This film is part of Free


Four children spend the day roaming London and looking for birthday presents for their younger brother, who has polio.

Children's 1954 10 mins



Four children go shopping... Beautifully photographed, Birthday contains some unexpected glimpses of London life as the four young children roam the city unaccompanied on their quest to find a birthday gift for their little brother. This lively and beguiling dramatised film is an appeal film for the National Fund for Polio Research – and its optimistic spirit is epitomised by the delighted expression on the face of Christopher, the little boy who has polio. The heartstrings of the audience are tugged as actress Deborah Kerr’s narration concludes with an appeal for funds: “What do you suppose would be Christopher’s wish on his birthday?”

A vaccine for polio was introduced in the UK in the mid-1950s, and there have been no cases of polio in the UK since 1984.