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How to Use the Telephone
How to Use the Telephone

How to Use the Telephone 1948


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How to Use the Telephone 1948

20 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Law

One moment please… Let me put you through to the Kafkaesque world of civil service telephony, an inescapable labyrinth created more by incompetence than malevolence. This clever training film invites the audience to identify good and bad practice themselves, rather than using a didactic voiceover to ram a message home - it even pauses halfway to allow for discussion.

Produced by Richard Massingham's aptly named Public Relationship Films, the film emphasizes the telephone as a public face - or voice - of the Civil Service. Its effectiveness, particularly in the first half, is thanks to good casting and the performance of the actors. A succession of great expressive faces, including Massingham's own, are skilfully framed to walk a line between the comedy and frustration of the situations.

Directed by

Michael Law


Richard Massingham


Public Information Filler Government sponsored film


Civil servants Telephone operators Telephones


Public Information Films




United Kingdom



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