This film is part of Free

Cleanliness Is Happiness

Melodrama and misery are washed away by a mix of soap and elbow grease

Public Information Filler 1930 18 mins Silent


Pity poor Milly Lucas, the motherless blacksmith's daughter. An unwashed father, savage siblings and soiled clothing are her inheritance from a dearly departed mother. This moral tale cranks up the melodrama to breaking point - but never fear, soap is near. Misery is brushed away with a broom and happiness returns – although Milly's replacement of her mother in the family set-up makes you wonder if the drama is only just beginning.

The film was one of a number produced by the Health and Cleanliness Council, a private organisation of mostly medical figures founded in the late 1920s. Under the motto "Where there's dirt there's danger" they advocated "social cleanliness" – basically the use of soap and water – to adults and children as a matter of public health.