Over the past week I've had the pleasure of watching the wonders of Charley Says Vol.1&2. These 2 DVDs are jam-packed with UK public information films from the Central Office of Information archives. For me, many of the films are a serious nostalgia trip, while others have a certain style and sombre aesthetic that's quite compelling. Despite their age, over the past 5-10 years I've still seen a handful of these films shown on rare occasions during twilight hours at the end of broadcasting schedules on the BBC. Public Information Films are still made and broadcast (cue the glut of drink driving or alcohol consumption ads), but the old films hold so much charm in their days' context and/or budget
For more information and to view many of these treasures, visit the Public Information Films Archive
Here are some screenshots of my favourites:
Nice character / line work
Lovely animation about the 'Country Code'
One of a few films about playing on ice... According to this one, get an adult to first test the ice before having a skate... but keep to the edges!
Nice visual about the age-old problem of pollution - blame those coal fires
Apparently fridges can kill... Be sure to remove the fridge door before dumping it on your front lawn
Everyone loves Tufty... this is suburbia, with squirrels and that naughty Willy Weasel
The series of films that scarred / scared me for life. In case of nuclear war, remain calm. Be sure to label the dead with their name and address. The PAS branding still acquaints to a sense of death in my mind
Don't play near water or Death himself will escort you to the afterlife
Here's an example of an excellent Public Information Film from 2005, directed by Harry Enfield: Mental Health Interview