WTF - A Box of Odd
What’s that Film?! If you’ve a taste for the curious or the kitsch, the bewildering or the bizarre, then look no further. Our selection of rare archive treats will satisfy the most adventurous palate.
Among these eye-opening educational films, odd adverts and early outings of the soon-to-be famous, you’ll find examples of what might well be the cult films of tomorrow – most of them hidden from view for decades. Also in our eclectic and perplexing selection, bonkers 1920s lifestyle tips, mind-bending medical films and out-there animation rub shoulders with madcap musical numbers, amateur experimenta and off-the-wall artists’ work, while the animal kingdom is celebrated in some of the most eccentric nature documentaries you’ve never seen. Throw in a notorious celebrity chef and her shocking seafood platter and you’ve got a recipe for viewing bliss!
Hints and Hobbies No.11
Jiu-jitsu for ladies, how to get ink off a white apron and other life essentials courtesy of the 'Hints and Hobbies' team.
Audrey Hepburn Test
The future Holly Golightly exudes a certain grace even for a modest screen test, in the earliest known colour footage of the timeless star.
Cabtrack The Direct Auto-control Personal Taxi Service
Government sponsored film197216 mins Location: London
Could computer-controlled taxis solve the traffic crisis? Maybe not, but this film's a must for technology buffs (and fans of early electronic music).
Amateur film193012 minsSilent
There's a hint of the Radclyffe Halls in this peculiar film of actors emoting like crazy, before it's off to Boscombe for some beserk beach antics and a gathering in the country.
The Rollicking Rajah
Variety show19143 minsSilent
Early Vivaphone film capturing a jolly music hall routine about a maharajah's visit to London, made to be screened with a synchronised sound disc.
Amateur film19288 minsSilent Location: Kashgar
Actors in elaborate makeup and traditional costume - and a trained goat - perform for the camera in this rare glimpse of China’s westernmost city.
Everything but Everything in Bri-nylon
Industry sponsored film195920 mins
50s fashion meets carpet kitsch in a futuristic fantasy of domestic bliss - courtesy of versatile, magical Bri-Nylon.
Tame Animals at Work
Interest film19096 minsSilent Location: Ampthill Park Ho
Ostrich-riding and other outrageous animal antics at a private zoo in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.
Happy in the Morning: A Film Fantasy
Musical performers Henry Hall and his Orchestra hog the limelight in this promotional film, ostensibly for Ascot gas water heaters.
Peter and the Moon Man
The man in the moon learns about hygiene in this 1929 public information short promoting the benefits of all-electric mod cons.
Interest film19032 minsSilent
What’s in your cheese? The microscopic mites here are unpleasant today but caused a sensation in 1903, in one of the Britain’s earliest exhibited scientific films.
Hints and Hobbies No.10
Interest film192614 minsSilent
Fashion tips for skinflint flappers and other invaluable stratagems, brought to you by 1920s cinemagazine Hints and Hobbies.
Hints and Hobbies No. 2
Interest film192616 minsSilent
Tips for the lady motorist and how to repair galoshes with a piece of old tyre - the Hints and Hobbies team are back!
Hints and Hobbies No. 7
How to prevent a dirty neck and amuse your guests with sugar-lumps; it can only be an instalment of the wonderful Hints and Hobbies series.
Hints and Hobbies No.12
Magazine and Review show192612 minsSilent
Who needs an iron when you have a jam jar to hand? The Hints and Hobbies team return for the last surviving edition of the weekly cinemagazine.
Hints and Hobbies No. 3
Interest film19265 minsSilent
Electrocution beckons courtesy of the Hints and Hobbies team, here to advise how to construct an efficient wireless set for just 1/10d.
Manufacture of Stilton Cheese
Ever wondered how your Christmas Stilton is made? All is revealed in this delectable short produced by pioneer Charles Urban.
Helping Jessie in the garden
Amateur film19686 minsSilent
Two Teddy Bears look on happily, as before their glassy eyes a normal suburban family falls victim to some very abnormal goings on in their back garden.
Government sponsored film195610 minsSilent Location: Lambeth Br
With Cold-War style chemical kits at the ready, valiant volunteers sample a deadly London 'peasouper' in this fascinating 1950s research film.
Jocelyn in Wonderland
Amateur film196113 minsSilent
Tired little Jocelyn, in her National Health specs, falls asleep in the garden and wakes up in Wonderland in this amateur re-telling of Lewis Carroll's classic.
Mrs Newlywed's First Dinner
Amateur film19498 minsSilent
There are culinary catastrophes galore when Mrs Newlywed attempts to cook the couple's first meal in their austerity kitchen.
Amateur film195017 minsSilent Location: Knole Park
Disrespectful townie hikers get what's coming to them when the woodland spirits of Knole Park take their revenge.
A Dog's life by Bonzo
Amateur film195512 minsSilent
Pity poor Bonzo. Bought by a couple who quickly tire of his doggie antics, he's now the object of murderous intentions. But can Bonzo redeem himself in time to save his skin?
George on a Cycling Tour through Sussex
Amateur film196114 minsSilent
A surrealistic animation featuring cut-out characters on a beserk bicycle ride through Sussex towards a final destination in the Brighton Dome.
Britain Can Make It No. 12
Government sponsored film194610 mins Location: South Kensington
Innovative British design meets stylish practicality in a crowd-pleasing exhibition of postwar goods at London's Victoria & Albert Museum.
Artificial Hip Joint using the McKee Farrar Prosthesis
School programme and Educational film196614 minsSilent Location: Norwich
Can't stand the sight of blood? - then DON'T watch this! This amazing film is of one the first ever successful hip replacements pioneered by consultants McKee and Farrar
The Organ of a Thousand Moods
Performance19515 mins Location: Minnis Bay
Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails in the company of organ maestro Nick Olson, tickling the ivories at Uncle Tom's Cabin, Minnis Bay, Birchington.
Darling, Do You Love Me?
In a hugely entertaining parody of her media persona, Germaine Greer stars as a terrifyingly amorous woman who pursues a man relentlessly.
Comedy19649 mins Location: Halifax
The dangers of drinking take on a surreal turn as one of the pink elephants seen by our inebriated hero materializes and thwarts all attempts to get rid of her, even a safari hunter.
Home movie19394 minsSilent Location: Aberaman
Aberaman Original Silver Band in action, and a group of men play-acting for the camera with false beard, bird cage and washing dolly!
Amateur film19948 mins Location: Harlesden
A female protagonist falls prey to the ‘Shadowman’, who stalks his victim before attack. Uses stop-motion animation as well as live action.
Blodwen - one of the last of the few
Amateur film195815 minsSilent
Recorded for posterity: the partnership between Mr Herbert Bellis and Blodwen the Beautiful, one of the last steam rollers in operation.
Frank Liptrot Who Talks To The Animals
News19774 mins Location: Letchworth Garden City
Frank Liptrot, gentle and unassuming, has a penchant for imitating the sounds of a range of domestic pets and farm animals.
Amateur film19747 mins Location: Colchester
Human puppets act out a tale of love, jealousy and obsession in this short experimental film by Colchester Cine Club, 1974.
Hand in Glove
Amateur film197612 mins
To carry on his important work the ego-maniacal scientist Dr Kelly must obtain another hand … a hand which begins to take on a life of its own.
Going to Meet Becky
Amateur film198019 mins
A summertime reunion with an old flame turns into uncanny happenings for Dear Jonathon. Episode five of eight from the 'Other Realms' series.
Transcending Mirror Boundaries
Amateur film19818 mins
An uncanny tale of doppelganger supplantment partners an atmospheric soundtrack of ambient music by Brian Eno. 'Other Realms' Episode 6.
Man on Platform One
Amateur film19835 mins
An 'Other Realms' production created and written by Jon Coley in 1983 inspired by 1960s cult TV series' 'The Outer Limits' and 'The Invaders'.
Amateur film197715 minsSilent
Inspired by Patrick McGoohan’s ‘Danger Man’, 18 year old Jon Coley creates a showreel of cleverly choreographed stuntman action, 1974-1978.
News19741 minsSilent Location: Belfast
Are you ready for your close-up? It’s down the hatch as pints are pulled, glugged, and delicately sipped for an unknown news story.
School programme and Educational film197428 mins
An engaging blend of sci-fi, education and unintentional humour aids this anti-smoking diatribe aimed at 1970s teenagers.
Eve and Everybody's Film Review 362
Animation & Artists Moving Image192815 minsSilent
From fashion and slimming tips to a jazz age night out in London - just some of the diverting items in this cinemagazine
Party Dish by X. Marcel Boulestin
Guests to impress? Celebrity chef Marcel Boulestin out a quick veal escalope with the aid of a shiny new gas cooker.
Project the Right Image
Training film/TV programme197514 mins
A wannabe trendy vicar has difficulty entering the audio-visual age thanks to a hapless projectionist
Alan Klein and Julie Samuel - Come Outside
Music video19623 mins
1960s songster Alan Klein invites Julie Samuel to ‘Come Outside’ - but she’d rather do the twist - in this pop promo
Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band - Creole Jazz
It’s trad, Dad! Mr Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band stomp up a storm of Creole Jazz in this early 60s promo film
Documentary195626 minsSilent Location: Soho
This ultra-kitsch documentary goes behind the scenes at Murray's Cabaret Club, where Christine Keeler was later a showgirl.
Co-op 3-D Film
Advert19521 mins Location: Doncaster
This strange early 1950s stereoscopic 3-D film is a colourful document of the Co-operative Wholesale Society in Doncaster
Boogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap Jones
Animation & Artists Moving Image19556 mins
Frantic Welsh boogie-woogie maestro Thunderclap Jones pounds the piano in this fast and furious pop promo
Hints and Tips No. 4
Instructional film/TV programme194516 minsSilent
A lampshade fit for a drag queen and frugal food in an age before Delia Smith. Who says austerity can't be fun?
Non-Fiction19271 minsSilent Location: Nottingham
Drunken firemen and Martians invade the centre of Nottingham for the annual student rag, leading to mass flour fight