Industry + Work | 1950 | Sound | B/W
A film about a development programme in the UK for the rehabilitation of men and women who have physical or emotional problems with the aim of getting them back to work. Mental health issues and social work are discussed as part of the new welfare state.
Opening shot of man with cane clearly limping. He walks through an industrial estate. Smoke streams out of a factory chimney, 1950's style cars line the streets. He limps into the factory gates where he joins a group of mostly men as well as a woman in a wheelchair. They are led away by an official from the Ministry of Labour into the government's Industrial Rehabilitation Unit (IRU), run by the Ministry of Labour in Waddon (?), London. A man leads them through an industrial area and waits as men and women file through a door with a sign IRU on it. Most are convalescing and some are clearly convalescing from physical injury.
Close up shots of faces of several candidates is seen as the voice over lists the problems these people are suffering from.
They all sit in a stark room, which looks like a classroom, with a counsellor at a large desk at the front of the room. Many sip tea from white mugs while looking expectantly at the front of the room.
The program's superintendent is addressing the class as does a younger woman who is the social worker. The superintendent rehabilitation officer looks and dresses the Q from James Bond movies. As he speaks, the camera pans slowly across the candidates as they listen.
Next shot is of a doctor squeezing the knee of a young man as he sits in his shorts and vest. Close up of doctor shows him to be bespectacled and elderly. Close up of the faces of the chief occupational supervisor chatting to forlorn looking rehabilitation candidate. As he speaks the man looks down, not meeting the supervisor's eyes. Shot of one of the candidates taking an aptitude test , with an occupational psychologist looking over his shoulder. The unit's job finder chats to a woman in the program. The superintendent of the program sits at a table talking to his team of specialists, with a file on each candidate under his left elbow.
Shot of a bearded man clamping wood into a vice. He begins to plane it. As the camera pulls back, we see he is in a work studio with others all working on woodwork projects, some are being shown what to do, others are drilling or sanding woodwork. The course officer chats to the course supervisor as they discuss "Bill", one of the program's candidates, who is working in the background. The camera zooms in on him looking quire puzzled, contemplating his hands. He is comforted by a man in a white coat. Shot of another candidate: "Alan" is a neurotic. He is busy sanding a ladder and looking around uncertainly. The camera zooms up on his face.
Next shot of "Harry", as asthmatic who is planing wood in a workshop. He looks around, sees no-one is watching and pulls out a paperback and begins to read. A man in a white coat appears and seems to gently encourage to get back to work.
Next shot of "Janet", polio victim, binding the seating area of a stool. She is in a wheelchair and slumps forward and leans on the stool. She looks sad.
The units officers confer and move off. They are two middle aged men in suits.
A doctor listens to man's chest through is stethoscope. The man stands there shirtless. The bald, elderly doctor then sits at his desk, takes out a pen and talks to "Alan" as he replaces his shirt. Behind Alan is a eye exam chart. The doctor talks to him further.
Bill sits at his workbench in the studio, smoking a cigarette when the placement officer calls him and leads him to his office where Bill sits slowly without the aid of his cane. The officer sits at his desk, in front of windows. Close up of the officer as he begins his counselling.
Shot of the candidates taking a test while the industrial psychologist walks amongst them. Janet asks him a question, he advises her and she continues. Harry sits, hands in pockets in front of the social worker woman. He looks downcast. The focus is on him as he takes out a packet of cigarettes, offers her one, she declines so he lights one for himself.. He stands up, cigarette in mouth, and stares dispassionately out the window. Close up of the social worker speaking and then writing events in a journal with possibly a fountain pen. Next shot of hands flipping through pages in a folder. The camera pulls back to reveal it's the superintendent. He sits in a stark room with the other officers as they discuss the file. Each worker speaks and the camera focuses on the speaker as he/she address the group; doctor, social worker, psychologist (who studiedly scratches his cheek as he speaks), technical teacher and industrial specialist. Back to shot of room with all discussing candidates prospects. Shot of a work studio as the candidates work on a woodwork projects, Focus on a man using an industrial machine to make holes in wood and another using a screwdriver, while another hammers nails. Bill works on what looks like a radio. A technical teacher comes over and helps Bill with a delicate screwdriver. As the technician walks off we see many others working away. The man who helped Bill walks up to the superintendent and nods in Bill's direction. Alan is turning screws into a large pieces of wood as the psychologist chats to him. Alan blinks a lot and looks uneasy. The psychologist walks off with a friendly pat on the shoulder. Alan watches him go. Next shot is of Alan kneeling in a garden, cleaning it up, He stands and leans on possibly a rake in hand and waves to Janet who is being pushed past in a wheelchair.
Next shot is of a classroom with all the candidates seated in rows taking a test. A man in a white coat gives Bill a piece of paper. Then he moves on to a woman sitting behind Bill. He places a piece of paper on her desk and launches into an explanation. Janet sits I front on a typewriter and hands the man in a white coat a sample of her work.
Bill sits and reads . His lips moves as he reads the words he points to with a pencil. He raises his pencil to call over the man in a white coat, He starts to explain to Bill. Next shot of several men operating industrial equipment. An occupational supervisor shows Harry how to operate a lathe by dialling a steering wheel. The occupational therapist comes over and talks to Harry. Harry stands still, looks downcast and can't meet his eyes. The supervisor comes over to another man calm him down as he is working a lathe too vigorously. He pats him on the shoulder as he walks off. He tells a woman working adjacent to the lathe to replace her hat. A man with a prosthetic arm is delicately operating the wheel of mechanisms of a large industrial machine. Close up of the prosthetic limb. Next shot of a man lifting his leg on the floor of a gym. As the camera pans up , an instructor is giving lessons to a group of men in white vests and black shorts; They're doing side bends and touching their toes. An elderly man does pushouts with a pulley system, another does a variation of rowing with the same pulley system. Two men race each other on a stationary cycles while watching their progress on large clock like indicator on the wall, calibrated in yards.
Bill walks down a long white line on the gym floor. Off the long white line are shorter white lines at 90 degrees. Bill tries to get his prosthetic leg to walk within the lines. Instructor awaits at the end of the line and shows him how it's done as bill limps towards him. He pats Bill on the back. The instructor throws a basketball into the air at the centre of a basketball court as the men compete for it in separate teams.
Alan, the neurotic gets the ball, runs to the hoop, shoots and scores. His team mates congratulate him. The instructor restarts the game.
The next shot is of the players feet. The camera pulls back to reveal Bill practising walking the lines with a mirror at the end of the line for him to monitor his progress.
Next shot of a full length grandfather clock as the candidates punching in time cards. Janet in a wheelchair can't reach hers so another candidate takes it out of the rack and hands it to her.
Bill is about to fall over when Alan steadies him in the changing room.
Janet sits in front of a typewriter. As the camera swings around, we see she is checking the jobs ads in the classifieds. Next shot is of Janet wheeling her wheelchair away from a 3 wheeled car towards a building with pillars at the entrance. Inside she stops in surprise as she is faced with a flight of stairs. She stares up at the staircase and hangs her head in disappointment.
Alan walks up to a board advertising jobs. The board is entitled "Vacancies" and below it says "Wages clerk" and "Fitters". He turns away as we see a close up of his face in contemplation. He pause , then walks towards the building behind him.
The specialist officers are meeting again. They sit around a table with the superintendent the focus of the shot. Alan walks through a door with his cane. He walks down a short flight of stairs and taps Harry on the shoulder as Harry turns a lathe. Janet types on a typewriter and turns around to chat to Alan. A group of candidates walks through an industrial estate. Janet, in her wheelchair is in frame. They walk past a window of the supervisors room. The next shot is inside that room and shows the team of supervisors talking amongst themselves. The industrial psychologist lights his pipe and then lights the pipe of the chief occupational supervisor. More shots of men and women leaving the facility. We see the backs if three men walking away, with Bill in the centre. His limp is not so bad now. In shot are cars of the day and two large smoke stacks.
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