This film is part of Free

The Fly

Wage war on the disease-spreading fly with this forthright public information film

Non-Fiction 1932 10 mins Silent


Flies are dangerous, disease-spreading pests which must be eradicated at all costs, warns this public health film produced for Bermondsey Borough Council. The level of vitriol is such that you could almost feel sorry for the humble fly - but at a time when disease outbreaks could be deadly, especially for children, public health came first. Simple precautions could make a big difference, and the cinema was an ideal way to disseminate this information to mass audiences.

The sight of newly hatched larvae wriggling in close-up may not be for the squeamish, and the emotive intertitles encourage revulsion at every phase in the fly's life cycle. Despite this, the film is oddly beautiful, with spectacular microphotography revealing details of the fly's anatomy invisible to the naked eye, and deep blue toned sequences lending a fly-catching frog a captivatingly serene quality.