IWM Film website upgrade: self-selection and authorised download of HD clips. More info
By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings,
and for us to access our cookies on your device.
Summary: Second World War British Ministry of Information animated cartoon newsreel trailer encouraging the public to make less social telephone calls in order to leave the telephone lines free for important calls in support of the war effort.
Description: A telephone pole, in the shape of a young women, relaxes between calls and then stands tall with outstretched arms to hold the telephone lines taut to transmit a call "that's right, shake a line, an urgent call is coming up". The female telephone pole flexes her arms to hold position. A man and a woman dance on the wires indicating the social nature of the call taking place. A worker tries to climb in to the mouth-piece of a large telephone and an operator appears in the ear-piece of the declaring "sorry, all lines are engaged". Shot of telephone lines stretching across the countryside holding caps and hats of a various branches of the UK and Allied armed forces. A single woman dancing on telephone wires with a distant voice saying "that must have been very trying for you.." followed by an operator's voice saying "Do clear the line". The female dancing figure springs off of the telephone wires. View looking down at a farmer driving his tractor with the commentary "at last he is able to get through to tell Farmer John that the tractor that he was so urgently wanting will be ready tomorrow" The farmer and tractor drive out of a telephone handset and past a land girl, agricultural workers and farm animals. The commentary continues "That was worthwhile and there are thousands of important calls between battle front and battle front" (image of a soldier in a dug-out) "from supply depots" (image of a telephone in a warehouse) "war factories" (image of exterior of a factory) "so next time, before picking up the receiver" (image of a postman pointing upwards to telephone lines) "remember the telephone is a weapon of war and think twice before you make a trunk call" The film ends with a dove holding a sign in its beak TELEPHONE LESS!
Production Details: GPO (Production sponsor)
Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Film Traders (Production company)
Hollering, George (Production individual)
Strausfeld (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 140 ft; Running time: 1 min 20 secs
Notes: Summary: a telephone pole is also often referred to as a telegraph pole or post. The GPO (General Post Office) telephone speaking clock service was known as TIM (first introduced in London in 1936). A trunk call was a long distance telephone call.
Date: release date 6 April 1944.
Remarks: interesting and unusual animation style.
Technical: held on reel NPB 13738-13740 (other items copyright ITN).