germs in Germ headquarters. The head germ reports with fear the new ways people are combating germs and disease. He says some germs have been captured and placed in concentration camps. He turns white. The germs murmur in fear. Purple germs appear.
A scientist takes the lid off a Petrie ( petri ) dish. He looks inside. A germ culture in a petri dish. The scientist. He sterilises a piece of equipment in a flame. He picks up some germs on it from the petri dish and puts them in another petri dish.
Germ Headquarters. The germs are angry. The head germ looks downcast. A tear drops from his eye. He silences the germs and takes out a handkerchief. He blows his nose. He complains about human medical advances. Violins play. The germs looking downcast. Talking about refrigerators. Germs turn icy. Opening a fridge. A man puts some food in the fridge. Food wrapped in a newspaper - it's a lettuce. The lettuce is beside some roast beef. He shuts the door. In the fridge, germs sleep on the lettuce. The beef and lettuce taken out of the fridge. Beef, lettuce, cucumber and tomato on a plate. A man eats them. Germs on the lettuce. The man rubs his stomach. He belches. Germ headquarters. The head germ is not happy about other advances the humans have made. A person kills a fly with fly spray. Dead flies. Opening a lock of a medicine cupboard. Pill. Medicine bottles inside cupboard. A bottle of red pills is taken from the cupboard. A nurse puts one pill in a smaller container and gives it to the man who ate the lettuce, who's in bed. He takes it. Women working in a factory. They disappear. A man working a machine. He disappears. A woman working a machine disappears. A man in an office disappears. The pile of work in his in tray gets bigger. Men working in a factory. They disappear. They reappear in hospital beds. Germ Headquarters. The head germ is not happy with people changing their strategy to avoid disease. He pulls down a sign: Beware. Prevention is worse than cure. He puts the sign back up. He says humans are using gas - he looks very nervous. The germs protest - they have turned red. Head germ. Germs. They then go from purple to brown then to a sickly green. The head germ cries out that the humans are using gas to produce hot water. He looks scared. The germs - red again - raise a hullabaloo. Head germ. The head germ shows the germs some film of it in action. Gas flames in a boiler. Gas flames in a boiler ignite. Gas flames in a boiler ignite. Hot water coming out of a tap. Hot water coming out of a tap. Hot water in a shower. A young woman having a shower. Washing her face. Washing her arm. A germ slips down her breast and falls off. Washing her stomach. Germ falling down. Germs falling down her legs. Germs going down plug hole. Children in a bath playing. A boy pour water over his sister. Dirty plates being put into an industrial dishwasher. They get washed. Taking the clean plates out of the dishwasher. A gas boiler for hot water for washing hands. A hot water gas boiler. Hot water gas boiler. Various gas boiler shots. Several shots of hot water coming out of a tap. Germ headquarters. Head germ. Germs looking miserable. The cry. The head germ shows a poster outlining how central heating works. It shows a house with central heating. It shows boiler, pump and radiators. Germs looking worried. Diagram showing hot air central heating. A germ interrupts and the head germ tells him to shut up. Embarrassed germ. A child drawing by a radiator. Mother and daughter eating. The mother helps cut up the child's food. Child playing with toys beside a radiator. A man in a bathroom. He's just finished shaving. Head germ. He tells the germs that they have some human allies. The germs look puzzled. Head germ. Pulling a toilet chain. A pitiful attempt at hand washing. Drying hands. A man smoking. He's buttering bread. Some ash falls on a slice of bread but he carries on as though nothing has happened. Stubbing out a cigarette on a plate with remains of a meal on it. In a pub. Washing glasses in dirty water. Wiping pub counter with cloth. Drying pint glass with same cloth. Man drinking tea. A cat eating from someone's hand. The person goes on preparing some fish. Laughing germs. Puzzled germs. Germs multiplying. Head germ. Yellow lines behind him. He shouts that the germs can still win the war. Flashing light about him. A man approaches dustbin. We can hear germs cheering. The lid is removed, we can see the rubbish inside. Inside the germ headquarters, the head germ salutes the other germs. The bin is lifted up. Germ headquarters shakes. The bin is carried away and emptied into dustcart. Germs sounding happy. Dustcart drives off. Can hear head germ parodying Churchill - we will fight them in the bowels etc. Dustcart drives off down suburban street.

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