This film is part of Free

Bothered by a Beard

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

Documentary 1946 35 mins


A flagrant plug for the trusty safety razor disguised as a comic history of shaving, this witty treat was made by EVH Emmett, whose sardonic tones graced many an educational film in the 1930s and 40s. Jumping from the Bronze Age to Ancient Egypt to the dicey barbers of Victorian England (cue Tod Slaughter hamming it up in "Britain's most fruity drama", Sweeney Todd), the film follows the development and mass production of King Camp Gillette's 1890s invention. En route, the follicular myth that a beard is an essential accessory for any self-respecting seaman is neatly busted.

Look out for a glimpse of Gillette's art deco factory in Hounslow, west London, which served as the company's European headquarters until 2003 and is now a Grade II-listed building.