This film is part of Free

Ivy Was Doing the Washing When They Came

A surreal 60s soapbox mockery of advertising and the traditional British washday? It’s anyone’s guess!

Comedy 1962 12 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


‘Tide’s in, dirt’s out!’ Brand X and brand Y battle it out as the housewife’s choice for those wash day blues. This is a compulsively odd cine club deconstruction of ad world spin and the contemporary consumer, with more than a touch of The Goon Show surreal about it. Symbols, stereotypes and strange fantasy sequences abound, from Hitchcock and the style of the ‘Man from the Pru’, to the obsolete Chinese laundryman, long used to advertise detergents, wringers and soap.

This film is part of a unique and eclectic collection, which dates back to the pioneering early decades of amateur cinematography. Back in 1927, James Cameron gathered together a small group of men and women interested in making moving pictures. They formed the Newcastle branch of the Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA), one of only five in Britain at the time, and still operating in the city in 2018.