Education | 1970 | Sound | Colour
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Educational film to help learn English as a foreign language. Set in a travel agent shop where there are some very banal conversations and dubious sexual politics, patronising and sexist !.
Opening shot of Big Ben Clock face (not tower) on black screen. Synthesised chimes heard. Tower appears. London policeman (bobby). Man in top hat. Traffic warden. Black cabs. Switchboard operator. Train porter. Woman in library. Title: "British Broadcasting Company Presents" "People you meet" "The Travel Business by David Compton"
Cut to a beach scene. Very clear blue sea. Small sailboats, lots of sun umbrellas, sun loungers in neat rows. Pan around yachts in a marina. People in bathing suits walk in the sea. Woman sunbathing by a pool. People crowding around a hotel bar. Cut to a globe. Bespectacled man exits a door marked "Manager" into an outer office where the globe sits on a table. Manager looks worried. He peers out onto the street. On the left is a reception desk with posters and leaflets offering foreign travel (it's a travel agent's office). Woman in Afghan coat enters (Miss Perkins). Manager criticises her for being late, putting his spectacles in a case as he does so. His sanctimoniousness is defeated by her vacant expression. He indicates for her to stand behind the desk. She practices smiling for the customer. He instructs her to say "Can I help you?" to the customers. Mr Burns (Manager) goes into his office to answer the telephone. Miss Perkins and Mr Burns stand by the door. She doesn't want him to go to the bank and leave her alone. She stands in front of the desk and files brochures in the stand. A shy man in a duffel coat and NHS glasses enters and asks about train times to Mudcome (?) The two look inn the timetable book. The have an inane conversation. She gives him some brochures. The look at the globe. Little man leaves despondently. Mr Burns enters. Little man re-enters and demands a ticket for the South Seas. Fade.
Intertitle: "The present tense, simple and progressive". Repeat clip of Mr Burns telling Miss Perkins what time the shop opens. Repeat clip of Miss Perkins reading from the timetable. Repeat clip of little man talking about Mudcome. Repeat clip of Miss Perkins taking off her coat. Repeat clip of smiling pleasantly. Several more repeat clips demonstrating the present tense. Cut to a table containing a vase of white flowers and some brochures. Pan up to Mr Burns seated in his office, speaking on the telephone. He hangs up and smells his buttonhole. He leaves his office and asks Miss Perkins what she's doing. She is putting up a poster. Mr Burns chats up Miss Perkins. Stern-looking woman in a red suit and bad hat enters. She summons her husband. Miss Perkins goes to the telephone. Meek man shuffles in. Wife holds up tickets and asks for a refund. Meek man looks scared. Miss Perkins calls Mr Burns away. Miss Perkins talks to stern woman. Cut to Mr Burns on the phone. Miss Perkins and couple can be seen through his office window, Meek man looks at the globe yearningly. They leave. Miss Perkins stands behind the desk. Mr Burns joins her. he hands her a ticket to the South Seas to go on holiday with him. She looks pleased. Close up of globe. End credits.
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