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!

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Hints and Hobbies No.11Hints and Hobbies No.11

Cinemagazine192614 minsSilent

Jiu-jitsu for ladies, how to get ink off a white apron and other life essentials courtesy of the 'Hints and Hobbies' team.

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Documentary193615 mins

Follow the life cycle of the king of crustaceans in this quirky documentary by Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy.

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Audrey Hepburn TestAudrey Hepburn Test

19526 minsSilent

The future Holly Golightly exudes a certain grace even for a modest screen test, in the earliest known colour footage of the timeless star.

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Facts and FanciesFacts and Fancies

Documentary195124 mins

Joan Collins gets to grips with the by-products of coal in her first screen appearance

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Cabtrack The Direct Auto-control Personal Taxi ServiceCabtrack 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).

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Is This Your Life?Is This Your Life?

Amateur film19579 minsSilent

An unusual and visually sophisticated commentary on the routine drabness and drudgery of everyday suburban existence.

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Screen TestsScreen Tests

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.

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The Rollicking RajahThe 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.

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Servants SupercededServants Superceded

Trick film19117 minsSilent

Two gifted servants perform magical feats for their employer with the aid of some impressive cinematic trick effects.

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Automatic MotoristAutomatic Motorist

Comedy19116 minsSilent

A leisurely drive turns into an out-of-this-world adventure for a newlywed couple and their robot chauffeur.

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Lizars, EdinburghLizars, Edinburgh

Drama19042 minsSilent Location: Edinburgh

Mitchell and Kenyon capture comedian Tom E. Murray at Lizars Theatre in Edinburgh on 12 December 1904.

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Kashgar: 11Kashgar: 11

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.

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The Road to HellThe Road to Hell

Amateur film193333 minsSilent

Melodramatic amateur fiction film protesting against the government's hated Means Test.

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"Spot the Stars""Spot the Stars"

Advert19301 mins

Ardent film fans could win a thousand pounds in this Daily Mail competition by naming screen actors in current releases.

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Everything but Everything in Bri-nylonEverything 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.

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See-saw CyclingSee-saw Cycling

Non-Fiction19281 minsSilent Location: Mitcham

Thrills and spills on two wheels at a charity motorcycling gymkhana in Mitcham, Surrey.

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A Film about PooA Film about Poo

Animation & Artists Moving Image20092 mins

This is a film about poo, and the things that you should and shouldn't do.

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Once We Were FourOnce We Were Four

Documentary19429 mins

Innocent bunnies face an onslaught of badgers, bombs and birds of prey in this black comedy masquerading as a nature film.

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Tame Animals at WorkTame Animals at Work

Interest film19096 minsSilent Location: Ampthill Park Ho

Ostrich-riding and other outrageous animal antics at a private zoo in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

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As Dreams Are Made Of...As Dreams Are Made Of...

Fantasy196513 mins

Sophisticated, smart and surreal, this Courtaulds’ fashion show ventures well beyond the confines of the catwalk.

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Government sponsored film19454 mins

Cycling stunts and sight gags in a music hall curio.

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Happy in the Morning: A Film FantasyHappy in the Morning: A Film Fantasy

Advert193812 minsSilent

Musical performers Henry Hall and his Orchestra hog the limelight in this promotional film, ostensibly for Ascot gas water heaters.

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Peter and the Moon ManPeter and the Moon Man

Children's192914 minsSilent

The man in the moon learns about hygiene in this 1929 public information short promoting the benefits of all-electric mod cons.

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Cheese MitesCheese Mites

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.

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Hints and Hobbies No.10Hints 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.

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Hints and Hobbies No. 8Hints and Hobbies No. 8

Interest film192616 minsSilent

A grisly recipe for herring, teaching dogs to fight crime and other eccentric tips for modern living.

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Hints and Hobbies No. 2Hints 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!

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Hints and Hobbies No. 7Hints and Hobbies No. 7

Cinemagazine192614 minsSilent

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.

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Hints and Hobbies No.12Hints 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.

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Hints and Hobbies No. 3Hints 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.

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Amateur film19764 minsSilent

From the decade that style forgot - it's the 1976 Portsmouth and Southsea Pram-Olympics!

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Hints and Hobbies No. 1Hints and Hobbies No. 1

Interest film192615 minsSilent

Welcome to the strange and wonderful world of 1920s 'how-to' compendium Hints and Hobbies.

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Manufacture of Stilton CheeseManufacture of Stilton Cheese

Non-Fiction19202 minsSilent

Ever wondered how your Christmas Stilton is made? All is revealed in this delectable short produced by pioneer Charles Urban.

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The Unclean WorldThe Unclean World

Comedy19032 minsSilent

What's that crawling around in the cheese? Surprises abound in this spoof nature film.

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Little Red Riding Hood Up-to-dateLittle Red Riding Hood Up-to-date

Advert19452 mins

Don't trust cross-dressing canines with your dirty linen says this 1945 soap powder advert.

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Helping Jessie in the gardenHelping 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.

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What We Want Is Watney'sWhat We Want Is Watney's

Advert19591 mins

A young Michael Caine bursts on to the scene as a cheeky soldier in this delightful advert for Watney's beer.

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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.

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Jocelyn in WonderlandJocelyn 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.

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Mrs Newlywed's First DinnerMrs 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.

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Hiker's HauntHiker's Haunt

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.

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A Dog's life by BonzoA 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?

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4 and 20 Fit Girls4 and 20 Fit Girls

194011 minsSilent

Flock to your local keep fit class - there's a war on and Britain needs its citizens in tip-top shape.

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George on a Cycling Tour through SussexGeorge 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.

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An Englishman's Home..........An Englishman's Home..........

Advert19462 mins

A wonderfully tongue-in-cheek vision of domestic bliss courtesy of a certain bedtime malted milk drink.

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The Man and His BottleThe Man and His Bottle

Trick film19085 minsSilent

The demon drink has dreadful consequences in this fantastical early trick film.

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So Clever Are German SpiesSo Clever Are German Spies

Non-Fiction19151 minsSilent

A slightly baffling example of cinema playing its part in the anti-German propaganda machine during WWI.

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Britain Can Make It No. 12Britain 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.

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Sam Goes ShoppingSam Goes Shopping

Advert19396 mins

Stanley Holloway recounts the exploits of Sam Small, whose wife sends him shopping for... what was it again?

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Time-lapse Photography of Nail GrowthTime-lapse Photography of Nail Growth

Documentary19602 minsSilent

Medical film or lost avant-garde body horror classic? You decide!

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Artificial Hip Joint using the McKee Farrar ProsthesisArtificial 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

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The Organ of a Thousand MoodsThe 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.

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Amateur film19687 mins

After a short but flammable existence, Victor, a matchbox from Sweden, reflects on life's vicissitudes as he awaits his fate in the gutter.

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Darling, Do You Love Me?Darling, Do You Love Me?

Comedy19684 mins

In a hugely entertaining parody of her media persona, Germaine Greer stars as a terrifyingly amorous woman who pursues a man relentlessly.

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The Beast of Bodmin MoorThe Beast of Bodmin Moor

Current affairs19832 mins Location: Bodmin

A farmer tells all about some wild goings-on

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Club SpiritClub Spirit

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.

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Aberaman AnticsAberaman Antics

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!

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At the Midnight, In the SilenceAt the Midnight, In the Silence

Drama19665 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

Conjuring up demons in Birmingham.

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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.

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Blodwen - one of the last of the fewBlodwen - 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.

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Frank Liptrot Who Talks To The AnimalsFrank 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.

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Perpetuum MobilePerpetuum Mobile

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.

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Hand in GloveHand 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.

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The Fifth MinuteThe Fifth Minute

Amateur film19769 mins

Nightmarish visions become a reality in this imaginative production that mixes live action, animation, and special effects.

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Feline ReincarnateFeline Reincarnate

Amateur film197611 mins

Driven to distraction a young man murders another, however the dead victim’s feline reincarnation wants revenge!

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Amateur film197724 mins

Extra-terrestrial plantlife is discovered in the Welsh countryside causing mischief for scientist Dr Felix Ackerman, filmed in 1977.

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Going to Meet BeckyGoing 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.

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Transcending Mirror BoundariesTranscending 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.

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Man on Platform OneMan 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'.

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Stunt SequencesStunt Sequences

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.

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Jorvik SagaJorvik Saga

Amateur film10 mins Location: North Yorkshire

Ever wondered what the Vikings would make of modern York?

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Army and the Cornish PastiesArmy and the Cornish Pasties

News19775 mins Location: Belfast

When did you last see camouflage, candelabra and Cornish pasties round one table?

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Woolco Toilet Roll RaceWoolco Toilet Roll Race

News19783 mins Location: Newtownards

Shoppers clear the aisles, as Ulster Television’s toilet roll racers get ready for action.

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Dial A PrayerDial A Prayer

News19641 minsSilent Location: Belfast

Join the dial-a craze and receive spiritual comfort from the comfort of your own home.

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Drinking MontageDrinking Montage

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.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image197022 mins

A man loses everything he has day-dreaming his way through life

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Seventh AngelSeventh Angel

Amateur film196210 mins Location: Belfast

It was a day like any other for Percy Faith until he hears a voice he’ll never forget.

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It's RidiculousIt's Ridiculous

News19771 mins Location: Belfast

It’s 1977 in Northern Ireland; find out what people in the street are shouting about? It might not be what you expect.

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Close-ups of the StarsClose-ups of the Stars

Advert19466 mins

A triple bill of glamour courtesy of Lux toilet soap.

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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.

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Eve and Everybody's Film Review 362Eve 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

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The PeachesThe Peaches

Animation & Artists Moving Image196416 mins

Meet a very beautiful, very clever girl who adores peaches in Michael Gill's BFI-funded fantasy short.

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A Party Dish by X. Marcel BoulestinA Party Dish by X. Marcel Boulestin

19369 minsSilent

Guests to impress? Celebrity chef Marcel Boulestin out a quick veal escalope with the aid of a shiny new gas cooker.

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Hot Water and VegetabuelHot Water and Vegetabuel

Comedy19289 mins

"Don't be cruel to a vegetabuel": delightful pair of music hall numbers from the eccentric writer of Jollity Farm.

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Drama197111 mins Location: Chelsea

After breaking out of jail, a young woman struggles to hold down a job and eventually becomes a very unlikely nun.

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Livin' EasyLivin' Easy

Promotional197020 mins

Dick Emery and dance troupe The Young Generation invite you to "simply pay through Giro" in this musical money promo.

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Project the Right ImageProject the Right Image

Training film/TV programme197514 mins

A wannabe trendy vicar has difficulty entering the audio-visual age thanks to a hapless projectionist

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Documentary198517 mins

Health and safety gone mad: stuntmen have a blast in this grisly warning to building site workers

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Five Guineas a WeekFive Guineas a Week

Musical195633 mins

1950s song and dance revue set in a colourful world of boarding houses and coffee bars

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Corfam - DanceCorfam - Dance

Advert19691 minsSilent

If this groovy 60s advert is to be believed, all the cool young things will be wearing Corfam shoes this season…

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Using the TelephoneUsing the Telephone

197018 mins

A young David Jason tries and fails to master sales calls in this highly enjoyable 1970s corporate film

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Dreams of ToylandDreams of Toyland

Animation & Artists Moving Image19087 minsSilent

Decades before Toy Story, a young boy’s toys come to life through animation

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Alan Klein and Julie Samuel - Come OutsideAlan 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

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Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band - Creole JazzAcker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band - Creole Jazz

Performance19613 mins

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

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Cabaret GirlCabaret Girl

Documentary195626 minsSilent Location: Soho

This ultra-kitsch documentary goes behind the scenes at Murray's Cabaret Club, where Christine Keeler was later a showgirl.

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Co-op 3-D FilmCo-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

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Boogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap JonesBoogie Rag Roll - Thunderclap Jones

Animation & Artists Moving Image19636 mins

Frantic Welsh boogie-woogie maestro Thunderclap Jones pounds the piano in this fast and furious pop promo

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Is This a Record?Is This a Record?

Comedy197322 mins

Pythons join Frank Muir, Connie Booth and Willie Rushton celebrating the Guinness Book of Records.

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Something Completely DifferentSomething Completely Different

19744 minsSilent Location: Doune

Join John Cleese and the cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail on location in Scotland

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X-Ray ImagesX-Ray Images

19100 mins

The cutting-edge medical imaging of over a century ago.

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Drama19707 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry

Between us is truth, let there be truth between us

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Drama197810 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry

A Derry classroom becomes an unlikely setting for this uncanny experimental film by Terence McDonald and Gerry Wills

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No. 26No. 26

Animation & Artists Moving Image19863 minsSilent Location: Belfast

Take a few minutes to meditate on this mesmerising Super 8 experiment straight from the artist’s studio

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Hints and Tips No. 1Hints and Tips No. 1

Documentary194517 minsSilent

Thrifty housewives rejoice! These how-tos, ranging from the handy to the slightly mad, will steer you right

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Hints and Tips No. 2Hints and Tips No. 2

194516 minsSilent

Handy hacks for 1940s domestic goddesses, including outlandish tips for keeping flowers fresh and treats for 'Mr. Puss'

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Hints and Tips No. 3Hints and Tips No. 3

194518 minsSilent

No money? No problem! Fancy handbags and luxurious baths lie at the 1940s housewife's fingertips

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Hints and Tips No. 4Hints 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?

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Hints and Tips No. 5Hints and Tips No. 5

Documentary194516 minsSilent

You don't have to be rich to be a glamour-puss, as this 1940s advice for housewives proves

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Cutting for StyleCutting for Style

Training film/TV programme195423 minsSilent

A delightfully eccentric hairdressing tutorial for the stylists of 1950s Britain

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A Chinese Baby ShowA Chinese Baby Show

Non-Fiction19180 minsSilent

Chinese children toddle to traditional music in this intriguing Gaumont newsreel.

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Bothered by a BeardBothered by a Beard

Documentary194635 mins

Reached peak beard? Embrace life as a clean-shaven chap with this comic history of shaving.

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Strange VisitantsStrange Visitants

Non-Fiction19271 minsSilent Location: Nottingham

Drunken firemen and Martians invade the centre of Nottingham for the annual student rag, leading to mass flour fight

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An Old Shoe for LuckAn Old Shoe for Luck

Advert192310 minsSilent

The 'little Lux shepherdess' helps reunite two quarrelling lovers in this fun early advert.

More WTF films in our Rentals collection.